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On Safari in South Africa – Luxury Safari Plains with Mauritius

15days from
£5,225*per person

Overview

A GOLD STANDARD FROM BEACH TO BUSH

Experience five-star comfort as you chase the ‘Big Five’ through the savannah ahead of a rejuvenating Mauritian beach escape.     Luxury is front and centre of this unforgettable adventure across the South African bush and Mauritian beachfront. Upscale resort stays on both legs of your tour offer true comfort and unparalleled intimacy with the glorious natural world around you. Kick off your African adventure with a safari like no other in malaria-free Waterberg, perfect for families of all ages, honeymooners, and groups of friends alike. With small groups and minimal distractions, you’ll track the ‘Big Five’ across four game drives before enjoying a traditional sundowner and an incredible stargazing experience in the bushveld. As the sun sets, relax in the heart of the savannah with a five-night stay in Safari Plains’ immaculate tented camp.   The second leg takes you to idyllic Mauritius for a beachfront stay in the five-star Long Beach resort. Whether you fancy unwinding on the white-sand beaches or discovering this island nation’s rich history with a series of island-hopping optional tours, you’ll be spoilt for a choice of ways to spend your time on the Indian Ocean. With all-inclusive packages in both resorts and minimal transfers between your two resorts, you'll be free to focus on making the most of your stay.  

Itinerary

  • Start your safari holiday with an overnight flight to Johannesburg.
  • Meet your driver as you touch down in Johannesburg this morning before taking a scenic drive north to your camp set against the backdrop of the Waterberg Mountain range. Arriving in time for lunch, you’ll have the chance to share a meal in the camp’s restaurant with your fellow travellers. You’ll have the afternoon at leisure to settle into your impressive new surroundings in the heart of the Mabula Game Reserve. Perhaps have a dip in the outdoor swimming pool or relax in the comfort of your private tent. Later, you can watch the sunset on your veranda for unparalleled views of the South African savannah. If you’re feeling peckish, why not treat yourself to a high tea at the camp’s restaurant? This evening, re-join your fellow guests for an expert-led wildlife talk courtesy of one of the reserve’s resident specialists before dinner.
  • Rise early this morning, and perhaps take a tea or coffee, ahead of your first game drive in Mabula. Witness herds of the region’s antelope moving in the open as they tend to move around more early in the day, to find the best protection from predators.  You’ll then return to camp for breakfast and time at leisure to enjoy under your own steam before lunch is served. More downtime will follow this afternoon, in between your daily high tea, for you to take in the warm South African sun. Whether you’re relaxing by the poolside or pampering yourself with a treatment in the on-site spa, there’ll be plenty to help you unwind. Dinner will be served in the camp restaurant this evening.
  • Wake up early and watch the sun rise over the mountains or take a lazy morning lounging with time at leisure after breakfast. Later this afternoon, set out in search of the ‘Big Five’ – the lion, leopard, black rhino, elephant and African buffalo – with a drive out into Waterberg’s idyllic open landscapes. As you pass through the South African bush, be sure to keep an eye out for the region’s big cats which are known to rest amongst the branches of the native acacia trees! After this afternoon’s safari, enjoy a true safari tradition with a relaxing sundowner. Watch the sun set over Waterberg with premium snacks and drinks served in the bush amidst the stunning savannah landscapes. Afterwards, reboard your vehicle for a drive back to the camp for dinner.
  • Take the morning at your own pace with time at leisure, accompanied by the day’s breakfast, ahead of the third game drive. With a diverse range of habitats housed in the Mabula Game Reserve, you’ll find an astounding array of wildlife besides the ‘Big Five’ which are synonymous with safari sightseeing. Look closely and you may see one of the region’s smaller, but no less exciting, creatures from the elusive bushbabies and vervet monkeys to the humble pangolin and burrowing mongooses! You’ll then join your driver and fellow travellers for an excursion into the UNESCO-listed Waterberg Biosphere, an area rich in biodiversity and home to hundreds of species of native flora and fauna. Here, you’ll find an area abundant in flocking zebra, roving antelopes (including the rarer tsessebe), and giraffes which are certain to provide an enchanting day afternoon out on the open savannah. Enjoy dinner this evening back at the lodge’s restaurant.
  • Another game drive awaits this morning and with it comes another chance for you to see the Big Five. Fuel yourself with a hot drink before taking to the savannah plains under the morning sun.  Returning to the camp for breakfast, you’ll then be able to spend the rest of the morning at your own pace before lunch is served. Spend the afternoon at leisure whether that’s taking Waterberg’s striking landscapes from the comfort of the camp to making the most of your all-inclusive package with a complimentary drink by the bar. Why not indulge yourself in a touch of luxury with a high tea enjoyed alongside the area’s gorgeous savannah views?   However you choose to spend your afternoon, be sure to reconvene with your tour group this evening for an early dinner and stargazing experience under the unobstructed night sky.  
  • Rise early this morning and relax ahead of a transfer to Johannesburg for your flight to the Indian Ocean Island nation of Mauritius. Make sure to fill up on breakfast as the next included meal will be later this evening.    Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be collected and driven to your five-star resort, set right on the beach, and overlooking an unspoilt coral reef.  You can then check in, unpack, and have your first dinner by the sea.
  • Rise to the sound of the waves and enjoy a buffet breakfast with the choice to spend the day at your leisure, taking advantage of the resort’s assortment of facilities.    Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion, which encompasses several stops around the island. You’ll begin with a visit to Royal Botanic Gardens, the oldest in the southern hemisphere. Dating back to 1786, these beautiful grounds are known for the pond of giant water lilies and colony of giant tortoises.  Next up on the itinerary is the Beau Plan’s Sugar Adventure Museum, which is set in an old sugar mill. Here, you’ll get to taste sugar and rum, both made on the property.  Interactive exhibits showcase the history of the nation’s sugar industry and there’ll be time to purchase some souvenirs created by local craftsmen.    The tour will continue to the seaside village of Grand-Baie, with its pristine beach and protected cove. You’ll be able to wander the lively bazaar, selling handicrafts, before you enjoy lunch at one of the ocean-facing restaurants.    You’ll then stop off at the northernmost point of Mauritius. This area is aptly named Cap Malheureux, which translates to 'The Cape of Misfortune' due to the legendary 1810 battle in which the British defeated the French and took over the island. Take in the views over the Indian Ocean and surrounding islands, observe the red-roofed church of Notre Dame Auxiliatrice, and take some photos.    Lastly, a visit to an ancient working sugar estate, Domaine Labourdonnais, will conclude the excursion.     Later, you’ll return to the resort to relax and have dinner.   
  • After breakfast, you’ll venture on a full-day excursion to cover the natural splendours of the southern part of Mauritius. The Takamaka Winery is the starting point, and the only winery in the world dedicated exclusively to lychee wine. Ganga Talao, a crater lake also known as ‘Sacred Lake’, is another must-see location, and it’s ringed by a temple with small shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and other gods. This lake is also an important pilgrimage site, and according to Hindu mythology, it’s believed that the water here is sourced from the sacred Ganges River in India.    A photo stop at the Black River Gorges National Park is next, where you should keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, deer, and mongooses. Lunch will be served at a local family home in the small village of Chamarel, encircled by tropical rainforests. Chamarel is also home to the famous Terres de 7 Couleurs, ‘Seven Coloured Earth’, which consists of an expanse of multi-coloured sand dunes as a result of uneven cooling of molten rock. This natural wonder of green, purple, yellow, red, brown, and violet is a striking sight, and at the base, there are several giant tortoises.    Towards the end of the day, you’ll be taken back to the resort, where you can unwind and have dinner.   
  • Once you’ve had breakfast, another day of leisure awaits, or you can opt for an excursion, which involves boarding a speedboat to cruise around some of Mauritius’ most beautiful, uninhabited islands.  You’ll first cruise across a lagoon to a wild nature reserve on the small island of Ile aux Mariannes, where your guide will inform you about the endemic flora and fauna. Then you’ll travel to Ile aux Phares (Lighthouse Island), a former military base for the French during the colonisation of Mauritius. The lighthouse, which can be found here, was built to guide ships to the local port, and the island’s unique location near colourful reefs ensures a brilliant photograph opportunity.    The tour will then pass by the rocky islet of Ile de la Passe, which was a base for English and French troops, and now encompasses several fortifications. You’ll then have some time to snorkel and swim in the turquoise waters before calling at the paradisical Ile aux Cerfs for a BBQ lunch. Sip a cold beverage, or some local rum, on the beach as you enjoy Mauritius’ authentic creole flavours and a lively Sega (traditional Mauritian performance). You’ll return to the resort in the evening for dinner.   
  • Today, you’ll have the choice to relax at your own pace in the resort or delve into Mauritius’ fascinating history along a tour of volcanic calderas and colonial estates.   This nature and history tour will begin at the Trou aux Cerfs, an imposing dormant volcano overlooking the town of Curepipe. You’ll have plenty of time to bask in the untouched beauty of its dramatic peaks before continuing to Mahébourg for a visit to the Chateau Gheude (otherwise known as Chateau de Robillard). This French colonial house, set in 12 acres of parkland, houses the National History Museum of Mauritius, and offers a unique glimpse into both the nation’s origins and its evolution into an independent state.    Your final stop of the day will take you into historic Mahébourg’s town centre, calling at the Biscuterie H. Rault factory. Having been in operation since 1870, the factory’s signature Biscuits Manioc remain a popular treat among native Mauritians and tourists alike.  Sample some of these famous biscuits before returning to the hotel this evening for dinner and downtime. 
  • As the sun sets on your time on the Indian Ocean, enjoy time under your steam today. Whether you’re soaking in the sun by the poolside or ticking off any of the island’s activities you’re yet to do, make the most of your last full day in Mauritius. Why not stop for a complimentary round of golf at one of the neighbouring courses or enjoy a spot of badminton on the beach?    This evening, join your fellow guests and reflect on your unforgettable new memories with a final dinner.
  • As you approach the end of your tour, you can opt for a final guided experience of Africa’s incredible landscapes. Have breakfast at the resort before setting out for a coastal walk in a private deer reserve on the south side of the island. Kickstart your day’s activities with a drive along Mauritius’ black-cliffed coastline to the mouth of the Rivière des Anguilles, a river that cuts through picture-perfect landscapes and leads directly into the Indian Ocean. You’ll then enter a local private deer reserve, which follows the river, for an afternoon of sightseeing and relaxation amongst Mauritius’ stunning scenic wonders. While the wild deer are the main attraction here, you might even catch a glimpse of the area’s native crocodiles, reptiles, and giant tortoises! Experience a truly unique Mauritian paradise, as close to the natural world as possible on foot, as you follow the Rivière des Anguilles past lush sugar plantations, dense woodland and truly stunning coastal vistas. After a leisurely stroll along the river, refresh yourself with the cool sea breeze as you arrive on the Mauritian seafront’s famous black cliffs. This afternoon, enjoy an included lunch at a lodge in the park before returning to the resort for your final night.
  • Take your final breakfast at the resort today before checking out of your luxury resort suite. You’ll then have the chance to stow your luggage before enjoying an included lunch at the resort. Make the most of your final few hours on Mauritius’ beachfront and the resort’s public facilities with time at leisure*. This evening, transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.  *Please note: While you'll still have access to the resort’s public areas, all-inclusive service will end after checking out.
  • Land back in the UK after your overnight flight, drawing a truly unforgettable, luxury safari experience to a close. Please note: The order of itinerary may change at the tour manager’s discretion.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy a more intimate and smaller group experience of 16 to 24 travellers
  • Gain expert insights in the company of one of the reserve’s resident wildlife specialists with an introductory wildlife talk
  • Track the ‘Big Five’ with six game drives in a reserve in the UNESCO-listed Waterberg Biosphere – a malaria-free paradise home to diverse local wildlife
  • Unwind in the unparalleled luxury of Safari Plain’s five-star tented camp, within the Mabula Game Reserve
  • Witness the unspoilt natural beauty of the African savannah and its vast surrounding mountain ranges
  • Take part in a South African safari tradition with a relaxing sundowner on the gorgeous savannah plains
  • Reconnect with nature with a stargazing experience under the African night sky, a morning bushwalk and a traditional bush lunch.
  • Enjoy true relaxation on Mauritius’ east coast in a five-star resort
  • Sample the very best of the Mauritian south with tours of the island’s famous lychees wineries and dramatic natural landscapes

Our Price Includes

  • 12 nights’ all-inclusive accommodation at the five-star Safari Plains camp (5 nights) and Long Beach resort (7 nights)
  • 12 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners, five high teas and drinks service between 12:00 and 22:00
  • An expert-led wildlife talk upon arrival
  • Four game drives
  • A sundowner with a drink and snacks
  • A morning escorted bush walk, a traditional bush lunch and a stargazing experience
  • A tour of Mauritius’ southern region
  • Return flights to Johannesburg with transfers to and from Mauritius
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout and comfortable 4x4 on safari activities
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager and wildlife specialists in South Africa
  • Escorted by a representative during transfers and included excursions with access to a 24/7 contact number throughout your stay in Mauritius
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Dates and Prices

 
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Departure Airport:
London Gatwick (LGW)

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Price from:£5,225
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Accommodation

Safari Plains, Limpopo -

★★★★★

Combining five-star comfort with unrivalled views of the diverse wildlife of the Waterberg's savannah, the Safari Plains camp offers a beautiful space within the natural, indigenous bushveld. Situated in the Mabula Private Game Reserve and in the Waterberg Biosphere, this camp ensures that you'll be conveniently placed. Facilities & Amenities Inside the camp's central buildings, there's a luxury spa, a curio shop, and a bar and restaurant which offer all-inclusive catering throughout the day. Within the camp's outdoor areas, guests have full access to an outdoor swimming pool, sun loungers, and decking areas with bonfire pits - the perfect settings for a sundowner under the evening sky. Rooms Accommodation is within air-conditioned tents pitched across sturdy timber frames, each with private wrap-around decks, luxurious interiors, tea/coffee-making facilities, mini-bars, and mosquito netting. More intimate and closer to nature than lodge camping, these tents benefit from unparalleled views over the untouched beauty of Waterberg's savannah landscapes while still offering modern luxuries such as free Wi-Fi connection.

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Other Information

Holiday code

N2709

Holiday provided by Newmarket Holidays

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: fully flexible booking policy, covid-19 cancellation cover insurance as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Newmarket Holidays (ABTOT 5509, ATOL 2325, ABTA V7812), you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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