Meet Mrs Ples and Little Foot, who lived more than 3 million years ago in and around the Sterkfontein Caves. Their claim to fame was walking upright in a manner like no other ape before. This is evidenced by their traces within the rocks. Much later, Homo Sapiens represented by the San, late stone age people, decorated the same rock surfaces. These prehistoric Van Gogh’s and Monet’s left a legacy of unique, finely detailed and exquisitely coloured , art compositions and engravings on exposed rock faces in the Cedarberg, dating back 15,000 to 20,000 years. This rich, rock art treasure represented the landscape and their lives within it. In so doing, they created the world’s first open air art galleries. They chose highly visible rock overhangs and faces. This suggests that, unlike elsewhere in the world, their art was not a secretive activity conducted in dark caves, and that the compositions were not simply for adornment. These images were a way of communicating with other groups of hunter gatherer San passing by. The execution of this art was as fine in detail, and as brilliantly conceptualized, as the images of the ancient Egyptians on the walls of the tombs of their pharaohs, some 15,000 to 20,000 years later.
Mapungubwe, ‘The Lost City”, is a name that conjures up mystery. Rediscovered in the early 20th century. It was a 12th century civilization that had mastered the art of gold smelting and gold smithing,long before the first European set foot on South African soil. Their trade extended from the Middle East to China. Not far from Mapungubwe, in the Kruger National Park, are the ruins of Thulamela, a settlement where cutting edge iron smelting technology had been developed in the 13th century. It is commonly believed that Thulamela is the forerunner of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, a few hundred kilometers to the north.
End your journey of discovery by retracing some of the defining, historical moments in the struggle to free South Africa from racial discrimination - - from the Mandela home in Soweto, to the arrest of members of the High Command of the African National Congress at Liliesleaf Farm , the sentencing of Nelson Mandela and other heroes of our democracy to life imprisonment on Robben Island and the 1976 Soweto student uprising.
Whilst we immerse you in heritage, you will also enjoy the ultimate African bush experience amidst the big 5 and other amazing species of wildlife,on this tour.
Please feel free to contact us for any clarification or changes in rates/routes below
JOHANNESBURG AND SOWETO PRIVATE TOURS
All tours Include: Transport in a/c top of the range 4x4 vehicles affording much better viewing and photo opportunities than a mini bus, qualified National Tour Guide and applicable entrances/fares.
Mmilo Tours provides genuine private tours only (not a scheduled shuttle service). Breakfast and depart at your leisure, linger or leave destinations at your own pace, enjoying Jo’burg and its environs with the services of a fully informed and communicative tour guide who can inform you and answer questions about all aspects and areas of South Africa present and past. Be informed and entertained!
All Tours are subject to availability at time of booking and payment. Prices may vary without prior notice so please request a quotation.You are advised to book at least 48 hours before departure time and even earlier during high season October-April.
Please feel free to contact us if you want to “tailormake” your tour or to adapt what you see below. Just go to our Quick Enquiry form, email us or go to our Contact Us page and phone us toll free or Skype.
Special Rates for larger groups (more than 7) on application.
Prices Per Person
( In ZAR)
Minimum 2 Persons
(Please contact us for prices on single person tour)
Soweto Morning and Afternoon Jo’burg (or vice versa)+/-7hrs
Enter past Baragwanath Hospital, Kliptown walkabout at Freedom Square, Regina Mundi, Walkabout Vilikazi St to Hector Pietersen Memorial, drive out past Soccer City World Cup Stadium.
Selection of following ( we will discuss your preferences)
Centre City Business Area ( Head offices of large mining houses, banks etc), Newtown precinct with Museum Africa, SAB World of Beer, visit to local orphanage, University and the Origins Centre, Old Fort Prison and the Constitutional Court, Sandton and Lilliesleaf secret hideout of The ANC and Nelson Mandela during apartheid.
Add extra ZAR 50 for World of Beer or Origins Centre, ZAR 100 for Lilliesleaf, Lunch at Wandies ZAR120
Soweto and Apartheid Museum With lunch at Wandies Shebeen +/-8hrs
Itinerary for Soweto as above but do not go into Hector Pietersen Museum as this duplicates to a large extent the Apartheid Museum
Jo’Burg &/ GoldReef City &/ Apartheid Museum/
Lion Park (pose with lion cubs)– Full Day
(Any two combined but can do three in a little longer tour)
Add ZAR 120 for Lion Park or Gold Reef City. ZAR100 for light lunch.
Tailormade Tour ( we work out a route together) of Jo'burg/Soweto with light lunch (en route) and evening dinner at Moyos or Lekgotla (the best African cuisine and entertainment available) Full Day and evening till 2200hrs (Includes 1x Mineral water and Tea/Coffee, Liquor extra
Mineral water en route
For more information on Jo'burg and Soweto <<< click here >>>
Itinerary for This Tour
Arrive at the Cape Milner Hotel on the slopes of Table Mountain for lunch with your Mmilo guide. After lunch, if time and weather allow, we will ascend Table Mountain via the Cable Car for an unforgettable experience and view of sea, city and mountain. How about a slightly more challenging option, that is, to ascend the mountain on foot with an experienced guide, who has been taking tourists up for several years? You will leave a little earlier than your colleagues who are ascending by cable car.The feeling of achievement on getting to the top when walking up is tremendous. The guide will supply small backpacks and water for the trip and is intimately informed about the mountain, its history and wildlife. You will meet the rest of the group on top and descend with them in the cable car. You need to be reasonably fit, but the guide is understanding and won’t rush you. Otherwise, if the weathers not right, we will take a walk with the knowledgeable Mmilo guide to see some of the historic and famous sights around the Hotel. Among these will be the SA Museum (www.iziko.org.za ) which has interesting early Homo Sapiens artifacts, most famous of all the “Blombos Beads”, the oldest example of anything made purely for adornment, and arguably the oldest known example of art! Professor John Parkington from the University of Cape Town, will help interpret the exhibits. We will also take a stroll through the Company Gardens that surround our Houses of Parliament and see the slave bell, whose tolling heralded the much larger Atlantic Slave trade. Lunch included.
|Ascend Table Mountain on foot with experienced guide (must be more than 4 participants) R250 pp.
Leave this morning for one of Cape Town's premier attractions, The Victoria and Albert Waterfront, where we will take a ferry to the beautiful, but infamous, Robben Island. As well as enjoying the trip and the sea air, you will learn much about what the brave men, who nurtured the origins of democratic government in South Africa, sacrificed and endured to achieve it. We should be back in time for lunch, and a quick shopping spree at the Waterfronts excellent mall, and then off we go to either ascend Table Mountain, or proceed as for yesterday afternoon's alternative. Breakfast Included
Today we are visiting the astoundingly beautiful Cape Peninsula. Our route takes us on the west side through the fishing port of Hout Bay, which multi-millionaires and humble fishermen share as a home. We will drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a road that follows the precipitous edge of the coast, and affords magnificent panoramic views of the ocean. Then, into the Cape Point Game Reserve, where we will catch a glimpse of one of the “Padrones”, stone crosses placed by the Portuguese merchant explorers as they plied the coast; the first recorded European presence in Southern Africa. We will alight and catch the small funicular railway to the light house near Cape Point where there is a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the peninsula mountains. We will have coffee at the café overlooking the ocean, and take a little longer to savour the view. Our journey continues through Simonstown, the historic naval port, with local and visiting “ships of war” at berth. Our final stop will be Boulders Beach for a stroll, or if the weather allows, for a quick dip with the famous African penguins who use this as a nesting and breeding spot. We visit the historic estate of Groot Constantia, site of the origins of viticulture in the region, and as the “sun is past the yardarm” taste the excellent vintage. There is a restaurant for a light meal with our wine. Then back to our central Cape Town hotel for the evening at your leisure. Breakfast included.
|Here in Cape Town we have included in this package a Peninsula Tour with our guide. This includes all entrance fees and lunch and it takes place on your second day in Cape Town, tomorrow.
However you may want to ascend Table Mountain on the Cable Car, visit some museums and historic attractions, maybe take the ferry to Robben Island to see the famous prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. As your time is short you will have to research this carefully. We can help of course in organizing these things for you or at least advising on what is feasible in the time frame of this short tour. We will then add to cost of your tour. But you can also arrange yourself.
Today, we visit the Slave Museum and get a view of slavery before it reached the horrendous levels of a century or so later. Indeed we can see here the origins of the later "Atlantic " slave trade.This museum is a very well presented but respectful representation of the suffering off people transported here to “the end of the world”, to work without reward and end their days far from their kith and kin. We will also visit The Castle of Good Hope, an early Cape Dutch fortification, and then after lunch, in one of the centre city's restaurants, we will take a drive around the False Bay coast to spot the massive Southern Right Whales, that come very close to shore at this time of the year. Breakfast included.
Today an early start sees us depart by luxury air conditioned coach to Clanwilliam, 300km to the north of Cape Town, to meet there with Professor Parkington who is an expert on San Rock Art, which is one of the earliest and most beautiful of art forms. We will visit the “Living Landscape Project” which he has helped to found. The LLP promotes the rock art sites as part of the legacy of the people inhabiting the region, and who are largely the descendants of its creators, encouraging both them and visitors to see it in this perspective. This in various ways gives people a sense of identity, connection and ownership of the landscape. Professor Parkington will be our host and he will explain the project and how it directly benefits the local community. Accommodation will be at three four star establishments in Clanwilliam; The Clan Court Guest House and Ndedema and St Du Barry lodges. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.
Today we will cross the Pakhuis Pass in the Cedarberg Mountains and visit the Sevilla Trail, an area where well preserved San Rock Art is situated, conveniently and scenically, for viewing on a trail of about 5km. Professor Parkinson will accompany us to give us an in depth insight into what is and is not known about the people who made these beautiful creations in their hunter-gatherer world, as much as 15,000 years ago. This trail also affords a wonderful opportunity to see the unusual and beautiful semi-desert plants which will be flourishing after the winter rains. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.
We return to Cape Town Airport to catch our flight to Johannesburg, arriving at the Centurion Lake Hotel in Pretoria (Tshwane) that evening. Breakfast included.
Today we will visit the Mapungubwe Exhibition at Pretoria University as a prelude to visiting the actual site later in this tour. We will see the relics and treasures of a civilization that flourished and traded in the north of South Africa in the beginning of the first millennium. Mapungubwe was probably one of the region’s first “city states”representing the origins of international trade in the region. Eleventh century Chinese porcelain has been found here, in an age long before European traders came to southern Africa. From here, we will drive south west along the foot of the majestic Magaliesberg mountain range, at 3,000 million years one of the oldest ranges in the world. to the caves at Sterkfontein. Sterkfontein is one of the richest fossil sites in Africa and the world for the remains of man’s early ape like ancestors, and early species of Homo, such as habilis and erectus. We will descend into the caves where the fossils are found, and look at the interpretive centre at the surface, where there is an excellent interpretation of our early primate origins. From here we will drive to the Lilliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, historic hideout of Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the ANC and SACP. After the apartheid security police raided and got the “evidence” that led to the arrests of these struggle leaders in 1963, they were tried in the Rivonia Trial, found guilty, and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. in 1965. The day will finish at Monte Casino, a modern entertainment centre in the affluent north of “Jo’burg”, which houses theatres, restaurants, a Casino and other attractions for the night time crowd. Breakfast included
Today we will visit Soweto, the house in which Nelson Mandela once lived, the Hector Peterson Memorial and Museum that commemorates the Student uprising of 1976 and those, like Hector, that died. Lunch will be at a typical Soweto restaurant where the food has an excellent local flavour. From here we will go to Gold Reef City to find out about the origins and pursuit of gold, and how this city of Johannesburg was built on it. We will see gold melted and poured, go down into an old gold mine and back at the surface see how the miners danced to entertain themselves in their spare time. There is also a theatre and range of restaurants and other amusements. Breakfast and Lunch included.
Depart for the northern border of South Africa, where the Baobab tree flourishes, in a climate that is virtually always warm and dry, on the banks of the Limpopo River. Here is the land of the mysterious Mapungubwe civilization. We will stay at The Tshugulu and Little Muck lodges right on the Mapungubwe National Park’s doorstep. After a short game drive, dinner will be outside in the “boma” in the warm lowveld air, enhanced with the smoke from the campfire of scented subtropical wood. Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner Included.
We will rise early to a truly magical dawn in the Land of The Baobab! We will be taken for a “Heritage Walk” and shown and told what has been discovered about the city that thrived here at Mapungubwe, and like many others in the ancient world, disappeared mysteriously. Snacks and beverages will be “on the hoof” as it were and a return to the lodges for a brunch. Then, off we go for a bit of a drive (just under 300 km) through the often misty Soutpansberg mountains to Punda Maria, one of the northern gates of the Kruger National Park. Accommodation that night will be at Punda Maria inside the park. There is a swimming pool and you can stroll around the camp (which is fenced) before bedtime. Anyone who knows will tell you there is no substitute for sleeping inside the park at night and waking to the “call of the wild”! Brunch and Dinner included.
This is the least visited and less “touristy” part of the KNP and the better for it. In the morning, we will depart in a Parks Board open vehicles to see Thulamela, ruins of another civilization that followed Mapungubwe, and that predated Greater Zimbabwe. We will also see some of the phenomenal range of birdlife and game that thrives on the banks of the Luvuvhu River, where we stop for refreshments. Hopefully, we will also see one or two of the “Big Five” on our journey. Return to camp for breakfast and back on the coach to journey south in the park stopping to see any interesting game or other sights. After a stop for lunch at Shingwedzi, we will reach Mopani Rest Camp where we shall stay again in air conditioned accommodation for the night. Here you can relax and swim or walk around in the evening air of the park, which normally at this time of the year, in this part of the country, we must repeat is superlative. You may also like to go for an (optional) evening game drive in one of the park’s open vehicles with the ranger, who knows more about the game and the park than you will ever need to know. Escorted night walks are also available and quite safe. Breakfast and Dinner included.
|Evening Game Drive
(R230 per person per drive).
|Evening Escorted Walk.
(R230 per person per walk).
There is time for one more (optional) early morning game drive or escorted walk in the reserve, before a leisurely breakfast and departure to Johannesburg International Airport and the end of the tour. Breakfast included.
|Morning Game Drive.
(R230 per person per drive).
|Morning Escorted Walk.
(R230 per person per walk).
Included in Price:
12 Nights in predominantly 4 Star Hotels,
12 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners, 5 Lunches,
2 Game Drives (including Thulamela drive),
1 Heritage Walk Mapungubwe,
1 Return Local Flight, Jhb-Cpt-Jhb
Transport in Luxury Air Conditioned vehicle.
Entrance Fees to all Museums,Shows and Attractions (Excludes Optional Activities),
Rock Art Expert and visit to Rock Art site,
Qualified Tour Guide
All flights to and from South Africa excluded
All passport and Visa fees excluded
All Drinks excluded
Travel and Medical Insurance excluded
All Optional Activities excluded
Accommodation Note: All the hotels and lodges are as reflected in this itinerary, but if for reasons beyond the control of Mmilo Tours this is not possible, they will be replaced with establishments of the same star grading.
Important: Please read the itinerary carefully, noting any optional activities you or some members in your group may want to take part in. You do not have to take part in any of the optional activities if you do not wish to do so. It helps us in our planning to let us know if you are interested and number of participants. These additional optional activities are not costed into this scheduled tour, and if you chose them, you pay the extra amount involved on arrival at the venue of the activity, and they are extra to the basic cost of the tour.