Nightjar Tours and Safaris
Nightjar Travel is a comprehensive guide to things to do and places to visit in South Africa. It is the ideal companion to travellers who want to assemble, book and manage their own travels. But sometimes a little help could be quite useful. If you are a first time visitor to the country, or need something done in a hurry, it is sometimes easier to let somebody else do the legwork.
Our tours and safaris
In this section we present a number of tours and safaris that we have built around the iconic self drive routes in South Africa. Each of these tours tries to give the traveller a fairly comprehensive overview of the region. In many cases, it involves a fair amount of travel. However, we have tried to keep the distances reasonable, so that each tour strikes a good balance between time in the car and time on your feet.
If you would rather spend most of your time hiking, or mountain biking, or rummaging around museum or rock art sites, you will probably be best served to book a single venue and explore from there. That is what the rest of the site was designed to do. In any event, if you are unsure, drop us a mail by clicking on “Contact” in the menu strip above.
Road trip. Just the mention of the word conjures up romantic images of the modern day explorer, or the great escape from a demanding job. At Nightjar, we are quite fond of our road trips. And, if you asked us how we plan them, we will probably tell you that a road trip starts off by pointing the nose of the car out of the driveway and asking: “Left or right?”
The reality, of course, is a bit more mundane. In the first place, you aren’t really exploring, but taking leave, and usually have to be back at work the following Monday, or the Monday after that. So, it is normally best to plan in advance to make the best of the time available. More so when the chorus “Are we there yet?” is shouted out from the back of the car every ten seconds.
There are many jewels in the country, but unless you know an area really well, you will often drive right past them without even knowing they are there. This is even more the case when you are exploring an area for this first time. We think it is actually indispensible to have a basic idea of the lay of the land before you set out on any journey. It helps ensure that you “hit the good spots” first time around and don’t spend the week just figuring out where to go.
With this in mind, we have pre-assembled a number of routes for you to leaf through. We have also linked in a number activities and attractions along these routes. In most instances, we have focused on the more popular ones. For more specific items, feel free to browse the pages of our Travel Guide. We have over 2000 of them listed in these pages.
The Nightjar Team
Distances & times
We have provided a distance and a time guide for each of the legs of our routes. These timings assume that you drive the whole stretch at a reasonably leisurely pace, and make the odd stop here and there. In other words, it assumes you are in holiday mood. However, it does not account for longer breaks like lunch stops, scenic detours or shopping excursion. You need to factor this into your time allocation.
To do & see
For each tour, we have 'tagged' a number of general activities and attractions along the route. You will find them in the tab called "To do & see". These are usually the better known listings in the region. We have tried to keep the list short-ish. But even so, in many cases it's far too much for an average road trip. So, do read through the listings beforehand and decide on your own shortlist. For more specialised fields of interest, please consult our general listing pages in the Travel Guide.
When we put together our routes, we worked on the assumption that the last thing you want to do after a busy day's exlporation is to spend an hour in the kitchen putting together a meal. So, where possible, we have opted for the Dinner, Bed and Breakfast options. The far flung places, like the Wild Coast, and most of the game lodges, almost always work on a full board basis. Then again, some venues are just not geared to offer dinner. So, across our journes, breakfast is rarely not included, and dinner is included for 6 of the 13 nights, on average. We clearly indicate at which points you are responsible for your own meals in the itinerary write-ups.
We guarantee that the price of any of our routes will not exceed the sum of the individual components were you to book it direct. If you find after the event that you could have booked the identical itinerary, on the same date that you made the booking with us, for less, we will refund you twice the difference.
High and Low Season
The 'From' price is based on accommodation low points. Routes become more expensive in peak season, usually over Christmas and Easter. The average difference between peak and low season across all our routes is 18%, but in a few cases could be as high as 30%. For the 'Cape Town & the Cape Winelands' route it is 45%. This is is one of our cheapest routes at just under R7 000, so it is fortunately not that big a deal.
Our routes are all quoted for two people sharing a room. Single supplements apply for most of the properties on our routes, which will increase the price if you are travelling alone, or in odd numbered groups. The average single supplement across all our routes is 50%, and it varies from 25% to 80%.
Children usually get discounts, which will reduce the price if you are travelling with youngsters. The average child discount across all our routes is 15%.
We pass on all special discounts offered by the accommodation venues at the time of booking to our clients.
Car rental is quoted for an appropriate vehicle given the nature of the trip. Our default choice is for a B-class vehicle, i.e. a small vehicle with air conditioning. Insurance is for the lowest excess offered by the car rental company, a second driver and limited, but sufficient mileage as standard, but you are welcome to change this to suit your needs. Fuel will be for your own account.
You do not have to book a car through us to go on one of our trips. In fact, there is such large variation in this market, that we recommend you check with your 'usual' provider before you book with us - particularly if you are elgible for a corporate or loyalty discount.
Nothing in our itineraries is cast in stone. You can swap accommodation, shorten or lengthen the routes to your heart's content, or even combine tours in the Nightjar stable. Just click on enquire now, and send us your ideas.