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Itinerary: South Africa 2018 - 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Test Tour

International flights with either Qantas (depart Aus Tues with extra night Durban) or South African Airways (depart Aus Tues/arrive Durban Wed) can be added by contacting our office (02) 7200 8633 or info@astsports.com.au   

Wednesday 28th February – Arrive Durban

Welcome to Durban and South Africa. If you have arranged your international flights through AST, you will be met at the airport and transferred to our tour hotel where we will be based for the duration of the 1st Test. Durban has been shaped by the early colonial settlers, the Zulus and Indians and it has created quite a unique place to visit. You can choose to explore the nearby Golden Mile beachfront or relax in the surroundings of the hotel
Overnight - Durban Hilton or similar

Thursday 1st to Monday 5th March – 1st Test, South Africa v Australia at Kingsmead Stadium, Durban

Today sees the 1st Test of this much anticipated series start. Australia has a really good recent history at this venue winning their last 2 Tests including a big win during their 2008/09 Tour. This was a huge match and series for Phil Hughes where his unorthodox batting style countered everything the Proteas bowlers sent down to him. Scores of 115 and 160 from Hughes and another ton from Simon Katich ensured the Aussies had enough runs on the board. The bowlers led by Peter Siddle (5 wickets), Mitch Johnson (4 wickets), Andrew McDonald (3 wickets) and Simon Katich (3 wickets) did their part restricting the hosts and culminating in a 175 run win for the visitors.
During this Test Match you will be a guest at our Test Match Dinner including dinner and drinks
Overnight – Durban Hilton or similar

Tuesday 6th March – Durban to Knysna

This morning we depart Durban and fly to the largest town in the famous Garden Route – George.  The Garden Route is a 200km stretch of natural beauty landscape starting from Mossel Bay in the west to Storms River in the east. Consisting of fantastic beaches, picturesque lagoons and lakes, rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges, this area is a must visit for all travellers.
We make the 60km trip from George to our accommodation in Knysna which is probably the most well-known town along the Garden Route and here you have the chance to explore everything it has to offer.
Overnight – Oubaai Hotel & Golf Estate or similar

Wednesday 7th March – Garden Route Sightseeing

Today we embark on a full day sightseeing based in Knysna’s Featherbed Nature Reserve. Upon arrival at the lagoon we will board a ferry for a cruise to the Western Head, then after disembarking we will drive up the headland in 4x4 vehicles stopping off along the way for great photo opportunities. All along our specialist guide will feed us information on the history of the area, flora and fauna. We will stop for a magnificent buffet lunch and have the chance to do an optional 2.2km walk through coastal forest and fynbos into ancient sea caves. At the conclusion of the tour, we will be transferred back to our accommodation.
Overnight – Oubaai Hotel & Golf Estate or similar

Thursday 8th March – George to Port Elizabeth

Today we make our way by coach to the Eastern Cape and Port Elizabeth where the next instalment of this fantastic cricket series will continue.
This beachside city with its colonial influences evident has plenty to offer its visitors. The 5km Donkin Heritage Trail will give you a great insight into the history of this area where over 40 national monuments and historical sites are linked. For the wildlife lovers, there is the Addo Elephant Park, the 3rd largest National Park in South Africa and home to over 550 elephants, or the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve with plenty of free roaming animals to spot. You might be interested in a Local Township Tour or happier to relax on one of the Blue-Flag status beaches.
Overnight – Protea Hotel by Marriott Port Elizabeth or similar

Friday 9th to Tuesday 13th March – 2nd Test, South Africa v Australia at St Georges Park, Port Elizabeth

This Test will be a pivotal point in the Series as Australia attempt to put in a much better performance here than on their last visit in 2014. In that match the hosts won the toss and in batting first made 423 with centuries to AB de Villiers and JP Duminy as only Nathan Lyon (5-130) had any real success with the ball. In reply the visitors could only muster 246 with David Warner top scoring on 70 and found themselves totally up against it with South Africa declaring 447 ahead after their 2nd innings.  After reaching 0-126 in their run chase, the Aussies must have felt like they had a chance of causing a huge upset win, but 10 wickets for 90 runs later with only the openers making double figures, we were bundled out losing the Test by 231 runs.
During this Test Match you will be a guest at our Test Match Dinner hosted by Merv Hughes which includes dinner, drinks and a special guest speaker.
Overnight - Protea Hotel by Marriott Port Elizabeth or similar

Wednesday 14th March – Port Elizabeth to Victoria Falls / Sunset Zambezi River Cruise

This morning we take the flight to Victoria Falls via Johannesburg for the start of a fantastic week of touring. 
Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most famous natural wonders and a must visit destination when you’re in this part of the world. After arriving at our lodgings, we will have the chance to relax on board a cruise of the Zambezi River with drinks and snacks included. 
Overnight - David Livingstone Safari Lodge or similar

Thursday 15th March – Victoria Falls Sightseeing

Today will be an opportunity to get up close to these magnificent Falls as we take a short sightseeing Tour of the area. Victoria Falls is one of the world’s great spectacles. The views of the Falls from the Zambian side are breathtaking whether seen from Knife Edge Point or from within First Gorge at the base of the falls. It attracts people who are there to witness the sheer power and beauty of the falls, or those who are after a serious adrenaline hit with the numerous extreme sports on offer. 
This afternoon you can head back to our world class Lodge and relax or you can take on some of the optional activities available to purchase from the travel centre including fishing or game viewing in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park; adrenaline seekers can go abseiling, jet boating, white water rafting or bungee jumping.
Overnight – David Livingstone Safari Lodge or similar

Friday 16th March – Victoria Falls Free Day

Today’s Free Day gives you a wonderful opportunity to further explore the Falls, relax poolside at the Lodge or take on a new activity. Chobe National Park and Hwange National Park are close enough to experience a full day tour. Chobe NP in Botswana has an abundance of wildlife and is also home to the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. Hwange NP is the oldest National Park in Zimbabwe and home to over 100 species of mammals and 400 bird species. 
This evening, a buffet dinner is included at the lodge to celebrate our last night at Victoria Falls
Overnight – David Livingstone Safari Lodge or similar

Saturday 17th March – Victoria Falls to Sun City

We depart Victoria Falls today and make our way by flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival into the nation’s capital, we board our coach bound for Africa’s version of Las Vegas - Sun City. 
It is the entertainment mecca of South Africa and although originally designed around gambling, this destination has taken on a more rounded experience for travellers of all ages. For the golf enthusiast there is the Gary Player Golf Course (home to the Nedbank Challenge) or the Lost City Golf Course and there are plenty of water activities including Waterworld and the Valley of the Waves. It also features live concerts and theatre, nightclubs, shopping, movies, restaurants and bars – there truly is something for everyone!
Overnight – Soho Hotel Sun City or similar

Sunday 18th March – Sun City Free Day

Today is a free day to explore the surroundings of this entertainment oasis or why not take in an early morning balloon ride over the area or take the short 15km drive for a game drive at Pilanesberg National Park. Home to the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino) and various other animals/birds including wild dog, hyenas and cheetahs, the Park is the 4th largest in South Africa and is well worth a look.
Overnight – Soho Hotel Sun City or similar

Monday 19th March – Sun City to Madikwe Game Reserve / Dusk Game Drive and Bush Dinner

This morning we do the easy coach drive from Sun City to Madikwe Game Reserve where we will have a wonderful two day game experience. Located close to the Botswana border, this is the 5th largest games reserve in South Africa and importantly is malaria-free. To make Madikwe the sanctuary it is today, more than 8000 animals were relocated here in one of the largest relocations of wildlife on earth by humans over a 7 year period.
After settling into our luxury lodgings, we will embark on our first game drive within this private game reserve on dusk. The reserve boasts the Big 5 game along with the African Wild Dog and Cheetah which now form the Super 7. We will have a great time ticking every animal off the list before settling in to a bush dinner re-telling stories from our earlier drives.
Overnight – Madikwe

Tuesday 20th March – Madikwe Game Reserve / Game Drives and Boma Dinner

It will be an early morning start today as we try to beat the animals out of bed with our dawn game drive. The local rangers and guides will take us around in their open top Landrovers searching out all of the famous animals including giraffe, warthog, kudu, hippo, crocodile, springbok, zebra and wildebeest to name just a few.
After a lunchtime break, we head back on the trail for our afternoon game drive before finishing with a traditional Bush Boma dinner with all the trimmings in what will be a tremendous way to finish our time here in Madikwe. 
Overnight – Madikwe 

Wednesday 21st March – Madikwe to Cape Town

It’s a travel day today as we depart Madikwe and make our way to Cape Town via Johannesburg. Cape Town is by far the most popular cities in South Africa for international tourists. It is a stunning coastal city boasting beautiful suburbs including Camps Bay, Clifton, Sea Point and Green Point. For wildlife lovers you may wish to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium, the World of Birds, Monkey Jungle or the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Other sites include the Castle of Good Hope, St George's Cathedral and the District Museum.
Our accommodation in Cape Town will be situated very close to the world famous V&A Waterfront which is a bustling hive of activity with numerous shops, bars and restaurants on offer and tonight will be a great chance to sample some local delicacies ahead of tomorrow’s 3rd Test Match.  
Overnight - Southern Sun Waterfront or similar

Thursday 22nd to Monday 26th March – 3rd Test, South Africa v Australia at Newlands, Cape Town

For the next 5 days we take our seats at one of the world’s most famous and picturesque Test Venues in world cricket. Table Mountain provides one of the great backdrops and with plenty of old fashioned grassed areas for the fans to sit, there is something special about watching a Test Match at Newlands that only a few venues in the world can provide. 
It is also the scene of the Test Series clinching win on our last tour in 2014. It was a tremendous all round effort from the team, but the standouts were David Warner, who had the time of his life making back-to-back centuries of 135 and 145 at a combined strike rate of 90, Michael Clarke with a dominant 161 not out in the 1st innings, then the fast bowling cartel of Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and James Pattinson combining for 18 wickets doing all the damage with the ball. The end result in Graeme Smith’s last Test was an Australian victory by 245 runs and a Series win!
During this Test Match you will be a guest at our Test Match Dinner hosted by Merv Hughes which includes dinner, drinks and a special guest speaker.
Overnight – Southern Sun Waterfront or similar

Tuesday 27th March – Table Mountain and Robben Island Sightseeing

Following breakfast we take in two of Cape Town’s most famous sights – Table Mountain and Robben Island. Starting at Table Mountain, we make our way via cable car to the summit, which overlooks this incredible city. The floor of the cable car rotates to ensure you get a 360 degree view on the way up and once on top, there are over 2kms of pathways that lead to majestic views over Cape Town, Table Bay, Robben Island, Cape Flats and the Cape Peninsula and Cape Point National Park.
The next stop is Robben Island which details the life of many political prisoners but none more famous than Nelson Mandela where he spent the majority of his 27 year incarceration. Now a museum, you will be taken on a fascinating guided tour of the complex by a former political prisoner in what is probably the best demonstration of reconciliation you will see in South Africa. 
Overnight – Southern Sun Waterfront or similar

Wednesday 28th March – Cape Peninsula and Stellenbosch Sightseeing

We have a big day of sightseeing today, but it is well worth it and will be a wonderful way of finishing our time in Cape Town. After breakfast we start our sightseeing tour of the spectacular Cape Peninsula and Cape Point National Park checking out the beautiful Camps Bay along the way. The National Park abounds with wild flora and fauna and there great views from Africa’s southernmost landmark, the Cape Point lighthouse to the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. 
On our way home we’ll make a stop at the famous wine region of Stellenbosch. Home to more than 200 wine and grape producers   
Overnight – Southern Sun Waterfront or similar

Thursday 29th March – Cape Town to Johannesburg

After breakfast today we transfer to the Cape Town airport for the flight to Johannesburg for the fourth and final Test Match of this Series. 
Jo’burg has come a long way in recent times as it pushes towards the future with exciting urban projects and away from its tainted Apartheid past. The locals love their cricket and you can be assured of a tremendous atmosphere tomorrow at Wanderers. The Aussies have an unbelievable record at this ground playing 11 times and recording 6 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses. They have also won their last 5 Tests here with our last loss coming way back in March 1994. 
Overnight – Radisson Blu Sandton or similar

Friday 30th March to Tuesday 3rd April – 4th Test, South Africa v Australia at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Australia returns to Wanderers Stadium for the first time in a Test Match since an unbelievable finish to the match back in 2011. Known as the Bull Ring, this stadium can be intimidating for any visiting player and the atmosphere has brought many of great player undone. Others thrive in the conditions and in his 1st ever Test Match Pat Cummins is an example of this.  Starting with a conservative 1 wicket in the Proteas 1st innings, he came to the fore in their 2nd innings taking a breathtaking  6-79 in 29 overs before hitting the winning runs in the Test with Australia 8 wickets down and staring down the barrel of defeat. It is a sample of what the oft-injured Cummins can produce on his day and hopefully we get to see it in the Test arena again soon.
During this Test Match you will be a guest at our Test Match Dinner including dinner, drinks and a special guest speaker.
Overnight - Radisson Blu Sandton or similar

Wednesday 4th April – Tour Concludes

Today we say goodbye as our wonderful time in South Africa comes to a close. If you have purchased your international flights with AST, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

This package is now on request. Please contact our office

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