Mindful Africa

12th–28th January, 2020

Sunday 12th January

Fly TA – Johannesburg on El Al

Monday 13th January

Land Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city. 

Our trip begins with Safari! 

We will drive from Johannesburg straight to our private game reserve near Kruger National Park,  passing through the majestic scenery of the Drakensburg mountain range. 

Kruger National Park, South Africa’s oldest national park, is one of the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destinations.  Just west of Kruger is a private game park, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, home to a string of private reserves that provide some of Africa’s most compelling safari viewing – the best of Kruger without the crowds.

We will stay at one of these private reserves, a 5-star lodge complete with all the amenities and comforts you’d expect.  Trained and experienced wildlife guides will take us on four and possibly five game drives during our stay, promising an outstanding wildlife experience. 

Overnight: Private Game Reserve

Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th January

Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to see the animals as they come to the waterholes, so each day, that’s when we will go out on safari drives with expert rangers (wildlife guides).

In between our safari drives, we will enjoy delicious meals, have time for mindfulness practices and workshops, including yoga.  You’ll have time to relax at the pool, work out at the spa, indulge in a variety of uniquely African wellness treatments offered by the spa’s highly trained staff, or simply rest.     

An optional bush walk may be possible as well. 

Overnight: Private Game Reserve

Thursday 16th January

We will bid goodbye to our wonderful safari resort and drive to the airport for the flight to Johannesburg.

Back in Johannesburg, we will begin our introduction to understanding South Africa’s history with a visit to Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill recounts South Africa’s journey from colonialism and apartheid to democracy.  For 100 years, this was a prison and military fort, in which tens of thousands of men, women and children within its walls from all races, creeds, political agendas and walks of life were imprisoned.  Most famously, these included Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. 

Today Constitution Hill houses the country’s Constitutional Court, which endorses the rights of all Southern Africa’s citizens, and hosts programs and events on issues related to constitutionalism. It is truly a place of remembrance and redemption. 

Overnight: Johannesburg

Friday 17th January

Fly Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Cape Town, the oldest city in South Africa, is colloquially named the Mother City. It is South Africa’s legislative capital and the site of the country’s Parliament. The city is known for its harbor, its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, and landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. 

Our delightful hotel is nestled at the base of Signal Hill and Table Mountain in the suburb of Sea Point, one of Cape Town’s most affluent suburbs, half a block from the sea and the promenade. 

We’ll have the option of attending Friday services at the Shul a short distance from our hotel.  We’ll celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat and enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel. 

Overnight: Cape Town

Saturday 18th January

The morning will be devoted to a mindfulness workshop. 

After lunch, we will have a guided walk of the neighborhood overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, including Sea Point and Mouille Point (pronounced MOO-lee).

Overnight: Cape Town

Sunday 19th January

Today we’ll enjoy a full day of sightseeing around Cape Town and its environs.  Depending on the weather, this will include:

The famous beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay to Hout Bay, Seal Island, (also known as Duiker Island), home to approximately 70,000 Cape fur seals as well as many other species of birds

•The drive to Chapman’s Peak, considered one of the most spectacular stretches of coastal highway in the world

•The nature reserve of the Cape of Good Hope, including a tramway up to the top to gaze out over Cape Point, where the warm Indian Ocean and the cold Atlantic Ocean meet.    

Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach, home to some 3000 delightful African penguins.

•The quaint harbor of Kalk Bay overlooking the Indian Ocean with its funky shops selling anything from small garden decorations to antique beads.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, considered some of the most beautiful in the world.  We will walk through the Tree Canopy Walkway – a curving steel and timber bridge through and above the trees providing amazing views.

Overnight: Cape Town

Monday 20th January

We’ll start our day with a visit to the Cape Winelands. The magnificent mountain ranges around this area provide ideal microclimates for the vines and provide some truly spectacular scenery.   We will visit a winery where we will taste delectable kosher wines and kosher cheeses, and time permitting, stop off at some of the lovely local towns.

Back in Cape Town, we’ll tour the city, passing the Houses of Parliament, City Hall and the Castle of Good Hope, visiting “Bo Kaap” (the Malay Quarter) and Green Market Square.  We’ll visit the Jewish Museum to learn about Jewish contributions to all aspects of South African life.  If time permits, we’ll also visit the local Holocaust Museum. 

We’ll devote time in the afternoon to mindfulness and yoga practice.

Overnight: Cape Town

Tuesday 21st January

Today we’ll drive to spectacular Table Mountain, Cape Town’s most prominent feature and a world-famous landmark, and take a cable car up to the top for breathtaking views over the city and its beaches.  

In the afternoon, you’ll get to choose between spending time on the local lovely, sandy beach (Note:  it’s life-guarded, so you can swim though the Atlantic Ocean water is cold) or hiking up to Lion’s Head (about one hour each way, moderate difficulty) with a professional guide.  

Overnight: Cape Town

Wednesday 22nd January

We’ll begin our day with a mindfulness workshop

We’ll then visit District Six Museum, a museum and memorial to the forced movement, in the 1970s, of 60,000 inhabitants of various races from the district under apartheid.  Today the museum is dedicated to fostering interracial respect, cooperation and coexistence through the development of housing and environmental initiatives and local cultural activities actively involving the public.

Then we’ll stroll along the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, one of Africa's most visited destinations, attracting 24 million people every year. The oldest working harbor in the southern hemisphere, it is set against the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain. This development includes hotels, restaurants and shops, outdoor stages hosting cultural and ethnic performances, and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), which hosts the world's largest collection of contemporary African art, all of which you can explore as you stroll along.

You’ll lunch on your own at the Waterfront.   

In the afternoon, (weather permitting), we’ll take the ferry to Robben Island, one of South Africa's top historical attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site. For centuries it served as a penal colony, primarily for political prisoners. Although its maximum security prisons have now closed, the island remains famous as the place where former South African president Nelson Mandela was an inmate for 18 years.  

Overnight: Cape Town

Thursday 23rd January

Today we leave Cape Town and fly to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

We’ll open our stay with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, a superb way to relax and enjoy the majestic beauty of the river. As we drift leisurely along, you’ll have excellent photo opportunities set against the spectacular African sunset. Keep your eyes out for hippos, crocodiles and elephants, as well as many different bird species.  Nothing can prepare you for the tranquility of this experience. 

Our hotel is uniquely situated overlooking a waterhole, allowing you to enjoy the thrilling sight of the animals in their natural habit right from the comfort of your own balcony.  

Our dinner tonight will be an unforgettable feast for all the senses: the tastes of Africa (with kosher options, of course) plus a rollicking folklore performance featuring Africa’s music and rhythms.  You’ll even get your own drum and the chance to join in.  An experience that consistently gets rave reviews.     

Overnight: Victoria Falls

Friday 24th January

Visit Victoria Falls and rain forest.

Welcome to one of Africa’s greatest attractions.  Victoria Falls is more than a kilometer long and more than one hundred meters high, “the greatest known curtain of falling water” in the world.  Locals named it “the Smoke that Thunders”, “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, because its roar can be heard from 40 kilometers away, and its spray and mist can be seen from 50 kilometers away.  Truly awe-inspiring.  

Lunch on your own.

You’ll have time to visit the craft center featuring world-class soapstone sculptures that are exhibited in galleries in New York and London or simply relax in the colonial era luxury of The Victoria Falls Hotel and perhaps even treat yourself to High Tea (not included). From the hotel you may enjoy the view of the Victoria Falls Bridge, the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. 

We’ll be back at the hotel for Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat dinner.  

Overnight: Victoria Falls

Saturday 25th January

The morning will be devoted to a mindfulness workshop

After lunch, you’ll have the afternoon to relax, enjoy a swim in the pool, and watch the wildlife from comfortable vantage points throughout our delightfully-appointed hotel.  (Bring binoculars!)

Overnight: Victoria Falls

Sunday 26th January

In the morning, we will enjoy a cultural and village tour to understand how rural Zimbabweans live. We will meet the local inhabitants and learn about their culture, customs, history and daily lives.

We’ll then transfer to the airport for the flight back to Johannesburg. 

In the evening, we’ll have our Farewell Dinner. 

Overnight: Johannesburg

Monday 27th January

We will tour the Apartheid Museum, which seeks to help people comprehend the experience of racial segregation and apartheid.   

We’ll take a driving tour of Johannesburg’s business district and various neighborhoods, including Soweto, the symbol of the African’s struggle for freedom against apartheid.

In the late afternoon, we’ll transfer to the airport for flights back to Tel Aviv or other destinations. 

Tuesday 28th January

Israeli contingent arrives Tel Aviv 

“When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you’re leaving a state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence.”

Francesca Marciano, Italian novelist and filmmaker

To download the itinerary in a printable format, click here.


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