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South Africa: The Future of Art in Society
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11 days

from ₹9,73,100 trip_detail hint icon

Prices are indicative. Based on twin share. The rate of exchange calculated is approximate and the final tour cost will be as on the final date of payment. Taxes are additional.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, and easy hikes.

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Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Join experts from National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal to delve into the creative movements making South Africa a destination for artists across the globe.
  • On visits to urban studios and galleries, meet South African artists, activists, and curators who are using creative expression to reconcile with the dark history of apartheid.
  • Explore the world’s largest collection of art from Africa and the African diaspora on an exclusive curator-led tour of the renowned Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
  • Set out on safari in the South African lowveld from our base at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World in the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.
EXPERTS ON THIS TRIP

A National Geographic and Wall Street Journal expert will accompany each departure, and local guides join us along the way.

Itinerary

Delve into the colorful world of contemporary art in South Africa with experts from National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal. Explore experimental galleries in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and venture across the vast lowveld on safari to see the iconic landscapes that are inspiring local artists. Explore the intersections of art, architecture, and social change during conversation with artists and activists who are confronting the country’s complex history and shaping the future of art in South African society.

Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa

Arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport, enjoying VIP airport assistance, then transfer to our hotel in the city’s cosmopolitan Rosebank district. Relax this evening and peruse the hotel’s eclectic collection of South African art.

Day 2: Johannesburg

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Meet fellow travelers and our accompanying National Geographic expert this morning to begin our exploration of the intersection of art and politics in South Africa. Visit Constitution Hill, once a notorious prison for political dissidents, including inmates such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, and view the extensive collection of contemporary art now housed in the court. Discover some of Johannesburg’s best street murals and public art installations in the Braamfontein district, then visit the Wits Art Museum, home to an impressive selection of pieces from the African diaspora. After lunch, head back to the fashionable Rosebank district for a series of gallery tours. Meet the curator of Everard Read, the oldest commercial art gallery in Africa, and get to know the work of Africa’s emerging artists at CIRCA and Gallery MOMO. Later, return to our hotel for a delicious welcome dinner.

Day 3: Johannesburg

Today, discover private galleries and public art off the beaten track. Join local artist and expert James Delaney for an insider’s view of the intersection between art, architecture, and political history in Johannesburg. Wander the former warehouse district of Victoria Yards, now a miniature neighborhood of studios, workshops, and galleries interspersed with organic gardens and artisanal restaurants. Sit down with visual artist Ayanda Mabulu to discuss the role of art in fighting apartheid, then continue to the painted streets of the Maboneng district, where Arts on Main offers studio space to notable artists such as William Kentridge and Mikhael Subotzky. After lunch, tour the city’s architectural highlights with local architect Brian Kent McKechnie, a driving force behind the restoration of many of Johannesburg’s most iconic structures. End your day with a visit to the Apartheid Museum.

Day 4: Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

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Transfer to the airport this morning for a short flight to the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park. Travel across the lowveld to Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, keeping an eye out en route for iconic wildlife, from antelope to zebra. At the lodge, meet our expert guides and trackers, then set out on a private game drive in search of Africa’s “big five”—lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Stop for sundowners as evening descends over the plains, then return to the lodge for a gourmet meal under the stars.

Day 5: Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

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Rise with the sun this morning for a private game drive in the reserve. Keep your camera ready in case we catch the local lion pride on the move during the cool hours of dawn. Learn how to spot camouflaged creatures and capture the colors and textures of this spectacular landscape on camera. Enjoy coffee in the bush, then return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast. This afternoon, cool off in the swimming pool or venture out on a walking safari. Later, join trackers and guides on another game drive in search of predators preparing for the evening hunt.

Day 6: Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve/Cape Town

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Set out on our final game drive this morning, then enjoy breakfast at the lodge before transferring to the airport for your flight to Cape Town. Arrive in this multicultural port city perched on the far southern tip of the African continent. Founded by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, Cape Town today is considered one of the world’s premier destinations for both artists and adventurers. Meet your local guide and head to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). On an immersive, curator-led tour, discover why this institution is poised to become one of the most influential art museums in the world.

Day 7: Cape Town

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Delve into the history of Cape Town and its thriving art scene today, beginning with a cable car ride to the top of iconic Table Mountain, offering panoramic views of the city and sea. Explore the Houses of Parliament, the Company’s Gardens, and the Iziko South African National Gallery, then stop for an illuminating lecture at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. Enjoy lunch at the renowned Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Opened in 1899 to cater to first-class passengers on the Union-Castle cruise line, the hotel also served as British headquarters during the Second Boer War, and stands as a grand homage to Cape Town’s history. In the afternoon, tour the Groote Schuur presidential residence. Sip sundowners while learning about the British colonial politician Cecil Rhodes from prominent activists involved with the Rhodes Must Fall movement to “decolonize” South African education.

Day 8: Cape Town

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Cruise across Table Bay this morning to explore Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Join a guide for a tour of the island, and see Mandela’s cell in the former prison complex. Back in Cape Town, continue to examine the history of apartheid at a series of political sites and learn how these landmarks are connected to modern artistic movements. Begin at the Castle of Good Hope, a 17th-century fort near the shore of Table Bay. Meet the curator of the site’s government collections and go behind the scenes to see political works from the apartheid era that can no longer be displayed in public. Continue to the Bo-Kaap neighborhood at a meeting with local Muslim artists, then tour the Mendelssohn Collection at the Houses of Parliament, followed by a visit to the Goodman Gallery. After lunch, meet local artists at their studios in either the Woodstock or Salt River suburb.

Day 9: Cape Peninsula

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Venture south today to the Cape Peninsula, jutting out into the South Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy a curator-led tour of the newly opened Norval Foundation, displaying 20th- and 21st-century art from South Africa and beyond. Observe colorful architecture in Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town, and visit the iconic Cape Point Lighthouse, the last beacon for ships sailing into the vast expanse between Africa and Antarctica. Enjoy a seasonal picnic lunch by wild food innovator Roushanna Gray at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery, sampling ingredients foraged from the surrounding environment. Visit the Masiphumelele community to learn how local artisans utilize limited natural resources to craft unique paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and more.

Day 10: Cape Winelands

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Delight in a full-day excursion to the Cape Winelands, a region of rolling vineyards and soaring peaks northeast of Cape Town. Visit charming galleries in Franschhoek, one of the oldest towns in South Africa. Enjoy a tasting at the Grande Provence wine estate while admiring the property’s unique art collection, then delve into the region’s Cape Dutch heritage at La Motte winery and museum. Sip various vintages at the spectacular Delaire Graff Estate while marveling at select works of art and stunning views of the red-hued mountains around Stellenbosch. Choose to relax over a casual lunch in the estate garden or enjoy a gourmet meal at an iconic restaurant high on the hillside. In Stellenbosch, explore the SMAC Gallery and the Dylan Lewis Studio and Sculpture Garden. Stroll the garden’s tranquil groves and hidden paths, enjoying canapés and cocktails before your farewell dinner.

Day 11: Cape Town

Transfer to the airport in Cape Town to connect with your international flight home.

What to Expect

This expedition is rated as light; travelers should be in good health and comfortable standing or sitting for extended periods of time. Select city tours and art gallery visits involve long periods of standing. Excursions include safaris in open vehicles on dusty, bumpy roads and nature walks on uneven terrain. A typical safari day begins at dawn and includes 3 to 4 hours of wildlife viewing.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, we stay in ideally located, high-end hotels. In the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, we stay at a luxury safari lodge with ample amenities.

Expedition Team
A National Geographic expert and an expedition leader will accompany this trip, and local guides join us along the way. A Wall Street Journal expert will also join us for a portion of the trip.

Accommodations

Throughout the trip, we stay in ideally located, high-end hotels with ample amenities.

1 /6

54 on Bath - Johannesburg, South Africa

Settle into the elegant sanctuary of 54 on Bath, one of South Africa’s premier hotels, situated in the stylish Rosebank neighborhood of Johannesburg. Guests feel at home in spacious, comfortable rooms overlooking green gardens or the sunlit skyline. Sophisticated en-suite bathrooms include a separate bath and walk-in shower. Dine in style at the renowned hotel restaurant, sip champagne at the bar, or enjoy decadent afternoon tea on the flower-filled terrace.

2 /6

54 on Bath - Johannesburg, South Africa

Settle into the elegant sanctuary of 54 on Bath, one of South Africa’s premier hotels, situated in the stylish Rosebank neighborhood of Johannesburg. Guests feel at home in spacious, comfortable rooms overlooking green gardens or the sunlit skyline. Sophisticated en-suite bathrooms include a separate bath and walk-in shower. Dine in style at the renowned hotel restaurant, sip champagne at the bar, or enjoy decadent afternoon tea on the flower-filled terrace.

3 /6

54 on Bath - Johannesburg, South Africa

Settle into the elegant sanctuary of 54 on Bath, one of South Africa’s premier hotels, situated in the stylish Rosebank neighborhood of Johannesburg. Guests feel at home in spacious, comfortable rooms overlooking green gardens or the sunlit skyline. Sophisticated en-suite bathrooms include a separate bath and walk-in shower. Dine in style at the renowned hotel restaurant, sip champagne at the bar, or enjoy decadent afternoon tea on the flower-filled terrace.

4 /6

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge - Kruger National Park, South Africa

Experience luxury in the heart of the wild at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World situated in a private game reserve within South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Watch wildlife interact at the watering hole during breakfast, or listen to the breeze whispering through the bush as you relax in the spa. Each expansive villa features eclectic African accents, glass-fronted bathrooms, and an outdoor shower on a private patio. Gourmet cuisine is served in the vibrant dining room, and guests can gather for cocktails or take a dip in a pool on viewing decks overlooking the Msuthlu riverbed.

5 /6

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge - Kruger National Park, South Africa

Experience luxury in the heart of the wild at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World situated in a private game reserve within South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Watch wildlife interact at the watering hole during breakfast, or listen to the breeze whispering through the bush as you relax in the spa. Each expansive villa features eclectic African accents, glass-fronted bathrooms, and an outdoor shower on a private patio. Gourmet cuisine is served in the vibrant dining room, and guests can gather for cocktails or take a dip in a pool on viewing decks overlooking the Msuthlu riverbed.

6 /6

Queen Victoria Hotel - Cape Town, South Africa

Situated within steps of Cape Town’s sparkling waterfront, the Queen Victoria Hotel offers a combination of historic grandeur and contemporary refinement. From the lobby’s soaring spiral staircase to flavorful dishes at two hotel restaurants, every element of the experience is carefully crafted to reflect Cape Town’s rich heritage. Elegantly appointed rooms are decorated with splashes of royal purple and offer views of iconic Table Mountain, Cape Town’s busy harbor, or the bright city skyline.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Jun 16-26, 2020
  • double occupancy ₹ 9,73,100 Per Person
  • single occupancy ₹12,03,500 Per Person

Prices are per person based on double or single occupancy (unless otherwise noted) and do not include international airfare to/from your destination. Internal flights are $760 per person. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change. See the trip terms and conditions for more information.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities

    What's Not Included

    • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
    • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
    • Visas
    • Alcoholic beverages
David Braun
Writer
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David Braun is a passionate advocate for the world’s wild places. He has explored more than 50 African parks and other conservation areas. His books include a guide to the Kruger National Park. As a National Geographic journalist for 21 years, David produced hundreds of articles focusing on the Society’s research in Africa, including on the Big Cats Initiative, restoration of Gorongosa National Park, and the Okavango Wilderness Project. He has hosted the National Geographic Expedition “Wildlife of the World by Private Jet” and accompanied National Geographic scientists on field trips to Kruger and other iconic parks across the world.

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  • Jun 16-26, 2020
Gabriele Steinhauser
Editor
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Gabriele Steinhauser is The Wall Street Journal's deputy bureau chief for Africa, based in Johannesburg, where she writes about politics, economics, and life across the continent and helps manage the Journal's Africa reporters. She moved to Johannesburg from Brussels, where she covered the European debt crisis as well as climate and energy policy. She previously worked as a business writer for the Associated Press and an editor on the Journal's Europe desk in Brussels and London. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and an M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Gabriele will join half of the South Africa: The Future of Art in Society expedition.

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  • Jun 16-26, 2020