Operator sets Capetown food and wine tours

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GLENDALE, Calif. -- African Travel, a Far & Wide company, is spicing up its product line with a South Africa Food and Wine Tour.

"We are doing South Africa because of the wines," said Maggie Maranga, African Travel's northeast sales manager. "Most African countries don't really have good wines. On this tour we're doing five days in Capetown, which is the wine country. It's really a food and wine tour with some game- viewing at the end." Departures will begin in January for groups of eight to 12.

In its 28-year history, African Travel has put together many food and wine itineraries for groups that requested them, according to the company's senior safari consultant, Niki Duncan, but this is the first time the company is offering one as a brochure product.

Tour participants will spend five nights in Capetown at two properties, the Mount Nelson Hotel and a villa at the La Couronne wine estate; at both, they'll receive a cooking lesson.

Other tour highlights include a cable-car ride to the top of Table Mountain and a trip to Robben Island to see the maximum security cell where Nelson Mandela was held.

The group also will take an excursion to Cape Peninsula and visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

While headquartered in La Couronne, the group can explore mountain landscapes or visit the craft stores and galleries of Franschhoek.

The final three nights of the tour will be spent on safari at Singita, the "the top-of-the-line game lodge on the continent of Africa," Duncan said.

Each day the group can go on game drives to view elephants, lions, zebras, buffalo, rhinos and hippos.

The tour is part of African Travel's high-end Moments of Luxury series, which was introduced last year.

Other products in the series include the Ultimate Safari, which includes some top safari lodges and hotels in South Africa and Botswana, and the Last Refuge, a safari in Botswana.

The land price of the food and wine tour starts at $5,500 per person, double. Roundtrip air from New York can be arranged, starting from $1,250 per person. Add-on fares are available from any U.S. city.

For information or reservations, call (800) 421-8907, Ext. 122 or visit www.africantravel.com.

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].

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