The Real Deal: Round-trip international airfare, four local flights, six nights' accommodations, some meals, all ground transportation, game drives, and sightseeing, from $1,999 per person—plus taxes and fees of $600.
When: Dec. 1–15, 2008; add $400 for May 1–31, Sept. 15–30, 2009; add $800 through Nov. 30, 2008; other travel dates are available through Dec. 15, 2009, at a significantly higher rate.
Gateways: D.C., New York City; add $100 for Chicago, Houston, Miami; $150 for L.A., Seattle; additional gateways are available.
The fine print: Breakfast daily, two lunches, two dinners, four local flights, all transfers and ground transportation in air-conditioned vehicles, guided sightseeing tours, game drives, admission fees as per itinerary, and the services of an English-speaking tour guide are included. Taxes are an additional $150, and fuel surcharges are an extra $450, for a total of $600 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $590, but can be higher depending on your choice of accommodations. U.S. citizens need a valid passport, but no visa, for stays of less than 90 days. Read before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: South African Airways Vacations, 888/722-4872, .
Why it's a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest multicity airfare for New York–Johannesburg–Cape Town–Johannesburg–Hoedspruit–Johannesburg–New York is $1,933, including taxes, for travel in early to mid-December (multiple carriers). For an additional $666, the SAA Vacations package covers international and local airfare as well as six nights' accommodations, all ground transportation, game drives, sightseeing, admission fees, the services of English speaking tour guides, and all taxes. Plus, you get the time-saving benefit of one-stop shopping.
Trip details: The package includes round-trip airfare on South Africa Airways carriers between New York City or D.C. and Johannesburg as well as round-trip flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Hoedspruit. Also included are six nights' accommodations, sightseeing, and activities.
Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you'll catch a two-hour flight to Cape Town, where you'll spend four nights in a hotel of your choice. Two options are on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in the bustling heart of Cape Town: the 236-room and the 329-room . The third, the 70-room , is located between Table Mountain and the Atlantic, about 15 minutes from the city via a free shuttle service.
The itinerary begins with a half-day tour of the Winelands, a region known for its crisp white and classic red wines. Several wine estates date back to the early settlers; you'll visit one for a group wine tasting.
There's also time for exploring Cape Town on your own. Stroll along the lively waterfront; lounge on a beach, like the popular Clifton or Camps Bay; visit historic buildings and monuments; or go on a shopping spree at Cape Quarter or Cavendish Square.
In the mood for adventure? Splurge on a helicopter ride from the waterfront to the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa and enjoy panoramic views of Cape Town and the surrounding mountains and beaches (priced upon request).
Fly back to Johannesburg, where you'll take a connecting flight to Hoedspruit. You'll transfer to for a two-night stay.
The safari lodge is in Thornybush Private Game Reserve, close to Kruger National Park, an area known for its big-five game viewing. Three game drives in an open safari vehicle, two in the morning and one in the afternoon, are included.
You'll transfer to Hoedspruit airport then fly to Johannesburg to catch your connecting homebound flight.
If you're not ready to leave Africa, you can purchase an extension package to , which includes one night at the in Johannesburg and two nights at the .
For more tips on what to do, visit .