Eleven day South African Art Safari

Cape Town, Johannesburg and the Cape Winelands

Cinga Samson, with a work in progress from his exhibition “Safari”

Overview

A 11 day 10 night programme, with 3 nights in Johannesburg, 6 nights in Cape Town and 2 nights in the Winelands.

Breakfast included at hotels, some lunches and some dinners included. Domestic flight included.

PROGRAMME SUMMARY


Day1. Johannesburg
Arrival, check in, rest. Welcome and programme briefing over lunch at the hotel. Johannesburg Art Gallery. Public art in Soweto. Pan African dinner with Sanza Sandile. Overnight Johannesburg.


Day2. Johannesburg

Wits Art Museum, visits to artist studios at the Bag Factory, contemporary art gallery. Constitution Hill. Dinner reservation. Overnight Johannesburg.

Day3. Johannesburg

Apartheid museum. Maboneng Township Art gallery in Alex. African Symphony Safari. Overnight Johannesburg.

Day4. Cape Town

Tour of the Market Theatre. Check-out and fly to Cape Town. Art and Resistance with Manfred Zylla. Street Art tour.

Day5. Cape Town

Ellerman House tour of private collection. South African National Gallery. Lunch with arts and culture policy maker. Theatre in the Backyard in the evening, with braai. Overnight Cape Town.


Day6. Cape Town

Mocca Zeitz with curator or artist host. Visit local fine artists in Studio. Overnight Cape Town.

Day7. Winelands

Check out and transfer to Winelands. Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden Stellenbosch. Farm to Fork lunch. Spier Wine Estate’s collection. Curator lead visit to the Ghetto Art Gallery in Stellenbosch. Wine tastings. Overnight Winelands.  

Day8. Winelands

Avondale Eco Safari. Mandela at Drakenstein Prison. Traditional Home-cooked winelands lunch, with guest speaker. Pniel Museum and heritage walk. Tasting at Thelema. Overnight Winelands.

Day9. Cape Town

Free day, with optional additional activities. Overnight Cape Town.

Day10. Cape Town

Morning tour of Cape Town’s latest addition to the art scene, the Norval Foundation, followed by lunch. Afternoon sightseeing.

Day11. Cape Town

Fly home

PROGRAMME IN DETAIL


Day1. Johannesburg
Arrival, check in, rest. Welcome and programme briefing over lunch at the hotel.

Johannesburg Art Gallery. Public art in Soweto. Pan African dinner with Sanza Sandile. Overnight Johannesburg.

Welcome to Johannesburg. Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel where an early check-in has been arranged. You have the rest of the morning free to rest and refresh a little.

At 12 midday your guide will meet you at the hotel restaurant for lunch for a welcome and programme briefing (lunch included in programme fee).

After lunch, we visit the Johannesburg Art Gallery, where curator Khwezi Gule hosts a journey through some of the most interesting aspects of the JAG’s collection. South African masters feature, as well as a small selection of works by international artists such as Dali and Picasso, where we explore the impact of these artists on the local art scene.

Then artist Andrew Lindsay hosts an exploration of public art in Soweto, via some of the historic city’s key public pieces.

There’ll be a little bit of time to refresh back at the hotel before we leave at 19h00 for dinner at Sanza Sandile’s magical
Pan African Plate. This spread of Pan African dishes will be one of the culinary highlights of your visit. Sanza is a chef and art figure in Johannesburg (dinner included in programme fee).

You’ll be back at the hotel by 1030pm.

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Sanza Sandile’s Pan African Plate

William Kentridge’s Firewalker

Day2. Johannesburg

Wits Art Museum, visits to artist studios at the Bag Factory, contemporary art gallery. Constitution Hill. Dinner reservation. Overnight Johannesburg.

We start on the Top of Africa, on the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre in downtown Johannesburg. From here we can see the whole city, and can map out the next couple of days, touch on key aspects of the city’s history.

Then we head to the
Wits Art Museum (WAM) in Braamfontein. The Museum is “home to an extraordinary collection of African art, including contemporary and historical art from South Africa and art from West and Central Africa”. One of the museum’s curators hosts a tour of the collection.

Before lunch, we head to the Bag Factory in Fordsburg, across the Nelson Mandela bridge, where we visit fine artists in studio.


We will enjoy lunch in downtown in Bertrams, at the
Bambanani Urban Farm, where Mama Refiloe Molefe will serve us a farm-to-fork spread of Sotho dishes, with freshly squeezed juices, everything sourced from the farm. Mama Molefe shares with us her riveting story 

After lunch we visit Constitution Hill, the former prison that housed famous liberation fights such as Winnie and Nelson Mandela and Fatima Meer, as well as tens of thousands of ordinary people. We will experience their Art and Justice tour, exploring a collection of art assembled by Justice Albie Sachs, and featuring some of the finest artists out of South Africa. This is a great way to unpack a lot of our political history.

Then it is back to the hotel. We have a dinner booking at a great Johannesburg restaurant tonight.

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Mary Sibande’s A Reversed Retrogress, Scene 1

Lunch at the Bambanani Urban Farm

Day3. Johannesburg

Apartheid museum. Maboneng Township Art gallery in Alex. African Symphony Safari. Overnight Johannesburg.

We continue yesterday afternoon’s journey into South Africa’s political history by visiting the Apartheid Museum, where we can get a broad but deep perspective on the apartheid era. We will need a long lunch after this to reflect and debrief. We will have lunch at a restaurant in Rosebank.

After lunch, we travel to Alexandra, to experience a project that exhibits fine art in township homes. It is called the Maboneng Township Arts Experience, home gallery initiative in Alex.

We’ll head back to the hotel after Maboneng, allowing a couple hours to relax. At 1930, we transfer to the home of composer and musician Mac McKenzie for an African Symphony Safari - a performance by a chamber orchestra, performing Mac’s original works, with some delicious wines and snacks.

Apartheid Museum

African Symphony Safari

Day4. Cape Town

Tour of the Market Theatre. Check out and fly to Cape Town. Art and Resistance with Manfred Zylla. Street Art.

We start the day in Newtown, with a tour of the iconic Market Theatre, a theatre which shaped so much of the country’s resistance theatre. This will link nicely to our experience later in Cape Town of Theatre in the Backyard, as well as the session with one of our most senior artists, Manfred Zylla, as we explore resistance art in SA.

After the Market, we get our flight to Cape Town. A light lunch of a sandwich is picked up at the airport (own account).

In Cape Town, we transfer to the hotel, check in and freshen up. Then we begin our Cape Town programme. We go first to Observatory, about 6km out of Cape Town, to the home of artist Manfred Zylla, who takes us through not only his own work, but art as resistance across South Africa. Manfred is almost 80, and has the deepest understanding of art and resistance, from his struggles in Germany against oppression, as well as South Africa.

We finish the day with an artist guided tour of Street Art in the street art hubs of Salt River and Woodstock. We continue the theme of art and resistance (one of Manfred’s work is in this hub), exploring mural art as a means of community development, resisting gentrification and the political struggles against inequality post 1994.

Back to the hotel to freshen up. We will plan dinner in the city.

Manfred Zylla at his home

Street Art and resistance to neoliberalism

Day5. Cape Town

Ellerman House tour of private collection. Visit artists in Studio. South African National Gallery. Lunch with arts and culture policy maker. Theatre in the Backyard in the evening, with braai.

We start the day at Ellerman House for a tour of the hotel’s private collection with art historian Talita Swarts. There will be all sorts of threads here, apart from the art - there will be resonance with the JAG in Joburg and notions of public and private art; with what Manfred had to say about art and resistance, with the winelands and the role of Cecil John Rhodes and Herbert Baker, the architect of Ellerman House as well as some winelands properties. Ellerman’s collection is quite something.

We have an early lunch around 1230 or so, where we are joined by a local culture policy maker to look at the successes and challenges of arts in national and local policy and the impact it can and has had since 1994.

After lunch, we are hosted at the South African National Gallery, one of the cornerstones of South Africa’s public art programme.

Back to the hotel late afternoon to have some down time.

This evening we enjoy the visceral Theatre in the Backyard experience. We will be welcomed by local director and playwright Mhlanguli George, who will present one of his original 30 minute pieces in a township backyard. This is followed by a braai or barbeque dinner with Mhlanguli and the actor (cost included in programme fee), and opportunity to have plenty of discussion about theatre, art, South Africa and life in general!

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Theatre in the Backyard

Ellerman House

Day6. Cape Town

Mocca Zeitz with curator or artist host. Visit artists in Studio.

We start the day on Table Mountain. Then we head down to the museum of contemporary art known as the Mocaa Zeitz, located at the V&A Waterfront. It is vast. Great links again - some of the curators and galleries we will have visited by now have works in the Zeitz, and we deepen the private / public conversation and threads around who decides what art becomes successful.

We have time to explore the V&A a little, perhaps to do some shopping, and we will have lunch at an eatery at the Waterfront (own account).

Then in the afternoon we visit two artists in studio. We should be back early evening, and the rest of the night is at leisure.

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Mocca Zeitz

Artist Mandisi Mncela

Day7. Winelands

Check out and transfer to Winelands. Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden Stellenbosch. Farm to Fork lunch. Spier Wine Estate’s collection. Curator lead visit to the Ghetto Art Gallery in Stellenbosch. Wine tastings. Overnight Winelands.

Today we shift to the final phase of the programme. We will check out of the hotel, and head to the winelands. We will start in Stellenbosch with a visit to the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden, a magnificent 7 hectare garden bordering the Stellenbosch mountains, featuring the internationally acclaimed sculptor’s own works.

We’ll do a wine tasting and lunch (for own account) at Spier Wine Estate, their Eight Farm to Fork Restaurant is very low key and excellent, and Spier’s focus on contemporary art is legendary. After lunch we’ll do a tour of their collection.

The Ghetto Art Gallery in Stellenbosch is owned and run by a group of artists from Kayamandi, a township in Stellenbosch. They are attempting to ‘move the centre’, exhibiting artists by black and white artists, on the edge of the township. We are hosted by one of the founding members.

And then we enjoy one more wine tasting session, at a Stellenbosch estate.

Dinner at leisure in Stellenbosch.

The Ghetto Art Gallery

Rob Armstrong, winemaker at Haut Espoir

Day8. Winelands

Avondale Eco Safari. Mandela at Drakenstein Prison. Traditional Home-cooked winelands lunch, with guest speaker. Pniel Museum and heritage walk. Tasting at Thelema. Overnight Winelands.

Our final day is full! And we attempt today also to bring together as many of the threads of the programme as possible, and bring about a strong narrative finish.

We start with the excellent, in-depth Eco Safari at the Avondale wine estate. Their two hour eco safari is a tasting session at the highest level, curated across the estate, tasting varietals in the vineyards, getting to grips with the soil, the climate and the fundamentals of biodynamic farming and wine production. We tour the wine making facility and the cellar too.

We will pop in at the Mandela statue along the way, outside the Groot Drakenstein prison and wrap up some of the political threads of the programme. Then to Kylemore, in the Dwars River Valley (lying between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch), for a home-cooked traditional lunch, touching on slave and indigenous heritage, served with wines from the Valley. We are joined by a special guest presenter today at lunch who helps to deepen our understand of heritage, culture and the arts in South Africa.

After lunch, we enjoy a heritage walk in Pniel, exploring the history of the winelands, slavery, the role of the church in slavery and emancipation, and land ownership, linking in with Ellerman House and the Cecil John Rhodes, Herbert Baker link. The Dwars River Valley was where Rhodes had his greatest presence, and to this day that economic presence is felt. Herbert Baker built rows of houses for Rhodes on the other side of the river in Lanquedoc, which will contrast strongly with Ellerman, also built by baker. Part of the walk features the Pniel Museum.

And then for our final activity on the day, we visit Thelema Wines, still in the Dwars River Valley, at the top of the Helshoogte Pass.

We head back to the hotel. Dinner at leisure.

Traditional home-cooked winelands lunch

Avondale’s Eco Wine Safari

Day9. Cape Town

Free day

A day of relaxing in Cape Town, with optional additional activities.

Dinner at your leisure.

Day10. Cape Town

Morning tour of Cape Town’s latest addition to the art scene, the Norval Foundation, followed by lunch at the Skotnes Restaurant. Free afternoon.

The Norval Foundation opened in Steenberg in April 2018, some 7 months after the Zeitz Mocaa, giving Cape Town two major art sites. Our visit to the Norval Foundation, with some 9 exhibition spaces, and a focus on South African art spanning both the 20th and 21st century, will be a good conclusion to the programme.

We will enjoy lunch at the Skotnes Restaurant, a part of the Norval Foundation.

The afternoon is free, back at the hotel.

Our Farewell dinner will take place at the home of a friend and art collector.

Peter Clarke’s Blue Bird, 1959

Day11. Cape Town

You have the morning to pack and prepare, do some shopping before departure, or just enjoy relaxing.


We will transfer you to the airport and assist with check in.

Accommodation


How do we choose our accommodation providers?

Our aim in choosing accommodation providers is to select those places which make a positive and sustainable contribution both to people and planet. We call this ‘ethicality’. Whilst we do acknowledge and make use of certification organisations like Fair Trade in Tourism (SA), Green Tourism and Travellife, we also independently assess the ethicality of any accommodation suggestion we make. This is because at a regional and local level different criteria need to be applied which are normally context-specific and certification organisations cannot often adapt their criteria to particular contexts.

Thus, for example, we won’t appraise the ethicality of a homestay B&B along the same lines as a corporate five-star hotel and we won’t appraise the ethicality of a bush lodge in deeply rural South Africa using the same criteria as a bush lodge in the Kruger Park.

For this itinerary, we suggest in the 4* category the Peech Hotel in Johannesburg, the Townhouse Hotel in Cape Town and the Oude Werf in the heart of Stellenbosch. All of these are Fair Trade in Tourism (SA) certified, as indeed is Coffeebeans Routes itself and most of our suppliers.

In the 5* category we suggest boutique hotels. These would be Athol Place in Johannesburg, The Clarendon in Cape Town and Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek for example. These are not all FTT(SA) certified but conform to fair practice in sustainability.

At the beyond 5* category (ultra luxury), we suggest The Michelangelo in Johannesburg, The Silo in Cape Town and La Residence in Franschhoek.

In all cases, we develop and build relationships with our accommodation suppliers on a regular and collaborative basis: our aim is to build ethical capacity at all times, not to judge or criticise. This makes us highly unusual in the industry.

Transport


Throughout the programme we will move in air conditioned vans. There will be times when we walk, and where appropriate to the narratives, there will be very short passages of transit in public transport.

Coffeebeans Routes. iKhaya Lodge, 8 Wandel St, Cape Town, 8001. info@coffeebeansroutes.com. Tel +27218139829