Any time we encounter a deal to a place that for most Americans is somewhat less traveled -- South America, South Africa, the Far East -- we're inclined to take a second look. But this special offer from South African Airways (tel. 888/722-4872;, in conjunction with Visit South Africa Vacations, is worth a second and third look, however. It is a five-day trip to Cape Town that is priced at $1,399 based on round-trip airfare from New York or Washington, D.C., on South African Airways, four nights at the Protea Hotel President, which is situated on the Bantry Bay beachfront, daily breakfast, and a choice of a half-day Cape Town city tour (showing the highlights of the city) or all airport-hotel transfers.

Protea is an African hotel group, with locations throughout the continent and a handful just in Cape Town itself. The Protea Hotel President is described as a "resort in the city" and it has features such as a swimming pool, satellite television, air conditioning, restaurant and bar, wireless Internet, a hair salon and a gym -- what you might expect from a four-star hotel. Rooms either face the mountains or the water. If you rent a car while you're there, the hotel has covered parking; if you select the transfers option, you'll be carless. When you're finished walking around the city once you arrive, taking in galleries and museums, you can get to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, there's a shuttle that leaves from nearby the hotel. You're also within easy touring distance of wine lands and the hiking and walking trails up Table Mountain and Lions Head. You can take a boat ride to Robben Island, which historically was used as a prison but now is home to a museum dedicated to South African heritage.

The special is valid for a limited time only, from October through November, so time is of the essence. There is a possibility to add on other tours, such as a two-night game park package available for $1,099, which takes you to a private, five-star park in the Timbavati area, and the price includes flights, meals, and all game drives. Or, you can add on a three-night package that takes you to a couple of other places, spending one night at the five-star hotel Michelangelo in Johannesburg and two nights at the Victoria Falls Safar Lodge, for an additional $1,099.

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