Day 1: Cape Town
Guests are met upon arrival at Cape Town Airport, or any other location of their choice in Cape Town for the start of their South African Tour. From here the day is spent exploring one of the world’s most beautiful cities. A cable car ride up Table Mountain is first on the agenda. From Table Mountain sweeping views of the entire Cape Peninsula can be enjoyed.
We also visit the world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which had its conception when the mining magnate and philanthropist Cecil Rhodes donated the land to the people of South Africa. The garden is home to 4000 of the 18000 species of Flora which are found in South Africa and creates a most remarkable display. The tour then makes its way to the hotel.
Day 2: Cape Town
Situated in one of the most picturesque valleys of the Cape, the town of Franschhoek owes its existence to the first French settlers who worked the Drakenstein Valley. Some time is devoted to exploring the town and its memorial to the French Huguenots, set in a lovely garden before visiting three of the fine wine estates in the Valley, renowned internationally for the exceptional quality of wines these fertile soils produce. All the noble cultivars and classic styles are on show here. From superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc to the rich reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. During the late afternoon the tour makes its way back to Cape Town.
Day 3: Cape Town
The spectacular Chapman’s Peak drive cut into the 650m high Chapman’s Peak leads the tour through the Town of Noordhoek to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. A botanical and scenic delight the reserve is home to several antelope species as well as a great diversity of flowering plants and birds. A highlight is sure to be the walk to the summit of Cape Point, where it is said the stormy waters of the Atlantic are met by the calming influence of the Indian Ocean.
This Cape which has played such a central role in the tales and legends of the ocean was and remains an important landmark situated at the South Western Edge of Africa, proclaiming that this is where the two halves of the world, east and west meet.
The tour traces the Indian Ocean Seaboard on the way back to Cape Town with a visit to Boulders Beach, an attractive secluded haven which comprises a tumble of huge, round rocks on a sandy shore. The boulders are an ideal vantage point for watching the antics of the colony of mainland-based African penguins.
Day 4: Overberg
The tour traces the coast from Gordon’s Bay, traversing the towns of Rooi Els and Betties Bay on the way to Hermanus. En Route several stops are made at vantage points from where the Southern Right Whale can potentially be spotted. These whales frequent the waters of South Africa’s coastline during the months of June to November. They travel approximately 2000 km’s from the Southern Ocean to give birth in these waters.
Spotting these graceful mammals regally splashing about is a most rewarding experience. Lunch is enjoyed in Hermanus with its sweeping views of Walker Bay, said to be the best place on the entire coast from which to do whale watching. After some time spent in Hermanus the tour continues via Bredasdorp to the quaint fishing village of Arniston. The Village takes its name from a tragic shipwreck which occurred in these treacherous waters in 1815. The village is situated a stone’s throw from the Southern Tip of Africa and the coastline surrounding it is noted for its bizarre marine erosions of which the most famous is the Waenhuiskrans, an enormous cavern eroded from the cliffs within walking distance of Arniston. After a visit to the Waenhuiskrans we retire to the overnight destination.
Day 5: Garden Route
After breakfast the tour travels to the Coastal City of Mossel Bay, where we begin our Garden Route tour. It is here where the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias set foot on shore in 1488 and we dedicate some time to visiting the museum which bears his name. The museum stands not far from the Milkwood Tree and fountain which served respectively as a post office and watering hole to sea seafarers in centuries past.
A short drive then brings guests to Mossel Bay Station where guests board the Outeniqua Choo Tjoe. It is the last of the scheduled departure steam train services in South Africa. The short train journey reminds of a gentler age, when travel was conducted at a more leisurely pace. The train follows a coastal route with breathtaking ocean views as it plies its way between Mossel Bay and George. Guests are met at George Station from where a scenic drive of about an hour leads to Knysna, the jewel of the Garden Route.
Day 6: Garden Route
The Outeniqua Mountains form the barrier which divides the semi arid interior from the lush coastal plains of the Garden Route. The tour crosses this barrier via the Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich Capital of the World. The town is situated in the great valley which is known as the Little Karoo, with the Langeberge and Outeniqua ranges forming its boundary to the east and the Swartberge forming its western boundary. Our first stop is the Cango Caves which lie in the foothills of the Swartberge. A great cave system which is amongst the worlds largest and is blessed with elaborate drip stone formations, the highest of which stands 12.6m tall.
The caves extend up to about 1600m into the Limestone rich Hills. It is truly an impressive sight. Lunch is followed by a short drive to an Ostrich Farm where we focus on the farming of these the largest of the worlds birds. Great fortunes where built in the heyday of the industry when the feathers where prized fashion accessories. Today the meat with its low fat content is sought after in a world ever more preoccupied by healthy living and the leather is a prized raw material in the production of fashion accessories. The brave can even endeavor an Ostrich ride before we make our way back to the overnight destination.
Day 7: Garden Route
After breakfast the tour crosses the Knysna Lagoon by Ferry to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. A unique 150 ha private Nature Reserve which encompasses the entire Western Head of Knysna with spectacular views across the Lagoon and the ocean as well as the treacherous passage between the two which claimed many a ship during Knysna’s days as an exporter of timber. The reserve is one of South Africa’s heritage sights and is one of the highlights of the Garden Route tour. It is home to two of the Garden Route’s icons, namely the Knysna Loerie and the Blue Duiker, one of Africa’s smallest antelope species. The afternoon brings the tour to Plettenberg Bay where the finest beaches in the Garden Route offer the perfect sunning experience, relaxing in the sun or braving the waves of the Indian Ocean. The tour makes its way back to the overnight destination after a wonderfully relaxing afternoon.
Day 8: Garden Route
Guests are allowed a late morning after which they are transferred to George Airport for a flight to Cape Town. Guests are met upon arrival at Cape Town airport and are assisted in transferring to a flight back to their country of origin or are alternatively transferred to any location of their choice in Cape Town, after one of our memorable South Africa Tours.
Cape Town and Garden Route Tour Includes
- Accommodation as specified in the Itinerary
- Flight from George to Cape Town
- Services of a registered guide/Resident Rangers
- Meals as specified in the Itinerary
- Tourism Levy
- All Applicable Taxes
- All Land Transportation in air conditioned vehicles
- All Activities and Entrance fees to places mentioned in the itinerary
- All Park Fees if Applicable
Cape Town and Garden Route Tour Excludes
- Airfare (Getting to South Africa and getting back home)
- Personal and Medical Insurance
- Activities not specifically stated in the itinerary
- Meals not specifically stated in the itinerary