Explore Cape Town and the Garden Route on a self-drive basis, ending your holiday with the highlight of a Malaria free safari in the Eastern Cape
Day 1: Arrival in Cape Town
On arrival in Cape Town, you will met met by our representative and assisted with the collection of your hire car. Self-drive to the Waterfront, one of the hot spots in Cape Town, where you will be spending the following 3 Nights
Overnight: The Commodore Hotel or The Victoria & Alfred Hotel – Bed & Breakfast
Day 2 – Day 3: Explore Cape Town
Spend the following two days exploring Cape Town on a self-drive basis.
A leading destination of the rich and famous, ‘the fairest Cape’, is known throughout the world for its scenic splendour and cosmopolitan sophistication. It is in Cape Town that the Rainbow Nation really covers the spectrum with cultural diversity.
Between beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, elegant Georgian townhouses, traditional dancers and minstrels performing in the city streets, the smell of spicy Malay cooking, the taste of a wellmade wine, and the sound of the snoek horn advertising the wares of fish vendors, this city will fill your senses. The bells of St George’s Cathedral alternate with the plaintive tones of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer. Visitors give a startled jump, and Capetonians calmly glance at their watches, when the noon gun booms above the city – a relic from the days of sail when sea captains had to check their chronometers.
Must-do highlights of the “Mother City ”
- Take the Cable Car to the Summit of Table Mountain, enjoying the never ending views over the City.
- Take a day to experience the Cape Point Route, driving over the scenic Chapman’s Peak, spending time driving through the Cape of Good Hope reserve to Cape Point.
- Visit the African Penguins at Boulders Beach
- Explore the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens nestled in the shadow of Table Mountain
- Soak up the sun on one of our pristine beaches
Overnight: The Commodore Hotel or The Victoria & Alfred Hotel – Bed & Breakfast
Day 4 -5: Taste top quality Wines in the Cape Winelands
Check out of your Cape Town hotel and take a leisurely drive to the Cape Winelands, and the French Huguenot Town of Franschhoek, where you will be spending two nights
Whether it is its magnificent natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage or its world-renowned wines, the Winelands Region is synonymous with all the best that the Cape has to offer. A 45-minute drive from Cape Town brings you to this area where splendid mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in history. Come experience the hospitality and beauty of Stellenbosch, Paarl, & Franschhoek. The diversity of the Winelands will capture every heart.
Follow in the footsteps of our ancestors as you stroll along the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in the country. Our colourful history comes to life in the splendidly restored Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings in each town. Monuments such as the Huguenot Memorial and Afrikaans Language Monument and the many outstanding museums provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.
The excellent wines produced in this area are world-renowned You will be spoilt for choice between small, boutique wineries and the larger, more commercial wine estates. Taste the fruit of the vintner’s labour in the magnificent surrounds that are so characteristic of the Winelands, or join the winemaker on a tour of his cellar where the precious harvest is lovingly transformed into every wine lover’s delight.
Overnight: Franschhoek Country House – Bed & Breakfast
Day 6: Explore the Garden Route & Oudtshoorn
We now embark on the next part of your adventure – the Garden Route.
To many who have visited it, the Garden Route has a mysterious allure. A most unusual part of Africa, it is also the sunny corner of the Cape where evergreen forests, verdant fields, tranquil inland lakes, sparkling bays and pristine beaches languish in a sultry Mediterranean climate. Stretching along the southern Cape coast from Heidelberg in the west to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River in the east, the region’s entrance to the interior is barred by towering mountains breached by breathtaking passes and gorges.
The silence evoked by its ever-changing landscape carries on its still, fragrant, sea-scented air a sense of the spiritual. With so much of the Garden Route’s beauty unspoilt, visitors may feel they have been set free to play in God’s backyard
Self-drive inland the the Ostrich Capital of South Africa, Oudtshoorn,
Oudtshoorn is the tourist capital of the Little Karoo and ostrich capital of South Africa with thousands of the beady-eyed birds all over the place. Big bodies but small brains, these long legged monsters eat pebbles to aid digestion and are particularly attracted to the odd earring or glinting necklace from unsuspecting tourists. At the turn of the century ostrich feathers were in such demand that the fashion conscious paid a premium and feathered the nests of the barons who built magnificent mansions known as ‘Feather Palaces’. This fine architecture can still be seen around the sedate and pleasant town.
There are some spectacular mountain passes with the Swartberg Pass the most sensational in South Africa. The wonderful twisted sedimentary layers of rock sport colours that look as if a painter were splashing about with his palate. The 24 km road has some awesome sheer drops and hair pin bends leading down to great echoing canyons.
Highlights of Oudtshoorn:
- Cango Caves – Almost 30 kilometres outside of Outshoorn in the Klein Karoo, and certainly one of the main reasons for placing this little town on your itinerary, other than the prospect of riding an ostrich, lie the Cango Caves, some of the biggest stalagmite formations in the world set in Precambrian (a time about 4500 million years ago) limestone
- Visit an Ostrich Farm – To ride an Ostrich, visit one of the Ostrich Show Farms in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. Here you can observe large flocks of Ostriches at different stages of development. There are petting areas where you can cuddle the chicks or feed an ostrich by hand, watch how feather dusters and boas are made
- Cango Wildlife Ranch -Experience the thrill of being almost tooth-to-tooth with a Nile crocodile or wrap yourself with a python at the Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of Ancients in the heart of the Little Karoo!
Overnight: Hlangana Lodge or similar : Bed & Breakfast
Day 7 -8: Knysna – the Heart of the Garden Route
Enjoy last minute activities in Oudtshoorn, and head towards the coast, and the holiday town of Knysna, where you will be spending two nights
Knysna is one of the Southern Cape coast’s best known holiday destinations, situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful lagoon – it offers many activities and attractions of a wide variety. The most well known attraction being the heads – two great sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon which connects the estuary with the sea. A lookout has been erected on the Eastern Head, commanding spectacular views of the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna. The Western Head is a privately owned nature Reserve – Featherbed Bay. The Knysna Lagoon is one of the few places along the coast and in the world that supports a oyster hatchery. And the Knysna oysters are reputedly among the tastiest in the world.
Day 9: Plettenberg Bay
Depart Knysna and spend one night in Plettenberg Bay – the jewel of The Garden Route and is tranquil and charming, hospitable and rather special. Originally christened “Bahia Formosa” (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay offers the visitor miles of sweeping, un spoilt golden beaches, a dramatic rocky peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests and unpolluted rivers and sea. With its exceptional climate and beautiful view sites over the Indian Ocean, Plettenberg Bay is perfect for tourists interested in exploring, watching or just lazing
Highlights in Plettenberg Bay & Surrounds
- Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre at Plettenberg Bay offers a truly unique Wildcat Experience. Guests are taken on a guided tour to meet captive-bred furry felines, living in a semi-natural environment. Learn about their struggle for survival in the wild during our guided tours. Your support funds our Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release Program
- Birds of Eden & Monkeyland – Birds of Eden’s unique two hectare dome (the world’s largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. Currently it is home to over 3,500 birds from over 220 species, with the main focus being African birds. Visitors to Monkeyland are taken on monkey safaris in our indigenous forest by experienced game rangers. On these safaris you can expect to see many species of primates ranging from the Gibbons of Asia and Howlers from South America to the Lemurs of Madagascar. All our primates live in a natural environment.
- Robberg Nature Reserve – Just outside Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route is a beautiful, remote rocky peninsula touted as the most popular walking destination in and around Plettenberg Bay. Robberg Nature Reserve is a charged booster of outdoor living – incredible scenery, views over shoreline and sea, a thriving Cape fur seal colony, a huge diversity of bird life, and uniquely beautiful fynbos
- Knysna Elephant Park – Visitors can learn more about elephant’s habits, behaviour, different personalities and anatomy through up close and personal interaction. You also have the opportunity to touch, feed and walk trunk-in-hand with these magnificent animals.
Overnight: Elephant Hide of Knysna Guest House – Bed & Breakfast
Day 10 – 12: Malaria Free Safari
Today you will embark on the last stage of your adventure, your safari !
Self-drive towards Port Elizabeth, taking time to stop at Tsitsikamma National Park. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan word meaning, “place of much water”. The Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes, a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate high forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. The Tsitsikamma’s spectacular scenery includes the Indian Ocean breakers, pounding rocky shores beneath 180 m high cliffs, ever-green forests and fynbos (proteas and heath) rolling down to the sea in a lush carpet where ancient rivers have carved their path to the ocean through rocky ravines
Approximately one hours drive from Port Elizabeth, you will arrive at Kariega Private Game Reserve, where you will be spending the following three nights on Safari
Kariega Game Reserve is a malaria-free Big 5 private game reserve situated near Port Elizabeth, thus forming a natural extension to Cape Town and the Garden Route.
Family owned and managed, it would be accurate to say that the gradual growth and development of the now expansive 10,000 hectare reserve is one of the most accomplished conservation projects in the Eastern Cape.
Kariega’s landscape spans across five different eco systems, resulting in extremely high game carrying capacities which results in Kariega’s game viewing and birding experience being unsurpassed in the Eastern Cape.
Activities on Safari
The Kariega Game Reserve safari experience is centered around twice daily game drives. Guests will be delighted with close up viewing of a diversity of Big 5 including lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, zebra, a host of antelope species, and much more including a myriad of exquisite birdlife. Skilled and knowledgeable guides will spend time unraveling some of the secrets of the African bush and will see to any specific requests and ensure that all your questions are answered.
Enjoy an early morning boat cruise on the Kariega river viewing exquisite scenery and enchanting birdlife including the crowned, martial and African fish eagles.
At Kariega Game Reserve there are a number of walking trails that guests can enjoy with their guide. Guided safari walks allow guests to experience the feel of the African bush and enjoy watching wildlife and birds on foot.
Kids on Safari Activities
Main Lodge is family-friendly and offers a children’s play area as well as midday activities between 11am and 2pm. These are arranged with the guides. Children of all ages are encouraged to enjoy morning and afternoon game drives with their parents (as well as the river cruise). For children 5 years and under it is the guide’s discretion as to whether they can be taken to sightings of the more dangerous Big 5 wildlife for safety reasons. A babysitting service is available at applicable rates.
Overnight: Kariega Game Reserve [ various lodge options ] – Fully inclusive of all meals & included game activities ** Note – depending on the lodge chosen, selected drinks may be included
Day 13: Your adventure comes to an end
Relish in your last early morning game drive followed by a hearty breakfast.
Self drive to Port Elizabeth Airport where you will drop off your hire car. Depart on a domestic flight back to either Cape Town to Johannesburg
END OF SERVICES
Contact us for more information.
Our itineraries are “recommended itineraries” and may be booked as suggested. However, they also serve to inform you, as a possible first time traveller to Africa, an idea of what can be done. If you find that the recommended itineraries do not suit you entirely, we will tailor make a program to best meet your individual requirements.