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Cape Town + Garden Route + Safari (self drive)
and car hire
This popular self-drive holiday combines the penguins of Cape Town, with exploring the Stellenbosch winelands & the Garden Route at your own pace - including the whale centre of Hermanus, Oudtshoorn in the Karoo and the seaside towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Complete your holiday with a Big-5 safari at a game lodge in the Eastern Cape, with wonderful birding. All game drives included.
You will be met at
Cape Town Airport
and transferred to your hotel in this beautiful city, within sight of
Check in and relax in your magnificent surroundings.
Today is free for independent sightseeing in
We recommend you purchase a day pass onboard the convenient
, which stops at all Cape Town’s key sights and beaches. The "Red Route" bus stops at the
base station, where you can buy a ticket to ascend by cable car and enjoy one of the world’s most famous views. Continue to
beach and the many attractions of the
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
At leisure to relax and explore the "Mother City" of
Many optional activities are available in this beautiful city. You can visit
where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned (advance booking essential in season) and explore the vibrant
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
You can visit world famous
or simply relax on golden
beach – the choice is yours.
This morning your hire car will be dropped off at your hotel.
We recommend you spend the day exploring the beautiful
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
peninsula. Start with an optional short boat trip from
to view Cape Fur seals at
and continue via
Chapman’s Peak Drive
where you may see baboons, ostrich and perhaps even dolphins or whales in season (July/November).
On the return journey we recommend driving through naval Simons Town and visit the resident penguin colony at
. You can also make a short stop at the world famous
, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Drive 45-minutes to the beautiful
Along the way we recommend stopping at the
project in Somerset West, a community-based programme seeking to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and campaign for its survival.
You can also stop at one or more wine estates along the famous
wine route. Check into your hotel in this famous wine producing area, relax under the giant oak trees and savour the fine food and wines of this region.
Today we suggest an optional full day tour through the renowned
, including the scenic
where a handful of French Huguenot refugees started South Africa’s now famous wine industry.
Explore the historic university town of
and several wine estates on this famous wine route, which stretched from Paarl through to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Enjoy a cellar tour and some wine tasting, before being dropped off at your hotel in the late afternoon.
Alternatively use the
hop-off bus to explore the Winelands by yourself.
Note: the Vine Hopper does not operate on Sundays.
Drive 2-hours today from
to the small seaside town of
, travelling along the scenic coastal route through Gordon’s Bay and along the False Bay coast.
Along the way we suggest a detour to the
Stoney Point Penguin Colony
in the small coastal town of Bettys Bay. You may also want to visit
Harold Porter Botanical Gardens
, renowned for its fynbos flowers. The walk through the gorge and down to the waterfall is particularly rewarding (pay all entrance fees locally).
and check into your hotel. From July to November, southern right and humpback whales come here to breed and this is considered the best location for land-based
in the world. Once severely endangered, these magnificent creatures of the deep are now breeding successfully in the area due to a major international conservation effort.
At leisure to enjoy
from the cliffs of
which usually offer excellent viewing. For closer views, take an optional whale watching boat trip (advance booking recommended in season).
Afterwards you can explore this small town on foot, with its interesting open-air craft market in season and coastal path with indigenous fynbos and bird life. There is a small beach at the foot of the cliffs, with steep access.
You can also visit the small
Fernkloof Nature Reserve
, a gem of a fynbos wildflower sanctuary, cared for by the local botanical society and set against a mountain at the end of the village.
Drive for 4-hours today along the scenic
through the arid Little Karoo
On arrival we suggest visiting an
to see these huge flightless birds in their natural surroundings, before checking into your hotel.
We suggest that today you visit the famous
– a vast series of underground halls and caverns formed over 20 million years ago in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. The caves, which extend for over 3 miles, contain spectacular stalagmites and stalactites and offer relatively easy access.
Afterwards drive 2-hours to
on the beautiful Garden Route. If you are adventurous and enjoy driving on steep gravel mountain passes, you can detour via the Swartberg Pass (about 1-hour) to
. You can return the same way, or head east along the base of the mountain and return to Oudtshoorn via the Meiringspoort Pass (about 2-hours) - both offering spectacular views. Then continue through the magnificent Outeniqua Pass to
Alternatively make a 30-minute detour to visit the Dias Museum in
, which has a life-sized replica of the ship that the Portuguese explorer Bartholemew Dias sailed when he became the first European to set foot on South African soil and erect a cross. At the centre of the complex is the famous Post Office Tree, an ancient Milkwood where early sailors left mail for homebound ships.
Drive past the beaches of Wilderness and the lakes of Sedgefield to
. Check into your hotel and relax in this area of outstanding natural beauty.
Today we recommend making your way to the
for the ferry to
Featherbed Nature Reserve
situated on Knysna's Western Head, one of two magnificent sandstone cliffs guarding the entrance to the vast Knysna Lagoon.
This spectacular nature reserve is only accessible by ferry, followed by a short trailer ride to the top of the reserve which offers panoramic views. Most visitors choose to return on foot along a 1-mile guided nature walk through natural coastal forest onto the cliffs, through caves and along a scenic coastal path, followed by a seafood buffet lunch served under the old Milkwood trees.
In the afternoon we recommend a visit to
Knysna Elephant Park
where you will have the opportunity to feed one of these gentle giants (pay entrance fee locally). The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore Knysna. This lively town is famous for its oysters, which are grown in the lagoon. It offers good shopping opportunities and many interesting craft shops.
Today is free to explore the small town of
with its beautiful lagoon, shops, restaurants and beaches.
Walkers can enjoy the beautiful Knysna Forest or travel to nearby Plettenberg Bay and enjoy a scenic coastal hike around the Robberg Peninsula. Other activities in Knysna include sailing, deep sea fishing, horse riding, mountain biking, kayaking and golf.
Optional wildlife activities near Plettenberg Bay include a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary; Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary; Birds of Eden; Jukani Wild Cat Sanctuary; Raptor Park or Lawnwood snake sanctuary. You can also participate in an ocean safari to search for dolphins and whales in season (July to November).
Today drive 5-hours from
to your malaria free private game reserve near
in the beautiful Eastern Cape.
After driving past the beaches of
, continue northwards across the dramatic Storms River Gorge and past the Tsitsikamma Forest.
Continue to your game lodge and enjoy an afternoon game drive, where game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately. Hopefully see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe today - as well as several of the Big Five - before dining in your warm African surroundings.
Rise at dawn to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day and enjoy a thrilling open-top game viewing safari with your lodge ranger in your
Private Game Reserve
which is home to all the
- Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino. Hope to see many interesting species before returning to your lodge for breakfast.
The rest of the morning is free to relax by the lodge swimming pool, before setting out again in the late afternoon for another game drive. Hope to see giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons and many other interesting animals. With hundreds of different bird species, outstanding bird watching is also guaranteed!
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular
Note: children < 6 are not allowed on open top game drives.
Enjoy some final early morning game viewing, before driving 2-hours to
Port Elizabeth Airport
for your flight home.
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