Cape Town, Garden Route & malaria-free Big 5 Safari Tour

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Cape Town, Garden Route & malaria-free Eastern Cape Safari Tour

10 Days ; 9 Nights

Explore cosmopolitan Cape Town as well as the exotic natural beauty and wonders of the famousGarden Route in effortless exploring along the picturesque Southern Cape Coastline. The Garden Route, perennially green, has a mild Mediterranean Maritime climate and lies on a narrow belt between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Southern Coast of Africa and includes a blend of charming towns, dramatic & scenic landscapes, tall trees, deep gorges, shimmering lakes, majestic mountain ranges, golden beaches and lush indigenous forests. Then depart for the malaria-free Eastern Cape for an authentic Safari experience within Addo Elehant National Park or one of the luxury private game reserves.

Day 1 : CAPE TOWN CITY, TABLE MOUNTAIN AND OPTIONAL ROBBEN ISLAND

Experience interesting conversations and stories, iconic Cape Town landmarks and discover how Cape Town developed from the original “tavern of the seas”, half-way refreshment post en route to the Spice Islands, to the sophisticated city of today including:

  • Table Mountain, the iconic mountain of the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain for a perfect 360º view of “the fairest Cape in the world”
  • Famous streets and their stories e.g. bustling Long Street with its shops, african markets, restaurants and street-walk cafés
  • The colorful Malay Quarter (“Bo-Kaap”) with its interesting homes, occupied by descendants of slaves originally from faraway places
  • The imposing Castle of Good Hope, fortress built to protect the early Dutch Settlers
  •  “Picture postcard” view of Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand (beach)
  • The tranquil Dutch East India Company Gardens
  • Trendy Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town’s lively and colorful link with the sea
  • Green Market Square, a vibrant African Market
  • City Hall, where Nelson Mandela made his first speech as a free man

Overnight Venue : Guest House / Hotel in Cape Town
(Classic Modest Luxury 3 and 4-star Value for Money Options or

Exquisite Premium 4 and 5-star Ultimate-in-Luxury Options

Day 2 : CAPE POINT AND PENINSULA

Experience interesting conversations and stories, abundant scenic beauty and sea faring history including:

  • Magical Cape Point –meeting place of the cold and warm ocean currents
  • Impressive views over the vast South Atlantic Ocean from the lighthouse on the edge of the most South Western tip of the African Continent
  • Historical Cape of Good Hope, dangerous passage for the early sea explorers
  • Shipwrecks along the Peninsula coastline
  • The Atlantic Seaboard, the curvy stretch of coastline also known as Millionaire’s Mile
  • Imposing 12 Apostles Mountain range – up close and personal
  • Beautiful white beaches of Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno, Noordhoek
  • Trendy Sidewalk Café’s and Promenades along the beach
  • The charming Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach
  • Picturesque Hout Bay and Mariner’s Wharf (the original Cape Town waterfront)
  • Optional from Hout Bay harbour : Boat Trip to Duiker Island (home to a large Cape Fur Seal colony)
  • Dramatic Chapmans Peak with its steep cliffs into the ocean and views beyond compare
  • Illustrious naval heritage of Simonstown
  • The quaint holiday and residential villages of Kommetjie and Scarborough
  • Magnificent views from Boyes drive over Muizenberg and False Bay, largest bay in South Africa
  • Exquisite Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, oldest indigenous botanical garden in the world

Overnight Venue : Guest House / Hotel in Cape Town or in the Winelands
(Classic Modest or Elegant Luxury 3 and 4-star Value for Money Options or
Exquisite Premium 4 and 5-star Ultimate-in-Luxury Options)

Day 3 : STELLENBOSCH, FRANSCHHOEK AND PAARL WINELANDS

Experience interesting conversations and stories, enjoy a feast of culinary delights, savour the flavours of the wines and discover the abundant scenic beauty of the Cape’s three most celebrated Wine Routes:

  • We travel along the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl Wine Routes which have become legendary for both the excellent wine they produce as well as the scenic feast of valleys and vineyards surrounded by majestic mountains
  • The Winelands offer a vast selection of diverse wine estates ; whether you are interested in red wine, white wine, cheese tasting, chocolate & wine tasting, magnificent homesteads, contemporary wineries, exquisite gardens – our guides will recommend the best wine estates to visit that matches your personal interests
  • Wine Tasting at a minimum of three leading wine estates
  • We have carefully selected a wide range of possible lunch venues to tempt and tantalise your tastebuds. Leading chefs create everything from world-class cuisine to light meals to gourmet picnics to mouth-watering lamb on the spit in restaurants chosen for their exceptional food and scenic delight.
  • Stellenbosch, known world-wide for its quality wines and the spectacular beauty of the surroundings, is home to one of the most prestigious Wine Regions in the world. Founded in 1679, Stellenbosh is the oldest town in South Africa next to Cape Town and boasts beautiful historical buildings, Cape Dutch Architecture and a magnificent university campus
  • Savour the hospitality and ambience of picturesque Franschhoek, Gourmet Capital of South Africa, which lies nestled in a valley surrounded by spectacular mountains. Franschhoek is a quaint little village rich in history and influenced by the Huguenots who brought with them their age-old wine and food culture.

Overnight Venue : Guest House / Hotel in Cape Town or in the Winelands
(Classic Modest or Elegant Luxury 3 and 4-star Value for Money Options or
Exquisite Premium 4 and 5-star Ultimate-in-Luxury Options)

Day 4 : CAPE TOWN TO OUDTSHOORN (meandering along the R62, longest wine route in the World)

  • Dramatic du Toit’s Kloof Pass – mountain views, steep cliffs,  gorges, waterfalls (in rainy season)
  • Ever-changing colours of majestic Mountain ranges, fruit orchards and Vineyards
  • Kogman’s Kloof Pass with its rugged sandstone formations
  • Through the fertile Tradouw Valley with its tapestry of fruit orchards and vinyards
  • Over the Huisriver Pass with its sandstone formations
  • Charming Oudtshoorn, Ostrich Capital of the World
  • Cango Caves with its chambers with magnificent limestone formations
  • Optional : Guided tour on the Cango Ostrich Ranch with the opportunity for close interaction with the ostriches

 

Overnight Venue : Guest House / Hotel in Oudtshoorn
(Classic Modest or Elegant Luxury 3 and 4-star Value for Money Options or
Exquisite Premium 4 and 5-star Ultimate-in-Luxury Options)

Day 5 & 6: MALARIA-FREE SAFARI in the EASTERN CAPE

    • Arrive at a malaria-free Big 5 Eastern Cape Game Reserve in the afternoon. Game Drive and Overnight on the Game Reserve
    • The Eastern Cape has a remarkable natural diversity and is steeped in culture and history

Addo National Elephant Park Game Reserve Options

    • 164,000 hectares with plans to expand
    • Accommodation : Modest Value-for- Money Options and 4-star Elegant Luxury Options and Premium 5-star Luxury Camps
    • Rated best elephant-viewing in the world and home to one of the densest African elephant populations on the planet
    • Day and Evening Game drives in search of the wildlife including the Big 5, some in the Park’s open 4×4 vehicles and some in our tour vehicle
    • 450 Elephant ; 400 Cape Buffalo ; 3 prides of Lion and many more animal species
    • More than 150 recorded Bird Species

Various Private Game Reserve Options

  • Sizes of game reserves vary between 6000 and 25000 hectares
  • Accommodation : Elegant Luxury 4-star and exquisite Premium 5-star Game Lodges and Accomodation (including Luxury Safari Tents)
  • Options :
    • Lantern-lit Dinners under the African Sky or around a campfire in a Boma
    • Private viewing decks overlooking watering holes
    • Sundowners in scenic locations to experience romantic and blazing Africa sunsets
    • Day and Evening Game drives in search of the wildlife including the Big 5 in open 4×4 vehicles
    • Bush walkes with an armed game ranger

Day 7 : TSITSIKAMMA

  • Via Port Elizabeth, the friendly city
  • Tsitsikamma Coastal Park with its startling beauty is located at the foot of the Tsitsikamma Range and is cut by rivers that have carved deep ravines into the ancient forests with its centuries-old trees such as Yellowwood, Stinkwood, Hard Pear, Ironwood and Kamassi.
  • Optional excursions include:
    • Leisurely stroll in the Tsitsikamma Coastal Park to the Suspension Bridge at the mouth of the Storms River
    • Tsitsikamma Coastal Park: Boat trip to view the otherwise inaccessible Storms River Gorge.

Overnight Venue : Guest House / Hotel in Tsitsikamma or Plettenberg Bay
(Classic Modest or Elegant  Luxury 3 and 4-star Value for Money Options or
Exquisite Premium 4 and 5-star Ultimate-in-Luxury Options)

Day 8 : KNYSNA, PLETTENBERG BAY AND TSITSIKAMMA

  • Plettenberg Bay with its wonderful ambience and weather and its beautiful golden beaches
  • When open again : Groot River and Bloukrans Passes through the indigenous forests descending deep into the gorges following the old wagon trails
  • Optional excursions include:
    • Tree-top Canopy Tours in the Tsitsikamma Forest
    • Boat-based Whale Watching (mostly seasonal July to November) and Dolphin Watching in Plettenberg Bay
    • Woodcutters Trail at Storms River in the Tsitsikamma Forest: Journey down the old Storms River Pass, and experience the indigenous forest from the comfort of a specially-designed vehicle.
    • Guided River Ferries and Boat cruises
    • Forest and Beach hikes in the Tsitsikamma Forest
    • Enjoy the Golden beaches
    • Bungi Jumping at Bloukrans Bridge
    • Oyster Tasting at Knysna, oyster Capital of South Africa.
    • Snorkelling and Scuba diving at Storms River in Tsitsikamma Coastal Park
    • Knysna Elephant Sanctuary – opportunity to interact with the six tame African Elephants : touch and feed ; elephant-back riding and “walking with Elephants”
    • Monkeyland, the world’s first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary
    • Birds of Eden, the Garden Route’s very own world class free flight bird sanctuary
  • Arrive in beautiful Knysna, Jewel of the Garden Route, situated on the Knysna estuary, surrounded by lush ever-green forests.
  • The Knysna Heads is one of the most striking geological features along the entire southern African coastline.

Overnight Venue : Guest House / Hotel in Knysna
(Classic Modest or Elegant Luxury 3 and 4-star Value for Money Options or
Exquisite Premium 4 and 5-star Ultimate-in-Luxury Options)

Day 9 : KNYSNA AND ARNISTON

  • Featherbed Eco-excursion in Knysna : A boat trip on the Knysna Lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve followed by a buffet lunch ; then a drive in a Unimog up to the top of the Western Head and an easy hike down the head with spectacular views over the Knysna Lagoon and the Indian Ocean
  • Through Lake District with its six lakes
  • Through Wilderness with its beautiful sandy beaches and rivers
  • Kaaiman’s Pass
  • Mossel Bay, stopping at Dias Museum and the old Post Office Tree
  • Through Swellendam, an 18th century frontier town
  • We have now entered the Overberg Region with its rolling farmlands, wheat fields and stretching along the African South Coast
  • Arrive in the sleepy little coastal town of Arniston with its azure sea, cobalt sky and peace and quiet; where the practices of generations of fishermen quietly continue without interruption.
  • Leisure time on Arniston Beach or exploring the magnificent limestone cave which can be accessed at low tide.

Overnight Venue : Elegant Luxury Guest House in Cape Agulhas or Hotel in Arniston

Day 10 :CAPE AGULHAS, HERMANUS & CLARENCE DRIVE

  • We then head for Cape Agulhas, southernmost tip of Africa, the official meeting place of the two oceans (Atlantic and Indian)
  • Visit the Cape Agulhas lighthouse, the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa – erected in 1848. The lighthouse provides a panoramic view of where the two oceans meet, ships pass and Southern Right whales play in spring and early summer.
  • Travel along the Whale Coast (Seasonal : Spot whales along the journey – from July to November)
  • Hermanus, one of the top holiday villages in South Africa during summertime with options :
    • Seasonal (July to November) : Whale Watching  – Hermanus is considered to be the “Whale Capital of the world”. Hermanus provides the best land-based whale watching spot in the world and the intelligent graceful Southern Right Whales, as large as 10 elephants, can be seen up to 20 metres from the rocky shores and cliff paths.
    • Wine Tasting in Walker Bay
  • Return to Cape Town via scenic Clarence Drive, considered one of the top 10 scenic drives in the world. It hugs the coastline and its magnificent sea cliffs on the one side and is snug against the majestic mountain slopes on the other. This road travels via the coastal villages of Gordon’s Bay, Rooi Els, Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay.
  • Optional : At Betty’s Bay we visit Stoney Point with it’s Jackass penguins (Jackass penguins, these days known as the African Penguin, the most Northern of all penguin species in the world)
  • Arrive back in the “Mother City” (Cape Town)

Some of the alternative or additional Options to personalize your tour and enhance your Garden Route experience :

  • Extend your Garden Route Tour with an additional night in Knysna or Tsitsikamma if you would like to do several of the optional excursions and activities on Day 8
  • Extend your Garden  Route Tour  with an additional night in Oudtshoorn and add a day of spectacular mountain passes
  • Shark Cage Diving at Mossel Bay

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