Experience the best of the Cape region on this 15-day self-drive highlights tour. Includes Cape Town, the Garden Route and some beach and bush – a beach resort in Cape St Francis and a malaria-free Big 5 Safari in the Amakhala Private Game Reserve. During this journey your accommodation will include Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) hotels, lodges and activities.
On arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Cape Town where you will spend the next 4 nights. Resting at the convergence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, and located between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the beautiful blue waters of Table Bay, the outstandingly scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. With its bustling harbour, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town consistently captivates the hearts of all who visit.
For the next 2 days we recommend that you spend your time orientating yourself in Cape Town, and getting to see one or many of the amazing sights on offer in this vibrant and exciting city. Highlights of the city include Bo-Kaap, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch and District 6. If you would like any help with specific tours then we can assist you with this. On an agreed day you will have an included dinner at the renowned Gold Restaurant that provides an amazing cultural dining experience.
Today you will travel along the Atlantic Seaboard to Hout Bay, passing picturesque beaches and the coastal suburbs of Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandadno. You will meet the locals at Imizamo Yethu Township and visit the Original T-Bag Design company, which produces outstanding products and gifts. From Hout Bay Harbour you have the chance to do an optional boat trip to Duiker Island, to see the thousands of Cape Fur Seals living on this rocky outcrop. Hout Bay Harbour is a busy fishing harbour with plenty to occupy all of your senses! Browse for souvenirs at the Hout Bay Craft Market or take a walk on the beach and paddle your feet in the sea. The tour then continues over the stunning Chapman’s Peak, known as one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the world, all the way along the Peninsula, through the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and to the most southern tip at Cape Point. A short but invigorating walk takes you to the two lighthouses at the top and bottom of the headland, from where you will enjoy breath-taking views of the cliffs and the ocean below. Lunch will be enjoyed at a seaside restaurant (own expense) before you make your way along the False Bay coastline to the Naval suburb of Simon’s Town. You will visit the delightful African Penguins of Boulders Beach that are an absolute joy to watch, before heading back to your hotel for the evening.
Today you will be collected in the morning from your hotel and transferred back to the Airport in order to pick-up your hire car. Once all these formalities have been completed you can ease yourself in with a short 30-40 minute drive out to Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is a blend of historical architecture, student life, epicurean delights and oak-lined avenues. A walking tour of the town centre allows you to take in its beautifully preserved Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture, as well as the many enticing art galleries, craft shops, clothing boutiques and gift stores. Today you also have the opportunity to do an optional Segway tour exploring the local farm.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful wine region of Stellenbosch and possibly also Franschhoek, if this takes your fancy. We strongly recommend taking a picnic lunch, which you can easily arrange at the Eight to Go Deli in your accommodation, so you can stop in any one of the picturesque spots around this beautiful mountainous area. The highlight is the wineries, and you have plenty of time today to do one, two or several stops at some of the best wine producers in the country.
Today head out onto scenic Route 62 and travel to Oudtshoorn to your accommodation for the night situated on the outskirts of the town. Oudtshoorn is famous for its ostriches and the magnificent Cango Caves. Located along the renowned Route 62, which takes motorists past one awe-inspiring sight after another, Oudtshoorn is known as the Ostrich Capital of the World: these huge birds are almost as common as people in this charming town. Other than ostriches and the wonderful feathers and meat they provide, the Oudtshoorn area also boasts the spectacular Cango Caves; the largest show cave system in Africa, permeated with sparkling stalactites and stalagmites and captivating rock formations.
Today is a very early start as you will be doing a unique Meerkat Experience near to your accommodation. You get the opportunity to visit a meerkat family in their natural environment and sit and watch them as they start their day in traditional meerkat style. It is an amazing way to start the day, and one of the only places in the world where such expertise about meerkats is available to you. Following the meerkat experience we strongly recommend that you visit Cango Caves before starting on your journey down the Garden Route to Knysna. The spectacular Cango Caves are a subterranean wonderland of magnificent stalactite and stalagmite rock formations that attracts thousands of visitors annually. They extend more than two kilometres into the Swartberg Mountains and you can take guided tours that wind through narrow passageways and steep stairways linking the massive caverns. Nestled between the imposing Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean and surrounded by world-renowned forests, Knysna offers a wealth of activities for visitors. The beautiful lagoon and more than eight beaches provide opportunities to swim, surf, canoe, yacht, jet-ski, boat, fish, walk on soft sand and take ferry rides. Various markets offer organic goods, delicious food, indigenous plants and a social atmosphere. Mountains, valleys, lakes, forests and streams are ready to be explored. The region is not known as the “Garden of Eden” for nothing! A birding route is available for avid bird watchers. World class golf courses are at your doorstep. And of course the area is famous for the Knysna Heads and delicious oysters. We recommend that you have dinner at the Knysna Waterfront.
This morning you will have an included Featherbed Eco Experience. The Featherbed Nature Reserve, situated on the Western Head in Knysna, is the premier eco-experience on the Garden Route, the experience includes: • Return ferry trip on the Knysna Lagoon to the Western Head. • 4x4 vehicle & trailer drive up the headland onto the Reserve, stopping at spectacular viewpoints. • Specialist guide giving information on history, fauna & flora. • Optional guided 2.2km walk through coastal forest and fynbos into ancient sea caves. • World-renowned buffet lunch at an outdoor restaurant setting under a canopy of Milkwood trees.
Today continue along the Garden Route towards Plettenberg Bay. On route there are a good range of activities for you to stop and enjoy. We can help you make arrangements for these if you would prefer, as an optional extra. Some examples of activities are: • - Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary • - Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary • - An activity with Ocean Blue Adventures • - A visit to Tsitsikamma National Park • - A Canopy Tour The St Francis Bay coastline is home to two of South Africa's most renowned beach resorts. The world famous surf spot of Jeffery's Bay and picturesque St Francis Bay with its uniform architecture and its canal system. You will spend the next 3 nights here at your leisure relaxing, and generally taking in the amazing sights and opportunities in the area.
At leisure in St Francis Bay. Cape St Francis is a tranquil Eco –destination with its historic Seal Point Lighthouse built in 1878 , pristine beach, surrounding nature reserves, mild temperatures, and the longest sunshine hours on the South African coast ensuring a relaxed all year round destination. Action or leisure the choices are varied, exciting and endless. Explore the canals by boat, venture onto the Kromme River, experience a game of golf on one of the surrounding golf courses on either the St Francis Bay Golf Club or the St Francis Links, surf the Endless Summer, charter a fishing vessel or simply relax. We can help you organize activities during your time here, or you can simply wait until you arrive to decide how you want to sped the next couple of days.
Today drive to the Amakhala Private Game Reserve and check-in at your lodge. Following a brief time to relax you will enjoy your first afternoon safari. Amakhala Game Reserve is an ideal choice for your Big 5 Safari destination. This 7,500 ha reserve is renowned for its truly awesome topography, created by the slowly meandering Bushman’s River running through it. Guided by experienced rangers, you can return to nature and explore the diverse wildlife and the rugged landscapes of the Eastern Cape valley and bushveld on Amakhala Game Reserve. Morning and evening game drives in open Land Rovers through Amakhala Game Reserve will leave you in awe of the diverse vegetation and spectacular scenery which abounds here. Not only do they offer the much sought after Big 5, but there are over 16 antelope species, zebra, giraffe and many small interesting species. Elephant sightings are likely to the highlight of your stay. In addition to game drives, there are also optional boat cruises and guided walks on offer. For a change of pace, enjoy bird watching and game spotting whilst gently cruising down the Bushman’s River! Refreshment breaks have been included to make your safari experience that much more enjoyable. This bush experience will create memories, which will linger as long as the African sun sets. Amakhala Game Reserve has been awarded the voluntary label by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA). This is based on adherence to specific criteria such as fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. The FTTSA label is an independent endorsement of fair and responsible tourism practise in South Africa.
Today you will continue to enjoy the schedule and hospitality at this fantastic game reserve. You have pre-arranged morning and afternoon drives, leaving from the lodge.
Today you will drive to Port Elizabeth Airport where you will leave your hire vehicle before boarding your onward flight or flight home.