Follow the Garden Route, one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. Along the way see fantastic African wildlife on a safari game drive; taste wine at one of the country’s famed vineyards; watch ostriches race and spend time in Cape Town, with its magnificent Table Mountain backdrop.
This morning we head to Addo Elephant National Park. The third largest national park in South Africa, Addo is home to some 550 elephants (up from a mere 16 when the park was initially set up) as well as Black rhino, leopards, lions, buffalos, hyenas, zebras, various antelopes and dung-beetles.
The park is made up of rocky coastlines, fairy-tale forests, waterfalls and rivers. We have the opportunity to hike in the forest and along suspension bridges. The area is also a great place for bird-enthusiasts with a variety of sea, forest and fynbos (scrubland) species present.
We start our day with a visit to the Knysna Heads, two tall sandstone cliffs which form a channel through which the turbulent Indian Ocean enters the calmer Knysna Lagoon. We have a bit more time to relax in town before leaving for Oudtshoorn after lunch.
As we head inland and over a pass the landscape changes drastically and we enter the Little Karoo, a much dryer and hotter region. Oudtshoorn itself became famous thanks to the trade in Ostrich feathers and is still, today, the ostrich capital of the world.
Today we spend all day in and around Oudtshoorn. We start by visiting the Cango Caves, an extensive complex of caverns with stalactites and stalagmites. After lunch we visit a local ostrich farm where we learn more about these wondrous birds and may even see some ostrich racing.
Returning towards the coast we make a stop at Mossel Bay and the Dias museum complex celebrating the influence of early Portuguese sailors on S. Africa and the location of the Post Office Tree (an old milkwood tree which was used to leave messages for passing ships since 1500). We then continue to Hermanus, famed as the whale capital of the world.
From late August to November Southern Right whales are easily spotted from shore as they frolic in Walker Bay. A whale crier sounds his kelp horn when he spots whales off the coast. Those who want can also do a boat-based whale watching trip.
There are also a number of other activities available from hikes to river cruises and lagoon-kayaking which are available year-round.
Our next destination is South Africa’s famed wine region. The wine industry, which dates back to the 17th Century and was heavily influenced by French Huguenots, produces some of the best wines in the world. We will have the opportunity to taste some of these wines before continuing to Cape Town, the Mother City.
We spend the next two days in and around Cape Town, Africa’s most exciting city. Our activities in Cape Town will, to some extent, be dictated by the weather as visits to the top of Table Mountain, which has its own micro-climate, are determined by cloud cover and wind.
There is also the option of visiting Robben Island on one of the days.
On one of the days we head down the Cape Peninsula. We follow the Atlantic Seaboard past the areas of Camps Bay, Llandudno and Hout Bay to the Cape Point via Chapman’s Peak drive, if it is open. The highlight of the day is our visit to the famous Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which covers an area of 7680 hectares. The reserve is home to eland, bontebok, grysbok, springbok, wildebeest, baboon and ostrich. Rugged cliffs, unspoilt beaches, shipwrecks and beautiful flora are the main features of the reserve.