Spectacular Garden Route Cape Town Madikwe Seychelles Honeymoon Tour – 1 night Port Elizabeth | 2 nights Tsitsikamma | 1 night Oudtshoorn | 2 nights De Hoop Nature Reserve | 1 night Stellenbosch | 3 nights Cape Town | 3 nights Madikwe | 1 night Johannesburg | 6 nights Seychelles
Tour Consultant's Overview
Gabriele and Ilaria contacted Pembury Tours in 2018 with an interest in their Honeymoon Adventure to Southern Africa. They had originally found Pembury Tours on a Facebook Group with various travel tips mostly based for residents in Italy. From this Group, they emailed Pembury Tours directly and I was assigned to their enquiry. Through the next few months I had discussed various options with Gabriele and Ilaria to tailor make an itinerary that would suit their plans for their dream Honeymoon. They expressed an interest in a Malaria-Free Safari, Seychelles and the Garden Route. Based on their preferred budget, I put together an self-drive itinerary which included Cape Town, Various Stops along the Garden Route, Madikwe Game Reserve and ending their Honeymoon in the Seychelles. As the couple were planning their Wedding and Honeymoon, it took them a few months to make their final decision and in 2019, they confirmed their Honeymoon Adventure to Africa! With the excitement in full swing, the couple were ready to start their lives together! In June, I received the couple’s wedding photos and what a beautiful day and setting! With the wedding photos, I had surprised the couple with a developed photo and picture frame as a gift from Pembury Tours. They arrived in Port Elizabeth on the 3rd August and I welcomed the Honeymoon couple! The adventure had begun! The couple enjoyed their Honeymoon and will be back for their Anniversary!
Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, you are met by our representative. Our representative will assist you with the check in for your direct flight departing to Port Elizabeth.
Upon arrival in Port Elizabeth, you will be met by myself and your travel documents will be handed over to you. I will assist you with the collection of your rental vehicle and once you have collected your vehicle, you make your way to your hotel just off Marine Drive in Port Elizabeth for your one night stay. Check-in to your luxury room and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Port Elizabeth provides a unique mix of abundant wildlife, long golden beaches and a rich historic heritage. Often referred to as the ‘Friendly City’, Port Elizabeth is a popular seaside destination and the gateway to the Eastern Cape Game Reserves.
This morning we will meet at your hotel in Port Elizabeth and make our way to the Addo National Elephant Park for a half day drive through the National Park.
Returing to Port Elizabeth, you connect with the N2 and make your way to your first stop along the Garden Route in the Storms River Village. Enjoy a scenic drive over spectacular single-span bridges to the Tsitsikamma forest, an indigenous primeval forest with towering ancient yellowwood trees, lush vegetation and deep gorges.
You enter the small town of Storms River and check into your guesthouse for your 2 night stay. You have time to settle and the afternoon is at leisure to walk through the small village or enjoy time at your Village Inn.
Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan (early inhabitants of the area) word meaning, “place of much water.” The Tsitsikamma National 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.
Driving time: Port Elizabeth to Addo National Elephant Park & Return: approx. 1 hour 45 minutes
The Tsitsikamma’ s spectacular scenery includes the Indian Ocean breakers, pounding rocky shores beneath 180 m high cliffs, evergreen 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.
Tsitsikamma National Park protects a wonderland of inter-tidal and marine life. This is one of the largest single unit ‘no take’ (including fishing) Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the world, conserving 11 percent of South Africa’s Temperate South Coast rocky shoreline and provides a ‘laboratory’ for fisheries baseline research on endangered line fish species. In 1964 when it was proclaimed, it became the first Marine National Park to be proclaimed in Africa.
This morning you enjoy a leisurely breakfast overlooking the gardens of your Village Inn before departing the Village of Storms River. You make your way north along the N2 towards Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and the scenic Lake District, bypassing the seaside towns of Wilderness and Sedgefield, before arriving in George where you take a turn to depart the Garden Route and head to the Klein (Little) Karoo. You leave George and cross the protea-covered Outeniqua Mountains towards the Africa’s Ostrich Capital, Oudtshoorn.
Upon arrival in Oudtshoorn, you make your way to your guest farm for your 1 night stay. You settle into your room and the afternoon is at leisure to explore the Cango Caves, the Ostrich Farm or the town of Oudtshoorn.
Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world and ostrich farming has played a large role in the town’s story. The Klein Karoo is an ecological hotspot where three distinct plant biomes (succulent karoo, cape thicket and fynbos) converge, and the Swartberg mountain range is part of the Cape Floral World Heritage Site.
Driving time: Tsitsikamma Village Inn to De Zeekoe Guest Farm: approx. 3 hours
You enjoy breakfast at your Guest Farm before departing Oudtshoorn. Leaving the Klein (Little) Karoo behind, you journey through the rolling wheatfields of the Overberg region, where pairs of South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane, can be spotted standing in the fields. You continue your journey via Swellendam, a pretty town nestled at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains. Near to Swellendam, you turn off towards the Nature Reserve.
Arriving in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, you settle into your cottage and the day is at leisure to enjoy land-based whale watching, nature walks and a variety of other activities.
The 36 000 hectares of De Hoop conservation area is a World Heritage Site comprising rich biodiversity and by over 70 kilometres of pristine coastline. A 19 km vlei (wetland) stretches across the reserve, which is on the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance. The De Hoop Reserve is situated in the Overberg region near the southern tip of Africa.
The Overberg area is characterised by quaint towns, a blossoming wine industry and delicious local dishes. There are a number of activities on offer here and you can enjoy whale watching, star gazing, interpretive marine walk, mountain biking and a guided bird and Fynbos walk.
This morning is an early start! Enjoy breakfast at De Hoop before you depart and make your way to the Whale Shack, Southern Right Charters Offices in Hermanus. Enjoy a two to three hour whale watching cruise along the coast. Experience a close encounter with the gentle giants of the ocean by joining in on an informative and educational whale watching trip. After your cruise, you depart Hermanus and make your way to your hotel just outside Stellenbosch.
Leaving Hermanus behind, you head along Route 44 (R44), bypassing the towns of Betty’s Bay, Rooiels and Gordons Bay. You continue along the Route 44 towards your hotel located outside Stellenbosch, with its backdrop of majestic mountain ranges, lush valleys and verdant vineyards.
Arriving at your hotel & wine farm, you are assisted to your signature room for your one night stay and the afternoon is at leisure to explore the Wine Farm and activities on offer at Spier.
Driving time: De Hoop Nature Reserve to The Whale Shack: approx. 2 hours
Driving time: The Whale Shack to Spier Hotel & Wine Farm: approx. 1 ½ hours
This morning is at leisure. Enjoy breakfast before departing your hotel and making your way to your hotel in Cape Town along the Seapoint Promenade for your 3 night stay. En-route to your hotel in Cape Town, you may decide to explore a few of the wine routes before you connect with the N1 or N2 towards Cape Town.
Arriving in Cape Town, you check into your hotel along the promenade and the afternoon is at leisure to explore the V&A Waterfront or take a walk along the promenade to watch the sunset.
Driving time: Spier Hotel & Wine Farm to Winchester Mansions: approx. 50 minutes
Welcome to Cape Town, Mother City of Africa, and the Western Cape, an area which is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Explore the Mother City and the Fairest Cape – from the oldest buildings in South Africa to trendy waterfront shopping; from majestic Table Mountain to sun drenched beaches; and from dramatic seascapes to verdant vineyards.
Today is an early start as your need to check into your direct flight to Johannesburg. Arriving at the airport, you hand in your rental vehicle and make your way to the Domestic Departures Terminal for your flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, you are met by our representative who will assist you to collect your new rental vehicle at the Europcar Depot.
Once you have collected your vehicle, you set off towards the Madikwe Game Reserve for your three night stay. Make your way through the rolling hills of the North West Province, arriving at your tented camp in the mid-afternoon. At your camp, you settle into your tented suite and enjoy a refreshment before you depart on your first afternoon game drive in the Madikwe Game Reserve.
Driving time: Winchester Mansions to Cape Town International Airport: approx. 30 minutes
Flight time: Cape Town to Johannesburg: approx. 2 hours
Driving time: OR Tambo International Airport to Thakadu River Camp: approx. 4 Hours 30 minutes
The 76,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries and is home to the Big 5 and over 340 bird species. It is especially famous for its packs of African Wild Dog – and it is malaria-free. It is about 4 hours by road from Johannesburg. Madikwe is situated in the transition region between two vegetation types: Lowveld bushveld and Kalahari thornveld. As a result, the region is able to host to an incredible diversity of species.
In addition to wild dog, cheetah, lion, white and black rhino, buffalo and elephant, Madikwe is home to a wide range of plains game, such as giraffe, zebra and many antelope species.
Today you bid farewell to this African Wonderland. After you have enjoyed your morning game drive and a leisurely brunch, you depart Madikwe Game Reserve and make your way back to Johannesburg for your overnight stay at an airport hotel.
Arriving at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, you hand in your rental car and make your way through the airport to your hotel. You may enjoy dinner at your hotel and the evening is at leisure.
Driving time: Thakadu River Camp to OR Tambo City Lodge: approx. 4 hours 30 minutes
This morning is at leisure, you can enjoy breakfast at your hotel before you make your way to the Regional Departures Terminal for your direct flight to Mahe Island in the Seychelles.
Arriving in Mahe Island, you are met by your coach driver outside the arrivals terminal at the airport and you are transferred by road to your hotel on Eden Island for your overnight stay. The evening is at leisure as tomorrow is an early start!
Flight time: Johannesburg to Mahe Island: approx. 4 ½ hours (Time Difference: 2 hrs)
Driving time: Mahe Airport to Eden Bleu Hotel: approx. 12 minutes
This morning you are met outside your hotel by your coach driver and transferred to Mahe Airport for your direct flight to Praslin Island.
Upon arrival at Praslin Island, you are met by your coach driver and transferred by road to your resort on Praslin Island for your five night stay. Checking into your Deluxe Beachfront Suite, you settle in and the day is at leisure to explore the resort, enjoy a walk along the beach or have time at leisure in the comfort of your suite.
Second in size to Mahe, Praslin Island in the Seychelles is an appealing mix of soft sand beaches, emerald green hills and a number of sheltered valleys that includes Vallee de Mai – a World Heritage Site and home to an extraordinary primeval palm forest.
Life on Praslin Island moves at a pace that falls somewhere between the relative bustle of Mahe and the sleepiness of next-door La Digue Island. The main tourism centre is Anse Volbert (also known as Côte d’Or) where a collection of hotels, restaurants, shops and bars gives this safe swimming beach a lively atmosphere – at least by Seychelles standards!
Driving time: Eden Bleu Hotel to Mahe Airport: approx. 12 minutes
Flight time: Mahe Island to Praslin Island: approx. 15 minutes
Driving time: Praslin Airport to Le Domaine de La Réserve: approx. 24 minutes
Totally in line with its epithet ‘Land of Perpetual Summer’, Seychelles enjoys one of the most equitable climates on the planet. Le Domaine is home to the largest pool in the Seychelles, which comes complete swim-up bar. Praslin has its own host of interesting attractions such as snorkelling and diving in the marine park, game-fishing, island-hopping, and golf.
This morning you are treated to your final breakfast at your resort. You bid farewell to the jewel of the Indian Ocean and you are met and transferred by your coach driver to Praslin Airport for your direct flight to Mahe. Upon arrival at Mahe, you make your way to the International Departures Terminal for your flight to Dubai.
Port Elizabeth: The Kelway Hotel
Take in the views across Algoa Bay at The Kelway Hotel, where dolphins are often seen frolicking in the waves and whales bask together in family glory. The hotel is located in The Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth and is perfectly positioned for both business and leisure travellers.
The Kelway is close to Port Elizabeth Airport, Nelson Mandela Bay Soccer Stadium, and only 3km from the Boardwalk Casino, as well as within walking distance to popular tourist attractions and beaches. Algoa Bay boasts 40km of terrific beaches, and a variety of sport, such as golf, bowls, quad biking, paintball, and scuba diving. Come evening, unwind with a sundowner cruise and theatre performance.
Elegant in style and generous in size, timber lends a warm atmosphere to the 36 Luxury 4-star rooms, 24 Standard 3-star rooms, and 3 Premier rooms. The hotel offers 2 stateof-the-art conference rooms, seating 100 and 16 people respectively. Farriagers is a casual yet sophisticated restaurant and bar that caters for everyone—breakfasts, corporate lunches, candlelit dinners, or simply a light meal on the terrace.
Tsitsikamma: Tsitsikamma Village Inn
The magical Tsitsikamma Village Inn is a privately owned and managed hotel, originally established in 1946. Close to the Tsitsikamma National Park at Storms River Mouth, Tsitsikamma Village Inn offers a fun-filled adventure option for the more active or a peaceful retreat for those in search of relaxation.
This 3-star hotel is a unique village of 49 free-standing rooms, arranged village-style around a village green. This village reflects all the colonial building styles that can be found in this part of South Africa. You can opt for a sojourn in the imposing Cape Dutch style of the Drostdy or the Landdrost’s (magistrate’s) house, or you can choose to stay in one of the charming Victorian Forester’s cottages, in a quaint Fisherman’s cottage or a simple Karoo Pastorie (pastor’s home) with its deep stoep and sash windows. Each room is tastefully decorated in the appropriate style for the period and has its own garden matching the specific colonial building style.
The main building, which traces its roots back to 1845, has a spacious dining room, incorporating the famous De Oude Martha Restaurant, the Hunters Pub, Cafe Bacchus and a guest lounge. There is a swimming pool and children’s play area in the sunny garden.
Oudtshoorn: De Zeekoe Guest Farm
De Zeekoe guest farm is a large, privately-owned working ostrich and alfalfa farm on the banks of the Olifants River just outside Oudtshoorn. De Zeekoe’s old colonial homestead is over 150 years old. Restored to its former splendour, its tastefully decorated luxury rooms all open onto cool verandas. Richly-decorated rooms each with its own private entrance, are tastefully styled with textures of wood, earthy fabrics, colourful rugs and soft lighting. De Zeekoe’s 4-star superior rooms all have large bedrooms with full ensuite bathrooms and open-air showers. These rooms also offer guests majestic views of the riverbed and mountain ranges. Wake up with the call of the fish eagle and a view of the majestic Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountains and hear the silence all around you. There is a swimming pool in the sunny garden.
De Zeekoe has all the “ingredients“ for a great restaurant: a beautiful setting with an open deck, skirted by an expanse of lawn and the Olifants river and a chef with a passion for food and good service, ensuring an enormously satisfying gourmet experience. The Klein Karoo is renowned for its unique cuisine. Traditional ostrich, venison and appetising vegetarian dishes with a unique Karoo twist are just some of the plates of delicacies offered on De Zeekoe’s impressive menu.
De Hoop Nature Reserve: The De Hoop Collection
The De Hoop Collection accommodation has something for everyone, from families, couples seeking a comfortable getaway or just a relaxing getaway for friends. The Opstal area is a central base from which to explore the reserve. The Fig Tree Restaurant can be found here and is open all day, every day and serves delicious meals prepared using locally sourced produce. There is a tennis court, swimming pool and a boules courtyard.
There are a variety of different rooms available, the One Bedroom Suite is perfect for couples. The Suites can accommodate 2 people with an en-suite bathroom. Each suite has different views of the reserve, some face out on the grasslands, while others face the majestic fig tree courtyard.
The Figtree restaurant is located a few minutes’ walk away from your room. The Fig Tree Restaurant offers a la carte menus for breakfast and lunch and set dinner menus. Delicious picnic baskets can be pre-ordered from reception and enjoyed on the beach, under a fig tree, or next to the reserve’s 19km vlei.
Stellenbosch: Spier Hotel & Wine Farm
Spier Hotel is located on the rambling Spier Wine Estate in the heart of the Cape Winelands near Stellenbosch. Village-style buildings, lush green lawns and spacious rooms situated next to the calming Eerste River are the defining characteristics of the 4 star Spier Hotel. The hotel is designed to create the intimate and relaxed atmosphere of a small village, and the villas are connected by indigenous gardens, walkways and waterways.
The Standard Rooms are located upstairs in the village-style buildings and are light, airy and sun-filled. Garden Terrace Rooms have direct access to the pool and lush garden, as well as a shaded outdoor patio where you can unwind with a glass of Spier’s awardwinning wine. With views of the Helderberg Mountains and the Eerste River, the River Facing Rooms are situated on the most picturesque side of the Spier Hotel. All rooms have en suite bathrooms with separate showers and large baths and all room are decorated with original artworks from the Spier Collection.
Enjoy a glass of Spier’s award-winning wine on the terrace of the Spier Hotel overlooking the manicured gardens and enjoy elegant fine dining at the hotel’s restaurant. Additionally, guests have access to two other restaurants on the Spier Estate: Eight and Moyo.
Cape Town: Winchester Mansions
Winchester Mansions Hotel is an iconic Cape Dutch building and is the leading sea front hotel on Sea Point’s Promenade facing the Atlantic Ocean. It is two minutes’ drive from the trendy Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and is unique amongst Cape Town hotels for its spectacular seaside location. This charming and gracious hotel offers its guests grace, style and contemporary flair. It is a multiple winner of the “Best Luxury Hotel” category at the annual AA Travel Guide Awards
The rooms are spacious and elegant and all of them have either sea or mountain views. There are 51 classic or contemporary loft style rooms and 25 suites, including one presidential suite. Sip sundowners on the terrace whilst viewing the spectacular ocean sunsets and enjoy signature dishes from Harvey’s Restaurant. The Winchester’s beautiful colonnaded Courtyard, built in the style of an Italian piazza, is a tranquil oasis. Encircled by palm trees and water fountains, it makes a perfect setting for a romantic dinner under the stars. You can relax around the decked heated swimming pool and there is an in-house spa offering health and beauty treatments.
Madikwe Game Reserve: Thakadu River Camp
Thakadu River Camp is set within the riverine canopy along the banks of the Marico River in the eastern sector of the Madikwe Game Reserve. Thakadu River Camp is an ecotourism partnership between North-West Parks Board, the Molatedi Community and African Hotels and Adventures. The local community has a 45-year lease to operate the lodge. The concept is unique in South Africa in that the community owns the development, with substantial benefits accruing to the community itself.
Thakadu River Camp is located between the Marico River and a small tributary of the Marico. The main lodge has an open-plan lounge, dining and reception area, and a pool and bar area. Guests staying at this luxury accommodation in Madikwe may enjoy the lush views of the gully and river to the north. A traditional open-air lapa falls within a glade of natural riverine forest and is the perfect space to enjoy the panoramic views that surround you. Accommodation is in twelve tented suites, each with a sliding door that opens onto a private deck overlooking the Marico River. Within the canvas frame, the interior is uniquely designed to incorporate a full bathroom.
Thakadu River Camp lies within a transition region between Lowveld bushveld and Kalahari thornveld. As a result, there is an incredible diversity of species from both ecosystems. Whilst out on game drives, guests are accompanied by well-trained and informative rangers who are able to interpret the flora and fauna that guests will come across
Johannesburg: OR Tambo City Lodge
Based at Africa’s busiest airport, City Lodge at OR Tambo Airport will provide business and leisure travellers with “home away from home” accommodation that is ideal for those commuting to and from Johannesburg and perfect for those who require immediate access to the airport.
The hotel boasts boardroom and conference facilities, a fitness room as well as a deck with a pool and a large commercial area with a coffee shop. There is a sociable bar where you can while away an evening. The 303 spacious air-conditioned rooms have either queen or twin beds and en-suite bathrooms.
OR Tambo Airport offers a number of services from banking to a wide range of retailers, so whether it’s a good book or a scrumptious meal, the airport’s facilities have everything you need.
Mahe Island – Seychelles: Eden Bleu Hotel
The Eden Bleu Hotel is located on Eden Island, alongside the exclusive Eden Island international marina. It is connected to the main island of Mahé by a short bridge and is only 7-8 minutes from the international airport and 10 minutes from the capital Victoria.
This purpose-built, 87-room hotel is perfectly situated for those requiring a more ‘central’ location – ideal for island-hopping, excursions, day trips to Praslin Island, as well as diving and fishing. It is also the ideal choice for anyone joining or leaving one of our great choice of Seychelles Cruises, including our four Catamaran Cruises which depart from Eden marina. The capital Victoria is easily accessible for local Seychellois history, heritage and cuisine.
All rooms at the Eden Bleu Hotel have modern facilities including complimentary wifi, LED TV and Nespresso coffee machine. All enjoy views of either the marina, the Granite Mountains or Eden Island itself. The lead-in rooms – Luxury Rooms – have either double or twin beds. Facilities at Eden Bleu include Marlin Bleu Restaurant, Bourgeois Bar and the Empereur Terrace which overlooks the infinity swimming pool and marina. A few minutes’ walk away are a variety of restaurants, bars, ice cream bars and a creperie. The hotel is also connected directly to the Eden Island Plaza offering a selection of local shops as well as a fitness centre, spa and casino.
Praslin Island – Seychelles: Le Domaine de La Réserve
Le Domaine de La Réserve, a beachside retreat nestled in a cove in the Curieuse Island Marine National Park of Praslin Island. A small hotel, by resort standards, it opens onto an exclusive beach protected by large granite boulders – an intimate spot to enjoy the tropical sunshine and colourful reefs.
Villas are spacious and light, with distinct touches of Creole and Seychellois flavour. 31 BeachFront Deluxe Villas are clustered in blocks of four along the shore, each with ocean views, airconditioning and massive bathrooms. Identically arranged Colonial Superior Suites have a grand, bygone-era feel to them – especially on the large terrace overlooking Curieuse Island. At Le Domaine de La Réserve, meals are served at the unique restaurant, L’Obrizan Restaurant.
As the name suggests, this restaurant is located over the Anse Petite Cour Reef, giving one of the most memorable dining experience in all of the Seychelles.
Guests can watch the lights of anchored yachts in the bay and the natural aquarium of the jostling fish below as our chef creates delectable dishes from freshly caught fish. Creole barbeque rich in spices to a wide ranging international menu from an open kitchen. William Bar and Pool Grill offers guests a different dining experience, they can order from the chaise longue fresh fish, grilled meat or a salad from our Pool Grill, an ideal spot for lunch. A great variety of local and international dishes are available every day from our A La Carte Menu. Le Domaine de La Réserve has 3 bars: Kanmtole Main Bar, Dan Disab Beach Bar and William Bar and Pool Bar Grill. Surrounded by coconut palms and wrapped by the biggest swimming pool on the island, guests can swim up to the William’s Pool Bar for that freshly squeezed fruit drink or alcoholic cocktail or simply order from their chaise longue.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Port Elizabeth: Half Day Drive in the Addo National Elephant Park
The 176 000 hectare Greater Addo Elephant National Park is the third largest National Park in Southern Africa. The variety of wildlife found in the Park is astounding, with 417 species of birds, 95 kinds of mammals, including the Big Five and of course the 600 elephants that roam there, it is an absolute treat for nature lovers.
Addo Elephant National Park has a unique place in the story of the struggle to conserve the African elephant. It is home to the densest population of elephant in the world. Apart from elephants, other mammals in Addo include lion, the endangered Cape buffalo and black rhino, as well as zebra, jackal, warthog, suricate and numerous species of antelope, such as kudu, red hartebeest and bushbuck. Over 150 different bird species have been recorded in Addo, ranging from the large ostrich to the tiny Cape white-eye. There are around 600 different plant species in the park, with five distinct vegetation types. The highly endangered flightless dung beetle can be seen throughout the Park rolling up balls of elephant dung.
You are collected from and dropped off at your hotel by a tour guide, who will drive you around the Addo Elephant National Park in an air-conditioned microbus.
SUGGESTED Storms River Adventure Activities & Tsitsikamma National Park Tree Top Canopy Tour
We recommend you drive down the steep scenic pass to Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park. Storms River Mouth is where the booming breakers of the Indian Ocean relentlessly pound against rocky shores, where temperate high forest and fynbos roll down to the sea in an unspoilt verdant carpet, and where ancient rivers carve their paths to the ocean down rocky ravines. Tsitsikamma means “the place of much water”. In addition to protecting the indigenous forest, the park stretches some 5 km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish. Dolphins frolic in the breakers, surfing and playing for the sheer joy of life, and the gentle giant of the ocean, the southern right whale visits here, coming inshore to breed.
Activities available at Storms River Mouth include several short walking trails through the forest to the swing bridge or along the shore, bathing at the small beach, snorkeling, scuba-diving, kayaking and boat trips.
The Tsitsikamma Forest is a primeval, indigenous rain forest occurring along the southern Cape coastline of South Africa and is situated at the eastern end of the Garden Route, near Port Elizabeth. It is characterised by towering Outeniqua yellowwood trees, many as old as 600 years. Other common trees are ironwood, stinkwood, white pear, Cape plane and assegai tree. The understory of the forest is characterised by wild pomegranate, tree ferns and seven week fern. The forest is home to many small mammal species, five of which are on the Red Data list and are highly endangered. The forest also offers excellent birding and is home to the Knysna Tauraco and Narina Trogan.
On a Canopy Tour, you will experience the wonders of the forest, suspended 30 metres up in the forest canopy. The Tree Top Canopy tour involves traversing from one platform high up in a yellowwood tree to another along a steel cable. Guides at each platform inform guests about the forest flora and fauna. This tour is suitable for all ages from 7 to 70.
SUGGESTED Oudtshoorn: Cango Caves & Highgate Ostrich Farm
While in Oudtshoorn, we suggest you visit the Cango Caves, where you embark on a magical journey through massive caverns and fascinating limestone formations. The Cango Caves, about 29 km north of Oudtshoorn in the Swartberg Mountains, are filled with a wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites and helictites (dripstone formations that grow in unusual directions), which have been formed over millions of years. The countless dripstone formations in many instances imitate everyday objects and have been given names such as Cleopatra’s Needle, The Organ Pipes, the Bridal Couple, Cango Candle and the Hanging Shawl. The Cave system consists of five large cavern systems, but because of the extreme fragility of the formations, only Cango One is open to the public. The pure, crystalline beauty of the dripstone formations of the other caverns discovered so far – Cango Two, Three, Four and Five – is conserved for study and research purposes.
Ostrich Show Farm:
On arrival at Safari Ostrich Farm you will be met by a multi-lingual guide, who will take you on a tour of the farm, where you will learn more about these remarkable birds and their fascinating nature. Safari Ostrich Show Farm is an operating farm, where visitors will see large flocks of ostriches and in the breeding season see chicks hatching in the incubators. You will also see different types of ostrich feathers displayed. The processing of ostrich skins is explained, from tanning to dying to the manufacturing of products. A complete ostrich skin is on display showing the different parts of the skin used for shoes, bags and other products. In the breeding camp visitors get close to an ostrich breeding pair and have a photo opportunity by standing on an ostrich egg. At the plucking pen visitors get to sit on an ostrich – another great photo opportunities. The tour ends with the Ostrich Derby where ostrich jockeys show off their riding skills. The restaurant at Safari Ostrich Farm showcases dishes made with ostrich meat and ostrich egg. It is worth trying it!
INCLUDED IN PRICE Oudtshoorn: Five Shy Meerkat Excursion
This morning is an early start! After an early morning wakeup call, you make your way to the meerkat burrows for your 2 to 3 hours tour of the Five Shy Meerkats. Arriving at the burrows, you enjoy coffee/tea and take a seat outside the burrows. Observe the meerkats as they come out of the burrow into the sunshine and start their daily routine.
SUGGESTED De Hoop Nature Reserve: Suggested Activities
There are a number of activities on offer here and you can enjoy whale watching, star gazing, interpretive marine walk, mountain biking and a guided bird and Fynbos walk. Explore the De Hoop Vlei and enjoy bird, game, otter and even porcupine sightings with our new eco cruise experience. A walking trail exploring coastal rock pools and sandy beaches while a qualified guide points out interesting marine life forms. Also a great way to experience the Southern Right Whales in the bay between June and December.
De Hoop Nature Reserve have a Spa located on the Reserve, they have partnered up with Africology, a brand which believes in the healing powers of nature. There are a variety of different Spa treatments available.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Hermanus: Whale Watching Cruise & Botanical Gardens Visit
Hermanus is best known for the Southern Right whales which travel up from the Antarctic during the winter months to give birth in the bays and inlets along the Southern Cape coast. Hermanus offers the best land-based whale watching in the world as the steep cliffs offer a grandstand view of the whales, who are often only metres off shore. The village even has a Whale Crier, who announces where the day’s best sightings are. Watch the whales from the clifftops or take a boat out into the bay with one of the licensed whale watching operators to get a closer view (for your own account).
We also visit the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens, which has 200 hectares of the finely bushed plants endemic to this area, known as fynbos, 190 hectares growing naturally and the rest cultivated. These botanical gardens lie within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, South Africa’s first UNESCO-proclaimed biosphere reserve. The vivid Disa uniflora is one of many rare plants featured in these gardens, and to experience it when it is in bloom, make sure you visit the gardens between December and January. You should also not miss South Africa’s national flower, the King protea, which blooms in spring. There are over 100 species of birds to be spotted in these botanical gardens, including colourful sunbirds.
SUGGESTED Stellenbosch: Wine Route Tour
The Stellenbosch Wine Route represents more than 200 wine and grape producers within the boundaries of the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin classification. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is the oldest of the wine routes and is divided into five sub-routes. A variety of soils and locations ideally suited to flourishing of a wide variety of grape cultivars, has seen Stellenbosch continue to dominate the South African wine scene in terms of quality. You can also visit Stellenbosch, the “town of oaks” and South Africa’s second oldest town.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Cape Town: Red Route City Sightseeing Bus & Robben Island
Take a ride on a “hop-on-hop-off” topless tour bus today. The Bus Stop is located across the road of Winchester Mansions
The “red route” takes you from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town Tourism centre in downtown Cape Town, to the Castle of Good Hope, the museums and galleries in the City Bowl area, up to the Cable Car station at Table Mountain, over Kloof Nek to Camps Bay and then back to the V&A Waterfront, travelling through Green Point and past the famous soccer stadium.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Cape Town: Dinner & Drum Show at GOLD Restaurant
Dining at Gold Restaurant is a celebration of food, flavours, family and friend, accompanied by live entertainment. This establishment honours African culinary traditions, while combining it with modern flavours and techniques.
On offer is a 14-dish tasting menu that is served in generous individual and shared portions. When dishes are brought to your table, the servers explain the country of origin, cooking techniques and spices to the guests.
SUGGESTED Cape Town: Self Drive Cape Point
Today you can explore the Cape Peninsula. Enjoy a drive along the Atlantic seaboard via glamorous Clifton to the quaint seaside village of Hout Bay. Continue via the scenic the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive to Cape Point.
Following the coastline northwards via Simonstown, where you can visit the penguin colony of Boulders Beach. A leisurely drive through the leafy southern suburbs will bring us to the Constantia Valley. After a day of exploring, you can end the day with some of the Cape’s finest wines in the Constantia Valley.
INCLUDED IN PRICE Madikwe Game Reserve: Daily Safari Programme at Thakadu River Camp
After an early-morning wake-up call, you set off on your morning game drive. Madikwe is one of South Africa’s largest sanctuaries and has a rich biodiversity of mammals, such as Africa’s Big Five, cheetah, wild dog, brown and spotted hyena, oryx, eland, springbok & ostrich. You return to the lodge for a mid-morning brunch. There is time between game drives to relax on the deck with a good book, do some bird-watching (Madikwe has more than 250 recorded species of bird) or, if you are feeling more energetic, do a game walk with your game ranger. High tea is served in the late afternoon, before you set off on an evening game drive through the untamed wilderness of the Kalahari Thornveld.
The late evening is when predators are more active and it is also an opportunity to see animals such as aardvark and caracal. You return to the lodge for a safari cuisine dinner in the open-air boma.
SUGGESTED Seychelles: Beach & Adventure Activities
The principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue form the cultural and economic hub of Seychelles, as well as the centre of its tourism industry. Seychelles offers almost clichéd postcard-perfect beaches: exquisite ribbons of palm-fringed white sandy beaches lapped by turquoise waters and backed by lush tropical hills and big granite boulders. This is because they are some of the most photographed beaches in the world and regularly appear on lists of “Top Ten beaches in the World”. As Seychelles is near the equator, it is blessed with a warm tropical climate all year long. Activities in the Seychelles inlcude:
Diving is astounding in the Seychelles. The reefs that encircle many of the islands contain upwards of 300 species of fish and more than 100 varieties of coral: suffice to say that this is a diving Valhalla, with visibility generally exceeding 30 metres and water temperatures reaching 28ºC.
Big game and fly fishing is very popular in the Seychelles. The top spot for big game is the edge of the Seychelles Bank, where the ocean floor plunges to 1,800 meters. The nearest islands are Bird and Denis, but charters also sail out from Mahé. Many record-breaking dog-tooth tuna have been snagged here, as well as huge marlin, sail fish and sharks without number. The outer island of Alphonse is universally acknowledged as the best place to indulge in fly fishing for bonefish, which generally weigh around six kilos and are doughty fighters once hooked. They swarm in such vast numbers that even beginners have been known to catch 20 in a single day. A strict catch-and-release policy is in force, and fly fishers may use only barbless hooks.
On Praslin, the spectacular par-70, 18-hole championship Lémuria course has been attracting players in droves since in opened in October 2000. Designed by Rodney Wright and Marc Farry, it borders Kerlan Cove Beach. The first 12 holes are fringed by palm trees, after which the course extends into the thickly forested slopes of a steep hill. At the signature hole – the 15th – players have to tee off from a rocky ridge that overlooks Anse Gorgette, driving at least 150 metres to hit the green below.
Both accomplished and novice equestrians will enjoy horse riding in the Seychelles. On La Digue, there’s the opportunity to explore the grounds of the Union Estate, or to experience the sheer exhilaration of galloping along the sand at Anse Source d’Argent. At the Utegangar Riding Centre on Mahé the pure-bred Arabian steeds head out to the Barbarons and Grand Anse area on the west coast. For beginners, they stick to the beach and bush but advanced riders can get taken up into the mountains, where bathing beneath thunderous waterfalls is the highlight of the expedition.
Hikers will be in their element on Mahé, La Digue and Praslin, where a number of well-marked trails lead into the interior. The three-hour trek between Anse Royale and Anse à la Mouche, running across the southern hills of Mahé, with an optional detour to a small palm-lined valley, is one of the most popular. A number of guided walking tours are also available, with native Seychellois discoursing on the islands’ flora, fauna and local lore, granting a marvellous insight into the archipelago’s hidden delights.
Just about anywhere in the Seychelles provides plenty of underwater entertainment, but some sites come especially recommended. Anse Royale on Mahé is enclosed behind a reef, which keeps out the larger fish but there are plenty of smaller ones in the shallow waters; the corals in the Sainte Anne National Marine Park are truly amazing, from white to purple and an array of different sizes; manta rays and hammerhead sharks have been spotted off Sunset Beach on Mahé; strong currents run off Anse Kerlan on Praslin, which are perhaps what attract the veritable academies of fish; and the solitary hawksbill turtle that hangs out by the islet of St Pierre in Curieuse National Marine Park has become something of a tourist attraction.
Windsurfing, Water Skiing and Paragliding:
Other water-based sports, such as windsurfing, dinghy sailing, water skiing and paragliding, are popular at major resorts and beaches, where equipment can be hired by the hour. Some hotels levy no charge for use by guests. The combination of calm waters and steady winds makes for an idyllic time out on, or above, the ocean wave.
Gabriele & Ilaria, Italy, 11th September 2019
Anya from Pembury Tours was simply fantastic! She designed the dream honeymoon for us by taking our basic idea and transforming it into the most wonderful trip filled with once in a lifetime memories for us. We got to experience the beautiful garden route and Cape Town which was on our bucket list for years. We then got to experience a stunning South African safari in Madikwe which blew us away. We ended our honeymoon on the breathtaking beaches of the Seychelles where we soaked up the time just relaxing and enjoying our surroundings and each other. Words will never be enough but we would just like to sincerely thank Anya for all her planning and her happy disposition that made us feel so special. We will all things equal, be back for our anniversary!