Cape Town Garden Route Eastern Cape KZN Getaway – 3 nights Cape Town | 2 nights Franschhoek | 1 night Oudtshoorn | 2 nights Knysna | 2 nights Lalibela Game Reserve | 1 night Durban | 2 nights Drakensberg | 2 nights Rorke’s Drift | 2 nights Phinda Game Reserve
We had a great time throughout the trip and found the excellent travel pack extremely helpful! We had a great time largely due to your hard work putting the program together. Thank you very much!
Upon arrival at Cape Town airport, you are met by our representative and transferred by road into the city to your hotel.
Spend your days exploring 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. Cape Town regularly tops many lists of world must-visit destinations and Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain has recently been voted one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Cosmopolitan and fashionable, the relaxed atmosphere and pavement café culture give Cape Town a Southern European feel – but with a distinctive African twist.
This morning you will have your vehicle delivered to Winchester Mansions. You depart Cape Town and drive to the Cape Winelands, with its backdrop of majestic mountain ranges, lush valleys and verdant vineyards. Spend the day exploring the Stellenbosch Wine Route, before continuing your drive to Franschhoek and checking in at your guesthouse for a one night stay.
You can follow the Franschhoek Wine Route and stop for tastings at wine estates along the way. You will have the chance to purchase and ship home some of the wines you have tasted.
South African wine has a proud history dating back to 1659, when the first wine recorded in South Africa was produced by the founder of the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck. French Huguenots settled in the Franschhoek Valley in the late seventeenth century, seeking refuge from religious persecution in Europe and bringing with them precious root-stock to establish the wine-growing industry in South Africa. By the time of Napoleon, wine produced by Constantia, a vineyard near Cape Town, was considered by Europeans to be one of the greatest wines in the world. Anti-apartheid sanctions hit the wine industry hard, but since independence in 1994, access to international markets has unleashed a burst of new energy and new investment, and South African wines are once again winning awards across the world.
Each wine route has a wide range of wine estates and wineries: ranging from historical to avant garde and from garagiste to large scale producers. Many of the wine estates offer informative guided wine-tastings to the public as well as cellar tours or tours of the vineyards. Some of them also make cheese, chocolate and olive oil and offer tastings of these products alongside their wines. Many of them have on-site restaurants offering food that ranges from gastronomical delights to picnic hampers to enjoy under the oak trees.
This morning you check out of your guest house and leave the winelands behind. You journey along the scenic Route 62 through the verdant Breede River Valley, the largest of the Western Cape’s fruit and wine producing valleys. As you follow the “fruit route”, you enjoy magnificent mountain views, vineyards, orchards and indigenous flora. Stops can be made at roadside farm stalls to purchase fruit. You then enter the unique landscape of the arid Little Karoo, passing through Barrydale and Calitzdorp. You then check into your guesthouse in Oudtshoorn for your 2 night stay.
Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. The world’s biggest birds are found here in great numbers and the region produces the best feathers, leather products and ostrich meat worldwide. Enjoy an entertaining tour and demonstration learning about the history and use of these unique birds and how they are farmed. Curio shops on the farms and in Oudtshoorn specialise in the finest ostrich leather, ostrich meat and ostrich feather products.
You can also spend time at the Cango Caves – the oldest and one of the most popular attractions in the region and one of the great natural wonders of the world. A standard tour offers visitors an enchanting hour long journey through this wonderland of stalagmites and stalactites.
This morning after a leisurely breakfast you will drive across the majestic Outeniqua Pass, through the town of George and onto Wilderness and the Lakes District before reaching your overnight stop, Knysna.
Knysna is the perfect base for exploring the Garden Route. Set on the shores of the beautiful Knysna lagoon and surrounded by the Knysna Forest, which form part of the Garden Route National Park, Knysna is blessed with great scenic beauty. This quaint seaside town is brimming with quirky arty-crafty shops and markets. Find yourself in foodie-heaven – with superb fine dining restaurants, legendary Knysna oysters and bustling wholefood markets.
Depart Knysna and enjoy a scenic drive to the nearby seaside town of Plettenberg Bay. You continue over spectacular single-span bridges to the Tsitsikamma forest, an indigenous primeval forest with towering ancient yellowwood trees, lush vegetation and deep gorges. We recommend that you enter the Tsitsikamma National Park and drive down the steep pass to the aptly-named Storms River Mouth. 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. You then leave the Garden Route behind. You by-pass the city of Port Elizabeth and drive to your Big Five game reserve, arriving in time for your afternoon game drive.
Game viewing in the malaria-free Eastern Cape is excellent. The Eastern Cape straddles the meeting point of 5 distinct biomes (valley bushveld, savannah grassland, fynbos, riverine forest and acacia woodland), resulting in a breath-taking variety in animal and bird species. In addition, the carrying capacity of the vegetation in Eastern Cape game reserves is much higher than that of the Kruger area, so you will find a much higher concentration of animals. The region has some of the most luxurious safari lodges in the country, all seeking to offer discerning travellers the ultimate African adventure that harks back to the golden age of safaris.
Lalibela Game Reserve is a 7,500 hectare malaria-free Big Five game reserve in the heart of Eastern Cape game country. Lalibela brings you the charm of authentic Africa and is a perfect blend of the formal and informal. Lalibela has three lodges, all offering décor that is infused with the essence of Africa, as well as warm and friendly service, exciting safari cuisine and unforgettable game viewing.
This morning after your morning game drive and brunch, you will take a drive through to the coastal city of Port Elizabeth and catch your afternoon flight through to Durban for a 1 night stay. On arrival at Durban airport you will collect your hired car and head into the City for your overnight stay.
After breakfast the next morning you can start a leisurely drive through the Natal Midlands to your country lodge at the foot of the mighty Drakensberg.
The Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, rising to 3,482 metres (11,424ft) in height. Soaring basalt cliffs and golden sandstone ramparts tower over rolling grasslands, steep-sided valleys, rocky gorges and ancient San rock art. Adventure activities abound: hiking, abseiling, canoeing, mountain-biking, mountain-climbing, while the more sedentary will enjoy the awe-inspiring views and abundant birdlife.
Today you leave the mountains behind and cross the Natal Midlands to the battlefields sites of the Anglo-Zulu War – Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift and Fugitive’s Drift. You check in at your guesthouse overlooking Fugitive’s Drift.
The Anglo-Zulu War battlefields region abounds in evocative symbols of South Africa’s turbulent past. Dramatic and bloody battles such as Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are brought to life by raconteur tour guides.
This morning you set off eastward through rolling hills to Phinda Private Game Reserve in the heart of Zululand.
Phinda Private Game Reserve is situated in sub-tropical northern KwaZulu Nata, with close proximity to the warm Indian Ocean. It is an award-winning game reserve with a strong focus on conservation and community involvement. In 1991, &Beyond Phinda undertook the biggest game relocation in a private game reserve in the world at the time, restoring 34,600 acres of degraded farmland to a pristine wildlife reserve. The reserve has now grown to a total of 56,830 acres of land dedicated to the preservation of wildlife.
Referred to as “Seven Worlds of Wonder”, &Beyond Phinda is home to seven unique ecosystems that can be explored on twice-daily game drives from each of the Reserve’s six luxurious lodges. Phinda offers excellent Big Five game viewing, with spectacular sightings of the elusive cheetah and the rare black rhino. In addition to game drives, Phinda offers walking safaris and river cruises on the Mzinene River.
This morning after your morning game drive and brunch you say goodbye to this African Wonderland and drive through to Richards Bay. You will drop off your hired car and catch the mid-afternoon flight to Johannesburg to connect with your international flight home.