Trip reference number: ITN-ZAF004
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
This example of a tailor-made self-drive holiday takes in all the top highlights of South Africa's Cape and Garden Route. You spend time exploring Cape Town and the Winelands, before continuing along the iconic Garden Route itself. Complete this wonderful holiday on safari in the Eastern Cape. The accommodation throughout has been selected to provide genuine hospitality, comfort and extremely good value. This trip is ideal for couples who enjoy the freedom of exploring at their own pace, and is also perfect for families as the Eastern Cape is a non-malarial safari region. There is much to keep all ages busy with many outdoor activities on offer.
Day 1 Depart early evening from London Heathrow on an overnight flight to Cape Town via Johannesburg.
Day 2 Arrive early morning, collect your hire car and take a leisurely 20-minute drive The Clarendon Fresnaye for a 3 night stay with breakfast included. This lovely guesthouse in Fresnaye / Bantry Bay with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean is within walking distance of a fine collection of restaurants and small boutique shops. We recommend a minimum of two full days to enjoy Cape Town, more if you can spare it, here are just a few ideas. Take the breathtaking Chapman’s Peak drive to the Cape Peninsula Nature Reserve where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet stopping at the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, visit the vibrant city centre of Cape Town, go up Table Mountain in either the rotating cable car or take the pathways and hike up, boat trip across to Robben Island or the seal colony from Hout Bay or a guided township tour. For those with a bit more time there are cycle tours of Cape and surrounds and the options for home visits to enjoy traditional home cooked fare and an insight into South African daily life.
Day 5 The beautiful landscape of The Winelands is a short and easy drive from Cape Town. Spend 2 nights at the beautiful Avondrood Guest House with breakfast, in the heart of Franschhoek, perfectly situated to take in the fabulous restaurants of the area. Franschhoek is a picturesque village set in a mountain valley and surrounded by vineyards. The vines were first planted by French Huguenots who fled here in the 17th century. Have lunch at one of the many wine estates and take advantage of the many opportunities to sample the fine wines of the area, cheese farms and even olive stores. Do visit the nearby oak lined historical cobbled streets of the University town of Stellenbosch and less known wine land towns of Paarl, Wellington and Riebeek Kasteel to the north.
Day 7 Travel the inland route with a full day journey on the R62 to Oudtshoorn, a small and well-preserved Edwardian town on the edge of the Karoo and the former ostrich capital of Africa. Passing through awesome mountainous landscapes, tiny towns that time forgot such as Swellendam and Montague and taking time to enjoy a traditional lunch en-route. After a longish drive (4 - 5 hours), relax and overnight at La Plume Guest House which is on a working farm. In house dinner is suggested and the speciality is ostrich stew.
Day 8 A short and spectacular drive takes you to the Garden Route proper - you meet the sea at Wilderness. Pass through Knysna, with its famous lagoon and oysters, definitely worth a stop for lunch and for a boat cruise. Continue towards Plettenberg Bay, which has some of the best beaches in Africa and the Tsitsikamma Forest, where you stay 3 nights at Hog Hollow in the Crags with breakfast included. Giant yellowwood and stinkwood trees run down to a coastline of cliffs and coves with glorious beaches. This is a place for walking in the forests, Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Birds of Eden , Elephant Sanctuary, exploring beaches or visiting the local wood-carvers and the many other craft shops in the area. One highlight is the aerial runway which passes through the forest canopy. Or for the more adventurous there is the worlds highest bungy jump and the opportunity for Ski Diving. The boat-based whale and dolphin trip around the bay is a must and easily combined with walks on the Robberg Peninsula. Or a simple boat trip up the nearby Keurbooms River with picnic lunch.
Day 11 After breakfast, drive to Safari Lodge on the Amakhala Game Reserve, a 7000-hectare reserve of great natural beauty for a 3 night stay inclusive of all meals, local drinks and scheduled morning and afternoon game drives, guided game walks, a river cruise or canoeing on the Bushman’s River, which runs through the reserve. Game is plentiful and includes lion, rhino, elephant, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, black wildebeest, zebra, tortoise and over 16 antelope species, including large herds of hartebeest, eland and blesbuck.
Day 14 Drive to Port Elizabeth, where you return the hire car and check in for afternoon flight to Johannesburg, to connect with early evening flight to London Heathrow
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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