CAPE TO ADDO NATIONAL PARK
(7 days / 6 nights)
PRICE: 1395 dollars per person based on 4 people/ private guided tour
PRICE: 895 dollars per person based on 2 people/ self-drive
The price of this 7-day itinerary for private guided tour includes:
– All entrance fees to National Parks, cultural places, museums and tastings
– Safaris with professional rangers in a private reserve
– All breakfasts, 1 dinner, 1 barbecue
– Full time guide
– Accommodation bed and breakfast quality *** or ****
Self-drive price includes entrances to private reserves and all services. (safaris, meals …)
From the Cape we wander along the coast exploring the diversity that this beautiful country has to offer, from magnificent beaches, breathtaking views, historic and picturesque coastal and inland villages and Cape Dutch homesteads.
We follow the Garden Route, the name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast to the magnificent Addo National Park and its “Big Seven”.
The return journey on the Route 62, via superb mountain ranges. we find our way to the heart of the Cape Winelands. All told an unforgettable journey.
Highlights of the tour
- Hermanus village and peaceful haven for whale watching between August and December
- Cape Agulhas where we will discover the furthest point south of the African continent
- Swellendam, fourth oldest city in the country, quiet and elegant
- Oudtshoorn “Capital of the ostrich”, in the last century the ostrich feathers made the fortune for this vibrant small town in the heart of the Little Karoo
- Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, opulent coastal towns reminiscent of the Mediterranean coast. Major tourist destinations particularly during the South African school holidays
- Tsitsikamma National Park, a wild forest that extends to the sea and offers beautiful walks and trails dotted with ancient trees, once used by elephant herds in search of food
- Jeffrey’s Bay, paradise for surfers around the world
- Addo National Park is famous for its rich wildlife, the “Big Seven”, herds of elephants,lions, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes and more
- Eastern Cape Private Game Reserves
- Montagu, Worcester, Paarl, Stellenbosch, charming small towns, the Breede Valley and the wine route
Day 1: Swellendam
We leave the Cape and drive via Clarence Drive, a spectacularly scenic route, climbing around cliffs and hugging the wild turquoise coastline where the the sea is treacherous. The road suddenly turns inland riseing steeply to the coastal plateau which later rejoins the coast at Betty’s Bay known for its colony of penguins.
We will enjoy a coffee break overlooking Walker Bay, a protected bay offering a privileged vantage point to view the whales which breed every year during the austral winter. Hermanus, a charming resort, offers vantage points for whale watching close to the shore.
Our journey continues to Gansbaai where the sea is known for its dense population of great white sharks. Some tourists come to flirt with the great white!
En route we visit Elim, a village of white cottages with thatched roofs, which was formed in 1824 by members of the Church of the Moravian Brethren (dissident branch of Lutheranism) and whose 2,000 inhabitants still live in the same community organization administered by a church council.
The next step in our journey will be a very symbolic visit to the southernmost point in the continent of Africa, it is the official dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Cape Agulhas or “Cape of the Needles” decribes the sharp rocks which threatened the route to India for navigators of old.
Next is Bredasdorp, agricultural capital of the Overberg, then on to Swellendam built in 1746, the fourth oldest town in South Africa. This town was to establish order, collect taxes and enforce the law of the Dutch East India Company to “Trekboers” who had already settled in the area.
In 1865 a fire destroyed the city and in the 1970’s many buildings from that era were demolished in the name of the sacrosanct modernity. Fortunately destruction ended when the authorities realized the tourism potential of the place, The preserved relics of the past will delight us.
Day 2: Knysna
After a hearty breakfast we will head east stopping at Victoria Bay with its beautiful white sandy beaches and onto Mossel Bay which means “Bay of Mussels” where massive amounts of mussel shells are stacked in caves along the coast that were have found by the first settlers. These shells are the remains of meals testifying to the presence of the bushmen thousands of years ago. The first European to set foot in this sheltered bay was Bartolomeu Diaz in 1488 and nine years later Vasco De Gama. We will visit an interesting museum dedicated to the Diaz conqueror.
Continuing our journey along the Indian Ocean we find charming places including The Wilderness. A chain of natural freshwater lakes are visible from the road.
Finally a walk at sunset on the Knysna Lagoon before dinner at a restaurant at the “Waterfront” sampling the famous oysters grown here.
Accommodation in a luxurious B&B
Day 3: Addo
Before leaving town we admire the view from “The Heads” two cliffs that form a narrow passage at the entrance to the lagoon. We discover lush green coastal forests where once many elephants lived.
A short drive brings us to the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay, a small luxurious resort town. We view the famous Bloukrans Bridge where bungee jumping is the highest in the world.
At the Tsitsikamma National Park we will walk in the indigenous forests and cross the mouth of the river on a suspension bridge. Beautiful scenery of the dramatic coastline.
Leaving the Tsitsikamma area we stop to admire the “Big Tree” an ancient tree in ironwood with impressive dimensions.
The next stop will be in the town of Jeffrey’s Bay a surfers paradise where we can enjoy shopping at Billabong and Quicksilver factory shops!
Late in the afternoon we arrive in the area of the Addo National Park and will stay on a citrus farm on the banks of the Sunday’s River
Dinner will be a typically South African barbecue.
Day 4: Addo Elephant park & Private Reserve
The morning will be spent visiting the Addo Park, a diverse wildlife conservation park which is one of the country’s 19 national parks. It is famous for the “Big Seven” ,“the Big Five” plus whales and sharks! But especially the magnificent elephants we will encounter at the waterholes.
At the beautiful private reserve we leave immediately in a 4×4 vehicle for our first safari with a professional ranger.
Refreshments, tea, coffee and woodfired baked rolls.
Second part of the safari will last until dark,
A delicious dinner will be served in the “Boma”. The magic of the boma lies in the design, a type of enclosure with central glowing fireplace lending a mystical and earthy quality. Add lanterns and the overhead stars, magic!
Bush Lodge, luxurious rooms, an unexpected charm in the middle of the African “bush”
Day 5: Oudtshoorn
After an early final safari we say goodbye to this haven of peace and continue our journey to the Cape.
Just after Port Elizabeth we take Route 62, also called the Mountain Route, which winds between the sea and the Baviaanskloof, a Heritage Site by UNESCO for its floral diversity and return to Knysna.The ever changing colours of the majestic mountains, scenic passes, rivers, vineyards and orchards reveal a kaleidoscope of scenic tranquility.
From George we take the “Outeniqua Pass”, magnificent scenery leading to Oudtshoorn where we visit an ostrich farm This town is home to the world’s largest ostrich population and therefore is called “the capital of the ostrich” since its founding in 1847. We view the famous “Palaces of the pen” the opulent mansions of the early breeders who have made fortunes here. Ostrich meat is now in great demand as well as leather.
Dinner in town, perhaps an ostrich steak?
Accommodation is a farm stay on the outskirts of the city. Traditional local products available.
Day 6: Montagu
This morning an experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves guide will take us on a tour of the “Cango Caves”, a series of underground tunnels and galleries with impressive limestone formations,
We continue on a most memorable journey, Route 62, to Montagu passing quaint villages and farms.
Finally we arrive in Montagu, a charming small town founded in 1851 that has maintained old-world charm with the fascinating Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture, there are 14 National Monuments in Long Street alone! This peaceful town is steeped in history and is famous for its awe inspiring rock formations, orchards, vineyards, local herbs and the healing hot mineral springs.
After this long journey we relax by taking a dip in the hot mineral springs in the mountains located just outside of town.
Dinner in town.
Accommodation in a charming 17th Century Homestead.
Day 7: Cape Town
We travel to the Cape via Robertson, Worcester, Paarl and Stellenbosch, all names that evoke the Breede Valley and the wine route.
Robertson, heart of Route 62 and wine route, has more than 50 registered wine cellars. Some have received the highest awards both locally and internationally every year. Brilliant mauve jacarandas trees shade the streets.
At Worcester, administrative and economic capital of the Breede Valley and depending, on available time, we visit Kleinplasie museum where the grounds have been developed with structures forming an old Cape farm yard and live depictions of a bygone era. Traditional dishes and Afrikaners specialities are a must.
We visit the Karoo National Botanical Gardens, famous for being the only true succulent garden in the southern hemisphere.
Our next stop is Paarl. The name is derived from ‘Parel’, Dutch for Pearl, when in 1657, a Dutch settler saw a giant granite rock glistening in the sun after a rainstorm.
The first French Huguenots settled here and developed the winemaking tradition which is still present today. Next is a visit to the KWV cooperative for wine tasting.
From to the Monument of Language or Taal monument, perched on a hill, we enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley and our famous Table Mountain.
The tour will sadly end with our arrival in Cape Town.