On this 5 day scheduled tour, departing from Cape Town, you join other travellers to explore Route 62, Oudtshoorn, the Garden Route and the Cape South Coast.
Depart Cape Town and travel north to join the scenic Route 62. Enroute you have a guided wine tasting in Calitzdorp. Later you tour part of the Cango Caves in the Swartberg Mountains. Enjo you dinner and overnight in Oudtshoorn.
After breakfast in “the ostrich capital of the world” you visit an ostrich farm for an enjoyable educational tour. Thereafter travel over the Outeniqua Pass to enter the Garden Route. A photo stop will be made en route to the popular holiday town of Knysna. After checking in at your hotel, you enjoy a sunset cruise on the Knysna Estuary.
From Knysna you head west to the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex in Mossel Bay, where the Portuguese explorer’s journey in 1488 is commemorated. He was the first European to sail around the southern tip of the African Continent. Continue to the Garden Route Game Lodge - an evening game drive and another on the following morning is included.
Travel via the historic town of Swellendam to your next destination - the quaint coastal fishing and holiday village of Arniston. You’ll have some leisure time to take a walk along the shoreline or laze next to the hotel pool. On your last day you head to the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas. From there it’s on to the coastal hamlet of Hermanus, in July to November you may spot southern-right whales as close as 40-50m from you. A spectacular coastal drive along the False Bay coastline returns you to Cape Town
R13,625 per person sharing
R800 single supplement (±US$ 57 )
Duration: 5 days , 4 nights
Tour Type: Scheduled tours
Luxury Level: *** / ****
Accommodation: Three 4-star hotels & one 3-star private game lodge
Transport: Luxury sedan or microbus, depending on group size
Group sizes: minimum-2 average-6 max-9
Languages (guides): English , German
Mon departures - English & German (if required); Wed departures - English only. Other languages available for private tours
Countries: South Africa
Notes: This tour does not include excursions in Cape Town. We'll gladly assist with arrangements for extra days in Cape Town if requested - accommodation and/or touring.
Highlights: Oudtshoorn , Cango Caves , Route 62 , Garden Route , Knysna , Oudtshoorn ostrich farms , Mossel Bay , The Garden Route Game Lodge , The Bartolomeu Dias Museum , Swellendam , Hermanus , Cape Agulhas .
Starting dates: Departs Mondays and Wednesdays from Sea Point hotels ±07:30, Waterfront hotels ±08:00 and CBD hotels ±08:15
Available starting dates: Dec 2014 - Oct 2015
Your driver-guide will collect you from your Cape Town area hotel in the morning. Depart Cape Town northwards on the N1 highway, passing through the picturesque Cape Winelands before entering the Huguenot Tunnel. The 4km tunnel is the longest of its kind in South Africa. As you exit the tunnel you enter the magnificent Du Toit’s Kloof - flanked by mountain peaks on both sides.
At Worcester you turn onto the R62 or Route 62. Connecting Worcester in the west with Oudtshoorn in the east the route is a firm favourite with travellers. It passes through scenic valleys, as well as including numerous mountain passes. Enroute you make a quick stop in Barrydale, a quaint town surrounded by mountains. Shortly after that the spectacular Huis River Pass delivers you into Calitzdorp, the ‘Port Capital of South Africa’. Enjoy lunch (own account) and a wine tasting.
Later, pass through Oudtshoorn - where you will return tonight - and travel onwards to the Cango Caves. Located in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains, the caves were formed roughly 20 million years ago. It features huge natural caverns, linked by narrow natural passages and smaller spaces. Take a guided tour of part of the cave system.
From the Caves you return to Oudtshoorn and your hotel. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in town.
With more than 400 ostrich farms the Oudtshoorn region is also referred to as the “Ostrich Capital of the World”. Two boom periods in international demand for ostrich feathers (1865-1870 and 1900-1914) created instant wealth for many in town. The inevitable bust periods that followed instantly ruined a good number of them as well. Sandstone ‘ostrich feather palaces’ in town attest to this period. After breakfast you visit an ostrich show farm where you get up close and personal with the birds.
From the Ostrich farm you head towards the coast over the rugged Outeniqua Mountains via the scenic Outeniqua Pass. Taking the main coastal road to Knysna you make a photo stop above the town of Wilderness (weather permitting). Enjoy expansive views of the ocean and sandy beaches stretching into the distance. Travelling onwards pass by a number of lakes and small communities before entering Knysna.
Your hotel is located right on the edge of the Knysna Estuary. Board a ferry for a sunset cruise out towards the Knysna Heads (headlands framing the estuary mouth). Enjoy dinner at a Thesen Island restaurant, another development on the edge of the Knysna Estuary, before returning to your hotel.
Accomodation: The Garden Route Game Lodge
Meals included: breakfast and dinner
Attractions include: Garden Route , Mossel Bay , The Garden Route Game Lodge , The Bartolomeu Dias Museum , Albertinia .
After breakfast you depart for Mossel Bay, where Europeans first landed on (in modern terms) the South African east coast. A Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, achieved this feat in 1488 in search of a trade route to India. He was the first European explorer to circumvent the southern tip of Africa.
Visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum complex. On its grounds an old Milkwood tree has been declared a historical monument. The tree is where the first “postal service” in South Africa was operated in the 1500’s. A sailor left a message for Commander Joao de Nova under the tree in a boot. You may post a postcard in a shoe-shaped post box below the tree.
The complex also features a full-sized replica of a Portuguese Caravel (a wooden sail ship used by the early explorers), which was sailed from Portugal to South Africa in 1988 on the 500 year anniversary of Dias’ arrival in South Africa. Enjoy lunch in Mossel Bay
Your overnight destination is a game lodge near the town of Albertinia. The lodge is situated on farm land that is being rehabilitated for wildlife purposes. The game reserve differs from most others in the sense that predators are kept separate from other animals, until such future time that the growing ecosystem can support them. Yet, it offers the opportunity to see a variety of animals up close, including the “big five”.
An evening and morning game drive is included in your tour price. Enjoy an outdoor dinner at the lodge (weather permitting).
Enjoy an early morning pre-breakfast game drive. After breakfast you visit the Reserve’s Cheetah Breeding and Conservation and Reptile Centres.
Departing the Game Reserve you travel to the historic town of Swellendam where you may enjoy the variety of architectural styles, especially the typical Cape Dutch style. Lunch will be taken en route (own account). Continue to the fishing and holiday town of Arniston. The town is also referred to as Waenhuiskrans (literally: “wagon house cliff”). The name derives from a huge cave like hollow in one of the cliffs within walking distance of the town, large enough to house a wagon with oxen.
The original fishing village with its lime washed houses has been declared a national monument in its entirety. Fisherman and their families still live there and support their livelihood using boats similar to what was used in the early 19th century.
Arniston is close to Cape Agulhas, which is the Southernmost point of the African continent. Dinner will be enjoyed at your hotel.
After breakfast you take your leave of Arniston and travel to Cape Agulhas, the Southernmost point of the African continent where many believe the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The Cape Agulhas lighthouse is a special architectural specimen and worth the drive all on its own. But you will probably want to snap a picture of yourself at the signage that indicate the southernmost tip of Africa.
Next is the popular coastal town of Hermanus. It is a great spot for land-based whale watching, many claim the best in the world. Southern Right Whales migrate here during winter and spring to have their young and to suckle them before they return to the Antarctic. Away from the sandy beaches a good deal of Hermanus’ coastline feature small cliffs with deep water beneath. Walking along cliff-top paths allows you an elevated view of whales which often come remarkably close to the shoreline. It makes for a truly thrilling and unique experience.
From Hermanus you travel along a beautifully scenic, coast-hugging, route to and along the False Bay shoreline to Gordon’s Bay and on to Cape Town, one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. You will be dropped off at your hotel or the Cape Town International Airport.
Note: If called upon we will gladly assist you with arrangements for extra days in Cape Town before or after your tour - that is arranging accommodation and/or touring. Whatever you may require.