This fascinating holiday is the perfect introduction to South Africa, one of the most strikingly beautiful countries to be found on the face of the Earth. Discover and explore spectacular Cape Town in its glorious setting, rugged Indian Ocean shores, the plain of the 'Little Karoo' and the rolling grassland home of 'Big Five' game, before finally taking in the sunkissed landscape of some of the world's finest vineyards.
Cape Town and the Garden Route Tour Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Cape Town, travelling via Amsterdam. Upon arrival, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay.
Get to know one of the world's most stunningly located cities, set on the side of the Atlantic Ocean and backed by breathtaking mountain scenery. Enjoy this morning's walk through leafy Company's Garden in the heart of the city, before joining an orientation tour that will include stylish Camp's Bay and its white sand beach.
This afternoon, ascend Table Mountain in a rotating cable car, which offers a 360-degree panorama as it climbs to the 1000-metre high summit. This evening, perhaps spend time at the redeveloped Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Enjoy a fascinating full-day tour of the Cape Peninsula. You'll see treacherous Cape Point, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean; the beach resort of Boulders, home to a colony of penguins; Kirstenbosch, famous for its Botanical Gardens; Hout Bay and - weather-permitting - the breathtakingly scenic Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the world's most thrilling coastal roads.
Head east to Hermanus, a famous whale-watching centre from July to November, and a year-round seaside resort offering stunning views out across the Atlantic waters. In season, enjoy the included whale-watching cruise (Sep-Nov departures), and perhaps visit the Whale Museum and the colourful country market.
Visit the world-renowned Cango Caves, with their caverns of stalactites and stalagmites, formed over millions of years. You'll then head on to Oudtshoorn, the 'Ostrich Capital of the World', in the heart of the 'Little Karoo' plain. The world's strangest, largest and often most valuable bird has been farmed here for 130 years, first for its plumage - and more recently for its high-protein, low-cholesterol meat. Enjoy a taste at this evening's barbecue, after which you'll head to the coastal Garden Route resort of Knysna for a two-night stay.
Enjoy an informative early morning cruise on the beautiful Knysna Lagoon, which fringes the Featherbed eco-Nature Reserve. You'll then continue travelling east, past the beautiful horseshoe of Plettenberg Bay and on into the Tsitsikamma National Park, where luxuriant undergrowth stretches right to the ocean's edge, providing habitats for birdlife, monkeys and small antelopes. Towering overhead is the famous 'Big Tree', an 800-year-old Yellowwood- a giant amongst giants.
Journey along the famously scenic Garden Route, via the historic, sleepy harbour town of Mossel Bay, to spend the next two days in the wonderful surroundings of the Garden Route Game Lodge, a privately operated reserve. During your stay you'll enjoy all the wonders of safari game drives in search of the 'Big Five' of lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and buffalo, with accommodation in comfortable lodges and typical African dinners under the stars. This afternoon, enjoy the first of the game drives, then perhaps enjoy a sun-downer drink around the authentic Boma (camp) fire before dinner is served.
A second day at the Lodge begins with a pre-breakfast game drive, and includes a visit to the fascinating reptile centre. Enjoy some free time for a siesta - perhaps by the pool - before setting off on a second evening game drive and enjoying another memorable dinner under the stars.
After a final early morning game drive, make the journey west into the beautiful, verdant Cape Winelands region. Here you'll spend a night in Stellenbosch, in the heart of the famous vineyards and overlooked by the mountains. This is every inch the welcoming tourist town, with its centuries-old oaks, its European-style, 'Cape Dutch' houses, village green and historic Dorp Street home to quaint shops and winetasting centres.
Enjoy an included lunch and tasting at a wine estate followed by a walking tour of the delightful town, ending with a glass of bubbly and the chance to sample some local treats. Later, check into your overnight hotel and enjoy dinner at leisure - you'll find countless places in which to dine in style on this, your last South African evening.
After a final breakfast, enjoy a last scenic day's touring that will include visits to the beautiful Winelands towns of Paarl and Franschhoek, where designer elegance mixes with Victorian grandeur. Enjoy guided introductions to both towns, and the chance for a bite to eat, before re-boarding the coach and returning to the airport for the overnight flight back to the UK, travelling via Amsterdam.
Arrive home this morning, at the end of a wonderful taster holiday in South Africa.