Safari Tours South Africa

OVERVIEW

De Hoop to De Hel is a private tour that leaves the mainstream of South African tourism. You explore small towns. You will see the majesty of the two oceans meeting. Be incredulous when watching Whales, leaping out of the ocean. You will wonder at vegetation that survived the ice Age. Marvel at wonder caves. Visit a valley where inhabitants once lived for 2 hundred years without outside world contact. Travel up and down incredible mountain passes. Experience South Africa like no one else.

Tour Summary

 

  •  You’ll go to South Africa South Africa
  •  You’ll visit De Hoop NR, Oudtshoorn (Garden Route) & De Hel
  •  This tour starts and ends in Cape Town – Getting there

Activities & Transportation

  •     Activities: nature hikes/walks
  •   Getting around: normal 4×4 vehicle
  •   A transfer from and back to the airport (or hotel) can be arranged for an extra cost                                     
south africa map

DAY BY DAY

Day 1

Meet the Two Oceans and the Night Sky at De Hoop

Departing Cape Town on the N2, take a last look at the magnificent Cape Peninsula while ascending Sir Lowrys Pass. Drive through the apple orchards of the Elgin valley & stop at the “must see” Elgin Farm Stall, see the very best of locally produced South African favorites, food, wine & artifacts. Continue on route over the Houwhoek pass. Enjoy a glass of wine in Archangeli wine estate at Bot river, pass the towns of Caledon, Napier, Bredasdorp, Struisbaai & Cape Agulhas before going to the spot where the Indian & Atlantic oceans meet. After lunch on the rocks at Cape Agulhas visit the Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp before arriving at De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Main Destination:
     •  De Hoop Nature Reserve
Accommodation:

     •  De Hoop Cottages
     •  Mid-range cottage located inside the park

Meals & Drinks:
  • Lunch & dinner (Breakfast not included)
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
 
 

Day 2

View the mighty Whale, & in pristine surroundings

After a night viewing the majesty of the African night sky, watch endangered wildlife & beautiful wild birds while enjoying breakfast. Whale watching check list. Put on your walking shoes, sun hats, sunscreen, make sure you have your camera, binocs & bathing costume. I will bring the water and the picnic lunch. De Hoop is the best place to view whales in South Africa sit on the sand dunes close to the ocean and marvel at the worlds largest mammals who swim to the southern seas each winter to spawn and calf. They return by instinct to the same spot each year. Due to the continental shelf being close to the shore, no where else in the world are pods of whales seen so close to land. Their presence is inspiring & if in the mood they will put on a magnificent aquatic display for you. After your picnic, walk through the rock pools on the unspoilt coastline, hike through Fynbos which survived the ice age and see endangered antelope like the Cape Mountain Zebra and Bontebok.

Main Destination:
     •  De Hoop Nature Reserve
Accommodation:

     •  De Hoop Cottages
     •  Mid-range cottage located inside the park

Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast & lunch (Dinner not included)
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
 
 

Day 3

Coast to Karoo

After breakfast we make our way back to the N2 and just east of Buffelsjagsrivier we turn north to the Tradouw pass & onto the town of Barrydale on Route 62, where we stop for lunch. Route 62 with its small towns between Worcester and De Rust has since democracy in 1994 become a haven for writers, artists and alternatives of all descriptions making these small towns well worth exploring. The landscape is known as the Little Karoo. (Dry Place in the original language of the first inhabitants the San) The folk are friendly & the towns bustling. After the town of Ladismith we travel through the Huisrivier pass with its amazing rock formations and towering cliffs to the Port wine capital of South Africa Calitzdorp. We arrive in Oudtshoorn at approximately 17h00 for an Ostrich farm tour. We overnight at De Denne Guest House one of my favourites, with an excellent restaurant. Should you wish to be told about the Southern African night sky & shown the southern cross, the staff will guide you.

Main Destination:
     •  Oudtshoorn (Garden Route)
Accommodation:

     •  De Denne
     •  Luxury guest house located in or near Oudtshoorn

Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
  • Non-alcoholic drinks

Day 4

Journey to De Hel

We arrive at the magnificent Cango Caves for the 09:00 tour after which we ascend the south side of the Swartberg pass, which when built in the 1800’s was regarded as an incredible engineering feat. At the summit we stop for a light snack before the 37km, 4hour trip down to De Hel on the iconic gravel road, an off roaders bucket list priority. The road to De Hel is at places narrow, it is an advenure, there is no doubt about that. Although downhill, there are seven passes to navigate before reaching the the bottom, which is an Oasis after the dry terrain just traveled. Some of the houses of the folk who lived there in isolation for two hundred years have been restored & apart from guest accommodation, house the manager a shop & restaurant. Accommodation is very limited but good. There will be time for a hike and explore where some of the 300 people who lived before modern day life caught up. It is an experience to treasure and a memory which will stay with you.

Main Destination:
     •  De Hel
Accommodation:

     •  The House of Piet & Hester Swanepoel
     •  Mid-range cottage located in or near Oudtshoorn

Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
 
 

Day 5

De Hel through the Great Karoo

Departing De Hel we return to the summit of the Swartberg pass and start down the north side which has numerous switchback’s. The road is gravel and there is a mass lobby continuously fighting to prevent it from being tarred. Designed & constructed in the 1880’s it is so brilliantly buil that although gravel, very little maintenance is required to maintain it in the wonderful condition. Take it easy on the way down, stop from time to time & take note of the beautiful folded rock formations. Nestling at the bottom of the pass is the beautiful little hamlet of Prince Albert, as near perfect a little Victorian village as you will ever see. Joining the N1 & heading south for the restored Victorian Spa of Matjiesfontein for afternoon tea, where your guide will give you a brief introduction on how the Victorians & Edwardians lived life in the Colonies, and how it was used during the Anglo Boer War. Returning to Cape Town through the Huguenot Tunnel.

Main Destination:
     •  Cape Town
Accommodation:
     •  No accommodation (End of tour)
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
  • Non-alcoholic drinks