This self-drive tour will afford you the luxury to explore the diversity that this beautiful country has to offer, including an overnight in a private game lodge with both morning and evening game safaris. Cape Agulhas. Africa’s largest penguin colony & whales close up in season. You spend the night on a luxury ostrich farm in the Great Karoo, 2 nights on the Knysna Lagoon. At the Tsitsikamma NP you walk amongst huge endemic Yellow woods and cross the Storms River mouth via a suspension bridge.
You leave Cape Town and head for the spectacular Clarence Drive on our way to Betty’s bay where we visit Africa’s largest penguin colony.
Next is the charming town of Hermanus known for the world’s best land based whale watching spot between the months June to December.
Lunch – take away sandwiches is an option as there is a lot to do today.
Your journey continues along the Southern Cape Coast with a stop in Elim, a 19th century Moravian Missionary village and here we find quaint cottages with thatched roofs.
You continue to the coastal village of Arniston where you have time to relax, swim in the warm Indian ocean or take a walk to the Waenhuiskrans, an Afrikaans name meaning literally “Wagon house cliff”, after a local sea cave large enough to accommodate a wagon and a span of oxen. The cave is accessible at low tide.
Accommodation is kitted for a delicious barbecue dinner, or an authentic South African meal in an old fisherman’s cottage on the beach or dinner at the Arniston Hotel.
• Arniston Seaside Cottages
You continue to Cape Agulhas (full English breakfast here) the southernmost point of the continent where the two oceans meet. Renowned for its ancient Khoisan fish traps and quaint white washed fisherman cottages where each morning the local fisherman set out early to fish with hand line or trek-nets just as their forefathers have done. You leave driving through the Agulhas plains home to many antelope and bird species, including our national bird, the Blue Crane. The terrain slowly gives way to undulating hilly wheat and canola fields. Eventually you reach Swellendam, South Africa’s 3rd oldest and historical town. It’s worth visiting the 17th C magistrates court! After lunch you continue north reaching your private game reserve. The Garden Route Game Lodge. After refreshing up you set off on a 4×4 safari with a professional ranger returning at sunset. A complementary aperitif and snacks. Try our Biltong, it’s a must! Dinner is a delicious South African buffet.
• Garden Route Game Lodge
After breakfast we head along the garden route passing through fresh water lake systems and ancient vegetated sand dunes, stopping for a spectacular panoramic view over the Kaaiman’s river and Wilderness. We head to Mossel Bay (Bay of mussels) and explore caves where the Xhoisan (Strandloper) sheltered in these middens and lived almost uniquely on the abundant marine life along the coast. We visit the Bartholomeus Diaz museum complex. Bartholomeus Diaz landed here 1488 and started the first nautical “post office” system.
Arriving on the shores of the Indian Ocean, our next port of call is Victoria Bay, a small sandy cove framed by high cliffs and a surfers paradise
Lunch”on the rocks’. We arrive in Knysna, where you enjoy a sunset cruise on the iconic lagoon. A walk around the Waterfront then dinner there sampling the famous oysters perhaps.
Before leaving on your journey you admire the view of the “Heads” which is formed by two cliffs creating a narrow passage at the entrance of the lagoon.
You pass through the ancient indigenous forests which was and possibly still is, home to the last of the forest elephants.
Next is Nature’s Valley, a haven amongst the forest with beautiful beaches. This area is one of South Africa’s best kept secrets, boasting exceptional hiking trails and superb dramatic coastal scenery. Time permitting.
At the Tsitsikamma National Park where we will walk amongst huge Yellow wood trees and cross the Storms River mouth via a suspension bridge…beautiful scenery and thrills guaranteed. Lunch overlooking the mighty Indian Ocean.
The famous Bloukrans Bridge offers the world’s highest bungee jump.
Partake of this thrilling adventure or watch mesmerized!
Next we pass through Plettenberg Bay, a small chic tourist town with lagoons and great beaches. You return to Knysna, dinner at a restaurant of our choice.
• River Tide Lodge
Today you start the journey driving along the Garden Route then over the Outeniqua pass on your way to the Karoo stopping at various points of interests. Renowned for its spectacular arid landscapes, fossil finds, succulent desert plants and of course as the Ostrich Capital of the world This morning an experienced and accredited Caves guide will take you on a tour of the “Cango Caves”, a series of underground tunnels and galleries with impressive limestone formations. (choose between a standard or adventure tour) Time permitting either today or tomorrow you can visit to the world’s oldest Ostrich farm for a tour and opportunity to ride on one of these strange birds.
We arrive at our guesthouse and enjoy a well deserved break whilst watching a Karoo sunset. A hearty 3 course home cooked dinner at the farm’s restaurant awaits, Ostrich steak perhaps! Time now to study the solar system, it’s well known that the Karoo offers the best star gazing in the Southern Hemisphere, if not the world!
• De Denne
After breakfast if you didn’t have time yesterday you should visit the world’s oldest working Ostrich farm for a tour. Onto Route 62 with Barrydale as a convenient lunch stop with various interesting boutique curio shops.
You continue to Montagu along the famous Route 62 with picturesque villages and local handicraft. Following the Breede River valley wine route you pass the towns of Robertson and Worcester. Time permitting a wine tasting on the banks of the Breede river at Viljoensdrift wine farm.
Near Worcester you can visit the Karoo National Botanical Gardens, famous for being the only true succulent garden in the Southern hemisphere.
Driving through the Huguenot tunnel, Africa’s largest, gives you an insight into the huge obstacle for the first pioneers leaving the Cape for the interior.
Passing through Paarl which takes its name from the granite domes situated in the Berg River Valley, founded by the French Huguenots.
Finally you reach your destination, Cape Town.