Experience the magnificent and achingly beautiful landscapes all within 200 kms of Cape Town. The stark and wild beauty of the west coast where every spring nature works its annual miracle & carpets the veld as far as the eye can see with flowers. Overnight in the authentic Cape village of Paternoster. Travel through the worlds most beautiful vineyards surrounded by mountains. Spend 2 nights in the historic French town of Franschoek then Hermanus to view the the worlds largest mammal the Whale.
This region is a World Heritage site for its floral diversity. We follow the West coast with a stop at Maiden’s Cove to enjoy a magnificent view of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay. We will continue along to Hout Bay, a charming little town where we enjoy a cruise to Duiker Island, home to the world’s largest fur seal colony.
The scenic Chapman’s Pass offers breathtaking scenery. Next we will be visiting the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve which is where the cold Atlantic meet the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. This famous landmark was named by the early Portuguese mariners. Journeying down to the False Bay coast we visit the historical naval port of Simon’s Town. We finish our day with a visit to Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest Cape Dutch manor house.
• Bergzicht Guest House
Today, we will visit Cape Town, Table Mountain (cable car), its historical places and parks like the Dutch East Indian Garden, Castle of the Cape, South African Museum, Malay quarter, District 6 and Greenmarket Square. Before noon, we take the opportunity to visit the noon gun in action on the slopes of Signal hill, the worlds oldest canon, still in action
Thereafter we visit the only botanical garden situated in a world heritage site, this garden has more endemic plant species than any other in the world.
In the late afternoon we head along the west coast towards Blouberg where you can enjoy a “postcard” view of Table Mountain, Robben Island and Table Bay.
• Bergzicht Guest House
After breakfast your tour takes you up the coast to the West Coast National Park. The park is home to a number of antelope species. It also protects the remarkable and endangered flora species known as Fynbos which survived the ice age. It is a breeding ground wild birds including the African Penguin, the Oyster Catcher, Pink Flamingos & Gannets. During August the park fills up with tourists from around the world to witness one of natures great miracles when wild flowers carpet the veld as far as the eye can see. A sight that thrills young and old.
Thereafter we visit the world famous fossil discovery at Hopefield, where over 200 species of animal fossils dating back over 5 million years were found. There is no other fossil site offering this massive collection of prehistoric fossils.
Arriving in Paternoster an old authentic fishing village for your overnight stay. Watch the fisherman bringing in their daily catch, dine in great seafood restaurants. A memorable village.
• Paternoster Manor
Travelling from Paternoster to the Cape Winelands, we visit Riebeek Kasteel a delightful country town with restaurants & art galleries & an alternative community, where we enjoy refreshments and sample some of the wonderful locally made produce.
Arriving in Stellenbosch, the capital of the wine lands with a famous university you will be guided on a walking tour this historic town. S.A’s 2nd oldest, an optional extra is a visit to the Village Museum a complex of homes.
Travelling on the route of the old wagon trail over Helshoogte to Franschoek the town built by the French Huguenots who established the wine & brandy industry in South Africa 3 centuries ago & which is forever a piece of France. We spend the next 2 nights in an historic manor house. Franschoek is internationally recognized as the food capital of South Africa & is featured in all good restaurant international magazines. We will reserve a table in a restaurant of your choice.
• Basse Provence
Departing after breakfast we travel over the Franschoek pass on route to Hermanus, the pass has been expertly engineered and contours with the landscape enabling you to see the Fynbos and the crags & folds of the mountain range. Once over the pass we cross the Theewatersklood Dam Cape Town’s main source of water. Entering the apple orchards of Grabouw and Elgin we break for refreshments at the famous Elgin Farm Stall before driving onto Hermanus. Hermanus is regarded as the best land based whale watching site in the world. The whales swim up to the same area year after year from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warmer waters of the southern Indian Ocean to calf & spawn. The continental shelf is so close to the shoreline, enabling the whales to live in the safe waters close to shore. On a good day they can put on a aquatic display lasting up to 2 hours. An optional boat tour is another way to get close to these sensational mammals.
• Baleens Hotel
Departing for Cape Town & travelling along Clarence Drive one of the worlds most beautiful coastal roads we stop to have a last look and wave a farewell to the whales from the old harbor in Hermanus. Passing the small coastal towns of Hawston and Kleinmond where we stop for lunch at the small harbor. Then, onto Stoney Point in Betty’s Bay to see the largest but least known colony of African Penguins. They are amazing. Totally unperturbed by humans, they live as if we do not exist. No where else in the world can you be as close to watching Penguins as in South Africa.
And finally the last stretch of our journey is via Clarence Drive, a spectacularly scenic route, climbing around cliffs and hugging the wild turquoise False Bay coastline where the the sea is treacherous. We enjoy an ocean sunset.
The day ends in Cape Town and sadly we say goodbye at your hotel.