Where: Cape Town Area, South Africa
How Long: 26 Days
South Africa offers an unparalleled touring experience: Following a route that has been specifically chosen to encompass some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes, we shall be visiting the most scenic parts of southern Africa, including Cape Town and its surrounding area, the glorious Winelands, the Little Karoo, and the beautiful Garden Route.
This trip can be taken at any time.
Tour Operator: Classic Travelling
Available: 3rd November - 28th November 2016
South Africa truly is a world in one country. This ‘Journey of a Lifetime’ tour starts, and finishes in Cape Town, and visits the winelands of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Robertson and Constantia. You will see whales in Hermanus – location for the world’s closest land-based whale watching. You will drive some awe-inspiring and stunning mountain passes. IMG_9479You will go on safari in the Addo Elephant National Park and in luxury private game reserves. You will visit cities, towns and quaint villages, drive along the coast, across rolling countryside and over incredible mountain ranges. The tour encompasses the Western Cape and a small section of the Eastern Cape regions of South Africa.
With the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic to the west, South Africa’s coastline is one of the most varied, spectacular and beautiful in the world. The hinterland boasts an unrivalled wealth of flora with six of the world’s seven floral kingdoms. The fauna is world-famous with the likes of elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebra etc.
May be subject to change
Day One: 3 November
Arrive in Cape Town, most likely on a morning flight (not included). Make your way to the centre of Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront for the first five nights of the tour. Stay at one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the One & Only, with rooms overlooking the iconic Table Mountain. The day is at leisure, to either relax or wander around the Waterfront. There will be a welcome dinner this evening in the hotel restaurant.
Your car will be waiting for you in the hotel car park, having been transported from the docks just a mile or so away. Read more about car tranportation below. Alternatively you can hire a classic or convertible car.
Cape Town is acclaimed as one of the world’s most attractive cities, blessed with blue skies, a wonderful climate and a magnificent backdrop of ocean and mountains. With a rich cultural heritage the city boasts a wealth of museums, art galleries and theatres, and an excellent choice of restaurants and shops. Presided over by Table Mountain and skirted by the Atlantic Ocean and exquisite beaches, top attractions include the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island to name a few.
Day Two: 4 November
Enjoy a fabulous circular tour down to the Cape of Good Hope. Leave the Waterfront and head through Constantia and along Boyes Drive, offering spectacular views of False Bay. Stop at Simonstown, South Africa’s naval town, to visit some of the museums, before continuing to Boulders Beach to see the famed African penguin colony.
Then continue along the cornice road to the National Park. Drive through the park to Cape Point and/or the Cape of Good Hope. You will hopefully see Cape Mountain zebra, baboons and ostriches, as well as lots of other flora and fauna. Return to Cape Town via the western side of the Cape Peninsula, visiting lovely villages such as Nordhoek with its incredible beach, and then drive the sensational Chapman’s Peak Drive to Hout Bay. This is a truly spectacular corniche road and often voted as one of the best in the world. It’s then a lovely drive from Hout Bay back to Cape Town.
Distance: 78 miles
Day Three: 5 November
No driving today, but a day to enjoy the sights and sounds of Cape Town. There’s plenty to do and see at the V&A Waterfront, or you can take a boat trip to Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated for years.
Day Four: 6 November
Central Cape Town is home to a wealth of interesting sights. Visit the Castle of Good Hope, South Africa’s oldest building, dating back to 1679 and built to protect the settlement from possible attack. The 190 year old South African Museum is truly excellent , with over 1.5 million specimens of scientific importance. It is located in the beautiful Company’s Gardens, an attractive, shady botanical garden that was originally a vegetable garden established by Jan van Riebeeck to supply local settlers and visiting ships with fresh produce.
Also known as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap is mainly inhabited by descendants of slaves who were brought in from India and the East Indies. It is an area of narrow cobblestone streets, mosques and distinctive architectural style, with pastel colours and ornamentation. The Bo-Kaap Museum is also worth a visit.
Day Five: 7 November
Visit the outstanding Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful garden in Africa and one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
Rising over 1000m, Table Mountain offers a fantastic vista over the Cape Town area and beyond. The revolving cable car makes the journey very easy but for the energetic, there are marked trails. See the Rock Dassies (little rodents) and the wonderful flora and fauna. There are some 1470 species of plants, including more than 500 species of Erica and over 100 species of Iris. Upon descending Table Mountain treat yourself to a fabulous and renowned institution that is afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, or The Nellie as it’s known.
Day Six: 8 November
Leave Cape Town and drive through Constantia down to False Bay. Head east along the shores of False Bay to Strand, where we shall be visiting the Cheetah Outreach Program for a private visit and tour of the facility and the chance to see these beautiful animals up close and learn about them.
Then we shall have lunch at Waterkloof Vineyards, which is stunningly situated with views across the whole of False Bay and the Hottentot Holland Mountains.
In the afternoon visit the renowned Vergelegen Estate, one of the oldest estates and Cape Dutch manor houses. Or nearby is the wine and olive estate of Morgenster, or the wonderful winery at Lourensford. Drive to Stellenbosch and stay at a beautiful and historic Cape Dutch manor house and vineyard on the outskirts of Stellenbosch for the next three nights. Dinner is included this evening only.
Distance: 69 miles
Day Seven: 9 November
Spend the day exploring the delightful town of Stellenbosch. The town is home to a large university and has the quiet air of academia about it. The main street is the longest stretch of original Cape Dutch houses in South Africa and is very picturesque. There are over thirty vineyards around Stellenbosch, all open to the public for tours, tastings and sales. The town, ideally situated in a magnificent mountain valley, boasts a mild Mediterranean climate. Situated at the head of the Eerste (First) River Valley, it was one of the first valleys to be settled in. The area is full of charming scenes and rich in history. The towns, villages and farmlands contain finely preserved examples of one of the most serene forms of domestic architecture found any where in the world – the Cape-Dutch style.
Day Eight: 10 November
Discover some of the many fabulous vineyards and wine estates in the area, along with some outstanding restaurants. We have created a circular drive that encompasses the beautiful Helshoogte Pass and the wonderful Boschendal Estate, and then north to Paarl and the Fairview Vineyards. Or drive, cycle or hike in the beautiful Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, which is just up the road from the hotel.
Distance: 41 miles
Day Nine: 11 November
Leave Stellenbosch and take the fantastic Clarence Drive around the coast from Gordons Bay. Stop at Betty’s Bay to see the African penguin colony or enjoy a stroll around the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, renowned for its coastal fynbos.
TheMarine_ExteriorViewContinue on to Hermanus, on the shores of Walker Bay and site of the closest land-based whale watching in the world. Hermanus, particularly Walker Bay, is the mating and breeding grounds of the Southern Right Whales during the winter and spring months(from June through November). Southern Right Whales migrate from the Antarctic around June to calve and mate. Calving takes place in August and September and the males arrive for mating in October when the whale population peaks.
IMG_8358Hopefully you will see whales in the bay, and if lucky will also see them breach or spy-hop. It’s an incredible experience and a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Stay overnight at a gorgeous sea-front hotel in town. Dinner is included.
Distance: 70 miles
Day Ten: 12 November
After a lazy morning, watching whales from the hotel or whilst strolling around Hermanus, head north, across the agricultural lands of the Caledon. Stop for lunch in the charming little town of Greyton. Then continue (with a 30km of untarred road) to Swellendam, another delightful, small town. There is the wonderful Drodsty Museum to visit – a collection of historical buildings, as well as taking time to stroll around town. The tour will be staying in two guesthouses this evening, about 100m apart and both divine. We shall be dining together at the larger of the two guesthouses.
Distance: 120 miles
Day Eleven: 13 November
Leave Swellendam and climb over the Tradouw Pass to the little town of Barrydale in the Little Karoo. The scenery changes constantly, from mountains and river valleys to wide open plains and scrubland. Continue to Calitzdorp, known for its port-wine vineyards, and then on to Oudtshoorn, a town famed for its ostrich farms. To the north is the Swartberg Mountain range, and within this are the incredible Cango Caves. See the awe-inspiring caverns, stalactites and stalacmites on the hour-long tour.
Then head over the sensational Swartberg Pass (untarred road) – one of the most amazing and inspiring mountain drives. The road is flanked with proteas and fynbos, and it’s common to see little klipspringers and huge eagles. The rock formations are breath-taking. Descend to the delightful little town of Prince Albert, nestled just to the north of the pass. Stay overnight in the best hotel, in centre of the town. Dinner is included.
Distance: 161 miles
Day Twelve: 14 November
Leave Prince Albert head towards Klaarstroom. We have a visit to a nearby farm this morning to see the olive oil and cheese production. Then drive through the incredible river canyon that is Meiringspoort, to Oudtshoorn. Drive south over the Outeniqua Pass to George, at the start of the Garden Route. Continue on to Knysna and then to Harkerville, where we shall stay for the next three nights in some incredible and totally unique, luxury tree-top lodges, set amongst the forest canopy. Dinner is included this evening.
Distance: 157 miles
Day Thirteen: 15 November
Head back along the N2 for a few kilometres to explore Knysna, one of the southern Cape coast’s best-known holiday destinations, offering a wide variety of activities and attractions. There are a couple of classic car garages at Knysna and we shall be visiting at least one of them for a tour. The day is at leisure to wander around the town.
Day Fourteen: 16 November
Spend the day in the Garden Route’s other major town, Plettenberg Bay. Plett, as it’s popularly known, has sweeping golden beaches, the iconic Robberg Peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests and unpolluted rivers, vineyards and wine estates. With its moderate climate and beautiful view sites over the Indian Ocean, Plett’s about lazy sun-filled beach holidays and adrenalin-filled activities ranging from mountain biking to abseiling and diving with the seals. You’ll be spoilt for choice with restaurants, shopping experiences and things to do! Plett is home to wildlife sanctuaries, game reserves, whale and dolphin watching, canoeing up the Bitou and Keurbooms rivers, sailing, boating … and so much more.
Day Fifteen: 17 November
Head east past the Crags and through Nature’s Valley to Port Elizabeth and then north to Addo Elephant National Park. Stay for the next two nights in two adjacent boutique hotels, just on the edge of the Park. Dinner is included this evening.
Distance: 186 miles
Day Sixteen: 18 November
There will be a game drive for everyone today. Half the group will be on a morning drive and the other half will take an afternoon game drive in the hotel safari vehicles. It is also possible to drive your own vehicle around Addo ENP or you can join an additional game drive from the main camp. There are also night drives available, which offers an excellent chance to see the nocturnal animals.
Day Seventeen: 19 November
Leave Addo and head west to Kirkwood and Steytlerville, which is an ideal spot for lunch. Continue on to Willowmore and then to Zandibela, a private game reserve and our overnight stay. There will be a game drive for everyone during our stay, either in the afternoon, early evening, or the following morning before breakfast. Zandibela is known for its sable breeding program in particular. The geography of the Baviaanskloof is quite different to Addo and offers another dimension to wildlife viewing. Dinner is included this evening and if the weather is fine will be an outdoor braai overlooking the dam.
Distance: 133 miles
Day Eighteen: 20 November
After breakfast leave the Baviaanskloof and head across to De Rust. Continue to Oudtshoorn and then south over the Robinson Pass towards Mossel Bay. Cut across on a small amount of untarred road (or take the main road as an alternative) and drive to Gondwana Private Game Reserve, the only free-ranging Big 5 private wildlife reserve in the southern Cape, and our home for the next two nights. All meals are included during the stay as well as game drives with expert guides. There will be an afternoon game drive and afternoon tea, followed by dinner in the evening.
Distance: 177 miles
Day Nineteen: 21 November
A full day relaxing, with no driving. After breakfast enjoy a game drive and then return for lunch. There will be another game drive in the afternoon, followed by tea and then dinner. There is also time to relax by the pool, enjoy the far-reaching views, and read a book.
Day Twenty: 22 November
After breakfast and a final game drive, leave Gondwana. Drive west to Montagu, a gorgeous little town on the R62. Entry to the town is via Kogmanskloof, with a wonderful arch in the rock. Stay overnight in a beautiful boutique hotel in a traditional building. Dinner is included this evening.
Distance: 145 miles
Day Twenty-One: 23 November
Drive back through Kogmanskloof and south to Bonnievale. Then wind along the river valley, dotted with vineyards, purple jacaranda trees (which will be in full bloom) and wonderful flowers. Pass through Robertson and then Villiersdorp. It’s then a fabulous drive over the Franschhoek Pass to the famed town of Franschhoek, renowned for its superb wineries and its quality restaurants. Stay for three nights in two lovely small boutique hotels right in the centre of Franschhoek village. Dinner will be included at a nearby restaurant.
Distance: 92 miles
Day Twenty-Two: 24 November
Spend the day in Franschhoek, which is easily explored on foot. There are delightful shops and boutiques, art galleries, a variety of cafes and restaurants and, of course, wineries. There is a wine tram that allows you to visit the wineries that are a little further afield, and still have a drink or two. Franschhoek is also renowned as the gourmet capital of South Africa so sumptuous restaurants are plentiful.
Day Twenty-Three: 25 November
There’s a beautiful circular scenic drive today, heading out of Franschhoek, past the fabulous Motor Museum. Head up to Paarl and then drive the wonderful Dutoitskloof Pass. Descend to the Worcester wine region and drive along the Breede River valley. Then head round across the really incredible Bain’s Kloof Pass, a wonderful, little-used road, back to Wellington and Paarl. Return to Franschhoek.
Distance: 115 miles
Day Twenty-Four: 26 November
Leave Franschhoek by heading back out of the valley over the Franschhoek Pass. Then drive along this fruit-producing valley and over the Viljoens Pass to Grabouw. Climb over the Hottentot Holland Mountains, via Sir Lowry’s Pass and descend to Strand. Take the N2 into Cape Town and across to Camps Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. Stay for the final two nights of the tour in a fantastic beach-front hotel in the centre of Camps Bay.
Distance: 80 miles
Day Twenty-Five: 27 November
Enjoy a circular drive heading south from Camps Bay to Llandudno and onto Hout Bay. We have a very special invitation to visit an outstanding private classic car collection at a beautiful Cape Dutch-style manor. Then continue over Constantianek and into Constantia. Visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, if you have not already done so. Then make your way back to Camps Bay for a final, farewell dinner.
Distance: 26 miles
Day Twenty-Six: 28 November
Take the cars to the docks ready for shipping home (or return your hire car). Most flights to Europe depart in the late afternoon or evening, so enjoy your last few hours on the beach or in Cape Town. Fly home.