In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours

Tour 34: 12 Day Kalahari – Cape Town Tour

This tour covers 1 Trans Frontier Park, 3 National Parks and 10 Reserves/conservation areas


12 Days
11 Nights

DAY 01 Upington – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Twee Rivieren
DAY 02 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / One of the camps
DAY 03 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Molopo Lodge
DAY 04 Augrabies Falls National Park
DAY 05 Calvinia
DAY 06 Sutherland
DAY 07 Tankwa-Karoo National Park
DAY 08 Cederberg
DAY 09 West Coast
DAY 10 Winelands
DAY 11 Cape Town
DAY 12 Cape Town – Departure


Wildlife, Kalahari landscapes, rocky desert, vast Karoo plains, stargazing, Tankwa-Karoo desert, Cederberg Mountains, West Coast, Winelands and Cape Town & Surrounds are all included in this tour, giving one a variety of what the Northern and Western Cape Provinces can offer in a relative short time. Add to this excellent local cuisine, good wine and friendly people and it is obvious why this is a very popular tour.

DAY 01 Upington – Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Time of departure will depend on clients’ travel schedule to Upington. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included)

Depart from Upington on a 03-hour drive through the Kalahari duneveld (“veld” means natural vegetation), passing various pans (dry lakes), to the Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park,

The word Kalahari derives from the word Makgadigadi, meaning salt pans (salt lakes) in the language spoken by the Kgalagadi people living in the Kgalagadi Region in south-western Botswana. The word Kgalagadi means salt pans too in their language. More than 1 000 pans are scattered throughout the park. The Kalahari is the largest area of sand in the world, covering 2.5 million square kilometres from the Orange River in South Africa in the south to slightly north of the equator. The area referred to as the arid Kalahari covers some 900 000 square kilometres in the south and covers parts of South Africa and Namibia and most of Botswana. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is situated in the southern part of the arid Kalahari in South Africa and Botswana and is jointly managed by South Africa National Parks (Sanparks) and Botswana Wildlife.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park covers 37 000 square km, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems.

Endemic game such as gemsbok, springbok, eland, giraffe, blue wildebeest and red hartebeest roam the sparsely vegetated red sand dunes and the dry river valleys of the Nossob and Auob where a variety of acacia species thrive.

The Park is well known for good sightings of lion, leopard and cheetah and spotted – and brown hyena are common residents. Because of an abundance of prey in the form of mice, whistling rats, birds and insects, smaller predators thrive in the park. The park is home to caracal, honey badger, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cape fox, African wildcat, mongoose and the ever-popular suricate (meerkat).

Kgalagadi is a bird watcher’s paradise with more than 300 species recorded including at least 20 larger raptor species. The world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard and the stately secretary bird patrol the riverbeds while the noisy northern black korhaan rule in the dunes.

Check in at accommodation at Twee Rivieren. Depart on an afternoon game drive. The Twee Rivieren area is known for lion, leopard, cheetah and meerkat sightings.
Optional 3 hr sunset drive and 3 hr morning guided walk with Sanparks guide at own cost
Overnight: Chalet at Twee Rivieren
Meals: B, L & D (Full Board on all days)

DAY 02 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Morning and afternoon game drives. The route will be determined by reported sightings, rainfall, game migration and pre-booked overnight accommodation.
Optional 3 hr sunset drive and 3 hr morning guided walk with Sanparks guide at own cost
Overnight Chalet at one of the camps in the Park
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 03 Kgalagadi – Molopo Kalahari Lodge
Game drive until late afternoon. Exit the Park at Twee Rivieren Gate and depart to Molopo Kalahari Lodge 60 Km south of Twee Rivieren. The Molopo Lodge is situated on the banks of the dry Molopo River and is a real oasis in the desert.

En route stop at the last indigenous San tribe in South Africa, the Khomani. Today these earliest residents of the Kalahari, living here for 40 000 years, consist of only 400 people and are resident in an area between 40 and 70 km south of Twee Rivieren. Clients will have the opportunity to view and purchase their handcraft at one of the roadside stalls. (The presence of the San at the roadside stalls can’t be guaranteed.)
Overnight: Chalet at Molopo Lodge
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 04 Molopo – Augrabies Falls National Park
Depart to Upington. Wine tasting at the tasting room of the Orange River Wine Cellar in Upington, the second largest cooperative wine cellar in the world. Except for wine and grape juice production, the lower Orange River Valley is the major raisin production area – and one of the major table grape production areas in South Africa.

Continue to Augrabies Falls National Park, which covers 60 000 ha. En route visit to Tierberg Nature Reserve in Keimoes, from where one has a beautiful view of the lush green Orange River Valley. Continue to Kakamas. Stop at Die Pienk Padstal (The Pink Road Stall) which stocks a variety of dried fruit products and local delicacies.

Proceed to Augrabies Falls National Park.

Visit the Augrabies Falls, which is the sixth largest waterfall in the world when South Africa’s largest river, the Orange is in flood. The word Augrabies derives from the Khoi meaning “Place of great noise”. Although Augrabies is essentially a scenic park, game such as giraffe, springbok, gemsbok, eland, kudu red hartebeest, Hartman’s zebra and klipspringer survive in this unique riverine ecosystem. Fish eagles and black eagles are common residents and the Rest Camp is home to a variety of bird species.

Do a scenic game drive in this moon landscape-like land to awesome viewpoints such as Ararat, Oranjekom on the Orange River Gorge and the “Swartrante” (Black Hills) from where one has a great view of this arid rocky desert landscape.

The fall is illuminated until 10:00 p.m. Clients can re-visit the fall at their own time and pace.
Optional 2 hr sunset drive with Sanparks guide
Overnight: Chalet with a View at Augrabies
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 05 Augrabies Falls National Park – Calvinia
Go on a relaxed 2km morning walk to a beautiful viewpoint on the Augrabies gorge, Arrow Point or do a scenic drive in the park.

Depart to Kenhardt. Continue south to Calvinia through the Bushmanland and Hantam Karoo, crossing vast plains dotted with dolerite hills. Interesting sites in Calvinia are South Africa’s largest Post Box and the well maintained Calvinia Museum and “Makadas”, the last steam locomotive on the one-way railway line to Calvinia, which has closed down.

Accommodation is at the Hantam House. The Hantam House is a national monument and the oldest original building of Calvinia. It was built in Cape Dutch style with a concave-convex gable in 1854. Retaining its original cedar wood woodwork, traditional delicacies are served in an exclusive coffeehouse, built in the original kraal. The main building consists of a restaurant, shop and exhibition of antiques.

The Hantam House Restaurant is known for their traditional South African Cuisine.
Overnight: Room at Hantam House
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 06 Calvinia – Sutherland
Depart to Sutherland, the coldest place in South Africa, which is situated on the Roggeveld Plateau 1450m above sea level and is known for its clear night skies and cold, biting winters. With weather conditions like this Sutherland is home to the world-renowned South African Astronomical Observatory. The site houses ten telescopes, one being SALT (Southern Africa Largest Telescope). SALT is the largest single, optical telescope in the southern hemisphere, with a hexagonal mirror, 11 metres across. SALT is housed in a dome seven storeys high. Qualified observers conduct tours of the observatory. Do a guided tour of the observatory including a visit to SALT.

Other attractions are the NG Church, which was occupied by British troops during the Anglo-Boere War and the Louw Museum, which is the birthplace of two famous Afrikaans poet writers, NP van Wyk Louw and W.E.G Louw.
Overnight: Room at Kambro Kind B&B or similar
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 07 Sutherland – Tankwa Karoo National Park
Depart on back roads to the Ouberg Pass, from where one has a panoramic view of the lower-lying Karoo and the Ceres Karoo Mountains about 200km away. Continue on dirt road to Tankwa Karoo National Park. The Park is situated on the southern boundary of the Northern Cape with the Roggeveld Escarpment in the East, Cederberg in the West, and Klein Roggeveld Mountains in the South. This unique national park covers 111,000 ha and is situated within the Succulent Karoo Biome where you’ll find rare and endangered plant species, rich endemic birdlife, and landscapes that will take your breath away – from the sheer cliffs of the Roggeveld Escarpment to the moonscapes of the Tankwa Desert.

Although the park is home to small numbers of Cape mountain zebra, red hartebeest, gemsbok, springbok and steenbok and predators such as leopard, caracal, African wildcat and black backed jackal, sightings are rare. Tankwa Karoo National Park is the ideal destination for those seeking the brightest stars in Africa, a once in a lifetime glimpse of a rare endemic bird or perhaps nothing more than a silence that reaches deep into the soul.
Overnight: Elandsberg Cottage
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 08 Calvinia – Cederberg Mountains
Continue to Clanwilliam in the Cederberg Mountains through the Pakhuis Pass, witnessing the unique rock formations of this area. The Cederberg Wilderness Area lies some 200km north of Cape Town, covering some 71 000ha of rugged, mountainous terrain. The Cederberg is renowned for its spectacular landscapes and rock formations, as well as its namesake, the increasingly rare Clanwilliam cedar tree.

Vegetation in the Cederberg Wilderness Area is predominantly mountain fynbos. San and Khoi people inhabited the Cederberg area from earliest times and the Cederberg offers hundreds of rocky overhangs and caves with fine examples of rock art. These paintings vary in age between 300 and 6 000 years.

Baboons, rock hyrax, grey rhebok, klipspringers, duiker and grysbok are fairly common. The leopard is the Cederberg’s largest predator and is fairly common although very shy. Smaller predators include African wild cat, lynx, bat-eared fox, aardwolf and Cape fox. More than 100 bird species occur here, with black eagle, rock kestrel and jackal buzzard being the most common raptors.

Proceed to accommodation in a beautiful valley in the Cederberg Mountains. There are various short hiking trails to choose from, which clients can do in the afternoon at their own pace.
Overnight: Chalet at Jamaka Organic Farm
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 09 Cederberg Wilderness Area – West Coast
Depart to Lamberts Bay on the West Coast. Visit Bird Island, which lies about 100 m off-shore of Lambert’s Bay on the Cape West Coast. The island, almost three hectares in size, is connected to the mainland via a breakwater. It is an important breeding and roosting site for seabirds, particularly Cape gannets and cormorants. African penguins used to be common on the island, and Cape fur seals still frequent the rocks on the sea side of the island. Bird Island is one of only six sites world-wide where Cape gannets breed, and it is also the only breeding site easily accessible to the public. In the modern gannet lookout, visitors can get close to the birds and witness the unique mating dances and vocalizing of the thousands of gannets on their nests.
Proceed to the Rocherpan Marine and Nature Reserve. Rocherpan Nature Reserve lies 25 km north of Velddrif on the Cape West Coast, and comprises 914 ha. The reserve consists largely of a seasonal vlei which is usually dry between March and June. The adjacent section of the Atlantic Ocean was declared a marine reserve in 1988.

The combination of land, vlei and marine environments provides ample breeding and feeding habitats for various birds. A total of 183 species has been recorded, of which about 70 are waterbirds. White pelicans, greater and lesser flamingos as well as many thousands of waders and ducks rely on the vlei as their major source of food, particularly when the water levels drop. Rocherpan is one of the Cape shoveller’s most important breeding sites and provides a sanctuary for Southern Africa’s second rarest coastal bird, the African black oystercatcher. Southern right whales may be sighted in the marine reserve and along the coast from June to September.
Continue south along the West Coast to Veldrif. This fishing village on the Berg River is well known for its ‘Bokkom’ (dried fish), a West Coast delicacy. Our final stop is Paternoster. Our accommodation is on the beach with fantastic views.
Overnight: Room at Paternoster Hotel***
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 10 West Coast – Winelands
Depart to the West Coast National Park. The park surrounds the Langebaan Lagoon, which is a world Ramsar site (sites deemed to be of global significance to wetland bird species). Thousands of seabird’s roost on sheltered islands and brooding salt marshes are home to vast concentrations of migrant waders from the northern hemisphere. Eland and Bontebok are see quite often in the western section of the park.

Continue through the Swartland to Allesverloren Wine Estate near Riebeeck Kasteel. Allesverloren is known worldwide for their Port and red wine. Wine tasting and clients can purchase wines.

Proceed to Wellington. Visit en route Schalk Burger & Sons’ Welbedacht Wine Estate near Wellington, home of the Meerkat range of wines, South Africa’s most gregarious wines. Taste some of the Welbedacht Wines including the Meerkat range, which consist of Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Burrow Blend, Pinotage Rose & Sun Angel. Wine tasting and clients can purchase wines.

Proceed to accommodation in the Winelands at Diemersfontein Wine Estate.
Overnight: Cottage/Room at Mooibly Diemersfontein
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 11 Cape Town & Surrounds
Depart on a tour of the Cape Peninsula. Visit the Penguins at Boulders. This colony of African (Jackass) penguins is one of only three colonies on the mainland. All other colonies are on islands. The first pair at Boulders was spotted in 1983 and since then the numbers have grown to about 3 000. Walkways ensure good close-up sightings of the penguins. Time for shopping at the souvenir shops and African Craft Market.

Continue to Cape of Good Hope & Cape Point which are all part of the Table Mountain National Park. The Table Mountain National Park is rich in floral biodiversity and is part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site. The most common vegetation type is fynbos and eland, bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, klipspringer and grysbok can be seen in the Cape of Good Hope section.

At Cape Point, visitors are treated to excellent viewing opportunities from both lighthouses that adorn the most south western point in Africa, one still fully functional. The lighthouse is accessible by foot or one can catch the Flying Dutchman funicular (at own cost) to the top.

Time for shopping at the souvenir shop. Depart to the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive. Chapman’s Peak Drive winds its way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the south-western tip of South Africa. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world.

The 9km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the rocky coastline of Chapman’s Peak (593m). Chapman’s Peak Drive is affectionately known as “Chappies” and is a must for anyone who is passionate about the majestic Cape Town scenery, with sheer drops to the sea below and towering mountains rising above you. The twists and curves in the road seem endless and it is a photographers dream. The drive offers stunning 180° views with many areas along the route where you can stop and take in the exquisite scenery.

Arrive at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Do a relaxed informative walk. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as 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.

Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora. Kirstenbosch displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape Flora, also known as fynbos, as well as plants from all the diverse regions of southern Africa. Those that cannot survive outdoors, such as plants from the arid regions, are grown in the Botanical Society Conservatory. There are over 7 000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many rare and threatened species.

More than just a garden, Kirstenbosch is part of a nature reserve. The 36 hectare garden is part of a 528 hectare estate that contains protected mountainside supporting natural forest and fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds. The Kirstenbosch Estate borders the Table Mountain National Park.

Kirstenbosch lies in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region, also known as the Cape Floral Kingdom. In 2004 the Cape Floristic Region, including Kirstenbosch, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site – another first for Kirstenbosch, it is the first botanic garden in the world to be included within a natural World Heritage Site.

The most special flower every visitor wants to see is the King Protea, South Africa’s National flower.

Shopping break at the Kirstenbosch Shop. Depart to accommodation at the Cape Town Waterfront.
Overnight: City Lodge Waterfront, Cape Town
Meals: B & L (Dinner at own cost in restaurant)

DAY 12 Cape Town – Departure
Guide departs early morning. Clients have the day at leisure to enjoy Cape Town at their own time. Optional visits to Table Mountain and/or Robben Island (weather permitting) can be done. Transfer by shuttle at own cost to Cape Town International Airport for departing flight.

Accommodation can vary from the itinerary depending on availability.

Rates on request:
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Upington 8801

TEL/FAX: + 27 (0) 54 3380375
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