In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours
Tour 42: 7 Day Garden Route Tour
This tour covers 07 National Parks and 04 Reserves/conservation areas
MALARIA FREE AREA!
DAY 02 Garden Route National Park (Wilderness Section)
DAY 03 Bontebok National Park
DAY 04 Agulhas National Park (De Hoop Nature Reserve)
DAY 05 Winelands
DAY 06 Cape Town (Boulders, Table Mountain National Park, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens)
DAY 07 Departure
The world renowned Garden Route along the south coast of South Africa includes various scenic coastal Parks and inland Parks, the Winelands and Cape Town. The impressive landscapes of Storms River, the highest bungee in the world, the rare bontebok antelope, the best whale watching spot on the South Africa Coastline, southernmost point of Africa, quality wines, penguins at Boulders and other attractions of Cape Town and Surrounds contribute to a wide variety of experiences, activities and scenery, this southern part of South Africa has to offer, in a relative short time.
DAY 01 Port Elizabeth – Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma Section)
Time of departure will depend on clients’ travel schedule to Port Elizabeth. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included)
Depart from Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay.
Lunch at 12:30 at a restaurant in Jeffrey’s Bay.
Proceed at 13:30 along the Garden Route to Tsitsikamma National Park, which now forms part of the newly established Garden Route National Park, together with Knysna – & Wilderness National Parks. Tsitsikamma National Park “the place of much water,” is situated near Plettenberg Bay in the Eastern Cape. The heartland of the park stretches some 5 km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish and the gentle giant of the ocean, the southern right whale visits here, coming inshore to breed.
Although Tsitsikamma boasts a magical world of intertidal life and reefs in its marine part, there is also the famous terrestrial part of the park with its lush forest, delicate fynbos and sheer cliffs. One of the most known trees is the Outeniqua yellow-wood, Podocarpus falcata.
Birding in Tsitsikamma offers a variety in choice of habitat. There is the open shoreline as typified by the environment at Storms River Rest Camp. There is the more sheltered water ways of the Nature’s Valley Lagoon and the Groot River. There is also the forest experience of the Tsitsikamma Forest. The mountain fynbos can explored in the Tsitsikamma Mountains in the Soetkraal section.
Stop en route at the Paul Sauer Bridge, a 120 m high concrete arch bridge over the Storms River, from where one has a beautiful view of the Storms River Gorge. Enter the Park at 03:30 p.m. Continue on a scenic drive to Storms River Rest Camp. Check-in to chalets at 04:00 p.m. Time at leisure in the afternoon. Enjoy the view from the chalets.
Clients can do a relaxed afternoon walk at their own pace along the coastline or to the suspension bridge over the Storms River.
Optional boat trip departing from the restaurant at own cost; weather permitting. The 30 min trip up the Storms River gives visitors the opportunity to view the gorge first hand and to marvel at one of nature’s many wonders. Huge caverns are interspersed on either side of the river, some which extend upwards for 20 meters providing a habitat for rare bat species. Awesome cliff faces extend above the boat and block out the sunlight as one proceeds silently through the “black water”. Enquire and book at reception.
Dinner at 19:00 in the restaurant
Overnight: Chalet at Storms River Rest Camp
Meals: B, L & D
DAY 02 Tsitsikamma Park – Wilderness National Park
Put luggage outside chalet at 07:45
Breakfast at 08:00 at the restaurant.
Depart at 09:00 and continue to the highest bridge in Africa and the third highest in the world, Bloukrans Bridge, an arch bridge at a height of 216m above the Bloukrans River. Its central span is 272m and the bridge is 451m in length in total. Bloukrans Bridge is the site of the world’s highest commercial bungee jump.
Continue at 10:30 to the Garden of Eden in the Knysna Section of the Garden Route National Park. Garden of Eden is a superb example of wet high-forest, an unusual forest-type with many examples of tall tree species of the moister forest types. Do a short circular walk at 11:00.
Depart at 11:30 to Knysna, the oyster capital of South Africa.
Lunch at 12:30 at a restaurant on the waterfront.
Continue at 14:00 along the Garden Route to Wilderness National Park. In the heart of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, a captivating world of lakes, rivers, estuaries and beaches gently unfolds against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains – all elements that characterise the Wilderness National Park.
Nature trails wind through densely wooded forest and along tranquil rivers, affording you the opportunity to encounter the brilliantly coloured Knysna lourie, or one of the five kingfisher species occurring here. During spring, a carpet of flowers, further enhance the verdant beauty of this national park. Whales & dolphins are seen often from Dolphin Point.
The series of lakes connected by the Touw River (Eilandvlei, Langvlei and Rondevlei) host a variety of aquatic species and is an internationally proclaimed Ramsar site. The forested hillsides that surround the area are home to several raptors, including cuckoo hawk, crowned eagle, forest buzzard, black and rufous-chested sparrow-hawk and African goshawk. The park has several walking trails, several of which are named after kingfisher species and not without reason, as brown-hooded, malachite, giant, pied and half-collared can be all easily spotted.
Arrive at reception at 15:00. Check-in at chalets. Time at leisure. Clients can do relaxed afternoon walks at their own pace in the beautiful surrounds. Good birding opportunities in the Rest Camp.
Depart at 18:30 to the nearby Wilderness Village.
Dinner at 19:00 at the Blue Olive Restaurant.
Overnight: Cottage at Ebb & Flow Camp
Meals: B, L & D
DAY 03 Wilderness National Park – Bontebok National Park
Put luggage outside cabin at 07:30.
Depart at 07:45 to the nearby Wilderness Village.
Breakfast at 08:00 at the Blue Olive Restaurant.
Continue to Mossel Bay. Visit the Maritime Museum. View a life-sized replica of the caravel that brought master mariner and explorer Bartolomeu Dias to the shores of Mossel Bay from Portugal. Diaz is reputed to be the first European explorer to set foot on South African soil in Mossel Bay on 3 February 1488. The caravel replica sailed into Mossel Bay in 1987 with much festivity, a gift from the Government of Portugal. Another treasure is a 1595 map of Mossel Bay by the early Dutch sailor, Cornelius de Houtman. Also on view are interesting artefacts and displays of maritime history during the time of the early Portuguese, Dutch and English navigators.
Depart at 11:00 to Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa. Arrive at 13:00. Visit the Drostdy, which was built by the Dutch East India Company in 1747 to serve as residence and official headquarters for the landdrost (judge). Soon after a gaol, a house for the secretary, a mill and various outbuildings were erected.
Lunch at 13:00 at a restaurant near the Drostdy. Guide buys supplies during the lunch hour for catering at Bontebok Park.
Depart at 14:00 to the nearby Bontebok National Park. Bontebok National Park lies within the Cape Floral Kingdom, now heralded as a world heritage site, with the majestic Langeberg Mountains providing a picturesque backdrop and the Breede River providing an idyllic western border. The Park is proud to promote its achievements in biodiversity conservation, from the endangered fynbos veld type, coastal renosterveld to the namesake bontebok! Once these colourful antelope numbered a mere 17 and through effective management the present world population amounts to around 3 000.
The Park is home to 200 bontebok, the endangered Cape mountain zebra, red hartebeest, grey reebok, steenbok, grysbok and smaller predators such as caracal, bat-eared fox, Cape fox, aardwolf, various mongoose species and the Cape clawless otter. The park is home to 200 bird species and larger species such as Denham’s (Stanley’s) bustard, blue crane, spur-winged goose, secretary bird and southern black korhaan are common.
Enter the Park. Do a game drive to the accommodation on the banks of the Breede Rivier. Check-in at chalets. Time at leisure. Go at 16:00 on a circular game drive. Return to accommodation at 18:00.
Dinner at 19:30 at Guide Chalet
Overnight: Chalet at Lang Elsies Kraal Rest Camp
Meals: B, L & D
DAY 04 Bontebok National Park – De Hoop Reserve – Agulhas
Put luggage outside chalet at 07:15.
Breakfast at 07:30 at guide chalet.
Depart at 08:30 on a game drive to the exit gate. Exit the park and continue to De Hoop Nature Reserve. Many blue cranes, South Africa’s national bird are seen on the wheat fields in this area.
Arrive at the entrance gate at 10:00. De Hoop Nature Reserve falls in the Cape Floral Kingdom and is approximately 34 000 ha in size and situated in the Overberg region, near the southern tip of Africa. The adjacent De Hoop Marine Protected Area, which extends three nautical miles (5 km) out to sea, is one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa and provides a sanctuary for a vast and fascinating array of marine life and it is a favourite destination for whale watchers during the winter and early summer months, Marine mammals such as dolphins and seals occur in the waters off the coast and southern right whales calve and mate in the sheltered bays of De Hoop each year between May and December.
Land mammals include the rare bontebok and Cape mountain zebra, as well as eland, grey reebok, baboon, yellow mongoose, caracal and the occasional leopard. De Hoop is famous for its variety of resident and migratory bird species and more than 260 species have been recorded on the reserve. The De Hoop Vlei attracts large numbers of water birds. The only remaining breeding colony of the rare Cape vulture in the Western Cape occurs at Potberg.
Do a scenic drive to the view point at Koppie-Alleen, which is one of the best, if not the best whale watching spots on the South African coastline. Continue on a game drive to De Hoop Accommodation.
Lunch at 13:00 at De Hoop Restaurant.
Depart at 14:00 via Bredasdorp and Struisbaai to Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, which falls within Agulhas National Park. Amongst the mysteries associated with this region, is the legendary ‘Cape of Storms’ which wrecked many ships en route to the East. The second oldest working lighthouse in Southern Africa guards over the coastline and houses a unique lighthouse museum. This park hosts a variety of habitat types and great biodiversity as far as birds are concerned. Southern right whales come to the bays to breed from May to December. Visit the lighthouse.
Check-inn at chalets at 16:00. The chalets overlook the coastline. Time at leisure for a coastline walk at own pace.
Depart at 19:00 to Agulhas Village for dinner in a restaurant.
Overnight: Chalet at Agulhas
Meals: B, L & D
DAY 05 Agulhas – Cape Town area
Coffee/tea at client’s chalet.
Put luggage outside chalet at 07:15. Depart at 07:30. Visit the Southern-most tip of Africa. Continue to Bredasdorp.
Breakfast at 08:30 at the Spur Restaurant.
Continue via the wheat fields of Caledon, fruit orchards of Villiersdorp and the scenic Franschhoek Pass to Franschhoek.
Continue to Butterfly World. Visitors soon realise that this is not only a butterfly park, but indeed a sanctuary for exotic animals, a bird sanctuary, a place where reptiles gets the highly specialised care they should and a whole lot more. All the creatures, bar the butterflies, have been donated by owners or environmental and conservation authorities. Not being able to return to their natural habitat where they belong, the animals will live out their days here in the tropical garden providing the best possible environment for them.
Visit the Road Kill Skeleton Park in the entrance hall at Butterfly World, which is the largest display of privately owned animal skeletons in the country. It is the work of a boy and his father using animal carcasses mainly from animals that died on our roads. Francois Malherbe was 3 years old when he was fascinated by animal bones and this grew into a unique, highly specialised hobby over the years. At the time Butterfly World opened this new Skeleton Park in 2016, Francois was 12 years old. He filled the space with over 50 skeletons perfectly preserved and meticulously poised. A fascinating experience for all ages.
Lunch at 13:00 at De La Paix Restaurant next door to Butterfly World
Continue at 14:00 via the Winelands of the Western Cape to the Wellington area. Visit at 15:00 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. Schalk Burger Snr played for the Springboks, South Africa’s National Rugby Team and his son Schalk Jnr was recently one of the key players for the Springboks.
Depart at 16:00 to accommodation at Diemersfontein Wine Estate in the Winelands near Wellington. Arrive at 16:30. Check in at accommodation in the historical Manor House at Diemersfontein. Wine tasting at Diemersfontein Wine Estate for those interested. Time at leisure.
Dinner at 19:00 at Diemersfontein Restaurant
Overnight: Room in Manor House at Diemersfontein Wine Estate
Meals: B, L & D
DAY 06 Cape Town & Surrounds
Put luggage outside chalet at 07:45.
Breakfast at 08:00 in the restaurant.
Depart at 08:45 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.
Lunch at 12:30 at the Hub Café in Scarborough.
Depart at 13:30 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 at 15:00. Do a relaxed informative walk until 16:30. 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 between 16:30 – 17:30. Depart to accommodation at the Cape Town Waterfront. Arrive at the hotel at 18:00. Check-inn at hotel.
Dinner at 19:30 in hotel restaurant.
Overnight: City Lodge Waterfront Cape Town
Meals: B, L & D
DAY 07 Cape Town – Departure
Clients have breakfast at their own time in Hotel Restaurant.
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. Robben Island Ferry bookings have to be made well in advance. Transfer from City Lodge to Cape Town International Airport for departing flight. (At own cost)
If clients want to stay longer in Cape Town after the tour bookings can be made online or additional nights can be added to the tour rate if clients want Kalahari Wildlife Tours to make additional POST-TOUR hotel reservations at the City Lodge Waterfront in Cape Town.
Accommodation can vary from the itinerary depending on availability.