The Cape Town to Addo Tour is a private South African tour which can start on any date specified by clients. The tour explores the South African mother city of Cape Town, before traveling on to the Garden Route town of Knysna and then enjoying a safari experience in the Addo Elephant Park.
The Addo Elephant Park is the largest National Park in the southern part of South Africa. The park is home to the Big Five and offers a fine safari experience in conjunction with the highlights of the Eastern and Western Cape provinces.
Guests will be met on arrival at Cape Town International Airport from where a day is spent exploring one of the world's most beautiful cities. Table Mountain, arguably the most famous natural landmark in Africa is first on the agenda. From Table Mountain one of the most impressive views of the world can be enjoyed - the Indian Ocean and the deep blue waters of the Atlantic and the Cape Peninsula, that sinks away and allows these two great oceans to meet at Cape Point. We also visit the world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which had its origin when the mining magnate and philanthropist Cecil Rhodes donated the land to the people of South Africa. The garden is home to 4000 of the 18 000 species of Flora which are found in South Africa and creates a most remarkable display. It is the memorial to one of Africa's greatest son's (Cecil John Rhodes) from where sweeping views of the entire Cape Flats can be enjoyed where we end an unforgettable day.
The spectacular Chapman's Peak drive, cut into the 650m high Chapman's Peak leads the tour through the Town of Noordhoek to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. A botanical and scenic delight the reserve is home to several antelope species as well as a great diversity of flowering plants and birds. A highlight is sure to be the walk to the edge of Cape Point, where it is said the stormy waters of the Atlantic are met by the calming influence of the Indian Ocean. This Cape which has played such a central role in the tales and legends of the ocean was and remains, an important landmark located at the South Western Edge of Africa, where it was proclaimed that this is where the two halves of the World, east and west meet.The tour traces the Indian Ocean Seaboard on the way back to Cape Town with a visit to Boulders Beach, an attractive secluded haven, which comprises a tumble of huge round rocks on a sandy shore. The boulders are ideal vantage points for watching the antics of the colony of mainland-based African penguins.
Located in one of the most picturesque valleys of the Cape, the town of Franschhoek owes its existence to the first French settlers who worked the Drakenstein Valley. Some time is devoted to exploring the town and its memorial to the French Huguenots, set in a lovely garden, before visiting three of the fine wine estates in the valley, which are renowned internationally for the exceptional quality of wines. All the noble cultivars and classic styles are on display, from superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc to the rich reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. During the late afternoon the tour makes its way back to Cape Town.
The tour traces the coast from Gordon's Bay, traversing the towns of Rooi Els and Betty's Bay on the way to Hermanus. En Route several stops are made at vantage points from where the Southern Right Whale can potentially be spotted. These whales frequent the waters of South Africa's coastline during the months of June to November. They travel approximately 2000 km from the Southern Ocean to give birth in these waters. Spotting these graceful mammals regally splashing about is a most rewarding experience. Lunch is enjoyed in Hermanus with its sweeping views of Walker Bay, said to be the best place on the entire coast from which to do Whale watching. After some time spent in Hermanus the tour continues via Bredasdorp to the quaint fishing village of Arniston. The Village takes its name from a tragic shipwreck which occurred in these treacherous waters in 1815. The village is located a stone's throw from the Southern Tip of Africa and the coastline surrounding it, is noted for its bizarre marine erosions, of which the most famous is the Waenhuiskrans. Before retiring to the overnight destination a visit is made to the lighthouse and museum at Cape Agulhas as well as to the southernmost point on the African continent.
After breakfast the tour travels to the Coastal City of Mossel Bay. It is here where the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias set foot on shore in 1488 and we dedicate some time to visiting the museum which bears his name. The museum stands not far from the Milkwood Tree and fountain which served respectively as a post office and watering hole to seafarers in centuries past. The tour then travels on to Knysna where the late afternoon is spent at leisure.
The Outeniqua Mountains form the barrier which divides the semi-arid interior from the lush coastal plains of the Garden Route. The tour crosses this barrier via the Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich Capital of the World. The town is located in the great valley known as the little Karoo, with the Langeberge and Outeniqua ranges forming its boundary to the east and the Swartberg Mountains forming its western boundary. Your first stop is the Cango Caves which lie in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains - a great cave system which is amongst the world’s largest and is blessed with elaborate drip stone formations, the highest of which stands 12.6m tall. The caves extend up to about 1600m into the Limestone rich Hills and are a truly an impressive sight. Lunch is followed by a short drive to an Ostrich Farm where the focus is on the farming of these the largest of the world’s birds. Great fortunes where built in the heyday of the industry when the feathers where prized fashion accessories. Today the meat with its low fat content is sought after in a world ever more preoccupied by healthy living, and the leather is prized raw material in the production of fashion accessories. The brave can even endeavor an Ostrich Ride before we make our way back to the overnight destination.
The scenic splendor of the Garden Route is evident again as the tour makes its way north en- route to Natures Valley. It is reached after descending the Grootrivier Pass into the valley below, where the quaint seaside resort of Natures Valley lies nestled on an alluvial plain next to the Grootrivier Lagoon. This river also marks the Western Boundary of the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve. The road then bridges the Bloukrans River as it ascends 183m in three kilometers with some of the most dramatic scenery in the Garden Route guiding the way. Storms River mouth set in the Tsitsikamma National Park is reached after a short drive. The main attractions here include a waterfall and spectacular views of the coastline as well as the rich bird life of the area. After a visit to Storms River Mouth, the tour continues to the overnight destination of Port Elizabeth.
An hour and a half's drive inland from Port Elizabeth brings the tour to the Addo National Park, where an extraordinary assembly of tough drought resistant plants, shrubs and stunted trees combine to produce the famous Addo Bush. The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area - today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 350 elephants, 280 Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, and the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. Large parts of the Park are set in the foothills of the Zuurberg Mountains and it is home to no less than five of South Africa's seven vegetation zones, which support a multitude of different species of which the Big Five are the most notable. The afternoon is devoted to a first game drive accompanied by your experienced guide.
An early morning and late afternoon game drive in this area of unique ecology is the focus of the day. From the graceful Elephant, who embodies Africa in some mysterious way to the rare Black Rhino, much smaller than the white but reputed for its temperament which could flare, sometimes seemingly unprovoked. The Big cats and a large number of different grassland game species that once again roam free in this their ancestral grazing grounds, afford a glimpse of Africa in all her glory. The focus is on interpretive game viewing, with the guide enhancing guests understanding of the animals through their knowledge of the habits and behavior of the different species.
A morning bush walk accompanied by a resident ranger lends a different perspective to the wilderness experience. The excitement of being on foot in close proximity to elephant, and the sense of awe as the full realization of their size in relation to humans becomes more evident in the absence of a vehicle. After the bush walk guests will be transferred to Port Elizabeth Airport for a flight to Cape Town where a South African tour which focused on the Western Cape province ends.