A Cape Town tour that is characterized by a medley of unmatched destinations and exclusive accommodations.
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Day 1-7: Private African Sky Guide & Vehicle
Guests will be met on arrival at Cape Town International Airport or any location of their choice in Cape Town. Thereafter the day is spent exploring one of the world's most beautiful cities. A cable car ride up Table Mountain is first on the agenda, affording some of the finest scenic views to be found anywhere. We also visit the world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which originated when the mining magnate and philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, donated the land to the people of South Africa. The garden is home to 4 000 of the 18 000 species of flora found in South Africa, all of which create a most remarkable display. The tour then makes its way to the hotel, situated on Cape Town's famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
A drive along the spectacular Chapman's Peak route, cut into the 650m high Chapman's Peak, leads the tour south 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 and bird species, as well as a great diversity of flowering plants. 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 a central role in tales and legends of the ocean, was and remains an important landmark located at the south-western edge of Africa, where it is said the two halves of the world, east, and west, meet. The tour traces the Indian Ocean on its the way back to Cape Town with a stop at Boulders Beach, an attractive secluded beach comprising a tumble of huge round rocks on a sandy shore. The boulders are ideal vantage points to observe the antics of the colony of mainland-based African penguins.
Located in one of the Cape's most picturesque valleys, the town of Franschhoek owes its existence to the first French settlers who worked the fertile Drakenstein Valley. Some time is devoted to exploring the town and the memorial to the French Huguenots, which is set in a lovely garden. Thereafter a visit is made to three of the fine wine estates in the valley. These wine estates are internationally renowned for their fine wines, and you will find all the noble cultivars and classic styles are on show here, 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 to the Lanzerac wine estate, situated in a nearby vineyard.
The stark contrast between vineyards and harsh mountain create a perfect backdrop for a tour of the historical town of Stellenbosch. The town is the oldest in South Africa after Cape Town and is undoubtedly the most scenic and historically-preserved in Southern Africa. Oak-lined streets next to water furrows complement the many fine examples of elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture - all part of this unique "Town of Oaks".
The town, ideally situated in a magnificent mountain valley, boasts a mild Mediterranean climate. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is the oldest, largest, and probably the most visited of all the southwest Cape's wine routes. Many of the estates are very old. Their gabled, whitewashed Cape Dutch homesteads, rolling vineyards, and shade-dappled grounds are lovely beyond measure. We visit two of these fine estates, where the art of winemaking in South Africa is experienced first-hand. A large variety of wines may be sampled, allowing you the opportunity to find a wine that suits your palate.
After breakfast, the tour travels through the town of Somerset West and over Sir Lowry’s Pass to Swellendam, located at the foot of the Langeberge Mountains. Unique architecture against a mountain scenery backdrop endows the town with a special character. Following the N2 highway in a northerly direction, we reach the town of Mossel Bay, generally regarded as the southern entry point to the scenic Garden Route. The Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz first set foot on shore here in 1488 and a stop at the museum named after him will be made. The museum is close to the Milkwood Tree and Fountain, both of which served respectively as a post office and watering hole to seafarers in centuries past. There is a replica of the vessel in which Bartholomew Diaz used to sail to these shores at the museum; a gift from the Portuguese government to South Africa on the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the voyage of Diaz. The overnight destination is reached during the late afternoon.
The day is devoted to exploring the scenic beauty of the Garden Route and first on the agenda is the Featherbed Nature Reserve. This unique 150 ha private nature reserve encompasses the entire western Head and affords spectacular views across the lagoon and the ocean, as well as the treacherous passage between the two Heads, which claimed many a ship during Knysna's days as an exporter of timber. The reserve is one of South Africa's heritage sites. It is home to two of the Garden Route's icons, namely the Knysna Turaco and the Blue Duiker, one of Africa's smallest species of antelope.
The afternoon brings the tour to Plettenberg Bay. Depending on the season, guests will enjoy one of the following two boat cruises departing from the Plettenberg Bay docks. One is the Discovery Cruise, where guests will typically look for dolphins and visit the seal colony on the Robberg Peninsula. The Premium Cruise is offered in whale season (May to November). This cruise will offer passengers the opportunity to get within a couple of feet of some of the largest creatures on the planet. The main focus is on finding whales, then dolphins, and, if time permits, a visit to the seal colony.
After breakfast the tour follows the scenic route through Wilderness and Sedgefield to George Airport for a flight to Cape Town, bringing to an end a memorable South African tour.
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