Tours for the Enquiring Traveller
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Tour code: DWH SA 102 S/14A
Friday 24th February - Saturday 4th March 2017
Operate with a minimum of four and a maximum of eight participants.
Please contact us for further information and prices.
Tour code DWH SA 102 P
9 day / 8 night tour
Friday weekly departures by arrangement:
From Friday 4th November 2016 until Friday 26th May 2017
From Friday 22nd September 2017 until Friday 20th October 2017
Tours finish the following Saturday week.
Early booking recommended if you wish to travel from early December 2016 to mid January 2017 and in particular over Christmas and New Year.
Operate with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight participants.
All tours are subject to availability and prices may vary depending on the time of year you choose to travel.
Please contact us for further information and prices.
Included in the price
Fully guided tour with experienced driver guide as outlined in the itinerary including admission fees.
8 nights accommodation in 4* lodges, resorts and guesthouses including 8 breakfasts and 6 dinners (drinks excluded). Sundry picnic lunches.
When to go
The Cape Province unlike other areas of South Africa enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers (December – February) and wet cool winters (June – August). Spring (September – November), summer (December - February) and autumn (March – May) are good times to visit.
A fair amount of walking, some in remote areas is involved to enjoy this tour.
Beyond Cape Town into the Cape Floral Region
9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS
TOUR CODE: DWH SA 102
Scheduled and private fully guided tours
This magnificent 9 day / 8 night fully guided tour for nature lovers takes you to the outlying areas of the Cape Floral Region UNESCO World Heritage Site which few overseas tourists are fortunate enough to visit, an area that the famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus described as 'This Heaven on Earth'.
You first head east out of Cape Town through the Overberg (Over the Mountain) to the coastal De Hoop Nature Reserve often known as ‘the Jewel of the Cape’. You then leave the fruitful valleys of the Southern Cape for the bleaker but no less impressive landscape of the Swartberg Complex with its remarkably diverse flora and magnificent folded rock formations glowing pink at dawn and dusk. En route you enjoy some of the finest mountain views in the country looking into the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area.
After exploring the Swartberg you continue your journey into the Baviaanskloof the largest area of the Cape Floral Region incorporating the Kouga and Baviaans Mountain ranges and much of the remote valley in between with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Stone Age.
You leave the Baviaanskloof to head back to the coast and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean stopping at Mossel Bay where the Portuguese sailor Bartolomeu Dias the first explorer to round the southern tip of Africa made landfall on 3 February 1488. You continue your journey west for an overnight stay in historic Swellendam, South Africa’s third oldest town. The next day you head north through the fertile Breede River Valley for a two night stay in the Cederberg a unique area of surreal rock formations and floral diversity. The last night of the tour is spent in the historic village of Tulbagh having first visited the Groot Winterhoek, one of the best kept secrets of Cape Floral Region.
The final day of the tour takes you back to Cape Town over dramatic Bain’s Kloof Pass in the Boland Mountain Complex for a farewell lunch in the Cape winelands.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
Cape Floral Region (2004)
7 Protected areas:-
De Hoop Nature Reserve
Boosmansbos Wilderness Area
Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve
Cederberg Wilderness Area
Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area
Boland Mountain Complex
Possible sighting of Blue Cranes in an Overberg wheatfield
The Pont at Malgas
Dias Museum at Mossel Bay
Rock art in the Cederberg
Historic Church Street in Tulbagh
(Friday) CAPE TOWN – DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE
Meet on arrival at Cape Town airport or pick up after breakfast from your hotel for morning drive over the Hottentots Holland Mountains part of the Boland Mountain Complex and through the rolling fields of the Overberg to the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Afternoon free to explore De Hoop with its astonishing array of plants, bird life and fauna including Cape Mountain zebra, bontebok and eland, a Ramsar Wetland site, a beautiful coastline with impressive white sand dunes and glorious beaches and a marine reserve the favourite breeding ground for southern right whales in season (July – November)
Overnight: De Hoop (DBB).
(Saturday) DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE - OUDTSHOORN
A fascinating day’s journey of great contrasts leaving behind the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, crossing the Breede River by the last hand operated pont in South Africa, driving up the impressive Tradouw Pass a blaze of blossoms in spring and autumn and through the Little Karoo along part of famous Route 62 to Oudtshoorn the ostrich capital of the world and gateway to the Swartberg Complex. You stop en route to walk through ancient forests and head high protea in the Grootvaderbosch Nature Reserve before enjoying unsurpassed views over the Langeberg Mountains and into the neighbouring Boosmansbos Wilderness Area.
Overnight: Oudtshoorn (DBB).
A great day touring the Swartberg (Black Mountain) Complex with its wonderful flora and dramatic mountain scenery sandwiched between the arid Great Karoo in the north and Little Karoo in the south. You first visit the popular Cango Caves before driving through the Meiringspoort a 25km gorge with numerous river crossings, craggy orange cliffs and prolific wild geranium growing by the roadside. You stop for lunch in the charming little town of Prince Albert with its beautiful preserved traditional Cape Dutch, Karoo and Victorian Buildings. In the afternoon you ascend the mighty Swartberg Pass the masterpiece of road builder Thomas Bain declared a National Monument in its centenary year of 1988 and one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world.
Overnight: Oudtshoorn (DBB)
(Monday) OUDTSHOORN - BAVIAANSKLOOF
You first visit the C.P. Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn focusing on the ostrich and the town’s boom period at the beginning of the 20th Century when there was great demand for feathers to adorn women’s hats and dresses. You then drive into the Eastern Cape to the remote Baviaanskloof (Valley of the Baboons) the largest and for some the most impressive of the protected areas of the Cape Floral Region. The entrance to the valley through the beautiful Nuwekloof Pass takes you into a lost world of towering mountains and deep dark gorges. The variety of plants and landscapes is mind boggling. A wonderful place to come close to nature and well worthy of World Heritage Site status.
Overnight: Baviaanskloof. (DBB)
(Tuesday) BAVIAANSKLOOF - SWELLENDAM
You leave the Baviaanskloof and rejoin part of scenic Route 62 before driving down the Montagu Pass in the Outeniqua Mountains with a wealth of fynbos species covering its slopes. It is the oldest unaltered pass still in use in South Africa and a scenic trip back in time. The onward drive along the coast takes in part of the famous Garden Route before you arrive in Mossel Bay where you stop for lunch and a visit to the Dias Museum. In the afternoon you continue your journey to historic Swellendam the country’s third oldest town founded in 1745 with its impressive main street and a number of lovely Cape Dutch homes elegantly restored. You stop en route at the interesting aloe vera factory in Albertina.
Overnight: Swellendam. (BB).
(Friday) SWELLENDAM – CEDERBERG
You visit the excellent Drostdy Museum complex in Swellendam with its collection of historic buildings before driving to the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden near Worcester. Your scenic route takes you through the fertile Breede River Valley to Montagu with its dramatic approach through Cogman’s Kloof Gorge, up the beautiful Koo Valley little visited by tourists, and down the majestic Hex River Valley. In the afternoon you drive through Ceres the fruit growing capital of South Africa into the Cederberg with its dramatic peaks, starry skies and its magnificent bizarre rock formations. You spend two nights at Mount Ceder an oasis in the southern section of the Cederberg.
Overnight: Cederberg (BB)
Sunrise in the Cederberg is magical and an early morning walk highly recommended. After breakfast you head further into the Cederberg for the unique experience of tasting award winning wines at South Africa’s highest vineyard. You then drive to the famous but little visited Stadsaal Caves found in a massif of weirdly wonderful rock formations sculpted by wind and water giving the impression as you enter of a natural cathedral. After enjoying a picnic lunch in a superb setting and viewing some fine rock art you return to Mount Ceder with the rest of the day at leisure. Opportunity for a swim in the river, to watch the prolific early evening bird life and perhaps raise a glass or two as you wonder at the mountains glowing in the light of the setting sun.
Overnight: Cederberg (DBB)
(Friday) CEDERBERG - TULBAGH
You leave the Cederberg and head north over the Middleberg Pass to the town of Citrusdal in the fertile Olifants River Valley before driving up the mighty Piekenierskloof Pass first constructed by a young Thomas Bain in 1859. You then descend into the Swartberg Plain the bread basket of the Western Cape before making the twisting ascent up the Dasklip Pass into the remote and little known Groot Winterhoek (‘the Great Winter Corner’) with its extraordinary rock formations and magnificent mountain fynbos. The landscape is rugged and mountainous with high sharp peaks rising to over 2000 metres above sea level. In the afternoon you drive to the village of Tulbagh with an opportunity to visit the majestic Oude Drostdy Museum before enjoying dinner at one of the restaurants in historic Church Street now declared a National Monument.
Overnight: Tulbagh (BB).
(Saturday) TULBAGH - CAPE TOWN
The final day of the tour starts with a drive through the ruggedly beautiful Limietberg Nature Reserve part of the Boland Mountain Complex and over Bain’s Kloof Pass the greatest achievement of Scottish geologist and road builder Andrew Geddes Bain father of the equally famous Thomas Bain. The pass is one of the most dramatic roads in South Africa and incredibly until 1949 part of the main road between Cape Town and Johannesberg. The tour ends with a farewell lunch at historic Vergelegen generally regarded as the country’s finest wine estate before late afternoon drop off at Cape Town airport or in the City.
"This is Heaven
on Earth ....."