Tours for the Enquiring Traveller
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DESTINATIONS
South Africa
Itinerary
This superb 15 Day / 14 night tour of a lifetime takes you to Cape Town and all eight unique areas of the Cape Floral Region declared a UNESCO natural World Heritage Site in 2004.

The tour starts with two days spent in the Boland Mountain Complex an area of outstanding natural beauty with the glorious Cape winelands at its heart enjoyed by nature lovers and gourmets alike. You next spend four nights in Cape Town giving you the opportunity to explore the city center, visit Robben Island (declared a UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site in 1999), and to enjoy the splendours of the Table Mountain National Park, including the Cape Peninsula, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Table Mountain itself.

You then go on a journey of exploration to the outlying six areas of the Cape Floral Region including places which few overseas tourists are fortunate enough to visit – the glorious beaches of the De Hoop Nature Reserve, awe inspiring views into the Boosmansbos wilderness, the dramatic passes and poorts of the Swartberg, the mountain streams of the Baviaanskloof in a valley nearly forgotten by time, God’s own sculptures, rock art and starry nights in the Cederberg, the peace and tranquility of the Groot Winterhoek – yet all part of the most prolific floral kingdom on earth.

On the final day of the tour you return to Cape Town having enjoyed a farewell lunch back in the Boland Mountain Complex in the Cape Winelands.



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Overview
Highlights

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

Cape Floral Region (2004)

8 Protected areas:-
Boland Mountain Complex
Table Mountain National Park
De Hoop Nature Reserve
Boosmansbos Wilderness Area
Swartberg Complex
Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve
Cederberg Wilderness Area
Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area


Robben Island (1999)


Other highlights

The Penguin and Cormorant Colony at Stony Point – wildlife without the crowds
The Company Gardens in Cape Town City Center
A possible sighting of Blue Cranes in an Overberg Wheatfield
The Pont at Malgas
Cango Caves
Dias Museum at Mossel Bay
Rock Art in the Cederberg
Historic Church Street in Tulbagh


DAY 1
(Saturday) CAPE TOWN – FRANSCHHOEK.

Meet on arrival at Cape Town airport or pick up after breakfast from your overnight hotel and guided transfer to your 4* guesthouse in Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands and at the heart of the Boland Mountain Complex World Heritage Site. Visits en route to the historic centre of Stellenbosch with its graceful Cape Dutch architecture and the beautiful Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. Remainder of day free to explore Franschhoek with its fine array of shops, galleries and restaurants and to visit the Huguenot Museum and Memorial.

Overnight: Franschhoek. B&B

DAY 2
(Sunday) FRANSCHHOEK

A memorable full day guided tour of the Boland Mountain Complex driving over the Franschhoek Pass through the Elgin apple orchards and down to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Visit to the Palmiet River in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve with its wonderful array of indigenous flora followed by lunch at the nearby Harold Porter National Botanical Garden. Afternoon visit to Stony Point with its breeding colony of African penguins before taking one of the world’s great scenic drives between the mountains and the sea around False Bay. Return to Franschhoek in late afternoon.

Overnight: Franschhoek. B&B

DAY 3
(Monday) FRANSCHHOEK – CAPE TOWN

Depart Franschhoek after breakfast for full-day guided tour driving via Simon’s Town to Cape Point in the Table Mountain National Park World Heritage Site. Option to take the Flying Dutchman funicular to the old lighthouse with its stunning views back down the Cape Peninsula before leaving the crowds behind and heading to beautiful Olifantos Beach for a picnic lunch (weather permitting). Visit to Cape Point Vineyards for wine tasting before journeying up and over the stunning Chapman’s Peak Drive, along the Atlantic seashore past the Twelve Apostles and through the exclusive seaside suburbs of Camps Bay and Clifton before reaching Cape Town.Late afternoon check into your 4* hotel in Sea Point overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island.

Overnight: Cape Town. RO

DAY 4 + 5
(Tuesday and Wednesday) CAPE TOWN

Explore the city at your leisure using the Hop on Hop Off buses which stop at regular intervals outside your hotel. The shorter Red Route takes you via the V&A Waterfront to the City Centre with stops at all the main attractions including the Company Gardens, SA Museum, District Six Museum, Castle of Good Hope and the Gold Museum. It also stops at the station for the cableway up Table Mountain. The longer Blue Route takes you around Table Mountain to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and to Groot Constantia South Africa’s most important historical monument and wine estate. It returns to Cape Town via Hout Bay where there is an opportunity to take a Township Experience Guided Walking Tour. The views from the top of the bus on a fine day on the coastal road from Hout Bay past the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range to Sea Point are stunning.

Overnight: Cape Town. RO

DAY 6
(Thursday) CAPE TOWN

Take your hotel’s free shuttle bus to the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront for a morning tour to Robben Island. Your pre-paid ticket is included in the tour price. The 11.5 km boat trip takes about half an hour each way and the tour of the island lasts about three hours. On your return the rest of the day is free to indulge in some shopping in more than 450 outlets and to enjoy the many other attractions the V&A Waterfront has to offer. Have a romantic dinner by the water’s edge before taking the shuttle bus back to your hotel.

Overnight: Cape Town. RO

DAY 7
(Friday) CAPE TOWN – DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE

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).

DAY 8
(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).

DAY 9
(Sunday) OUDTSHOORN

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)

DAY 10
(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)

DAY 11
(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).

DAY 12
(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)

DAY 13
(Thursday) CEDERBERG

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)

DAY 14
(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).

DAY 15
(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.



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A Kingdom
of
Unsurpassed Beauty
General Information
Scheduled tour

Tour code: DWH SA 103 S/14A

Saturday 11th February - Saturday 25th February 2017

Operate with a minimum of four and a maximum of eight participants.

Please contact us for further information and prices.



Private tours

Tour code: DWH SA 103 P
15 day / 14 night tour

Saturday weekly departures by arrangement:

From Saturday 5th November 2016 until Saturday 26th November 2016
From Saturday 21st January 2017 until Saturday 25th March 2017
From Saturday 29th April 2017 until Saturday 20th May 2017
From Saturday 30th September 2017 until Saturday 28th October 2017

Tours finish Saturday two weeks later.

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

Transfers and guided tours with experienced driver guide as outlined in the itinerary including admission fees.

14 nights accommodation in 4* hotels, lodges, resorts and guesthouses including 10 breakfasts and 6 dinners (drinks excluded). Sundry picnic lunches.

Two day pass for Cape Town Hop on Hop off bus. Pre-booked ticket for tour to Robben Island.


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). Both spring (September – November), late summer (January - end February) and autumn (March – May) are good times to visit.


Fitness

A fair amount of walking some in remote areas is involved to enjoy this tour.



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Cape Town and Beyond into the Cape Floral Region


15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS
TOUR CODE: DWH SA 103
Scheduled and private guided tours

Tour prices from South African Rand 31,290 per person sharing           (currency converter)