South Africa | The Cape, Baviaans & Kingdom of the Zulu

From the flat topped Table Mountain and the blue waters of Table Bay, the Cape Peninsula is without doubt a premier holiday destination that incorporates the best wine farms, the most beautiful beaches, landscapes and cuisines.  It is quite simply stunning.  This tour takes in some of South Africa's most scenically beautiful destinations - from Cape Town to the universally recognized Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and the Garden Route, the tour ends in the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa.

 

tour duration 16 Days
from €4,550
next trip 10 Aug 2022
Enquire now

A short flight from Cape Town to South Africa's "Friendly City" Port Elizabeth - and onto the Wilderness section of Baviaanskloof - an unspoilt wilderness just under 200 kilometers in length and bounded by two mountain ranges: the Baviaanskloof Mountains on the north and the Kouga mountains on the south side - the "hottest" of biodiversity hotspots, with three of the planet's 34 hotspots.

From the "valley of baboons" (aka Baviaanskloof), through the mountains to the unrivalled jewel of South Africa, the Garden Route for five days of adventure filled activities before flying to Kwa-Zulu Natal and the St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetlands, a place of wonderous miracles and wildlife -  the only place on the globe where the oldest land mammal (the rhinoceros) and the world’s biggest terrestrial mammal (the elephant) share an ecosystem with the world’s oldest fish (the coelacanth) and the world’s biggest marine mammal (the whale).  

The tour ends with two days of game viewing in iMfolozi and Hluhluwe Game Reserves, the home of the Black Rhino - a conservation success story and a fitting end to this African adventure

 

Included

All camp fees
All meals, cutlery and crockery
All park entrance fees
Camping Days, 3 meals a day
Camping sites with toilets and showers
Coffee & Tea – all day every day whilst in camp
Guide and Bush Chef
Rental vehicle with tent, bedding, fridge & chairs
Transfers to and from Airport

Excluded

International flights
Optional activities on route
Own Drinks
Your own border visas
Your own drinks and in-between snacks (we will stop and shop in town)
Your own medical emergency and evacuation insurance cover
Your own medicine and items of a personal nature

Tour Dates

10 Aug 2022 - 26 Aug 2022 - €4,550.00

Day 1: Arrival - Cape Town

Flying over the Peninsula before landing in Cape Town International Airport, will give you butterflies in the pit of your stomach.  The sight of South Africa's Mother City is quite simply stunning, the City Bowl lying snug in the immense arms of Table Mountain bordered by Signal Hill, Lion's Head and Devil's Peak.

Our team meets everyone at the airport and a shuttle transfers us to our Hotel for the next four nights.  For the remainder of the day, we acclimatize before enjoying some of Cape Town's fine cuisine at one the local restaurants

Days 2, 3 & 4: Cape Town

The next two days are spent exploring the heart of Cape Town and the cultural and historically significant landmarks of this interesting city while our evenings provide an opportunity to soak up the typically Cape Town vibe.

Cape Point - in the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve within Table Mountain National Park located in the southernmost section of the Park and includes the majestic Table Mountain chain, which stretches from Signal Hill to Cape Point, and the coastlines of the Cape Peninsula. This narrow stretch of land, dotted with beautiful valleys, bays and beaches, contains a mix of extraordinarily diverse and unique fauna and flora and is but a tiny crescent of this biome and the smallest, but richest of the worlds six floral kingdoms. A ride up the cable car to Table Mountain's top provides a dramatic end to our day and a perfect vantage point for some truly great photography.

A trip to the V&A Waterfront takes us to the Robben Island Ferry and a 3.5hr excursion across the sea to this famous landmark and the site of Nelson Mandela's incarceration.  The Island trip is a historical account of the important aspects of South Africa's history and the experience is one that will last a long time.

About 40 km to the east of Cape Town in the shadow of a continuous belt of Cape fold mountains, our tour takes us to the Cape Winelands, the largest winemaking region in South Africa and home to hundreds of wine producers and growers.  The wineries here are world-class so little wonder some of the country's best restaurants have established themselves in this Valley and it is here, we enjoy wine-tasting against the exquisite backdrop of the mountains.

Day 5: Baviaanskloof

After check out we head to Cape Town International for a short flight down the coast to Port Elizabeth where upon arrival, we collect our fleet of 4x4's, fully equipped and kitted out with all the camping equipment we will need for the next leg of this adventure.

As the convoy heads leaves the city the gradual change in vegetation is apparent as we turn inland towards Hankey and Patensie to the southern entrance of the Mega Park and our campsite at Komdomo on the banks of the Groot Rivier is well positioned to enjoy the spectacular rock formations that surround the valley.  Camping tonight is under the stars - our first true wilderness experience on this tour.

Day 6: Baviaanskloof

After breakfast we leave our campsite at Komdomo driving through the rugged beauty of the “Grootrivier” Gorge and its winding path through this pristine conservancy.  The landscape is diverse and the colourful cliffs and rock formations characteristic of the hard sandstone that form part of the Table Mountain group of sediments.  We continue to enjoy the incredible plant species endemic to this area which include ancient cycads and proteas and of course the prolific bird life that these attract.   Expect to see Cape Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Kudu, Cape Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Eland and Baboon as well as the elusive and shy Black Rhino on our scenic game drives through this vast mountain kingdom.

Camping this evening is in a shady section of Doringkloof camp where the heat of the day can be washed off with a swim in the cool waters of a nearby dam.

Day 7: Kareedow

This morning we head into the Kouga mountains, along private farm tracks to the summit, leaving the commercial roads behind us as we head south-west through vast open spaces and pristine valleys taking the road less travelled toward the town of Kareedouw in the Langkloof. This is a day spent 4x4'ing - and although not particularly difficult or technical, the terrain traversed will be sufficiently demanding to make it a fun experience.  The journey quite simply showcases breath-taking scenery and a rich and diverse variety of vegetation - a photographers dream!

Days 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12: The Garden Route

The route from Kareedouw to our next stop just outside Plettenberg Bay in the heart of the Garden Route - epitomizes the natural beauty intrinsic to this area.  With Mountain fynbos, proteas, erica's, watsonia's, forest and ravine vegetation glimpsed from our vehicle windows - the urgency to get to our destination for the next five nights becomes paramount.

We base ourselves on a protected stretch of land - a floodplain next to the winding Bitou River that comes close to resembling the Okavango Delta, in a Camp engineered by Biomimicry specialists that gives us a taste of true off the grid living - where bushbuck and kingfishers live side by side and the constant lap of water is the only sound for miles around.  The campsites are privately appointed under the Milkwood trees with bucket showers, comfy beds and access to a host of activities for our unlimited use - kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboards, Fat Bikes and of course river swimming which is safe! With several Blue Flag beaches and spectacular hiking trails, there is no shortage of adventure activities to keep us busy.

With access to a private concession in the deep Knysna Forest we immerse ourselves in a half day experience slowly exploring the forest with our guide in our vehicles - a slow, cultural journey into the history, the legends and myths and giant trees that inhabit this very special place.

Nearby and close to the edge of the Forest is the little town of Knysna.  The most prominent feature is the lagoon and the Knysna Heads that seperate the lagoon from the sea beyond - it is here we come to grips with a snorkelling experience along the Heads. There are plenty of exciting adrenalin filled activites to keep one busy but if resting and working on your tan is more your style - the beaches in Plett are one of a kind.

Plettenberg Bay is also one of the most scenic of the Western’s Cape’s wine routes. Vineyards sprawl on the slopes of the Tsitsikamma Mountains and border thick, impenetrable forests, coupled with sparkling oceanic vistas. This is also one of the youngest wine region in South Africa. Our location just outside Plett is ideal for easy access to wine tasting which lies in the middle of the route between the Crags and Harkerville.

Surrounded by the Tsiksikamma, Outeniqua and Langkloof Mountains we drive back in time along one of the great historic mountain passes carved into the rock of the Cape Fold Belt.  These old trade routes linking the coast and the valleys are covererd in thick indigenous forest, rocky inclines and beautiful views that stretch far into the ocean.

The Garden Route is quite simply one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, a place of glorious natural beauty.

Day 13: St Lucia, Kwa-Zulu Natal

Our drive today takes us from the Western Cape Province over the Bloukrans Bridge (highest Bungee from a bridge in the world) and into the Eastern Cape Province, through 250kms of national road flanked by Afromontane forest and ravines covered in fynbos and rich in indigenous flora.  The coastline to the right of us features some of the hottest surfing spots in the world.  Filling the surrounding countryside, the vegetation changes to include the succulent aloes whose vivid orange blossoms draw the sunbirds and attract the nectar loving birds.

After dropping off our trusty 4x4's, the 1.5hr flight to King Shaka International airport just outside of Durban gives us a chance to catch our breath before our shuttle takes us north to St Lucia, a small town at the heart of South Africa’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.  With a unique mosaic of ecosystems – swamps, lakes, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands, the area supports an astounding diversity of animal, bird and marine life.  

After check in we head down to the jetty for a sunset boat cruise among the hippos and nile crocodiles before ending our day with a seafood dinner and some much needed shut eye.

Days 14 & 15: iMfolozi and Hluhluwe

The short 55km drive to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, Africa's oldest proclaimed reserve, alongside the lush tropical vegetation holds the promise of the Big 5, Wild Dogs and magnificent views - 96 000 hectares of unforgettable adventure possibilities enriched by the knowledge shared by our guide.  From our base in one of the exclusive camps within the park, we gain a deeper understanding of the important role this park plays in growing South Africa’s black rhino population and to bring back white rhino from the brink of extinction.

There is something extremely special about waking up in the heart of the Zululand bushveld just before the dawn! It is the sounds of stirring life and the early morning dawn chorus in the nearby Fever trees, the orange orb of the sun as it pops over the horizon and the grunting hippos that greet us before breakfast - the next two days are slow & memorable, full of game viewing, photography and the quiet of magic hour in the bush.

Day 16: Home

We travel back into Durban en route King Shaka International Airport where we catch our connecting flights.  Our South African adventure has come to an end - until we meet again, Hamba Kahle, tot siens and farewell.