Discover the Winery Region, Wild Coast and Garden Route of South Africa.
South Africa’s seaside splendour awaits on the exquisite Garden Route and Wild Coast. Set off from Cape Town and visit wineries en route to Stellenbosch, sample abalone and spot whales from the cliffs of Hermanus, sample fortified wine along Route 62, observe meerkats at close range in Oudtshoorn, travel the Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert and the Cango Caves, taste fresh local oysters on a boat cruise to Knysna Heads, hike the spectacular rugged coastline of Tsitsikamma National Park, spot elephants in Addo National Park and finish in Port Elizabeth. This is the perfect South African tasting platter.
- Taste South Africa’s acclaimed wine heritage with a special Wine tasting in the Cape Winelands, where ducks form part of the workforce and hand-crafted wines are waiting to be sampled.
- Experience some of the world’s best whale watching without leaving dry land. Hermanus’ coastal walkways have the perfect spots to sit and watch the whales as they frolic in in the bay.
- Join an experienced local guide for a sunrise meeting with meerkats. Savour the unique privilege of spending time with these elusive creatures.
- Cruise out on to the emerald waters of the Knysna Lagoon and taste some of the freshest, most delicious local produce on an Oyster Tour
- Spend a day searching for the Big 5 in Kariega Game Reserve, then retire to the incredible setting of Kariega Lodge, sipping sundowners from the deck.
Day 1: Cape Town
Welcome to South Africa. On arrival in Cape Town you are met by a representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The adventure begins with a welcome meeting today.
Day 2: Stellenbosch
Depart from Cape Town after breakfast and head towards lovely Stellenbosch. Visit Vergenoegd winery, a unique estate where you’ll get to meet the waddling workforce of runner ducks used to assist in the control of the snail and pest population in the vineyards. This is a practice the estate has been refining since 1984, and a big part of why Vergenoegd proudly carries WWF biodiversity certification. You arrive in time for the 9:45 am duck parade and enjoy a cellar tour and wine tasting. Also stop in at the Lanzarac Winery, the home of the first bottled Pinotage, and enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing. There will be time for lunch in either Vergenoegd or Lanzarac, and the evening is at your leisure once you arrive in Stellenbosch. (B)
Day 3: Hermanus
Drive to Hermanus, a coastal town famous for southern right whale watching during the winter and spring. You travel there via Bettys Bay, stopping to visit the Penguin Colony at Stoney Point and the Harold Porter Botanical gardens where there is time to have lunch. Upon arrival in the coastal town of Hermanus, around mid-afternoon, there will be a chance to visit the Heart of Abalone, a working abalone farm. This is a chance to not only taste this sought-after delicacy but also get a glimpse behind the scenes of the industry. The rest of the evening free for you to relax and unwind. (B)
Day 4: Hermanus
Enjoy a free day in Hermanus. This town is considered to have the best land-based whale watching in the world. The views of Walker Bay and the Mountain Range are breath-taking, and during whale season the cliffs have the perfect spots to sit and watch the whales as they frolic in in the bay (season depending). The famous Whale Crier of Hermanus offers guided cliff path walks during the season. You could also climb aboard a boat to get a closer look at the magnificent sea creatures. Alternatively, tackle hiking trails in Femkloof Nature Reserve, or explore local markets. (B)
Day 5: Oudtshoorn
Drive to Oudtshoorn, via Mossel Bay. While stopped in Mossel Bay, perhaps visit the lighthouse or dip your feet in the Indian Ocean before a seafood lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy a wine and port tasting at Boplass in Calitzdorp. Arrive in Outdshoon, which is known as the ostrich capital of the world. At the turn of the 20th century it was full of ‘feather barons’ that grew rich from the popularity of ostrich feathers. (B, D)
Day 6: Oudtshoorn
Spend some time with some meerkats today. On a fun 2–3 hour excursion, head to the burrows of these cheeky meerkats, pull up a chair and sip coffee while the sun comes up and the meerkats climb out into the sunshine. Watch these habituated wild animals, which are never fed or handled by humans, go about their daily routine of foraging and frolicking. It’s rare to get this close to them in the wild. Return to the Lodge and enjoy breakfast before driving to the Swartberg Mountains, climbing through the switchbacks of the pass of the same name, looking out across the unique folds of the surrounding rocks. Descend into the town of Prince Albert, a contender for South Africa’s most charming town, full of the architecture of the 18th to 20th centuries. Return to the lodge via the Cango Caves, where you learn about their formation and history from a local guide. Browse the weird and wonderful rock formations including ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’. (B, D)
Day 7: Knysna / Tsitsikamma National Park
On your way to Tsitsikamma, stop in Knysna for an afternoon boat cruise to Knysna Heads, sampling local oysters and wine along the way. Arrive in Tsitsikamma and take in its magnificent raw beauty. Protecting both land and sea, steep ancient forests meet the breakers of the Indian Ocean at this park. It’s a spectacular place of deep gorges, tidal pools and empty beaches, perfect for walking and viewing wildlife. (B, D)
Day 8: Tsitsikamma National Park
Enjoy a hike in Tsitsikamma National Park today. Your leader guides you on a beautiful walk along the boardwalk through a canopy of forest leading to the famous suspension bridge across the ocean. The narrow channel of sheer cliffs get its name, Storms River Mouth, from when the wind gets up and the water hurtles against the rocks, sending spray flying high into the air. After this you double back towards a waterfall. The return trek is approximately 9 kilometres and should take around half a day. However, there will be scenic options along the boardwalk for a shorter trek without the group if you are concerned about your fitness. Keep an eye out for fauna such as cape clawless otters, dolphins, tortoises, southern right whales (in season), baboons, monkeys and various birds. (B, D)
Day 9: Kariega Game Reserve
Travel to Kariega Game Reserve, a Big 5 private safari reserve, with elephants, lions and leopards. Upon arrival freshen up in the beautiful lodge before lunch. The experienced game rangers will then drive you out on safari this afternoon/evening in an open game-drive vehicle, traversing the valleys, grassy plains and African bushveld to bring you close to the Big 5 and other game roaming freely in their natural habitat. The private reserve incorporates 10,000 hectares of pristine African wilderness, as well as two abundant rivers – the Kariega and the Bushmans rivers. (B, D)
Day 10: Port Elizabeth
Enjoy a morning game drive before departing to Port Elizabeth. Your trip comes to an end upon arrival in Port Elizabeth at around noon. (B)
- Kariega Game Reserve – Morning 4×4 Game Drive
- Meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 dinners
- Transport: Van, Boat, 4×4 safari vehicle
- Accommodation: Hotel (2 nights), Feature Stay Hotel (2 nights ), Lodge (5 nights)
- Complimentary airport arrival transfer
- Stellenbosch – Vergenoegd Duck Parade & Wine Tasting
- Stellenbosch – Lanzerac Wine and Chocolate Tasting
- Betty’s Bay – Harold Porter Botanical Gardens
- Betty’s Bay – Penguin Colony
- Calitzdorp – Boplaas Port and Wine Tasting
- Oudtshoorn – Meerkat Experience
- Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves Guided Tour
- Knysna Lagoon – Oyster Tasting Boat Cruise
- Tsitsikamma National Park – Half Day Hike
- Kariega Game Reserve – Afternoon 4×4 Game Drive
- Kariega Game Reserve – Morning 4×4 Game Drive
Images courtesy of IntrepidGroup