Day 1: Guests leave Cape Town early and travel through some of the wine-producing valleys of the Western Cape. Each valley is graced with great scenic beauty and we enjoy a cellar tour and wine tasting at one of the elegant estates nestled amongst the vineyards that blanket the valley floors. Finding our way into the unique Klein Karoo by way of the superb Cogmanskloof Pass, we travel through a string of picturesque small towns set in this uniquely beautiful scenery.
We arrive in the town of Oudtshoorn, center of the Klein Karoo and undisputed "ostrich capital" of the world. Our itinerary includes a visit to a fascinating Ostrich Show Farm where, amidst enormous flocks of these strange birds, we are shown their development from the one kilogram egg to the 100 kilogram adult. We then visit one of the great wonders of Africa - the subterranean wonderland of Cango Caves. For a tour of this vast sequence of caverns, each filled with astonishing formations of glittering dripstones. Overnight in Oudtshoorn/George area.
Day 2: After a full English breakfast, you will board the Outeniqua Steam Train, one of South Africa's last steam locomotives still in daily use. We head parallel to the spectacular Outeniqua Mountains and descend into the heart of the Garden Route. Arriving in Knysna, we wind up the day with a sunset lagoon cruise on the beautiful Knysna Lagoon. Overnight in Knysna.
Day 3: Originally named Bahia Formosa (Beautiful Bay) by the first Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay more than lives up to its name as you spend the day in its environs, experiencing your choice of the 101 delights available in the area. The energetic can follow a horse trail through the forest, canoe a river trail or play a round of golf. The angler can go exciting deep-sea fishing. The bird-watcher can observe exquisite birdlife in forest, mountain, fynbos and coastal habitats.
There is the Robberg Nature Reserve to explore with its incredible richness of flora, birds and inter-tidal life. There are fascinating stone-age caves and middens to explore. For the less energetic there are long golden beaches offering sun-lovers the delight of safe swimming or strolls beach-combing for the delicate Pansy Shell… the choices are endless. After a sunset cruise on the serene Keurbooms River the is ends with a seafood extravaganza. Overnight in Knysna.
Day 4: Up early, we head east, following the original coastal road, which is indisputable one of South Africa's most scenic. The road descends steep slopes covered in dense indigenous forest and ferns until it reaches the bottom of the Groot River Gorge where, more than half-buried beneath the forest, we reach the tiny settlement of Nature's Valley, one of the loveliest havens of tranquility along the Garden Route. Leaving Nature's Valley, we begin to explore some of the Garden Route's most unforgettable scenery - the Tsitsikamma Forest.
Our exploration of this ancient forest includes a stunning walk. We wend our way through the tangle of trees and creepers to a massive Outeniqua Yellowwood, thought to be over 700 years old. If we are lucky we may glimpse shy forest wildlife amongst the lichens and ferns of the forest floor. At the formidable gorge of the Storms River, which marks the eastern boundary of the Tsitsikamma Forest, we leave the Garden Route and head towards Port Elizabeth, where we arrive in the late afternoon. This tour can begin in Port Elizabeth and end in Cape Town with slight changes to the itinerary. It can also start and finish in the same city.
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