Day 1: We leave Cape Town early and travel through some of the wine-producing valleys of the Western Cape, each of which has a special beauty and is full of charming scenes and rich in fragments of history. After a cellar tour and wine tasting on one of the elegant estates, we wind our way into the unique Klein Karoo by way of the rocky Cogmanskloof Pass. We travel through a string of picturesque towns set in this uniquely beautiful scenery, to arrive in Oudtshoorn, principal town of the Klein Karoo and undisputed "ostrich capital" of the world. We visit a fascinating Ostrich Show Farm, where we are shown the development of these extraordinary birds from the one kilogram egg to the 100 kilogram adult.We then visit one of the greatest wonders of Africa - the fabulous Cango Caves. We are taken on a tour of this vast sequence of caverns, each filled with astonishing formations of glittering dripstone. Overnight in Oudtshoorn/George.
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, there is time to discover th craftsmen, who have settled in the area from every corner of South Africa. This region has a tremendous range of arts and crafts, in all mediums. We wind up the day with a sunset lagoon cruise on the beautiful Knysna Lagoon. Overnight in Knysna.
Day 3: Featherbed Bay Nature Reserve - an unspoiled reserve located on one of the gigantic sandstone headlands which mark Knysna Lagoon's spectacular gateway to the sea. Richly covered in Cape Fynbos and inhabited by a profusion of birds and small mammals, the reserve is renowned for its breathtaking views. Returning to the mainland after lunch we head for your final destination in Port Elizabeth. The coastal road we follow wends it's way along steep river gorges, over spectacular mountain passes and through dense indigenous forests and ferns. We visit the tiny settlement of Nature's Valley, one of the loveliest havens of tranquility along the Garden Route.
Our exploration of this ancient forest includes a walk which leads through the tangle of trees, ferns and creepers to the undisputed monarch of the forest - a gigantic Outeniqua Yellowwood, over 700 years old. Our exploration of the Tsitsikamma Forest ends at the formidable gorge of the Storms River, which marks not only the eastern boundary of the forest but the end of the Garden Route. As we head to Port Elizabeth the mountains disappear behind us and gradually the Cape Fynbos is replaced by the stunted bush and thorn trees of the great savannah bush, which typifies Africa. It is a fine end to our Whirlwind Tour. We arrive in Port Elizabeth in the late afternoon.
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