Day 1: We leave Cape Town early and travel to the Cape's famed winelands region. Stellenbosch, center of the considerable wine industry, is one of the prettiest of all small towns in South Africa, while the wines, wild flowers and fruits of the valley are amongst the finest in the world. We visit some of the area's most elegant wine estates, touring their cellars, tasting their superb wines and enjoying leisurely strolls around their magnificent grounds and stately homes. Leaving the winelands, we head through the unique and scenically spectacular Klein Karoo to arrive in Oudtshoorn, the "ostrich capital" of the world, with great flocks of ostriches providing a spectacle to be seen nowhere else in the world. We overnight in Oudtshoorn.
Day 2: The ostrich is surely one of the world's most peculiar birds and after breakfast we visit a fascinating Ostrich Show Farm. Our remarkable guided tour includes watching a thrilling ostrich race.
We then proceed to one of Africa's great wonders - the subterranean wonderland of the Cango Caves. The largely unexplored sequence of vast caverns are filled with amazing formations of glittering dripstone. Crossing the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains, we descend into the Garden Route. Overnight in Knysna.
Day 3: After a leisurely breakfast, we take a trip across the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, located on one of the gigantic sandstone headlands which mark Knysna Lagoon's spectacular gateway to the sea.Richly covered in Cape Fynbos, the reserve is home to a profusion of birds and small mammals. We board the Outeniqua Steam Train, one of South Africa's last steam locomotives still in daily active use. The train huffs and puffs its way through the heart of the Garden Route, over chains of inter-connecting lakes and across cliffs overlooking the sea. Arriving in Knysna, we begin to explore this charming village with its myriad attractions for visitors. We wind up the day with a champagne sunset cruise on the Knysna Lagoon. We overnight in Knysna.
Day 4: Originally named Bahia Formosa (Beautiful Bay) by the first Portuguese explorers to visit it, Plettenberg Bay more than lives up to its name as you spend the day at your leisure, experiencing any of the 101 delights offered in this area of the Garden Route. You can hike forest and mountain trails, canoe a beautiful amber-colored river or wander endless golden beaches looking for the rare and delicate Pansy Shell in the warm shallows. You can explore one of the wild and unspoiled nature reserves or go deep-sea fishing. You can watch the unique birdlife for which the area is renowned or sit on sun-drenched rocks watching whales…the choice is endless. We end the day with a sunset cruise on Keurbooms River.
Day 5: Today we explore the legendary Tsitsikamma Forest. The road we follow winds up and down steep river gorges and over dizzying mountain passes, all covered in dense indigenous forest. 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 stunning walk. We wander past the lovely lichens and ferns of the forest floor and end our walk at a massive Outeniqua Yellowwood, over 700 years old. At the great gorge of the Storms River we pass out of the Tsitsikamma Forest and, continuing east, leave the Garden Route behind us and head towards Port Elizabeth, where we arrive in the late afternoon.
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Africa South Africa Local Culture Sightseeing
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