Day 1: Upon arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg you will be met by a Safari Royale representative and transferred to a five star safari lodge located approximately three hours north of Johannesburg, Marataba Safari Company, Marataba is an exceptional Safari Lodge where you are assured of an amazing safari experience.
Days 2-3: Marataba Safari Company on Safari.
Day 4: Ellerman House, Cape Town. Today after your early morning game drive you will be transferred back to Johannesburg where you connect with your scheduled flight to beautiful Cape Town. Upon arrival, you will be met at Cape Town International airport by your tourist guide who will be at your service for the duration of your stay on this leg of your tour. Time permitting, undertake a short orientation tour of the city and Atlantic seaboard.
Day 5: Ellerman House, Cape Town. Today we depart at 9:00 and visit Stellenbosch, the second oldest town established in South Africa after Cape Town. A large number of oak trees, planted during the late 17th Century line the streets of the town, popularly referred to as the “Eikestad” - Town of Oaks. The town is resplendent with old historical buildings, many of which have since been declared national monuments. The main street, Dorp Street is regarded by many to be the prettiest and best preserved old street in South Africa.
Stellenbosch is one of the Cape’s most productive wine and fruit regions. It has also been in the forefront of South African education, the most notable of which is the University of Stellenbosch, established in 1918. Of South Africa’s eight prime ministers between the period 1910 and 1984, six were educated at this institution. Lunch and a wine tasting will be enjoyed at the beautiful Lanzerac Manor and winery in Stellenbosch. Established in 1692, the estate is situated at the entrance to the scenic Jonkershoek valley in Stellenboch. We continue along the world famous Wine Route and continue over the Helshoogte or ‘Hell’s Heights’ pass to visit the town of Franschhoek which dates from 1688 where a small group of French Hugenots settled to escape religious persecution.
Here they were allocated farms in the Franschhoek valley. The farms and homesteads are considered to be of South Africa’s most beautiful. Many of the farms have maintained their original names. Also of interest are visits to some of the art galleries, antique dealers, and craft shops. Visit Boschendal, a wine farm with a history dating back to 1865. The magnificent homestead is one of the finest examples of Cape Dutch farm architecture. The estates also offer visitors wine tasting facilities and an opportunity to buy wine at estate prices.
Day 6: Ellerman House, Cape Town. We depart at 9:00 and weather permitting, proceed to Table mountain for an early morning cable car ride to the summit. Arguably the best known mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, the cable-way ride to the summit, 1134m in height, offers view of unparalleled panoramic views of the Atlantic ocean, beaches and city. Our journey continues to the picturesque fishing village of Hout Bay. Proceed along Chapmans Peak drive, one of the most spectacular marine scenic routes in the world, to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.
The reserve, proclaimed in 1936, was what the famous British mariner Sir Francis Drake once referred to as: “the fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the earth”. The reserve supports over 2200 species of plant. Many bird and small animal species also abound here. Of particular interest are the baboons, the only community of baboons who have adapted to feeding off marine life. The reserve is also home to zebra, eland, bontebok, springbok, ostrich and porcupine. The main road leading through the reserve end near the summit of Cape Point, from where we proceed up the steep slope by funicular to the top which offers breathtaking views.
Ride by funicular to the vantage point at the lighthouse from where the Atlantic ocean crashes with awesome power on to the rocks 209 meters below. We continue along the False Bay coastline to Simon’s Town, South Africa’s principal naval base where we enjoy lunch at a quaint restaurant offering scenic views of the ocean directly below. After lunch, visit a unique African (jackass) penguin colony at Boulders Beach and drive through the seaside resorts of Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg before returning to your hotel during late afternoon.
Day 7: The Marine, Hermanus. After an unhurried breakfast, we depart and pass through the picturesque coastal holiday towns of Strand and Gordon’s Bay and join the marine drive popularly known as the Coast of Flowers. Continue along Clarence Drive, following a oute along the eastern shores of False Bay, offering some of the country’s most spectacular coastal scenery with views across the bay to Table Mountain and Cape Point. The area has one of the densest concentrations of wild flower species in the country.
The area along the route that we travel on was declared the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve in 1998. This area is also the first internationally recognized biosphere reserve in Southern Africa and is considered to form the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. This Kingdom is the smallest of only six recognised world-wide. The Reserve is host to some 1600 indigenous plant species of which 150 are endemic, making it one of the world’s richest sites of plant diversity. Visit the Harold Porter Botanic Garden at Betty’s Bay. The 188 ha of land represents one of the largest concentrations of wild flower species in South Africa. The famed red disa is endemic to this area and may be seen in January.
Along the route we pass seaside resorts such as Rooi Els, Pringle Bay and Cape Hangklip, marking the eastern beacon at the entrance to False Bay. It is recorded that runaway slaves once lived in the mountain caves of the Hangklip (Hanging Rock) mountain and that World war II women of the armed services, using the present hotel buildings as their quarters, manned a radar station to keep constant lookout for enemy craft. This eventuality never occurred. Continue to Hermanus, considered to be one of the finest holiday resorts in the world, where the Southern Right whales who come to this part of the coast annually from July to November to breed, may be viewed in Walker Bay. Spend two nights at the Marine Hermanus.
Day 8: The Marine, Hermanus. Depart after breakfast and Visit the charming settlement of Elim, founded by the Moravian Mission church in 1824. Of interest are the quaint white-walled thatch cottages, beautiful mission church and water mill, hosting the largest water wheel in South Africa. The route follows to the coastal resorts of Struisbaai and Cape L’Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. The lighthouse at Cape L’Agulhas is the second oldest in the country built in 1848. Return to Hermanus during late afternoon.
Day 9: Tsala Tree Tops, Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route. After breakfast, journey to Plettenberg Bay. En route, we travel through the scenic Overberg region, meaning ‘the other side of the mountain’, passing vast landscapes of fertile farmlands where wheat and barley are the dominant crops. Views of the dramatic Riviersonderend and Langeberg mountains, forming the northern boundary of this region are enjoyed. Time permitting, visit Knysna, exploring this interesting town with its typical village atmosphere
Day 10: Tsala Tree Tops, Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route. This morning we undertake a leisurely drive in the Tsitsikamma region of the Garden Route. Our journey continues to the Tsitsikamma Coastal Park and we explore some of the back roads through the indigenous forest region, following the road along the Groot ‘Big’ River pass to Nature’s Valley, a combination of sea, river, lagoon, mountains and luxuriant vegetation, giving the area a special charm of its own. The indigenous vegetation in the pristine forest includes yellowwood trees, some of which are over 800 years old.
We visit the Storms River Mouth, roughly in the middle of the Tsitsikamma National Park and take a short comfortable walking trail through coastal vegetation to the suspension bridge that spans the river mouth, giving breathtaking views of the restless sea. Continue to the Robberg Nature Reserve. Robberg, the ‘mountain of the seals’, is a 148-m-high peninsula of red sandstone projecting approximately 4 kilometres into the Indian ocean to enclose the southern end of Plettenberg Bay. To protect its spectacular coastal scenery and archaeological heritage, a 240 ha nature reserve has been declared here. Return to Tsala Tree Tops during late afternoon.
Day 11: Londolozi, Kruger National Park, South Africa. Today you will be transferred from Tsala Tree Tops to George Airport where you will connect with a flight to Johannesburg and on to the world renowned Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park.
Days 12-13: Londolozi, Kruger National Park, South Africa on Safari.
Day 14: Today your safari comes to an end as you board your aircraft from Londolozi to Johannesburg.
Note: Package starting in Johannesburg, South Africa and ending in Johannesburg, South Africa (14 days in Africa).
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