Our specialist says:
Explore some of South Africa's most well-known and beautiful areas
A wonderful trip for first time visitors to South Africa, or indeed those looking to re-visit some of the loveliest areas that the country has to offer. Starting in cosmopolitan Cape Town you will be able to relax and explore in equal measure as well as savour some of the finest restaurants the country has to offer. Picking up a rental car halfway through your sojourn in the “Mother City” will allow you the chance to visit the Cape Peninsula, before heading on to beautiful Franschhoek at the heart of the Cape Winelands. After a few days of wine tasting and fine food, you will continue on, stopping in historic Swellendam which is a great base from which to visit the wild and much under-visited De Hoop Nature Reserve. Your next stop is Plettenberg Bay, the principal town on the iconic Garden Route where you can relax and enjoy a great range of activities. The final leg of your trip will be a safari in the wonderful Amakhala Game Reserve – the perfect spot to round off your odyssey through South Africa.
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Day 1: Take to the skies
This evening you will be flying directly from London Heathrow to Cape Town with British Airways.
Day 2: Cape Town
Land in to Cape Town this morning for your private transfer to the lovely Four Rosmead, a lovely boutique guesthouse tucked away in a quiet residential area on the lower slopes of Table Mountain for a 4 night stay. It is ideally located for getting out and about to explore the city, enjoy its many fantastic restaurants as well as sit back and relax by the pool, enjoying the peace and tranquillity that this area offers.
Day 3-5: Explore Cape Town
There is so much for you to see and do during your stay in Cape Town that there will never be a dull moment during your trip. Highlights include Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and visits to the many museums, art galleries and shops in the city centre. We will have a car delivered to you on the morning of day 4, which is a great excuse for you to head out and visit the Cape Peninsula, where you can see Cape Point, The Cape of Good Hope and the colony of African “Jackass” Penguins on Boulders Beach.
Day 6: Onwards to Franschhoek
After a leisurely breakfast you will depart Cape Town and make your way across to Franschhoek, a wonderfully traditional village in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Your base for your 3 here will be the charming Last Word Franschhoek, a small hotel tucked away just off the main street with stunning views up to the surrounding mountains. There are some incredible restaurants in Franschhoek and we will send you recommendations on booking and are of course happy to book tables on your behalf as well.
Days 7 & 8: Wining and dining
Of course, a huge draw of coming to Franschhoek is the chance to visit some of the wineries that surround the village. Whilst driving to them is possible we would highly recommend enjoying the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which takes you to a number of wineries on pre-set routes (a number to choose from) and avoids the need for you to drive. Beyond the wine there is some excellent shopping to be enjoyed in Franschhoek and for those looking to be active hiking, mountain biking, horse-riding and golf can all be easily arranged.
Day 9: Back on the road again
Having enjoyed a final breakfast gazing out towards the mountains you will hit the road again, continuing through the beautiful interior of South Africa until you reach the historic town of Swellendam, the third oldest in South Africa. This is the ideal stopping point for your journey to The Garden Route and you will be spending the next 2 nights at The Hideaway.
Day 10: De Hoop Nature Reserve
Many visitors either use Swellendam for a quick overnight or pass through it all together, but it is a lovely town and the ideal base from which to head down to the De Hoop Nature Reserve. This is somewhat of a hidden gem, especially as the area is so popular, and you will share the reserve with just a handful of other visitors during your stay. A highlight is the chance to walk along deserted beaches, enjoy a picnic lunch and gaze out to sea – a wonderful way to spend a day away from the crowds.
Day 11: The Garden Route awaits
For such a well-known part of South Africa, The Garden Route itself is relatively small and you will be travelling to the far end of it today, where you will be spending the next 4 nights at Hog Hollow Country Lodge, a lovely property found a short drive from town. The drive to “Plett” will be a chance for you to stop at one of the many seaside towns you pass through along the way, meaning you will arrive at Hog Hollow in time to relax this afternoon before enjoying sundowner drinks on the terrace.
Days 12-14: Time to explore
Visiting The Garden Route is ideal for those looking to explore and enjoy the variety of activities for which the area is renowned. Amongst the activities you can enjoy are ocean safaris, hikes in the Robberg Nature Reserve, walks on Keeurbooms Beach, kayaking, horse-riding, walks in the Tsitsikamma Forest and bungee jumping. You can also visit Knysna for a cruise across the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve and spend an afternoon visiting the many craft shops for which the town ins renowned. With some much to do make sure you spend some time relaxing at Hog Hollow – it is a beautiful property with superb staff who will make your stay very special.
Day 15: Your safari awaits
Leaving Plett after breakfast you will continue your journey East, passing Port Elizabeth and on to the Amakhala Game Reserve where you will be spending the next 3 nights at Woodbury Lodge. You should arrive in time for lunch and will then have the afternoon to relax before heading out for your afternoon game drive, a chance to start spotting some of the reserve’s varied wildlife.
Days 16 & 17: On safari at Amakhala
The daily programme at Amakhala includes morning and afternoon safaris through the reserve, with each drive lasting between 3 and 4 hours depending on what you see. In between activities you will be able to sit back in the lovely surroundings of the lodge and enjoy the superb food and warm, natural hospitality for which Amakhala is renowned. If you are feeling like doing something a little different they can also offer game viewing boat trips along the Bushman’s River which runs directly through the reserve.
Day 18: Time to fly home
After a final morning game drive and breakfast in the lodge you will need to drive back to Port Elizabeth airport to drop off your car and then catch a BA flight to Johannesburg, connecting back to London Heathrow on an overnight flight after a short layover.
Early morning arrival in to London Heathrow.
Duration: 18 days
Location: South Africa, Africa
This Classic South Africa Self Drive idea costs from £3,645 per person and includes:
- International and domestic flights
- Fully insured rental car for 14 days
- Arrival pack including airport meet and greet as well as full driving directions
- Private transfer from Cape Town airport to Four Rosmead
- 4 nights with Breakfast at Four Rosmead - Luxury Room
- 3 nights with Breakfast and local drinks at Last Word Franschhoek - Superior Room
- 2 nights with Breakfast at The Hideaway - Queen Elizabeth Suite
- 4 nights with Breakfast at Hog Hollow - Suite
- 3 nights with All Meals, local drinks and activities at Amakhala Woodbury - Chalet
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