12 Day South African Explorer Self-Drive Tour - 12SAS1

Cape Town

Days 1 - 4

Set at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans and backed by the iconic Table Mountain, the bustling city of Cape Town presents an alluring combination of drawcards. Incredible powdery white beaches, highly acclaimed wine routes, and astonishingly beautiful mountain trails surround a cosmopolitan hub. This diverse metropolis is filled with superb shops and restaurants, extraordinary heritage monuments, a multitude of entertainment venues, and a spectacular, chic waterfront harbour. Highlights include the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art; Table Mountain's jaw-dropping views; Boulders Beach, where penguins might swim right up to you in the warm Indian ocean waters; the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where you can walk along a treetop canopy among incredible native flora or watch an open-air concert at the base of the mountain; Robben Island, where visitors can see the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years; and many more.

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Cape Town

Stellenbosch

Days 4 - 6

Just 45 minutes from Cape Town, Stellenbosch is an enticing Western Cape destination with an exciting culinary scene, photogenic historic buildings, and a youthful atmosphere. The beautiful university town is surrounded by mountains, vineyards, and nature reserves (Jonkershoek and Simonsberg), making it a charming base for wine tours, day trips and outdoor adventure. The town centre is characterised by both a “holiday feeling” - sublime art galleries, award-winning restaurants and alluring boutiques fringe leafy cobbled streets - and a sense of aliveness as students bustle between faculties. Architecture enthusiasts will enjoy the numerous Cape Dutch and Victorian buildings, while music lovers can look forward to world-class classical music concerts at the grand Music Conservatory. Two dreamy botanical gardens (with gorgeous tea rooms under the trees) add to the unique character of this special town.

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Stellenbosch

Knysna

Days 6 - 7

Sandwiched between the towering Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, Knysna is a large town often referred to as the ‘Garden of Eden’, surrounded by stunning bays perfect for sailing, boating, and swimming; picturesque beaches and lagoons; and world-renowned forests. This well-catered town is also a perfect base for safari expeditions at nearby parks such as Knysna Elephant Park, and close-up animal experiences at centres such as Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, Birds of Eden, and Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary. From here, enjoy ample opportunities for surfing, swimming, yachting, jet-skiing, boating, fishing, and golfing. Visitors can also look forward to an array of wonderful markets, a picturesque waterfront filled with superb restaurants and shops, and several fantastic art galleries. Make sure to take a ferry trip to the famed Knysna Heads and sample the local oysters.

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Knysna

Addo Elephant National Park

Days 7 - 9

Set in the enchanting Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, the Addo Elephant National Park is the country’s third largest national park and offers a truly unforgettable safari experience. This finely-tuned ecosystem provides a sanctuary to large numbers of elephant, lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, antelope, zebra and over 400 bird species. This unique park is the world’s only park with the ‘Big 7’ - the Big 5 plus the southern right whale and great white shark off the coast of the Algoa Bay. Spend your days marvelling at the free-roaming wildlife, enjoy exhilarating 4x4 safari adventures, exciting horse riding excursions, and wonderful night drives where you are likely to spot some fascinating nocturnal wildlife. Famed for its large herds of elephant, Addo provides an ideal, tranquil retreat for those looking to escape the stresses of big city living.

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Addo Elephant National Park

Gondwana Game Reserve

Days 9 - 11

Situated at the heart of South Africa’s spectacular Garden Route, Gondwana Game Reserve holds the distinction of being the only Fynbos reserve in the world with free-roaming Big Five game as well as endangered species like the Cape Mountain Zebra, Black Rhinoceros, and Black Harrier among many others. The landscapes here are characterised by towering mountains, green rolling hills, and swathes of brighty-colored fynbos - creating ample opportunities for outdoor adventure and nature photography. Visitors can look forward to top-notch game drives, superb fishing, and a wonderful Junior Ranger program for children. An idyllic climate - the second most moderate in the world - adds further appeal. The reserve is situated a convenient 25 minutes outside the charming coastal town of Mossel Bay and a mere four hours’ drive from Cape Town.

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Gondwana Game Reserve

Hermanus

Days 11 - 12

Situated just 140 kilometres from Cape Town and built between the beautiful shores of Walker Bay, Hermanus has grown from a small seaside resort town to become arguably the best-known place for whale watching in the world. This town is also famed for its natural scenic beauty, featuring long stretches of pristine beaches. An excellent variety of restaurants, cafes and bars are also on offer. Today, Hermanus is more than just a popular holiday destination and offers visitors all kinds of activities, both energetic and relaxing. Visitors can explore the Old Harbour Museum, which is comprised of the charming fisherman’s village, the old harbour, and the Whale House Museum; hike through the nearby Fernkloof Nature Reserve, and sample an array of top-quality wine along the famous Hermanus Wine Route.

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Hermanus
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