Days 1 - 4
In 2014, The New York Times and The Telegraph named Cape Town ‘the world’s best place to visit,’ and with good reason! As the oldest settlement in South Africa, Cape Town served as a supply station for Dutch East India Company ships in the late 1600s. Now the legislative capital of South Africa, and rated the ‘World Design Capital’ in 2014, this beautiful, yet bustling city offers an eclectic blend of old and new.
Watch as Cape Town's glamorous city life lights up modern high risers, as well as meticulously preserved buildings of the past, most of which boast with Cape Dutch, Edwardian or Victorian architecture. The streets are scattered with street vendors and alive with a jam-packed calendar of cultural events, the Bo-Kaap lined with grand mosques and colourful abodes, exhilarated by the strong Islamic ambiance, and the pristine Blue Flag beaches stretch their soft sands along the coast, where beachfront cafés invite you to spend a day in the sun.
A rich historical centre, yet a modern creative capital, this one-of-a-kind city is also a natural splendour. Here, hundreds of African Penguins frolic in the waters of Boulders Beach and Fynbos naturally covers the slopes of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden – all to the backdrop of the majestic Table Mountain, rated as one of the’ 7 natural wonders of the world.’ Add a variety of world-class wine farms to the list, and you are welcomed to the Mother City of South Africa.
Days 4 - 6
Carefully scattered among the vineyards, gazing across hills and large mountains in the distance, Stellenbosch merges with the picturesque surroundings of the Cape Winelands.
As the second oldest town in South Africa, its streets are lined with water furrows and 300 year old oak trees that reach into the sky. Here, hundreds of university students bustle among the Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings that date back to the early 1700s, hosting street festivals, flea markets, art exhibitions and music concerts, all year round.
A true cultural spring, Stellenbosch is fueled by its exquisite wineries. Home to the oldest wine route in South Africa, Stellenbosch boasts with over 200 wine and grape producers that fall within the boundaries of the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin classification, most of which produce world famous, award winning wines. Guests are invited to tour the cellars, taste the wines and enjoy lavish meals at many of the on-site restaurants, while soaking up the vibrant energy of this unique town.
Days 6 - 8
In the countryside, over breathtakingly beautiful mountain passes, magnificent red rocks and the wide open spaces of the Klein Karoo, you’ll find Oudtshoorn, the town once glorified as the Ostrich Capital of the World. In the late 1800s, ostrich feathers were at the height of fashion, sought after by royalty, maharajahs, emperors, fashionistas and costume-makers from all over. Nowadays these ostrich show farms offer feathers, meat, eggs and even rides!
Oudtshoorn has since become an exciting tourist destination with wildlife parks and unique activities, such as exploring the vast system of underground caverns that make up the Congo Caves.
Other natural splendours in this area include the Swartberg mountain range, which is part of the Cape Floral World Heritage site. Here you can explore the exceptional ecological hotspot where 3 distinct plant biomes, namely Succulent Karoo, Cape Thicket and Fynbos, converge, or simply grab a glass of local wine at one of the many surrounding wine farms.
Days 8 - 10
At the heart of the scenic Garden Route, you will find a charming holiday town called Knysna, famous for its delectable oysters and wild elephants. Placed in a natural paradise of lush, indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches, Knysna is nestled on the banks of a lagoon, which is now a protected marine reserve, home to the extraordinary sea horse, the rare Pansy Shell and over 200 species of fish. The Knysna Lagoon is more accurately an estuary, where the waters of five different Outeniqua Forest rivers merge together, meeting the ocean at landmark sandstone cliffs, known as the Knysna Heads, where hikers go to view the plethora of waterfowl and forest birds, including the brilliantly colourful, yet elusive, Knysna Loerie.
As you can imagine, these beaches, lakes, mountains and rivers, all provide endless opportunity for leisure and outdoor adventure. Within the town itself, however, you will find high-end clothing boutiques, art galleries, local crafts shops, flea-markets and cosy cafés that beckon with small-town charm and hospitality.
Days 10 - 12
Once a quiet seaside town, Plettenberg Bay is now a bustling, but delightful, coastal resort, where many locals spend their summer holidays. Originally and rightly christened, Bahia Formosa (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay, or simply ‘Plett’ to the locals, boasts with 20km of pristine Indian Ocean coastline with white sandy beaches, lagoons and wetlands, offering a wide range of water-sports and activities. Among these fabulous beaches, you will also find a few of South Africa’s premier Blue Flag status beaches, namely the Robberg 5, Keurboomstrand and Nature’s Valley.
It is also from here that one can observe the Southern Right whales that enter the bay from June onward. In the later summer months of November and December, one can also catch a glimpse of the humpback whales and their calves. A truly touching sight!
For those who wish to explore the many attractions of Tsitsikamma, Storms River, The Crags, Natures Valley and Knysna, Plettenberg Bay is the ideal place to set up, as it is rather central to these areas. Having become such a coveted destination, Plettenberg Bay now has many fine dining restaurants, cafés and fun beach bars that will keep you well entertained, while you revel in the natural beauty of the forested mountain backdrop.
Addo Elephant National Park
Days 12 - 14
Imagine standing at the centre of a 180 000 hectare (444 700 acre) park of unspoiled nature; the colourful sights and sounds of over 150 different bird species, canoeing down the lush Sundays River Valley today, and going around the semi-arid, Karoo stretch on horseback, tomorrow. Imagine standing at the centre of the Addo Elephant National Park.
Now the third largest national park in South Africa, the Addo Elephant National Park spans down the serene, malaria-free Karoo in the North, around the Darlington Dam, over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sundays River Valley, across the African coast of sandboarding heaven between Sundays River mouth and Bushman’s River mouth, to include both the Bird and St. Croix Island groups, that are home to the world’s largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and the second largest breeding population of African penguins.
With all this fantastically fertile land, it comes as no surprise that the Addo Elephant National Park hosts around 600 different plant species, that make up the habitats of Africa’s finest wildlife, including Cape buffalo, black rhino, zebra, antelope, lions, elephants and even the endangered flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. But it was not always this way.
When the original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, only 16 elephants remained in the area. Now there are over 550, and whether you are cruising around the park in your own vehicle, or embarking on a guided game drive, you are very likely to have close encounters with them. You can even ride one!
Days 14 - 16
In the Eastern part of South Africa’s large plateau area, you’ll find the world’s largest inland city that is not situated near a lake or river. This city is known as Johannesburg, the City of Gold.
As the wealthiest city in Africa, Johannesburg offers luxury living, pulsating nightlife and extraordinarily lavish attractions, such as the Gold Reef City, where guests can go beneath the ground on a mine tour, learn all about gold, its production processes, and the lives of miners who excavated it in the 1900s.
When the Dutch speaking Voortrekkers came across gold here in the 19th century, their settlement soon became a town that grew into a large, bustling city. It wasn’t long before the British rule of the Cape Colony received word of the riches up North, and the Second Boer War came to be. Johannesburg was then occupied on 30 May 1900.
Now it is the largest city in South Africa, rich with historical tales that can be found in numerous art galleries and museums, like the Apartheid Museum.
Kapama Private Game Reserve
Days 16 - 19
Offering an authentic African safari experience and stretching across 13 000 hectares, towards the Kruger area, Kapama embodies a range of stylish accommodation across four sophisticated bush camps and lodges. Each one is meticulously positioned within this wildlife sanctuary. Kapama Karula, with its luxury superior suites and family suites, each with a heated plunge pool and viewing deck are positioned along the Klaserie River. It also boasts a luxury spa. Reminiscent of a traditional old African safari camp, Kapama Buffalo Camp offers an authentic bush experience. The camp’s exclusive tents are positioned on elevated platforms and surrounded by forest canopy. The spectacular Kapama Southern Camp offers beautiful luxury suites. All suites are discreetly hidden in the surrounding indigenous bushveld. Family suites are also available. Kapama River Lodge and Spa, with flowing, opulently furnished public spaces and an expansive wooden deck leading to a rim-flow swimming pool. Beyond is an expanse of soft river sand, where atmospheric, lamp-lit dinners are enjoyed under the stars. Guests may choose between luxury suites, spa suites or executive suites. Kapama is known for its diverse wildlife experiences and is home to the big five, with its two daily game drives, fascinating encounters with the prolific wildlife is ensured.