After collection in George, our small group of up to eight guests is transferred to the coastal village of Wilderness. The village's pristine, sandy beach stretches for miles and is lapped by the Indian Ocean. After a relaxing day spent in Wilderness, we drive west to the charming town of Knysna, located in the heart of the Garden Route. Continuing west we reach Tsitsikamma National Park a dramatic coastal scene of soaring cliffs and pounding surf where the Storms River meets the ocean.
From here we move inland and travel to Oudtshoorn via the scenic Route 62. Here, in the ostrich capital of South Africa, we visit an ostrich farm and learn more about these valuable birds. A trip to Oudtshoorn wouldn't be complete without a visit to the spectacular Cango Caves. Back on Route 62, we travel through magnificent mountain passes as we head to Hermanus, a former fishing village, nestled above Walker Bay which attracts Southern Right Whales. In season dozens of these creatures gather in the bay and put on breathtaking shows each day. Leaving Hermanus we head to Stellenbosch, a university town, but better known for fabulous wines. We overnight here to enjoy the fruits of the grape.
On day eight, our Budget South African Cape & Garden Route Tour heads for Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula. We overnight in the picturesque village of Noordhoek, an oasis of farmland trimmed with a beautiful white beach. We take a trip to Cape Point, the most westerly spot in Africa. After exploring and hiking to the lighthouse in Cape Point we return to our luxury bus and make the journey to Cape Town city centre where this budget lodge tour sadly ends.
After collection at George Airport guests are transported to Wilderness, a short distance but a complete change of scenery, from a busy, inland town to a quaint village next to the sea with a marvellous stretch of white, sandy beach just calling out to be strolled along. So once checked in at the guesthouse the afternoon is yours to explore the village and take a meander along this amazing beach.
There is an option this evening to meet and dine with your fellow travellers at a restaurant in the village.
On day two of our Budget South Africa Tour of the Garden Route & Cape, you have the opportunity to spend your day doing what you enjoy most. Take your pick of taking a hiking trail through a dense forest with a waterfall at the end of the trail, perfect for a cool dip before heading back. Our guide will be happy to lead the way. Enjoy a slow meander along the lengthy beach or just sit back and relax on the guesthouse verandah - the panoramic view is stunning.
Leaving Wilderness behind we travel east to the charming, coastal town of Knysna in the heart of the Garden Route. The town is nestled around a lagoon whose entrance is guarded by two soaring cliffs, known as the Knysna Heads. Inside the heads, the lagoon is a tranquil oasis whilst beyond the heads the ocean lashes the cliff face. After exploring the town we continue to Tsitsikamma National Park via Nature's Valley an area much prized by South Africans. You may like to hike a short portion of the Otter Trail, famed throughout South Africa and regularly booked out. Or cross the suspension bridge over the Storms River Mouth, not for the fainthearted but worth the dramatic views. This area is characterised by cliff faces and raging seas - never dull.
Today we drive inland to the ostrich capital of South Africa - Oudtshoorn, located in the semi-desert area of the Little Karoo. This town is not only famous for its ostrich breeding and farming but also for the awe-inspiring Cango Caves and this afternoon we get to visit the caves. Inhabited by the San over 10 000 years ago you will be amazed by the dripstone formations.
This morning we pay a visit to an ostrich farm where we learn an incredible amount about these versatile creatures. It's said that every bit of the ostrich has a value from its feathers, its eggs and healthy meat to the ornaments made from its feet. The town went through a boom period prior to the 1st World War when ostrich feathers were the height of fashion and today some magnificent homes may be seen in the town which are known as 'Feather Palaces'. Sadly the 1st World War came along and the industry crashed.
From here we take a scenic drive back to the coast and the town of Hermanus. Famed for whale watching in season and some very good wine production, the former fishing village is well worth a visit at any time of year.
Take a walk along the cliff path this morning. If it's whale season you are in for a treat as so many of these mighty creatures gather in Walker Bay. If the weather is suitable and it's the right season you may choose to take an optional whale watching boat trip for an even closer view of these animals, but the cliffs do provide a perfect viewing spot for watching them breach and slap the water with their tails and fins. If you are really lucky you may hear them calling to each other - an eerie sound.
We take the scenic coastal route to Stellenbosch pausing to view a colony of African Penguins busy with their daily routine. Back on the road, we head to Stellenbosch known for being the second oldest town in South Africa and sometimes called Eikestad for the number of oak trees that were planted here. In the heart of wine country, Stellenbosch is also a university town so it regularly thrums with students on bicycles.
After exploring the town we have to visit a wine farm and taste some of the delightful wines that are produced in this region. This evening there is the option of having dinner in a fine restaurant.
Today we visit a typical Cape farm, located at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains. Take this opportunity for a wander around the farm and visit the viewpoint for views across False Bay to Table Mountain. On a clear day, you may even spot Cape Point, our next destination.
Be prepared for a surprise at lunchtime!
After lunch, we continue along the coast all the way to the southern end of the Cape Peninsula to the lovely village of Noordhoek. Prized by the horse riding community this village is home to a lengthy white beach popular with horse riders and walkers alike. In the distance, you may spot the remains of a shipwreck that ran aground at the turn of the 20th century and is now buried under the sand. Take a stroll along the beach which curves around to Kommetjie beach a popular surfing spot.
After breakfast this morning we set off for the Cape of Good Hope in Cape Point. This is the most westerly point of Africa and is a popular spot for a photograph depicting this information. Take a hike up to the lighthouse, a sight welcomed by seafarers who had travelled from the East as this was their first sign of land. Rounding Cape Point was often a treacherous journey and many a ship has foundered along the coastline. You may be fortunate to spot some wildlife in Cape Point but the animals are often quite elusive.
In the afternoon our guide takes us to the city of Cape Town which brings this 8-day Budget South Africa Tour to an end. It's been a journey of changing landscapes and experiences and will no doubt prove an unforgettable experience.
This small group safari is conducted in a Mercedes Sprinter luxury bus. These air-conditioned vehicles have been adapted in a way that they withstand the rough conditions of Africa and at the same time offer our mutual guests the best and most comfortable sightseeing experience. A maximum of eight guests travels in the luxury vehicle, guaranteeing each a window seat. Travelling through South Africa in the comfort of a well-equipped luxury vehicle makes all the difference!
Should the accommodation listed in the itinerary not be available a similar accommodation facility of the same standard will be used.
Why not extend your stay and explore more of Cape Town? We offer the following short tours of the city and surrounds:
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