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GARDEN ROUTE/CAPE TOWN TOUR – 14 DAYS US$2 000pp

Day 1 Johannesburg to Colesberg (650km).

Our tour begins at Johannesburg (we pick you up at your address) and we head south with a brief stop in Bloemfontein for lunch. Later in the afternoon we will visit the Gariep Dam built in the ‘60s for irrigation and hydro electric power. Our first night will be spent just outside Colesberg at Kuilfontein Stable Cottages. Colesberg was named after Sir Lowry Cole, governor of the Cape from 1828 to 1833. It is a prime merino sheep farming and horse breeding area. Certain trace elements in the soil produce grass and other fodder exceptionally suited to horses, especially race horses.

Day 2 Colesberg to Addo Elephant National Park (400km).

After a leisurely breakfast we will continue on our journey through Cradock, named after Sir John Cradock governor of the Cape between 1811 and 1814 and home of Olive Shreiner from 1867 to 1870. The church here is a replica of St Martins-in-the-Fields in London and was built in 1867. It is a National Monument. We continue following the Great Fish Valley through Cookhouse arriving at the Park by mid afternoon. Accommodation tonight is at ‘The Elephant House’ in the Sundays River Valley. This thatched colonial style lodge offers guests all the splendour of a bygone era.

Day 3 Addo Elephant National Park to Tsitsikamma (250km).

After breakfast we head for Port Elizabeth and a little sight seeing and perhaps some shopping in and around the city where we will break for lunch. We continue to Tsitskamma National Park where we will book in for two nights. The rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 4 Tsitsikamma National Park.

This day can be spent just relaxing or walking (how about walking part of the famous Otter Trail or crossing the foot bridge over the Storms river or doing some birding in the forests?) or we will explore places of interest by car in the surrounding area. There is always the temptation of doing a bungi jump off the Storms River Bridge, the worlds highest jump at 216 meters! By the way, the word "tsitsikamma" is thought to be a Khoikhoi expression for the sound of rain falling on running water.

Days 5 & 6 Tsitsikamma National Park to Knysna (100km).

Our journey continues to Knysna where we will spend two nights at the Leisure Isle Lodge situated on Leisure Island in tranquil surroundings. Knysna has a whole host of interesting things to do and see from walking around and exploring the various home craft shops and markets in this old woodcutters town to boat trips on the lagoon. We will also explore by motor vehicle the many places of interest between Plettenberg Bay and George. For those who wish to do so may board the Outeniqua Choo Choo at either the Knysna or George end and enjoy the train journey along the scenic coastline and the shores of the Lake District. We will pick you up at either end.

Day 7 Knysna to Oudtshoorn (150km).

Today we head inland through the Outeniqua Pass into the dry Karoo and on to Oudtshoorn, a major centre of the Little Karoo and famous for its feather palaces of a bygone era. We will visit the renowned Cango Cave complex and an ostrich farm. Tonight our accommodation is at Adley House, a beautifully restored Victorian home built in 1905 during the ostrich feather boom.

Day 8 Oudtshoorn to Cape Agulhas (350km).

We return to the N2 via Robinson Pass (built by Thomas Bain in 1867/9) and continue at a fairly leisurely pace to Bredasdorp and on to Cape Agulhas, the southern most tip of Africa and where the Indian and Atlantic oceans really meet. The shallow Agulhas bank which extends 250 kms out to sea is the richest fishing grounds in the southern hemisphere. Accommodation is at the Agulhas Guest House with spectacular sea views. The word "agulhas" means needle and is thought to refer to either the compass needles of early Portuguese navigators which showed no magnetic deviation from true north here or, to (a less likely explanation) the jaggered rock ‘needles’ near the cape.

Days 9 & 10 Cape Agulhas to Cape Town (250km).

Today we will take the scenic route along the rugged coastline via Hermanus to the ‘mother city’, Cape Town where we will stay at Olof’s Guest House in Sea Point for two nights. Cape Town is beautiful at this time of year and we will be conveniently situated to take in all the sights. Our activities will be numerous and varied and will include a trip up Table Moutain, visits to the Water Front, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Castle, Cape Point and various fishing villages along the Cape Peninsula and other scenic drives.

Day 11 Cape Town to Franschhoek (100km).

Most of today will be spent following the wine route and visiting a number of wine estates along the way and spending a little time in Stellenbosch before reaching Franschhoek. Our accommodation tonight is at Auberge La Dauphine, a working wine farm set in beautiful surroundings amongst the vineyards in the Franschhoek Valley. Time will be available either this afternoon or tomorrow morning to explore this quaint historic village.

Day 12 Franschhoek to Karoo National Park (450km).

We leave Franschoek mid morning and travel up through the Hex River Valley into the Great Karoo arriving at Karoo National Park just outside Beaufort West in the afternoon.

Day 13 Karoo National Park

We spend the day driving and walking around this unique area which was established to preserve the fauna and flora of the south central Great Karoo. Home to a number of antelope species and other wild life, including a number of rare endemic birds, the park also has an interesting open air fossil museum.

Day 14 Karoo National Park to Johannesburg (900km).

An early morning start to a long days journey back home, arriving at approximately 18h00.


Tel: +27 (0)11 477 2089 Fax: +27 (0)11 477 3585
Email:merlan@global.co.za