South Africa Classic: Cape, Garden Route & Kruger

Safari, South Africa Classic: Cape, Garden Route & KrugerSafari, South Africa Classic: Cape, Garden Route & Kruger

South Africa Classic

Cape, Garden Route & Kruger

overview

Is it possible to fall in love with a country? So beautiful are the visions of South Africa, you may find yourself seduced. Here, your perfect journey combines striking scenery, wildlife encounters, urban sophistication, and the luxury of relaxing in boutique hotels. Your walking adventure begins in Cape Town, a modern, multicultural city and designated World Design capital. Explore centuries-old gardens of the Dutch East India Company and take in the exhilarating views from the high plateau of Table Mountain. Then it’s to Kruger National Park, the wild heart of South Africa.

Wherever you wander, the region’s natural wonders astonish. One of the top six floral kingdoms, the Cape Peninsula presents unique species, and perfect terrain for one of the world’s most revered wine regions where you will enjoy sampling prized vintages. Famed Route 62 continues your kaleidoscope perspective…the tranquil Klein Karoo, the rugged coastal paths of Tsitsikamma, the awe-inspiring abundance of wildlife. On foot, on bike, in forests, valleys, and towns, South Africa welcomes you as it reveals its legendary treasures.

Activity Level
Easy to moderate
with limited walking
on game-drive
days
Meet
Cape Town, South Africa
Depart
Johannesburg, South Africa
Daily Itinerary
Download printable
itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
Safaris 
11 days, 10 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable guides and service of local representative
  • All meals included, local wine, and beer included with dinners
  • Boutique hotels, country lodge, and safari lodge (with private baths) while on tour
  • Airport “meet and greet” service
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Internal flight(s)
  • All park fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
Compare Dates & Prices
2014 Seasonal Pricing Starting From...
Season 2-3 travelers 4-5 travelers 6+ travelers Single Supplement
Jan 1 - Dec 31
$8,298
$6,898
$6,598
$1,100

*Price is based on per person, double occupancy.

Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

*Please contact us for 7+ traveler pricing

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Cape Town
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2
Stellenbosch
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3
Cape Peninsula
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4
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
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5
Oudtshoorn
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6
Cango Valley
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7
The Robberg Peninsula
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8
Knysna
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9
Lion Sands Game Reserve
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10
Lion Sands Game Reserve
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11
Lion Sands Game Reserve
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Day 1

Cape Town

Upon arrival into Cape Town, our meet-and-greet services usher you from airport to hotel. After settling in, your local guide will introduce you to this remarkable city. Visit a 17th-century water reservoir; the historic Grand Parade lined by the Castle, old Drill Hall, and magnificent City Hall; and enjoy the stunning architecture, murals, and colorful flower market. Your route passes Church Square, the Groote Kerk, and original Slave Lodge on your way to the former Dutch East India Company’s gardens, a green oasis in the middle of town. After noting other highlights, you’ll leave the city center behind and head to the quaint Bo-Kaap area.

Refresh yourself with late-morning tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, served in the lounge, on the terrace, or in the estate around the garden fountain as you prefer. Then stretch your legs with a hike atop Table Mountain. Rising to nearly 3,300 feet directly from sea level, this lush plateau affords exceptional views.

In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel’s fine dining room or one of the local restaurants within walking distance.

Included: Arrival transfer, city tour, walk on Table Mountain. Meals: BLD

Cape Cadogan Boutique

Cape Town, South Africa

The stylish Cape Cadogan boutique hotel provides highly personalized service in an elegant, sophisticated hotel combined with the Cape café vibe. Housed in a stately Georgian building, it was originally a farmhouse which was “Victorianized” in 1912 and declared a national monument in 1984. Themed on the Irish literary figure Oscar Wilde, the Cadogan’s luxuriously appointed en suite bedrooms are decorated in “bohemian chic” with an eclectic mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. Public areas include lounge with an open fireplace, garden, pool area, and library.

Day 2

Stellenbosch

An early departure finds you on your way to the historic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Stellenbosch, settled in 1679, is a quaint village dotted with Cape Dutch architecture, small shops, and teahouses. After a brief introduction you are free to explore on your own.

Then continue to Franschhoek with its picturesque vineyards. For your pleasure: an elegant lunch and wine tasting enhanced by breathtaking panoramas of the Franschhoek Valley. Return to Cape Town in the late afternoon.

Included: Visit to wine country and wine tasting. Meals: BLD
Approximate Travel Time: 2 hours

Cape Cadogan Boutique

Cape Town, South Africa

The stylish Cape Cadogan boutique hotel provides highly personalized service in an elegant, sophisticated hotel combined with the Cape café vibe. Housed in a stately Georgian building, it was originally a farmhouse which was “Victorianized” in 1912 and declared a national monument in 1984. Themed on the Irish literary figure Oscar Wilde, the Cadogan’s luxuriously appointed en suite bedrooms are decorated in “bohemian chic” with an eclectic mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. Public areas include lounge with an open fireplace, garden, pool area, and library.

Day 3

Cape Peninsula

The renowned Cape Peninsula—one of the most dramatic coastal drives in the world—is yours to explore on a full-day tour. Follow the west side of the Peninsula down the Atlantic seaboard via Sea Point and the beautiful beaches at Clifton and Camps Bay. Breathtaking views continue on your way to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbor.

Enjoy lunch in the township hosted by a local family. Explore town on an easy bike ride, in support of the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN). Then head further down the coast by car to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, home to a startling variety of plant, bird, and animal life. Here, take a walk of special significance as you set foot on what was commonly thought of as the most southerly point of the African continent—the towering headland known as Cape Point. This famous view, where supposedly the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, can encompass the entire peninsula. As this moderate walk continues, observe the flowers and foliage of the Cape, and perhaps a baboon family or wild buck.

Before returning to Cape Town, stop at Simon’s Town, home to a large African penguin colony. In the evening, enjoy dinner at the hotel or one of the many excellent restaurants nearby.

Included: Township bike tour, exploration of Cape Point on foot. Meals: BLD
Approximate Travel Time: 3 hours

Cape Cadogan Boutique

Cape Town, South Africa

The stylish Cape Cadogan boutique hotel provides highly personalized service in an elegant, sophisticated hotel combined with the Cape café vibe. Housed in a stately Georgian building, it was originally a farmhouse which was “Victorianized” in 1912 and declared a national monument in 1984. Themed on the Irish literary figure Oscar Wilde, the Cadogan’s luxuriously appointed en suite bedrooms are decorated in “bohemian chic” with an eclectic mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. Public areas include lounge with an open fireplace, garden, pool area, and library.

Day 4

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

The world is divided into six floral kingdoms, and the Cape Peninsula is one of them. This is in splendid evidence at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. After an introduction to the gardens, explore the natural wonders on your own, or remain with your guide to learn more about some of the 22,000 indigenous plants. The Visitors Center offers a delightful cup of tea in an idyllic setting. To prolong your pleasure, a gourmet picnic lunch will be served in the gardens.

The afternoon is yours to enjoy at leisure exploring the city and waterfront. A trip to Robben Island is a popular option. From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation, and imprisonment. Today it is a World Heritage site and museum. (To secure a place for yourself on the ferry during the busy summer season, we recommend you book early. Bookings can be arranged online.)

This evening, discover gold in Cape Town! Walk through the Gold of Africa Museum in the historic Martin Melck building into the ancient courtyards of Gold Restaurant for a tasting safari: a set 15-course menu served at your table with cuisines ranging from Cape Town to Timbuktu. You’ll be captivated by the Djembe drumming, and the tall, graceful Mali puppets as they dance around your table.

Included: Walking tour of Kirstenbosch Gardens and afternoon at leisure. Meals: BLD
Approximate Travel Time: 2 hours

Cape Cadogan Boutique

Cape Town, South Africa

The stylish Cape Cadogan boutique hotel provides highly personalized service in an elegant, sophisticated hotel combined with the Cape café vibe. Housed in a stately Georgian building, it was originally a farmhouse which was “Victorianized” in 1912 and declared a national monument in 1984. Themed on the Irish literary figure Oscar Wilde, the Cadogan’s luxuriously appointed en suite bedrooms are decorated in “bohemian chic” with an eclectic mix of contemporary and antique furnishings. Public areas include lounge with an open fireplace, garden, pool area, and library.

Day 5

Oudtshoorn

Today, a scenic drive along Route 62 takes you into Oudtshoorn. A fertile farming community heading to the world-famous Garden Route, Oudtshoorn is a sportsman’s paradise and home to several prize-winning ostrich farms. On the way, stop for lunch in Barrydale—perhaps best known for its brandy and arts-and-crafts displays. Arriving in Oudtshoorn, you’ll be welcomed at Thorntree Country House, ideally situated on the route to the Cango Caves, the Swartberg Pass, and the circle route to Prince Albert via Meiringspoort. It is also within easy reach of the Cango Ostrich Farm and Cango Wildlife Ranch.
Included: Land transfer. Meals: BLD
Approximate Travel Time: 5½ hours

Thorntree Country House

Oudtshoorn, South Africa

The homestead and outbuildings of the Thorntree Country House date back to the 1800s and reflect Klein Karoo architectural style. They have been gracefully restored to their original splendor and equipped with all-modern conveniences. The luxurious rooms are en suite, and air-conditioned with television and bar. Each room has its own patio to enjoy the spacious garden. The two swimming pools (salt and chlorine) are a vantage point for unspoiled views of the picturesque Schoemanshoek Valley. In the dining room, sample superb Klein Karoo cuisine in the traditional style of a set menu with a variety of main dishes—a celebration of local culinary art.

Day 6

Cango Valley

At the head of the picturesque Cango Valley lies the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo: the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the Swartberg Mountains, these dripstone caverns amaze visitors with their vast halls and towering formations. You set off on a walking tour through this natural wonder—no need to feel claustrophobic, the first hall is 300 feet long, 165 feet wide, and no less than 50 feet high (though be reassured you can turn back anytime).

Returning to the surface world, you’ll depart over the Outeniqua Pass through the Wilderness, Knysna, and Plettenberg to the Crags.

Relax in the spirit of Africa during lunch at Emily’s, where beautiful collector art graces every nook and cranny. An eclectic menu is served around the pool area, where deck tables virtually hang over the river for spectacular views of the distant mountains. Then set forth on the next leg of your journey, to a lodge on the edge of a private nature reserve with panoramic views of verdant forests, valleys, and mountains. You have arrived in one of the most beautiful parts of Africa, the Garden Route.

Before dinner, indulge in a leisurely stroll on the grounds of your incredible lodge

Included: Land transfer and cave exploration on foot. Meals: BLD
Approximate Travel Time: 1½ hours

Hog Hollow Lodge

Cango Valley, South Africa

Hog Hollow Lodge, overlooking the Matjies River gorge, is a congenial hub where you are invited to kick off your shoes, grab an icy drink, and relax in one of three lounge areas. The pool lounge leads out onto cool blue waters. The reading room offers a quiet haven and leafy vista of the Tsitsikama Mountains beyond the forest valley. Bird lovers can head to the ficus lounge where an ancient fruit tree attracts the prolific bird community. At the center of the main house is a large dining room where guests are entertained at candlelit tables with gourmet delights. At evening’s end, enjoy a nightcap by the crackling fire as you plan the next day’s activities.

Day 7

The Robberg Peninsula

The Robberg Peninsula is a nature reserve and national monument about five miles south of Plettenberg Bay. Its ecology presents a fine example of how plants and animals adapt to the interacting influences of land and sea on this rocky coastline. You are invited to take your choice of three circular routes, from easy to athletic. A full round-trip via the Point takes about four hours, tide permitting.

After your walk, enjoy a picnic lunch in the reserve followed by a visit to Qolweni Township in Plett. Local guides will provide a unique opportunity for you to meet members of the community and learn about their way of life. Qolweni’s Community Development Trust raises vital funds for development projects through walking tours and open-air theater performances.

Relax at day’s end enjoying the many amenities of the lodge before dinner in the elegant candlelit dining room of the lodge’s main house.

Included: Coastal walk and township walking tour. Meals: BLD

Hog Hollow Lodge

Cango Valley, South Africa

Hog Hollow Lodge, overlooking the Matjies River gorge, is a congenial hub where you are invited to kick off your shoes, grab an icy drink, and relax in one of three lounge areas. The pool lounge leads out onto cool blue waters. The reading room offers a quiet haven and leafy vista of the Tsitsikama Mountains beyond the forest valley. Bird lovers can head to the ficus lounge where an ancient fruit tree attracts the prolific bird community. At the center of the main house is a large dining room where guests are entertained at candlelit tables with gourmet delights. At evening’s end, enjoy a nightcap by the crackling fire as you plan the next day’s activities.

Day 8

Knysna

It’s the experience of a lifetime! Get up close and personal with the gentle giants of Knysna Elephant Park. Our well-informed guides will share with you the mystical story of Knysna elephants—the world’s southernmost elephants. A walk in the Tsitsikamma forest or a coastal alternative may be arranged if you prefer. You may also choose to walk through Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, do a little shopping, or perhaps simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the lodge—a place you’ll wish you didn’t have to leave.

In the afternoon, consider the on-board excitement of a whale and dolphin experience. The sheltered, warm waters around Plettenberg Bay attract a rich variety of marine life, from the endangered African oystercatcher to juvenile hammerhead sharks, and thousands of common dolphins.

Celebrate your final night in this beautiful location with one last delicious dinner at the lodge.

Included: Visit to Knysna Elephant Park (or a walk alternative). Afternoon option at leisure (own expense). Meals: BLD

Hog Hollow Lodge

Cango Valley, South Africa

Hog Hollow Lodge, overlooking the Matjies River gorge, is a congenial hub where you are invited to kick off your shoes, grab an icy drink, and relax in one of three lounge areas. The pool lounge leads out onto cool blue waters. The reading room offers a quiet haven and leafy vista of the Tsitsikama Mountains beyond the forest valley. Bird lovers can head to the ficus lounge where an ancient fruit tree attracts the prolific bird community. At the center of the main house is a large dining room where guests are entertained at candlelit tables with gourmet delights. At evening’s end, enjoy a nightcap by the crackling fire as you plan the next day’s activities.

Day 9

Lion Sands Game Reserve

The adventure continues as you transfer to Port Elizabeth Airport in time for your flight to Johannesburg for the next portion of your safari. Here, bid your guide farewell as you catch the connecting Federal Air charter flight to the lodge (please note: luggage limited to 44 pounds in a soft bag). You will be met on the airstrip by your driver and transferred to the Lion Sands River Lodge. Upon check-in at the lodge you will be met by the warm and wonderful staff who will guide and care for you during your stay.

 

Included: Transfer by air and land. Meals: BLD
Approximate Travel Time: 2 hours by road, 2 short internal flights (max 1 hour each)

Lion Sands River Lodge

Lion Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Built on the banks of the Sabi River, River Lodge is the soul of Lion Sands. Here, where ancient trees date back 800 years, the east-facing lodge catches the morning sun as it rises over Kruger National Park. Expertly hosted by a family of staff that makes it feel like home away from home, the lodge is about spirit, warmth, and nature. To enhance your visit, River Lodge facilities include private lounge and bar with fireplace, an outdoor safari lounge, two swimming pools (heated in winter), wooden viewing decks, a secluded bird blind, a magnificent river island deck, lalamuka health spa and gymnasium, curio shop, and both indoor and open-air (boma) dining areas. There are 18 luxurious thatched bedrooms with bathrooms en suite, outdoor and inside shower, and wooden viewing deck. The bedroom area is air-conditioned with an overhead fan. All rooms have minibar and telephone access. Rooms are linked to other areas by raised wooden walkways. Owned and managed by the More family, Lion Sands delivers a world-class luxury safari experience that supports preservation of the pristine bushveld (wilderness area) and local communities surrounding the lodge.

Day 10

Lion Sands Game Reserve

This private game reserve is located in the finest territory of the world-famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Forming part of the greater Kruger National Park, the reserve has no fences and the wildlife is able to traverse freely between Lion Sands and the Kruger National Park. This reserve is home to the “big five” among countless other species of animal, reptile, and bird. Lion Sands is the only reserve in the Sabi Sand that employs a full-time ecologist, responsible for ensuring preservation of the land for generations to come. The reserve is private and exclusive to Lion Sands guests only, to assure you a highly personalized safari experience. You will enjoy the time and flexibility to savor the abundant natural beauty. A typical day includes:

5:30 am: Morning game drive / 7:45 am: Coffee & tea in the bush / 9:00 am: Breakfast at the lodge / 11:00 am: Interpretive bush walk / 1:00 pm: Lunch on the wooden viewing deck / 2:30 pm: Rest & relaxation: massage and spa at leisure / 4:00 pm: Evening game drive with high tea / 5:30 pm: Sundowners: cocktails while viewing sunset in the bush / 8:00 pm: Dinner by firelight under the African stars

Other optional and included activities include: astronomy, bush breakfast, bush dinner, bush walk, game drive, hippo tour, safari lunch, and wildlife lectures.

Included: All safari activities as detailed above. Meals: BLD

Lion Sands River Lodge

Lion Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Built on the banks of the Sabi River, River Lodge is the soul of Lion Sands. Here, where ancient trees date back 800 years, the east-facing lodge catches the morning sun as it rises over Kruger National Park. Expertly hosted by a family of staff that makes it feel like home away from home, the lodge is about spirit, warmth, and nature. To enhance your visit, River Lodge facilities include private lounge and bar with fireplace, an outdoor safari lounge, two swimming pools (heated in winter), wooden viewing decks, a secluded bird blind, a magnificent river island deck, lalamuka health spa and gymnasium, curio shop, and both indoor and open-air (boma) dining areas. There are 18 luxurious thatched bedrooms with bathrooms en suite, outdoor and inside shower, and wooden viewing deck. The bedroom area is air-conditioned with an overhead fan. All rooms have minibar and telephone access. Rooms are linked to other areas by raised wooden walkways. Owned and managed by the More family, Lion Sands delivers a world-class luxury safari experience that supports preservation of the pristine bushveld (wilderness area) and local communities surrounding the lodge.

Day 11

Lion Sands Game Reserve

Following a morning game drive and breakfast, a midday charter flight takes you—filled with memories of an extraordinary journey—back to Johannesburg in time for your connecting flight home.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Vanessa Nixon

Vanessa got the travel bug from her grandfather, a retired pilot with many exciting African travel tales. To celebrate her 21st birthday, she drove through nine African countries, crossing rivers, mud, snow, sand, mountains, herds of elephants, and baobab forest. She spent the next three years guiding camping safaris all over southern Africa, earning the top credentials that led to her joining CW Safaris. Vanessa loves sharing her travel experiences, including her strong ties to the Kalahari and its Komani bushmen. She believes each safari has a life of its own with unique adventures.

Sally Petersen

Growing up on a sheep farm in South Africa, Sally was infused with a love of the land, and dreamed of sharing her travel experiences with others. After graduating, she spent a few years travelling and working throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. She was an ‘Adventurer of the Year’ finalist after cycling from London to Cape Town to raise funds for Survival International. On returning to Cape Town, Sally pursued her dream career and became a qualified Nature and Tour Guide with the Dept. of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Sally’s passion for her country is infectious and her knowledge astounding.

Guest Comments

J. Stegman, North Carolina, June 2013

This was a trip of a life time! It was well planned and well executed. We all had a wonderful experience.

D. Stegman, North Carolina, June 2013

Excellent accommodations, food and experience. Pace was ideal.

A. West & H. Young, North Carolina, June 2013

Accommodations were exceptionally comfortable, food was excellent with wide selection. The trips and meals that were included were excellent. Our guides were very informative and helpful.

B. & B. Lindley, Washington D.C., November 2012

Bottom line: a very memorable trip of a lifetime, stretching our experience but easy on our nerves. It is a beautiful and fascinating country we are recommending to all our friends, and we have praise for CW as well. The guides were congenial, well-informed, interesting, efficient, and flexible. They were good-humored and appeared to have a depth and breadth of knowledge and thinking beyond what would be the basic requirement for a guide simply well trained in traditional tourist sights and activities. Restaurants and accommodations were superb.

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