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With a Kenyan father, Indian grandparents, and a Portuguese surname, travel is in my blood. I am enthralled by Africa and would happily talk about this diverse continent’s wildlife, cultures, and experiences all day, every day.
- from $5,224 PP
- 12 Nights
- Year round
- 12 hours from London / 19 hours from New York
Ideal for those who want a mix of guided tours and independent exploring, this 12-night trip offers many South Africa highlights with all accommodation included, starting with two full days in Cape Town. Hike iconic Table Mountain with an expert guide and then tour the Cape Peninsula with its many impressive sights, including African penguins on Boulders Beach. From there, drive a rental car to Oudtshoorn, visit the Cango Caves and enjoy lots of exploring in stunning Plettenberg Bay, including whale watching opportunities. Next, travel to Amakhala Game Reserve for three exciting days of safari adventures, watching for African wildlife.
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- 12 nights hotel accommodation in 4 or 5 star hotels
- Breakfast is included and full board on safari
- Fully insured rental vehicle
- Private arrival airport transfer
- Table Mountain Hike & Cape Peninsula Tour
- Shared game viewing activities on safari
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
- Expert trip planning advice
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Cape Town Arrival
Welcome to Cape Town. Your 12-night adventure begins with a greeting at the airport from our private driver who will transfer you to your accommodation in the city. Get settled into your room, relax, refresh and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. We recommend getting a taste of the city by exploring the V&A Waterfront. Not only will you be able to take in spectacular mountain and ocean views as you stroll, but you’ll find a wide range of shopping and dining opportunities. You might want to take a ride on the Cape Wheel for a stunning 360-degree view.
Day 2 Cape Town & Table Mountain Hike
This morning begins by embarking on a private guide hike to the top of Table Mountain. Your driver will pick you up, bringing you to the lower cable car station before leading you up the steep rocky path to the summit. Along the way there will be lots of stops to enjoy the views of the 12 Apostles and Camps Bay while catching your breath. Your reward for the effort will be a breathtaking panorama of ocean, island and city views at trail’s end. From there, you’ll ride the rotating cable car back down with 360-degree views throughout.
Day 3 Cape Peninsula Tour
Your private/driver guide will pick you up this morning to tour the scenic Cape Peninsula, travelling the road that runs along the rugged Atlantic Coast toward Cape Point, Africa’s most southwestern tip. Expect many great photo-ops along the way, including beautiful beaches. You’ll pass through the suburb of Camps Bay, stop to marvel at the African penguins at Boulders Beach and take a walk through the Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens to view diverse fynbos flora and a natural forest. Visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve to see birds, antelope, and baboons, along with dolphins and seals offshore.
Day 4 Swellendam
A rental car will be delivered to you at your Cape Town hotel this morning for your drive to Swellendam. It’s just a little over two-and-a-half hours away, but plan for more time to enjoy the spectacular views of endless vineyards and soaring peaks. Upon your arrival, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore. You might want to visit the Drostdy Museum to learn amore about the town. This outstanding institution displays an excellent example of mid-18th-century Cape Dutch architecture along with a wide range of historic artefacts. There are plenty of shops and cafes to enjoy in Swellendam as well.
Day 5 Oudtshoorn
Another two-and-a-half hour drive brings you to Oudtshoorn this morning, travelling through an awe-inspiring mountain pass, through the semi-arid desert of Karoo and along what’s known as South Africa’s most scenic route, Route 62. It cuts through a vast expanse of vine-covered landscape, dramatic mountains and valleys. Take your time, stopping to capture photos or just soak up the views. After you check into your Oudtshoorn accommodation, explore the “ostrich capital of the world,” which became wealthy thanks to its ostrich feather industry around the turn of the 20th century. The elaborate sandstone homes provide a glimpse of its rich past.
Day 6 Oudtshoorn/Cango Caves
Enjoy the day exploring this spectacular mountainous area with a drive to Cango Caves in Precambrian limestones at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. Join a tour to take a walk through the caves, including the main cave, considered one of the most magnificent in South Africa. The expert guide will fill you in on its history and more about the rock formations. If you’re up for something more adventurous, take the adventure tour to head deeper underground, travelling through smaller tunnels and caverns. After returning to Oudtshoorn, enjoy dinner at your hotel or one of the many restaurants in the city.
Day 7 Plettenberg Bay
A two-hour drive will bring you from Oudtshoorn to Plettenberg Bay, with breathtaking views, particularly along the Garden Route from the town of George where the roadway follows the coast. Along the way you might want to stop for lunch and an ocean view, with some fabulous restaurants and cafes overlooking the water. After reaching Plettenberg Bay, check into your accommodation, take time to relax and refresh and then head out to explore. The sandy beach and the spectacular clifftops are both great places for a stroll – along the way watch for dolphins, and from July through November, humpback and Bryde’s whales.
Day 8 Explore the Tsitsikamma National Park
Travel through the high mountains of the Garden Route to Tsitsikamma National Park to enjoy coastal views from a different perspective this morning. You could choose to go on a kayak tour, led by passionate expert guides. Paddle from the open ocean to the mouth of Storms River and beyond, passing under the famous suspension bridge, a postcard-perfect photo-op. You’ll be surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery, including dramatic foliage-draped cliffs that create cathedral-like tranquility with the silence interrupted only by the rushing sounds of the river.
Day 9 Plettenberg Bay
Today you can relax and enjoy the stunning white sand beach at Plettenberg Bay. If you are visiting during the whale season, a boat trip to explore the marine wildlife is a great idea.
Day 10 Amakhala Game Reserve
It’s a little over a three-hour drive from Plettenberg Bay to your next destination, Amakhala Game Reserve, much of which follows along the coast. Enjoy a relaxed morning, taking in the views along the way. Once you have settled into your room at the lodge, you’ll get to enjoy your first game drive. The private game reserve covers 18,000 acres, home to a wide range of wildlife, including giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, zebras, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, monkeys, buffaloes, various antelope species and tortoise. Your expert guide will help you track the animals and tell you more about what you’re seeing.
Day 11 Amakhala Game Reserve
You’ll be able to enjoy morning and afternoon drives today and tomorrow, with full day safaris. Head out with an informative, professional ranger in an open Land Rover early today, when the temperatures are still cool and the animals quite active, including the big cats that will be returning from their nighttime hunts. You’ll be driven back to the lodge afterwards to enjoy a hearty breakfast. Relax or take a nap, with time at your leisure until joining the late afternoon drive. It will continue until after dark to provide the opportunity to watch for nocturnal animals such as spring hare, lynx and porcupine.
Day 12 Amakhala Game Reserve
Your second full safari day brings another opportunity to witness the world-famous African wildlife up close in their own habitat. Today your experienced ranger will look for animals you haven’t spotted yet based on his in-depth knowledge of the area. Of course, the focus of game drives aren’t just the large beasts like elephants and lions, but smaller mammals, birds and even fascinating insects. You’ll also have the option to view wildlife from a different perspective by joining a river cruise on Bushman’s River. It brings outstanding views of wildlife, with the river home to lots of fish, attracting many different animals.
Day 13 Departure Day
While today is your departure day, you’ll have one final chance to watch the wildlife with a morning game drive. After viewing and breakfast, you’ll drive your rental car to Port Elizabeth Airport and check in for your flight.
Safari Camps and Hotels Featured & Alternatives
The Cape Cadogen
The Victoria & Alfred Hotel
Hillsnek Safari Camp
Amakhala Private Game Reserve
Great Fish River Lodge
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
Speak to experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and trip preferences
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The Best Guides
What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.
From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.
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