South Africa's Western Cape

South Africa

South Africa's Western Cape

South Africa is a destination that calls the discerning traveler back again and again! This adventure begins in vibrant Cape Town, with its incredible food and arts scene. From Cape Town, traverse a beautiful mountain pass as you head to one of the largest private game reserves in South Africa, where the process of habitat and species rehabilitation has been in progress for many years. Enjoy daily game drives set against the stunning Little Karoo landscape with your ranger and learn more about how the reserve achieves the right balance of predators and herbivores. Continue on to a private nature reserve overlooking beautiful Walker Bay. Immerse yourself in the charms of this unique nature reserve, devoted to the preservation of the smallest yet most biodiverse plant kingdom on earth - the fynbos. With your naturalist guide, walk in the fynbos, explore the organic farm or head to the beach for a walk and a look into the caves. End your adventure in style with a stay at a working farm and winery in the Cape Winelands, where you will learn about the farm, vineyards and visit a few local wineries.

Quick Summary

Itinerary Detail

Day 1: Arrive Cape Town

Arrive Cape Town

Cape Town

Scenically beautiful, Cape Town is cited for its idyllic placement at the foot of Table Mountain. The stunning vistas become a constant background for a mixture of blocks filled with trendy modern buildings, historic neighborhoods, and unique gardens. Malay and African heritage is evident in the cuisine, traditions, and entertainment, while the architecture often has a residue of Dutch, English, and German-style.

On arrival at the airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel by private car.

Day 2: Cape Town

Cape Town
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Cape Town: Table Mountain and City Tour

Cape Town: Table Mountain and City Tour

Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and let incredible panoramas wow your soul. A short hike later, having left the crowds behind, peer down at the fascinating city sprawled out before you, and view magnificent stretches of ocean. Over freshly brewed coffee and home-baked treats, let the stories of Cape Town be brought to life by your guide.

Back down in the city, soak up the magical vibe of Cape Town, through a combination of tales of the past juxtaposed with modern-day culture, and meet some of the absorbing communities which form the town’s vital building blocks. Focusing on food, design, arts, and crafts, you'll visit a selection of historical sites, such as Company’s Garden, Green Market Square, and St George’s Cathedral - buildings and monuments which stood as the backdrop for memorable icons who changed the world. Depending on your interests, touch on the fascinating and controversial politics that have shaped the city - delving into recollections of the once-vibrant District 6 community or perhaps the occasion where Mandela made his first free speech.

Continue your exploration heading to Bo-Kaap, with its brightly colored 17th-century houses, cobblestone streets, Muslim shrines, and beautiful mosques. Visit local nonprofit projects which impact positively on the lives of their artists and craftspeople and uncover the immense talent born of this city, and exhibited in galleries, street art installations, and within the urban regeneration of historical suburbs. Bree Street is a hotspot for artisans, fashion, jewelry, and interior design - the air fragrant with the mouth-watering aromas from a variety of foodie gems.

End the day mingling with locals at a city haunt, rooftop bar or beach cove, sundowners in hand.

Day 3: Cape Town

Cape Town

Spend the day exploring Cape Town on your own. Visit one of the 'Mother City's' local art galleries, or fine museums, like the South African Museum, situated in the historic Company's Gardens. Visiting during the weekend? Drop by one of the wonderful food markets such as the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays or the Oranjezicht City Farm Market Day held every Saturday and Sunday at the historic Granger Bay site of the V&A Waterfront.

Plan your visit to coincide with the Cape Town Art Fair usually held in February, and spend the day experiencing contemporary artworks from all over Africa.

Optional guided tours are also available. Consider a full-day visit to the lesser-known, more laid back Elgin Wine region, or to the Cape Peninsula, where you'll find penguins, the Cape of Good Hope, and more.

Day 4: Cape Town - Sanbona

Cape Town - Sanbona
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Internal Transfer

Today, you will be picked up at your hotel in Cape Town and transferred to the Sanbona Welcome Lounge. From there, you will be transferred to your tented camp where you will spend the next two nights.

Enjoy lunch at the lodge and then take off for your afternoon game drive through the magnificent landscape of the Little Karoo. The reserve is home to the 'Big 5', although you will see much more than these large animals - favorites include the gemsbok (oryx) and the tiny, elusive klipspringer or mountain goat, seen atop hills from afar.

After your sundowner, head back to the lodge for a delicious gourmet dinner and a delightful glass of South African wine.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

At the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains in the Little Karoo lies the unique safari destination of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Three Luxury Lodges and an adventurous Explorer Camp nestle in 58, 000 hectares of sculpted Cape Fold Mountains and wide-open plains. A short three-hour drive from Cape Town takes you to the heart of the Little Karoo, along Route 62, to an unforgettable, malaria-free private game reserve. More than a Big 5 wilderness reserve, it’s the vastness of the landscape, the alluring stillness and isolation amid raw beauty and boundless plains that make Sanbona unique.

Sanbona is an ongoing conservation project that aims to restore the ecological balance in a landscape formed during cataclysmic times 350 million years ago. Travel through 3 different biomes, and many habitats, including the quartz fields of the succulent Karoo, a very special habitat characterized by beds of angular quartz debris and home to flora of stunning minute succulent shrubs. A priority for the Reserve has always been the re-introduction of species that once naturally roamed through the Little Karoo.

Day 5: Sanbona

Sanbona

After an early breakfast, head out for your morning safari with your ranger. The reserve at Sanbona is quite large, so you may spend the morning tracking elephants or with luck, spotting the brother and sister white lions. There are always surprise sightings on the way as the reserve is home to many bovidea species like the eland, springbok, red hartebeest, and kudu as well as birds, hippos, and zebra.

Back to the lodge for lunch and a rest before you depart for your afternoon game drive. If you are interested in the incredibly diverse and unique flora of the Karoo, be sure to let your ranger know.

Day 6: Sanbona - Grootbos

Sanbona - Grootbos
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Internal Transfer

After breakfast and an early morning game drive, depart for the Sanbona Welcome Lounge, where you will be met by your private car and driver. Transfer to Grootbos and check into your suite upon arrival.

Time permitting, you may be able to enjoy a late afternoon activity with your guide. Otherwise, relax and unwind in your beautiful cottage, walk the milkwood trail, or take a dip in the main lodge pool.

Grootbos

Grootbos is a one-of-a-kind experience nestled in the Overberg, overlooking stunning Walker Bay. The 2,500-hectare reserve offers the chance to immerse yourself in the unique, biodiverse fynbos plant kingdom and ancient forest of Grootbos, featuring 800 plant species, 118 bird species, 29 mammals and 21 amphibians – some of which are under threat of extinction.

Their carefully curated experiences offer you the chance to learn and discover - whether it's spotting whales and their calves in the ocean or meeting passionate people changing the world. Much of the food served is grown on the reserve and you can taste this in every mouthful. Soak up the sun, enjoy the fragrant smell of fynbos in the air, and let the beautiful surroundings do its magic.

Day 7: Grootbos

Grootbos

There are many activities available for you to enjoy while at Grootbos. Work with your guide to select the experiences that suit your interests. Take a 4X4 botanical drive through the reserve and learn from your knowledgeable guide about the incredible birds, plants, and animals in this floral kingdom.

With some of the most pristine beaches in the world, enjoy a walk along the water’s edge, historical cave tours led by your guide, sun tanning with whales in front of you, or snacking on a picnic as the sun goes down.

Learn more about the Grootbos Foundation and their efforts to benefit their local community with a visit to the Farm and Green Futures School.

During whale season, book a marine safari and experience the marine 'Big 5'. Not included in the cost of your stay, advanced booking advised.

Day 8: Grootbos - Franschhoek

Grootbos - Franschhoek
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Internal Transfer

After a delicious breakfast and one more morning activity, private transfer from Grootbos to Franschhoek and the Cape Winelands area. Arrival at your hotel where you'll spend the next 3 nights.

Franschhoek

The picture-perfect town of Franschhoek was founded by the French Huguenots in the late 1600s and still retains its French charm in its café lined streets and small boutique atmosphere. Surrounded by the dramatic Groot Drakenstein Mountains, it is home to internationally acclaimed wines from nearby estates such as La Motte, Moreson and Graham Beck and is also a culinary capital in South Africa, boasting numerous award-winning restaurants which draw on menus with a sophisticated local twist.

In keeping with its culinary reputation, Franschhoek hosts popular food and wine festivals, while a walk along its little streets will showcase wonderful examples of quaint South African country homes.

Day 9: Franschhoek

Franschhoek
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Valley Boutique Art & Wine

Valley Boutique Art & Wine

Lose yourself in this French corner of the Cape. Franschhoek has a unique feel of little Europe and is known as the Food and Wine Capital of the Cape. Enjoy the wine estates, many restaurants, and other local mouthwatering delights that tantalize taste buds. Feel the history amongst the museums that document the French Huguenot exodus to Africa.

Explore Franschhoek with visits to three wine farms and three galleries, enjoying afternoon snacks at the lookout point on Franschhoek pass. Small, exclusive, and off-the-beaten-track, these wine farms have been selected for their unique offerings and exceptional wines. Each one produces a variety of cultivars and, depending on your preferences you can focus on the classic whites, full-bodied reds, or enjoy the wonderful Method Cap Classiques.

The galleries visited boast incredible surrounds: landscaped gardens, manicured vineyards, historical farms, and heritage buildings. Artworks on view include paintings, drawings, original prints, ceramics, photography, and traditional beadwork.

Day 10: Franschhoek

Franschhoek

Spend your day enjoying a variety of included activities, like a guided tour of the farm, focusing on their regenerative farming practices and sustainable agriculture. Savor the wines produced at Boschendal with a premier wine tasting experience in the historic Manor House. Learn more about the wines produced here with either a cellar tour or a vineyards tour

Take a ride on horseback along the Boschendal's trails or rent a mountain bike and explore the five mountain biking trails found on the property. There are trails for all levels of rider! Relax with a spa treatment at the Farm Spa. Pre-booking of treatments is essential.

Day 11: Franschhoek - Home

Franschhoek - Home
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Depart Home

Say goodbye to beatuiful South Africa! Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation

Details

Details

Price Includes

• 10 nights accomodation
• Services of a professional tour guide in Cape Town
• Private transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
• Meals as described in the itinerary
• Entrance and Park Fees unless noted
• Included activities at Grootbos, Sanbona, and Boschendal (game drives)

Price Excludes

• International and regional airfare
• Optional activities
• Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
• Any items of a personal nature, including portage, laundry, telephone
calls, table drinks
• Passport and visa fees
• Gratuities to drivers, guides, wait-staff, maid service, porters
• Travel insurance

Why Ponte Travels

Why Ponte Travels

How is Ponte Travels different

Unlike travel agencies, we specialize in off-the-beaten-path, custom-designed itineraries for individuals and small groups. Our focus is on sustainable tourism, with low environmental impact and high cultural interaction.

24-hour local support & assistance

We partner with expert agents and guides in the countries we visit who are specially trained to deal with unexpected issues and can assist you 24/7 in the event of an emergency.

Safe and reliable cars & drivers

Your safety is our primary concern, which is why we only work with partners who share our high safety and quality standards for the drivers and vehicles used.

Hotels

All our hotels, homestays, guesthouses, eco-lodges, tented camps and houseboats (based on location and itinerary) have been selected to offer a high level of unique experience, service, cleanliness and value.

Local guides

We use English-speaking, certified, local guides who are passionate about sharing their country with you.

Giving back

We believe that responsible tourism involves giving back to organizations that are working to improve the lives of the poorest citizens in the countries we visit as well as our own community. We make a donation from every tour to carefully selected NGOs who we believe are making a difference. Learn more about who we support at www.pontetravels.com.