- All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners included A lot of the food you’ll come across is very similar to what you’ll be used to at home. There will be, however, opportunities to try some local dishes, including some unusual meats such as ostrich or kudu. Spending a lot of time along the coast there is also access to some very good, fresh fish and seafood. One of the nights, in Tsitsikamma, we will enjoy a traditional braai (barbeque), a quintessential South African meal. Whilst South Africa is very much a meat-eating nation, there are options for vegetarians, though perhaps not as many as you’d be used to at home.
- Accom: camping
- Accom: hotel/lodge
- New trip
- Trek: point-to-point
- Walking & Trekking
- Guided Group
Arrive Port Elizabeth, transfer to Addo N.P.
Land only passengers can be picked up at our pre-tour hotel in Port Elizabeth or meet the group at Port Elizabeth Airport in time for the arrival of the group flights (see final joining instructions for detail). Upon arrival of the group flight we will transfer to our accommodation in the Addo Hills. Here we stay in permanent tents with en suite facilities set in a private reserve, on the border of the national park, where various game such as kudu, impala and bushbuck can be seen. The rest of the day is free to relax after the overnight flight. Accommodation: Kudu Ridge Lodge or similar
Game drives in Addo N.P.
After breakfast we embark on a full day game drive in Addo Elephant National Park (to give it its full name). The park was initially set up to protect the few remaining elephants in the area which it did with great success as the populations grew considerably over the years. Today it is Africa’s third largest national park and as well as elephants is home to lions, Black rhino, meerkats and the ubiquitous dung beetle which can be seen throughout the park rolling little balls of dung by the side of the road. We'll have a picnic lunch in the park. Accommodation: Kudu Ridge Lodge or similar
Start the Alexandria Trail.
We head towards the coast today to start on the two-day Alexandria Trail. There is a strict limit of 12 people allowed on the trail per day meaning that we will probably be the only people on the trail. The trail loops through three distinct environments - sand dunes, sea-shore and indigenous forest – within the Woody Cape Nature Reserve, part of Addo National Park. After doing the sign-in procedures at the office, we take a short drive to the start of our trail passing through indigenous forest and dairy farms. Our trek starts at the coast. We wind through indigenous coastal forest until we reach the dunes. From here we follow the coast from where we may spot whales or dolphins off-shore. Eventually, after almost 11 km, we arrive at the Woody Cape Hut with its incredible views. Sleeping arrangements tonight are in two 6-bed dorms which may have to be shared by men and women depending on the formation of the group. You will have to carry everything you need for the night, including a sleeping bag, and will be asked to help carry your portion of food for the day. Accommodation: Woody Cape Hut or similar
Continue on the trail through the Alexandria sand dunes; on to Tsitsikamma N.P.
This morning we complete the loop of the Alexandria Trail. Leaving the hut behind we head into the Alexandria Dune Field. This vast expanse of sand, often referred to as a sand sea, is one of the largest existing active coastal dune fields in the world covering 142 square kilometres with some dunes measuring up to 140m. After conquering the dunes we continue through the forest back to the start point. From here we transfer to Tsitsikamma National Park where we can relax for the rest of day. Accommodation: Storms River Restcamp or similar
Hike in Tsitsikamma N.P. before moving on to Plettenberg Bay.
Stretching along the coast, Tsitsikamma National Park gets its name from a local word meaning ‘place of abundant water.’ The park is made up of rocky coastlines, fairy-tale forests, waterfalls and rivers and is a great place for bird enthusiasts with a variety of sea, forest and fynbos (scrubland) species present. There are a number of short trails which depart from the Storm’s River area where we will be staying and we will do a couple of the most popular trails. The first of these is the Waterfall Trail, this trail, rocky in parts, takes us to where the Tweeriviere River falls 50m into a pool before cascading into the sea. We return the same way. This trail is 6kms in total (3kms each way) and should take about 3hrs. Next we head in the opposite direction on the short Storms River Mouth trail which takes us, as the name implies, to the mouth of the Storms River where there are suspension bridges. This 2km trail is very easy along boardwalks most of the way but is well worth it for the views. There is some free time and you can choose to follow another trail or head to the trees for some zip-lining (see optional excursions section for prices). Later we drive to Plettenberg Bay where we spend the next two nights. Accommodation: Redbourne Country Lodge or similar
Free day with optional beach walks or boat rides through Featherbed Nature Reserve.
When Portuguese explorers first sailed past Plettenberg Bay they named it ‘Bahia Fromosa’ (beautiful bay). With three beaches, estuaries and lagoons, the town has become a popular holiday destination for South Africans. We have a free day to relax or explore the region further. For those who want we can drive to Knysna and explore the featherbed nature reserve by boat taking in the Knysna Lagoon and Heads. There are also some walks that can be done nearby. Accommodation: Redbourne Country Lodge or similar
Drive to Swellendam; hike in the Marolth Nature Reserve.
An early start as we leave the coast behind and travel to Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa, with its attractive Cape Dutch architecture. We spend most of today in nearby Marloth Nature Reserve with its interesting vegetation of mountain fynbos, protea and erica. We follow the Tienuurkop Peak (10 O’clock Peak) trail, a challenging hike climbing up to the summit of Tienuurkop at 1,195m with spanning views of the Langeberg Mountains, Ruensveld and Swellendam. Along the way we pass fynbos veld and patches of indigenous forest and may see various birds and small mammals, including antelopes. This evening the leader will prepare a traditional South African braai (barbeque) for dinner. Accommodation: Rooseje Van de Kaap Hotel or similar
Drive to De Hoop; hike along the whale trail.
This morning we head back for the coast and the De Hoop Nature Reserve. This afternoon we have an interpretive marine walk along part of the Whale Trail. This easy trail, covered during high-tide, explores coastal rock pools and sandy beaches with a guide pointing out various marine life-forms and, between June and December, can provide great sightings of Southern Right whales off shore. The time of the walk is dependent on the tides and there should be some free time to relax, look out for the whales (in season) or go explore the reserve. Accommodation: Rooseje Van de Kaap Hotel or similar
To Cape Town, stopping in the famous winelands of Stellenbosch on the way.
Any trip to South Africa’s Cape region would be amiss if it didn’t visit some of the country’s famous wineries and today we do just that as we explore the wine region surrounding Stellenbosch and Franschoek. We visit a couple wineries and get to taste some of the different varieties produced here. We later continue on to the Mother City, Cape Town, Africa’s most exciting city.
Hike up Skeleton Gorge to Table Mountain.
Nothing symbolises Cape Town like Table Mountain. We head up the mountain the back way along Skeleton Gorge. The trail meanders its way up through a ravine and along a path reaching the plateau before crossing the entire plateau to the cable car. Along the way there are sweeping views in different directions and we pass every ecosystem found on the mountain (Table Mountain National Park has more species of plants than the whole of the UK) and get to appreciate the mountain in its totality. After enjoying the views from the top we catch the cable car back down the mountain (ZAR125), the rest of the day is free.
Hike from Smitswinkelbay to Cape Point
Going along the Cape Peninsula we reach Smitswinkel by bus. From here we hike through the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, along False Bay. We pass fragrant fynbos and may spot antelope, baboon and Rock hyrax along the way. Our final destination is the Cape Point Lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope beyond that. This is the south-westerly most point in Africa and is the place where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans dramatically come crashing into one another. After visiting the area around Cape Point we drive to Simonstown where our hotel has fantastic views over False Bay and the majestic Simon's Kloof Mountains. Accommodation: Quayside Hotel or similar
Optional Kayak to the Penguins in Simonstown; visit Cape vineyards before returning to Cape Town
Those still feeling energetic have the option of taking a kayak trip this morning to a local penguin colony. Alternatively it’s also possible to just go to Boulder’s Beach and visit the colony of African penguins which have been residing here since 1982. We later return to Cape Town where we can spend the next day and a half exploring the magnificent city. There is plenty to do in and around the city from exploring the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront or the Kirstenbosch Gardens to taking a township tour or heading out to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela, and numerous other political prisoners, were held captive during the apartheid era.
Free day to explore Cape Town
Today is free to explore the magnificent city.
Depart Cape Town
The trip end after breakfast for land only passengers. Those on the group flights should have some time for last minute shopping or sightseeing before being taken to the airport in time for the flight home.