Departing on Tuesdays ONLY – subject to availability.
Depart Cape Town at about 08h15 and head northwards, climbing over the spectacular Du Toit’s Kloof Mountain pass en route to Worcester. From Worcester we continue on the R62 (apparently the longest wine route in the world) through the quaint towns of Montague and Barrydale. After lunch and a wine-tasting, we travel through the Little Karoo, a semi-desert area characteristic of scrub vegetation, vast sheep and ostrich farms, blue skies and dramatic rock formations.
A warm welcome awaits us from the staff of the Riempies Estate Hotel in Oudtshoorn, where we arrive in the late afternoon for our overnight stop. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. Here ostriches are bred in large numbers and the region produces the best feathers, leather products and ostrich meat in the World. This odd prehistoric-looking LARGE bird is just one of the many attractions in this area of interesting contrasts.
The small town is the commercial hub of the greater Klein Karoo region (encompassing Prince Albert, De Rust and Calitzdorp) and is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua- and Swartberg Mountains. You will spend a night here at the Marriott Hotel (or similar).
After a good breakfast we visit the world famous Cango Caves, the largest and most impressive cave network in South Africa, where we take a guided tour lasting just over an hour. From the Caves we travel to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, a breeding ranch for crocodile and cheetah. There are several other animals on display, (including lion and rare tigers), some of which you may not have seen on safari.
Before leaving the Oudtshoorn area, we will drive you to one of the biggest ostrich farms in the Valley where you will have lunch, which includes an ostrich steak, or at least something made from ostrich.
After lunch, you will have a tour of the Farm and will be allowed to touch and feed ostriches. Ostrich riding is no longer permitted because Animal Rights groups fear for the health of these birds in a town that experiences extremely high temperatures right right through Spring and Summer.
Then in the late afternoon we will takes you to a magnificent mountain pass over the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna. As you drive over the summit of the pass, lush green vegetation awaits you on the coastal belt below. Your hotel tonight is the Blackwater River Lodge (or similar).
The morning you will visit the village of Knysna and enjoy a bit of free time at the Knysna Waterfront, for some shopping or coffee. At 10h00 you will depart on a guided boat trip across the Knysna Estuary -often referred to as the Knysna Lagoon, to the famous Featherbed Private Nature Reserve (subject to weather conditions). Qualified skippers and guides are on board to ensure that your trip is as informative as possible. After a short tractor ride up to a viewpoint, you will have a chance to do some walking in the Reserve before you enjoy a delicious buffet lunch under the ancient Milkwood Trees overlooking the water.
In the late afternoon we will make our way to Mossel Bay where you will have some time to visit to the Post Office Tree and the Diaz Museum Complex, the first landing place of Bartholomew Diaz on his voyage of exploration to Southern Africa, in 1488.
Overnight at the Marriott Hotel in Mossel Bay (or similar)
On your final Garden Route day, we head to the Botlierskop Game Reserve for a 2-3 hour safari in a topless game-drive vehicle, during which time you MAY get to see Lion, Giraffe, Buffalo, Rhinoceros and other mammals, in addition to dozens of bird species in the area. From here we drive to the historic Dutch town called Swellendam where you will have lunch before we return to Cape Town through the vast Overberg region which is a photographers treat in the South African Winter and early Spring.