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From Cape Town to Port Elizabeth

 

This trip


A two-week’s schedule at the west side of South Africa. Eleven nights self-drive from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth (the garden route), followed by four days in a "big 5" malaria free private reserve.



In a nutshell

Number of nights:

Lodges:





Price:







International flights:


15

"African Elite" Waterfront Apartment (4 nights)
Majeka House (2 nights)
De Hoop Nature Reserve (2 nights)
Kanonkop House (2 nights)
Hilsnek Safaris, Amakhala (4 nights)

From 36.000 Rand / 2.690$ / 1.650 £ / 2.120 € per person
Includes local (return) flight from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town
Includes rental car (class B)
Includes super cover car insurance with unlimited mileage

Based on double room occupancy
Price depending on season

Not included
Approximately 760 £ per person from UK, or 1.100 $ per person from US
See example at the bottom of this page


Intro


South Africa is an enormous country and it’s understandable that this may frighten some people. How and where do you start? And which places should you certainly visit? There's a zillion possibilities! And which are the pros and cons of every place you can visit? The mistake most people make is wanting to visit the whole country in one go, resulting in a 3 week’s trip of which most of the time is spent on the road. You really don't do South-Africa any justice if you visit it with a fast-paced shedule like that. Nor will you walk away with a "this was awesome and I want to return" feeling.

Our advise would be to divide South Africa’s major attractions in two trips. A first trip would be the east part of the country. Kruger Park, combined with a visit to Soweto and the Drakensberg mountains (and maybe include the wetlands south of Kruger). The second trip; the west! Cape Town with the wine region, garden route and Port Elizabeth (Addo National Park and surroundings). This itinerary describes the latter. A typical Cape-to-Addo itinerary. It's a good mix between culture an nature. But the nature part (the safari, that is) in a malaria free area, and that is certainly an advantage.

This schedule starts in the most westernised part of South africa; the Cape. You can visit Table mountain, the Waterfront, Robben island,… And it goes without saying that you should also drive around Cape point to see the penguins and go on a hike in Table mountain National Park. The botanical gardens in Kirstenbosch should be on the list as well. From there we move on to Stellenbosch, to the wine region, to go wine tasting.

After that we’re going to spend some time The Hope Nature Reserve, which is 34000Ha and loved by hikers, bikers and bird lovers from the Cape region. The winter time and beginning of the summer are best for whale watching.

Next on the list - with the obliged panoramic stops on the garden route - is Knysna, a beautiful mediterranean village at the coast side. Featherbed Island is definitely worth visiting and you can go for a swim in Bollard Bay.

And last but not least we get to the safari part; a stay in Amakhala Private Reserve close to Addo National Park. An unforgettable safari with experienced guide who brings you close to the animals.


 

Strong points

 

  • ◦   Rental car with insurance included
  • ◦   A ffantastic way to start discovering this continent, for anyone who hasn't been to Africa yet
  • ◦   Qualitative and very comfortable lodges
  • ◦   Make your own choice in terms of attraction you want to include, and go at your own pace
  • ◦   Amakhala; accompanied by experienced guides and trackers
  • ◦   Amakhala; qualitative wildlife encounters; max. 3 vehicles per sighting
  • ◦   Amakhala: off-roading, bush walks and night drives allowed
  • ◦   Flight back from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town included;
  •       (it is not needed to take the car back to the airport where you retrieved it)
 



Lodges


 
 
 

Cape Town: Waterfront apartment

 
 
 
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African Elite Properties provides luxury serviced accommodation in exclusive homes and apartments for short--term rentals. All properties are located within walking distance of Restaurants, Shops, Nightlife, the Cape Town International Convention Centre and the V&A Waterfront. Pristine beaches and Table Mountain are 10 minutes away by taxi.

Accommodation is innovative and stylish and promote a lifestyle focused on local living. Housekeeping, concierge facilities as well as tourist information can be provided for. We chose for a location at the Waterfront, providing a magnificent view. Compared to a regular B&B; you will have to foresee your own breakfast, but that is a small price to pay if you take into account the magnificent location, and the reduced cost.
 
 
 

Stellenbosch: Majeka House

 
 
 
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Indulge in Stellenbosch accommodation at its finest in a graceful garden setting located in the heart of South Africa's famous Cape winelands. Majeka house is where the easy elegance of yesteryear is perfectly enhanced by the ultimate in modern-day luxury.

All rooms are complete with en-suite bathrooms and are stylishly decorated in a neutral palette brought to life by vibrant splashes of colour. Rooms available include the Premier collection, Garden alternative, Mountain view and the Pool side rooms.

Visit the wine region, go on a hike or cycling expedition. The coast is also near an certainly worth a visit too.
 
 
 

Overberg: De Hoop Nature Reserve

 
 
 
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De Hoop is one of the largest natural areas managed by CapeNature. This beautiful reserve is a favourite for hikers, cyclists, and bird and whale watchers. The reserve, which is 34 000 hectares, is just three hours from Cape Town. On the trails you may get to see bontebuck, zebras, eland, hartebeest, baboons and ostriches. There’s a protected colony of Cape vultures too. You can go sun tanning or snorkelling in the turquoise water in between the rocks. The neighbouring marine reserve, which extends 5km out to sea, is one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa. It conserves a vast and fascinating variety of marine life.

De Hoop has one of the best hiking trails in South Africa: the Whale Trail. This route offers coastal and mountain walking, with spectacular views and, of course, plenty of opportunities for whale watching. The typical houses are painted white (“fisherman” style) and are ideal for couples or families; it feels as if you’re staying in your own holiday home.

 
 

Knysna: Kanonkop House

 
 
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Perched on the edge of South Africa’s largest forest alongside an immense tidal lagoon, Knysna is an eco-wonderland offering magnificent beaches, hiking, walking, cycling and water activities. Kanonkop House has breathtaking views of the Knysna lagoon and the giant sandstone cliffs dominating the entrance to the Indian Ocean (the  famous ‘Knysna Heads’), yet is tranquilly positioned in a private and peaceful indigenous forest only 5 minutes drive from the centre of town.

The grounds at Kanonkop House include a swimming pool, sundeck, outdoor lounge, terrace and bar.  Full breakfast and all drinks from the bar, internet, safe parking and friendly service are included in the rate. Elegant Kanonkop House owned and managed by the Conyers family, offers personal, family managed, award winning, boutique accommodation consisting of 6 suites at Kanonkop House. There’s many things to do in Knysna but a visit to Featherbed Island is an absolute must. And you should taste the oysters!
 
 

Amakhala: Hilsnek Safaris

 
 
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Positioned in a secluded corner of the Amakhala Game Reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape of South Africa, lies HillsNek Safaris. This intimate family-run lodge, set on the banks of the Bushman’s River with a breathtaking vista of rolling African plains, offers an unprecedented safari experience where privacy and personalized attention is the hallmark of every stay. Each activity is done by an experienced guide and for the big 5 off-roading is permitted so you can admire and photograph the animals up close and personal.

All four tents are linked to the main lodge by raised wooden walkways. The tents are complete with an en-suite bathroom and romantic outside shower. With all the canvas windows rolled up one may appreciate the beauty of nature from the comfort of your bed or whilst soaking in a deep bubble bath.
 
 



Safari
itinerary
in detail



 
 

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Day 17

Morning (US) or afternoon (EU); depature. International flight to South Africa.


Morning: arrival in Cape Town. Collect your rental car
Noon: drive to Cape Town cerntre, Waterfront Apartment
Afternoon; free. Perfect time to go grocery shopping for your meals over the next days
Evening: discover the V&A Waterfront, dinner in one of the local restaurants (*)
Overnight at a Waterfront Apartment


Morning: visit Table Mountain ans Kirstenbosch botanical gardens (*)
Afternoon: visit Robben Island (*)
Evening: dinner in one of the local restaurants (*)
Overnight at a Waterfront Apartment


Whole day: scenic drive along the Cape peninsula
(stops at Cape Point and Boulders Beach's penguins)
Evening: dinner in one of the local restaurants (*)
Overnight at a Waterfront Apartment


Morning: visit Kirstenbosch Gardens (*)
Afternoon: shopping trip at the V&A Waterfront (*)
Evening: dinner in one of the local restaurants (*)
Overnight at a Waterfront Apartment


Morning: drive to Stellenbosch
Noon: short visit of Moederskerk (church) and Oom Samie Se Winkel (*)
Afternoon: visit the wine region and go wine-tasting (*)
Evening: dinner at Majeka House or in one of the restaurants in Stellenbosch (*)
Overnight at Majeka House


Morning: breakfast (provided by Majeka House) & lazy morning
Afternoon: go sun bathing on the white beaches of Bikini Beach
Evening: sunset cruise from Gordon Bay's port and
dinner at Berties Moorings restaurant (*)
Overnight at Majeka House


Morning: breakfast (provided by Majeka House)
Morning: drive to De Hoop Nature Reserve
Noon; lunch at De Hoop Fig Tree restaurant (*)
Afternoon: short hike on the De Hoop Klipspringer Trail
Evening: dinner at Fig Tree restaurant
Overnight at De Hoop Nature Reserve ("Vlei Cottage")


Morning: breakfast at the Fig Tree restaurant
Full day: hike the famous Whale Trail, do some whale watching along the way. Ask for a lunch pack!
Evening: dinner at Fig Tree restaurant
Overnight at De Hoop Nature Reserve ("Vlei Cottage")


Morning: breakfast at the Fig Tree restaurant
Morning: drive to Knysna
Afternoon: short hike in the Keursboom River Nature Reserve (*)
Evening: dinner at one of the restaurants in Knysna (*)
Overnight at Kanonkop House


Morning: breakfast at Kanonkop House
Full day: visit Featherbed Island (*)
Evening: sunset cruise and dinner in a restaurant in Knysna (*)
Overnight at Kanonkop House


Morning: breakfast at Kanonkop House
Morning: drive to Amakhala Reserve
Afternoon: game drive in Amakhala Reserve, accompanied by experieced guides
Evening: night game drive followed by dinner
Overnight at Hilsnek Safaris lodge


Morning: game drive in Amakhala Reserve, followed by breakfast
Noon: relax during the hottest part of the day, followed by light lunch
Afternoon: game drive in Amakhala Reserve
Evening: night game drive followed by dinner
Overnight at Hilsnek Safaris lodge


Morning: game drive in Amakhala Reserve, followed by breakfast
Noon: relax during the hottest part of the day, followed by light lunch
Afternoon: game drive in Amakhala Reserve
Evening: night game drive followed by dinner
Overnight at Hilsnek Safaris lodge


Morning: game drive in Amakhala Reserve, followed by breakfast
Noon: relax during the hottest part of the day, followed by light lunch
Afternoon: game drive in Amakhala Reserve
Evening: night game drive followed by dinner
Overnight at Hilsnek Safaris lodge


Morning: game drive in Amakhala Reserve, followed by breakfast
Noon: drive to Port Elizabeth airport, return rental car
Afternoon: flight back to Cape Town
Evening: International flight home


Morning/noon: arrival in EU/UK/US

 
 

Included / not included

 

Included;

  • ◦   All activities mentioned in the detailed itinerary above, except where mentioned with "(*)".
  • ◦   All accommodation mentioned in the detailed itinerary above.
  • ◦   All meals mentioned in the detailed itinerary above, except where mentioned with "(*)".
  • ◦   Rental car class B and insurance, unlimited mileage.
  • ◦   Local flight from Port Elizabeth back to Cape Town.
  • ◦   Amakhala: game drives accompanied by wildlife guide and tracker


Some activities mentioned above are not included ("*"), and must be booked separately (unless they are free, of course). Please note that we only mention these activities as suggestions of things you can do while at a certain destination. However, you are completely free to spend your days, and plan any activity, as you wish. Not sure what to do? Ask us for more possibilities!


Not included;

  • ◦   International flights
  • ◦   Travel insurance
  • ◦   Personal expenditure
  • ◦   Medical expenditure
  • ◦   Tips & gratuities
  • ◦   All drinks
  • ◦   Meals not mentioned in the detailed itinerary, or mentioned as "not included"
 
 

About international flights

 

For people from EU/UK there are lots of ways to get to Cape Town. The cheapest flights are those with a stopover in Johannesburg (this city is the biggest hub in the whole of southern Africa). However, a stopover does mean you lose a couple of hours more while en route. Plus; with every additional stopover, there's always that chance that your luggage stays behind. And you do not save that much money by going via Johannesburg. Maybe just around 75£ / 100 €. So we advise to always fly directly to Cape Town;

1) From London

...it can be done with Virgin Atlantic and British airways. Virgin Atlantic is a bit cheaper. Both have three classes so please make sure you're comparing apples with apples when comparing prices. Booking far in advance will get you the lowest air fares. Virgin Atlantic flies with an Airbus A340-600, British Airways with Boeing 747-400. Virgin Atlantic is about 750£ / 1000€, British Airways is 75£ / 100€ more expensive.

2) From Amsterdam

...you can get there using KLM. They fly with a Boeing 777. KLM only has two classes. prices are about 10 to 20€ (7 to 15£) cheaper than British Airways, but still higher thanVirgin Atlantic. Personally we discourage the use of KLM. Seats are a tad less comfortable, service level is a tad lower, but the most important of all; our customers have had some trouble multiple times in the past, on this route (with luggage, with cancelled "city hopper" flights, and so on).


For people from US there's also a zillion choices, but here as well: we advise to keep your stopovers to a minimum. And then your options are;

1) With South African Airlines straight to Johannesburg and then a second flight to Cape Town. Prices start around 1.100 $.

2) A combination of Delta and Air France. Delta takes you to Paris. Air France takes you straight to Cape Town. Tickets cost around 1.150 $.

 
 

Rental car

 

A rental car, type B (small city car) is included, for a rental period of 15 days.
Some extras might be useful. Such as;

  • ◦   Additional driver fee
  • ◦   GPS
  • ◦   Tyre & glass waiver (extra insurance)

 
 

Additional info

 

There is a single supplement for any person traveling alone.

If there's no more availability in the aforementioned lodges; there's plenty of alternatives.