Eastern Cape Explorer

$8075-$9250/per person

Overview

This 12-day itinerary begins in scenically beautiful Cape Town, where you will find a compelling mix of trendy modern and old-world elegance.   Begin your journey with four nights at the Kensington Place, located in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Higgovale.   This contemporary private hotel combines cutting-edge design with a tranquil but prime location off trendy Kloof Street, below Table Mountain.  Eight bespoke en-suite guest rooms and private outdoor terraces as well as a lush green Urban retreat with a plunge pool make it the perfect home away from home to begin your safari in South Africa. From Cape Town, your private guide will transfer you to Hermanus via Elgin and the Hemel end Aarde Wine Valley for a wine tasting and overnight at the One Marine Drive before continuing to the Garden Route. Not a garden in the true sense of the word, the Garden Route is more in the way of a "Garden of Eden," an area of natural wilderness with endless expanses of untamed primal forest and pristine beaches. Here, you will spend three nights at Kanonkop House, gloriously situated on the hills above Knysna. The family-owned Kanonkop offers boutique accommodation, excellent service and views over the Knysna Lagoon across to the famous Knysna Heads and the ocean beyond. Continuing by road, the Eastern Cape has its fair share of game reserves, private and national, and one of the main draws is that they are malaria free. The Mountain Zebra National Park, is home to the rare Cape Mountain Zebra, as well as buffalo, cheetah and the smaller predators - genets, bat-eared foxes, and jackals. Addo Elephant National Park, a Big 5 reserve is a haven for elephant and neigboring Camdeboo and Shamwari are highly regarded Eastern Cape reserves as well. Your last visit in South Africa is to the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, located in South Africa’s beautiful Eastern Cape Province. The reserve comprises 22 000 hectares of African wilderness inhabited by a diverse array of wildlife including hippo, springbok, giraffe, cheetah as well as the famed Big Five. You can look forward to a wide selection of incredible activities including: scenic picnics, guided nature walks with experienced wildlife trackers, sundowners while floating on one of the reserve dams, as well as big game walking safaris and even rhino darting.

DAY
1

At A Glance

  • Meet our local representative on arrival at Cape Town Airport who will assist you through customs and immigration
  • Private road transfer from Cape Town Airport to Kensington Place (± 30 minutes)
  • Stay at Kensington Place in a Superior Room for 3 nights
  • Breakfast included

Kensington Place

Itinerary Details

Where Cape Town gets hip and comfortable! Kensington Place is a contemporary private hotel that combines cutting-edge design with a tranquil but prime location off trendy Kloof Street, below Table Mountain.
With eight bespoke en-suite guest rooms and private outdoor terraces and a team of friendly staffers who are almost telepathic, its not such a stretch to feel you are staying in a private home. And this home is styled by someone with immaculate taste, the finest linens used on the beds, the thickest towels used in the bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and personal laptops with complementary Wi-fi access are just a few of the modern accessories.
All day breakfasts, private dining 24 hours a day and the restaurants on Kloof Street are within easy walking distance. Guests can unwind with a refreshing drink at the bar. The hotel also offers a lush quiet garden and an intimate outdoor swimming pool. It is truly a sanctuary in the city, located just a short walk away from the vibe of Kloof Street, and a few minutes’ drive from the Cableway, Camps Bay and the Waterfront.

DAY
2

At A Glance

  • Half Day Rise and Shine Table Mountain Hike

Private Half Day Table Mountain Tour

Itinerary Details

The tour commences with collection from your hotel and transfer to the lower cable car station at Table Mountain where you lace up your shoes and prepare for an assault on the mountain. The India Venster route is our favorite ascent route, offering both brilliant views and an adventurous climb. Steep rocky trails wind up the front of the mountain to a series of short vertical faces protected by chains and staples, followed by a series of ledges that swing from views over Cape Town to vistas of Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles. Strong walkers have the option to continue to the highest point at Maclear’s Beacon before returning to traverse the western table to descend via cable car.

DAY
3

At A Glance

  • Private Guided Peninsula Tour (full day)

Private Guided Peninsula Tour (full day)

Itinerary Details

Your tour begins at Kalk Bay, best known for its working fishing harbor and bohemian feel. Browse the arts and crafts on offer, perhaps do a bit of shopping in the quirky fashion boutiques and enjoy the antiques and collectables along the main strip.

Next, you’ll head over to Simon’s Town for those keen to learn more about the rich history surrounding this naval town, museums and monuments.  Bringing this naval town to life is an insight into the shark diving industry and stories of Just Nuisance – Great Dane, WWII mascot and only dog ever enlisted in the Royal Navy.

Before heading to the Cape Peninsula itself you search for rogue penguins – a splinter colony away from the crowded boardwalks over the main breeding site – on a beach known only to locals.  Your tour ends with a gentle hike in the Cape Peninsula Reserve, exploring secluded beaches, shipwrecks and this region’s unique wildlife. The return journey weaves back to Cape Town via Noordhoek Farm Village a food artisan hub of the Peninsula and (time permitting) stopping for a little wine tasting at Cape Point Vineyards, producer of some of South Africa’s finest Sauvignon Blanc.

DAY
4

At A Glance

  • Private road transfer from Cape Town to Hermanus via Elgin and the Hemel en Aarde Wine Valley (± 2.5 hours)
  • Enjoy a wine tasting at one of the famous wine estates in the valley 
  • Stay at One Marine Drive in a Pool View Room for 1 night
  • Breakfast included 

One Marine Drive Boutique Hotel

Itinerary Details

Located in Hermanus, One Marine Drive Boutique Hotel overlooks Walker Bay with beautiful views and is within walking distance to restaurants and shops. Each of the seven en-suite bedrooms has beautiful sea views with private balconies. Guests can enjoy cooked breakfasts on the deck overlooking the heated swimming pool, have a drink in the friendly bar, or chill in one of the living areas. The coastal cliff path is accessible directly in front of the hotel and is a great way to visit the beaches, view the bay, whales and sea life.

DAY
5

At A Glance

  • Private road transfer from One Marine Drive to Kanonkop House (± 5 hours)
  • Stay at Kanonkop Guest House in a Luxury Garden View Room for 3 nights
  • Breakfast included

Kanonkop House

Itinerary Details

Kanonkop House combines service and relaxed luxury in an intimate and unique guest experience. Beautifully positioned at the top of Kanonkop Hill in private indigenous forest, overlooking the iconic Knysna Lagoon with breath-taking views stretching all the way to the famous Knysna Heads and Indian Ocean. The tranquil setting just outside of the main town centre allows guest the relaxed enjoyment of the natural beauty that the Garden Route is famous for while the restaurants, activities and shops of the town of Knysna are just a 5 minute drive away. In-house activities including discounted golf, cycling, birding, hiking, kayaking, beach, and all watersports are available and Kanonkop House is ideally situated to take advantage of all Garden Route Tourist attractions.

DAY
6

At A Glance

  • Private  Guided Tsitsikamma Tour (full day)

Private Guided Tsitsikamma Tour (full day)

Itinerary Details

Your guide will collect you in the morning from your hotel to start your day with a visit to The Big Tree located in the Tsitsikamma Forest. This giant Outeniqua Yellowwood (Podocarpus Falcatus) is a magnificent part of creation, being some 1,000 years old and towering at an impressive height of 36.6 meters. Continue to the Tsitsikamma National Park which incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes, a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate high forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea.  Enjoy a walk along the suspension bridge across the Storms River mouth gorge offering incredible views and photo opportunities.  Head into Stormsriver town for lunch (your own account). After lunch, visit the Bitou Art Gallery and peruse an extraordinary display of art created by local artists who also work from the studio. You can expect to see watercolor, ink, ceramics, acrylics, oils and photography pieces.

Before heading back to the hotel, enjoy a thrilling activity to end your day – a Treetop Canopy Tour which is a zip line activity through the canopy of the Tsitsikamma Forest; a Segway tour on one of a selection of routes among cool pine forest, indigenous forest, or even explore the historical Witteklip bridge or the local township; Bungy Jumping or Bridge Walking at Bloukrans or Kayak and Lilo up the Storms River Gorge in Tsitsikamma. For the not-so-adventurous, you could explore the Tsitsikamma Forest further on the Woodcutter’s Journey, visiting one of the many animal sanctuaries in the area such as the Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary or explore the various art and craft studios and galleries in the area.  Return to your hotel in the late afternoon around 5:30pm.

DAY
7

At A Glance

  • Private Guided  Knysna & Plettenberg Bay Tour (full day)

Private Guided Knysna & Plettenberg Bay Tour (full day)

Itinerary Details

Start the day with a visit to the Knysna Heads where the views are simply amazing, with jutting rocks and spectacular sea scapes. The viewing platforms allow for fabulous photo opportunities out to sea from the Heads or in the other direction towards the Knysna Lagoon. At the bottom of the Heads you will see Coney Beach, a secluded, quaint and incredibly beautiful beach with a view of the Heads, surrounded by trees and plants.
Proceed to Thesen Island where you can participate in a hands-on oyster demonstration and learn all about this famous delicacy. Have a go at “shucking” or opening an oyster and tasting the difference between the wild and cultivated varieties. From here continue with a short Garden of Eden walk through one of the most beautiful examples of Wet Highforest– an unusual type of forest thick with tall stinkwood, kalander, wit-els and other moist forest varieties. The 1 km walk is just long enough to get in touch with the senses and use the examples of giant moss, lichen, streams and filtered sunlight to restore mind, body and soul.
The afternoon is spent in the newest wine region in South Africa near Plettenberg Bay where you can enjoy lunch and wine tastings. A glorious end to a perfect day – glide up the deep ravine of the Keurbooms River for 4.5 km, moor at the sandy cove at Whiskey Creek. Walk through the indigenous forest, swim in the gentle waters, pop a champagne cork and relax in natural splendor.
Return to your hotel around 6:00pm.

DAY
8-11

At A Glance

  • Private road transfer from Kanonkop House to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve  (± 4.5 hours)
  • Stay at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge in a Suite for 4 nights
  • Twice daily scheduled safari activities included
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner and local brand drinks included

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Itinerary Details

Set in thick vegetation overlooking a dense valley, Ecca Lodge offers breath taking views onto an escarpment of steep shale cliffs, featuring six suites, of which three are dedicated to families. The double suites can accommodate 2 adults each and the family suites accommodate 2 adults and 2 children (under 16yrs on day beds in the lounge). The family suites also include a private vehicle and ranger. A private vehicle is available at an additional cost for guests staying in a double suite.
The lodge is intimate, relaxed and trendy with décor inspired by the vibrant colours and textures of the nearby villages.
The suites of Ecca Lodge are airy and open with flowing interiors that extend outwards to the wilderness. Wraparound decks, complete with private plunge pools and outdoor showers, offer sweeping views and complete relaxation. All ages are welcome.
Explore the natural splendour of Kwandwe on early morning and late afternoon / evening game drives in an open 4×4 safari vehicle. An armed ranger and tracker team share their extensive knowledge of the bush with you as you track the Big Five, as well as a variety of other wildlife.
Morning drives begin as dawn breaks over the Great Fish River, providing the opportunity to see predators winding up their nocturnal hunts and settling in for the day. Many animals take advantage of the cool morning hours to graze before the heat of the day. In the late afternoon wildlife can often be spotted coming down to the river to drink. Night drives produces some unusual sightings, including aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox and porcupine. Kwandwe offers a variety of fishing options, walking and tracking of big game (min age 16 yrs) and interpretive bush walks.

DAY
12

At A Glance

  • Private road transfer from Kwandwe Ecca Lodge to Port Elizabeth Airport (± 1 hour)

Itinerary Details

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