8 Day Luxury Karoo and Garden Route Safari Tour
Cape Town to Port Elizabeth
Private Guided Safaris & Garden Route Tours in South African
Day 1 : Cape Town – Sanbona Game Reserve
Far and Wild Safaris will collect you from your overnight accommodation in Cape Town or from the Cape Town International Airport and make our way the Sanbona Game Reserve. Seated at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountain Range in the heart of South Africa's Little Karoo, Sanbona pays tribute to the San people who made this arid environment their home for centuries. Sanbona has an alluring atmosphere of stillness, an air of isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains.
Sanbona, invites you to explore a special wilderness sanctuary, offering five star accommodation at three luxurious lodges, surrounded by ancient volcanic mountains and endless vistas. Game drives last over 3 hours each and are conducted twice a day in open vehicles. Also on offer are nature walks, bird watching, star gazing and rock art viewing.
Day 2 : Sanbona Game Reserve
Today we follow the lodge programme, which is normally a morning game drive, breakfast, sometimes a guided walk (if available and which is optional), lunch, afternoon tea followed by the evening game drive and dinner
Day 3 : Buffesldrift Game Lodge, Oudtshoorn
After our morning game drive and breakfast, we make our way to Oudtshoorn. Here we overnight at the Buffesldrift Game Lodge on the outskirts of the town. We will do an afternoon game drive on this first afternoon.
Day 4 : Buffesldrift Game Lodge, Oudtshoorn
This morning we visit the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn, which are among the biggest stalagmite formations in the world. Some of the sandstone formations are colourfully illuminated and the bizarre shapes in the caves are mainly composed of calcium carbonate. They develop as limewater drips from the stones and evaporate. The structures growing down from the cave ceiling are called stalactites, while those that grow from the ground to the top are called stalagmites.
We will also visit a working ostrich farm where one can learn more about these fascinating birds. Commercial ostrich farming started during the late 1880's in South Africa; this was also the start of the ostrich industry worldwide. The fashion demand in Europe for ostrich feathers inspired the growth of the industry, with the Oudtshoorn district quickly being established as the "ostrich capital of the world". During the first decade of the previous century, ostrich feathers gained record prices on foreign markets, ranking 4th on the list of South African exports, after gold, diamonds and wool. The consequence of this newly found opulence meant that ostrich farmers were able to build beautiful sandstone mansions. A unique feature of the farm experience is a visit to the Ostrich Palace "Welgeluk" which was built at the height of the feather boom in 1910. The homestead is a National Monument and is a superb example of the type of architecture that was used at the time. Safari Ostrich Show Farm was established more than 40 years ago. Lunch will be enjoyed at this farm.
Day 5 : Knysna
After an early breakfast we make our way to the "Featherbed Nature Reserve" in Knysna. This spectacular four-hour eco-experience includes a return ferry, walk and lunch and a 25-minute ferry trip on the Knysna Lagoon to the Western head (The Reserve is only accessible by ferry.) Upon arrival, guests board a Unimog-drawn trailer and drive up to the top of the reserve. While stopping at a scenic lookout point, our specialist guides will share with you some fascinating tales about Knysna and the surrounding area while you enjoy the panoramic views. An optional 2,2 km guided nature walk takes you through the forest, onto the cliffs, into the caves and along the scenic coast. Once back in the Food Forest, a unique outdoor restaurant situated under the Milkwood Trees, guests can enjoy a spectacular 12 dish buffet lunch. The afternoon is yours to enjoy.
We will overnight at the Knysna Hollow (or similar). The Garden Chalets and Rooms are set in lush gardens and have been tastefully decorated with a Knysna forest feel. Room amenities include televisions, tea and coffee making facilities and private patios. The remainder of the day you are at leisure.
Day 6 : Addo Elephant Park (or private game lodge)
This morning we depart Knysna for the Addo Elephant National Park. Deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape is the Addo Elephant National Park. Here, the evenings are punctuated by the strident howl of the black-backed jackal, and the francolin's call heralds each new dawn. Safe from relentless persecution in the past, the grey leviathans of the bush now roam in peace. This park conserves no less than five of South Africa's seven biomes, is also home to one of the densest African elephant populations on earth and is home to the unique flightless dung beetle.
The remainder of the day will be spent on game drives into the various areas of this park which offers some of the most spectacular elephant viewing in the world.
Now the third largest national park in South Africa, Addo Elephant National Park has expanded to conserve a wide diversity of biodiversity, landscapes, fauna and flora. Stretching from the semi-arid karoo area in the north around Darlington Dam, over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sundays River valley and south to the coast between Sundays River mouth and Bushman's river mouth, Addo covers about 180 000 hectares (444 700 acres) and includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups.
The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. And their story has only just begun, with plans to expand the Park into a 264 000 hectare (652 300 acre) mega-park. In addition, plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000 hectare (296 500 acre) marine protected area that includes islands that are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and largest breeding population of endangered African penguins. In addition, plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000 ha (296 500 acre) marine reserve that includes islands that are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins.
Day 7 : Addo Elephant Park (or private game lodge)
Today will be spent on extended drives into the various areas of the park with your guide. For those times when you want the opportunity to stretch your legs in the camp, the SASOL Red Bishop Bird Hide is located opposite the waterhole in the main rest camp, offering bird watchers a view of red bishops, weavers, herons, coots and terrapins. The main game area boasts a list of 170 bird species, while the expanded park may contain as many as 450 species in a diversity of habitats. There is also a game viewing hide situated in the camp, and elephant are often seen here enjoying the water-hole.
You can opt for any of the luxurious lodges listed hereunder instead of the Addo Elephant Park itself:
Gorah Elephant Camp
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Shamwari Game Reserve
Amakhala Game Reserve
Kariega Game Reserve
Lalibela Game Reserve
Day 8 : Port Elizabeth
After your morning game drive and breakfast you will be dropped off at your overnight accommodation in Port Elizabeth or at the airport in Port Elizabeth in the early afternoon for your return flight.