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Private Guided Safaris Tours. Book your Tailor-made Overland South African Tour
Day 1 : Oudtshoorn
Leaving from your chosen collection point in Cape Town we make our way along "Route 62", to Oudtshoorn. This route offers a shorter, scenic alternative to the N2 motorway. The scenery is magnificent - with picturesque landscapes, mountains, scenic passes, towering cliffs, crystal clear streams, rivers, orchards and vineyards as well as a wide variety of trees and indigenous flora. The region is well known for the quality of their wines. We reach Oudtshoorn, in the late afternoon - a town that is known as the "feather capital of the world".
Turnberry Boutique Hotel (or similar), is our accommodation venue for the night. Located in the centre of this picturesque Klein Karoo town, the Turnberry Boutique Hotel, a tiny piece of Scotland set in the heart of the Klein Karoo offers a warm welcome. Each of the well appointed bedrooms has double beds, en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, satellite television, tea & coffee making facilities, a mini bar and wireless internet connection.
Day 2 : Oudtshoorn
Today we visit the well known Cango Caves - these caves are home to some of the biggest stalagmite formations in the world. Beautifully and colourfully illuminated, these formations are mainly composed of calcium carbonate. They develop as limewater drips from the stones. The structures growing down from the cave ceiling are called stalactites, while those that grow from the ground up are called stalagmites. We will also visit a working ostrich farm to learn more about these fascinating birds. Commercial ostrich farming started in South Africa, during the late 1880's, which was also the start of the ostrich industry worldwide. Fashion demand in Europe for ostrich feathers led to the growth of the industry, with Oudtshoorn quickly establishing itself as the 'ostrich capital of the world' with ostrich feathers at one time ranking 4th on South Africa's list of exports - after gold, diamonds and wool. One of the consequences of this newly found opulence was the building of beautiful sandstone mansions, in the area, and in addition to our visit to an ostrich farm, we will visit the Ostrich Palace "Welgeluk" which was built at the height of the feather boom in 1910. The homestead is a National Monument and provides a good example of the type of architecture that was used at the time. We will enjoy lunch at the farm.
We leave Oudtshoorn for the town of Knysna, travelling via the beautiful Outeniqua Pass. Our accommodation for the next two nights is at Knysna Hollow (or similar), where the chalets and rooms are set in lush gardens, decorated with a Knysna forest feel. Room facilities include televisions, tea and coffee making facilities and private patios.
Day 3 : Knysna
After breakfast we visit the "Featherbed Nature Reserve". Featherbed offers visitors to the Garden Route area, an unforgettable experience on the Knysna Lagoon. More correctly defined as an estuary, the lagoon has five fresh water rivers flowing into it from the surrounding Outeniqua Mountains where it meets with salt sea water from the Indian Ocean, between two mighty headlands - known as the 'Knysna Heads'. These sandstone cliffs tower above the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon. Featherbed is a privately-owned, registered Nature Reserve as well as a South African Heritage Site. This pristine piece of natural beauty is located on the Western Head of Knysna and is only accessible by ferry. We drive through the reserve to the top of the Head, where there is the option, of taking a 2.2 km guided walk, passing through Milkwood forests, onto steep sandstone cliffs, into ancient Khoi Khoi sea caves and along a coastal path offering scenic views and scented with the aromatic fynbos, which the Cape region is renowned for. Learn about and experience the fauna, flora, ecology, marine and bird life of this reserve. Sightings of the Black African Oyster Catcher, one of South Africa's rarest coastal birds - are not uncommon. Featherbed Nature Reserve is also home to the Blue Duiker - one of the smallest antelope species in the world - the Knysna Loerie - a beautiful bird - and the endangered Knysna Sea Horse. We enjoy lunch at The Forest Restaurant, beautifully placed under a canopy of Milkwood trees on the edge of the Lagoon.
The afternoon is free to enjoy at leisure, either exploring the town and waterfront, shopping or relaxing.
Day 4 : Addo Elephant National Park
Leaving Knysna, we visit Plettenberg Bay and Bloukrantz Bridge. Bloukrantz is the highest commercial bungee jump in the world and you will have the opportunity to bungee jump the 216 metres! (this is for guests' own account). Depending on time, we may also visit Tsitsikamma National Park, with its coastal walk and suspension bridge over the Storms River - the round trip taking approximately an hour and a half. We stop at the Paul Sauer Bridge over the Storms River, where we enjoy lunch and a stroll onto the bridge. After lunch we head for Addo Elephant National Park located in the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape. The original Elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area - today though, Addo is a finely tuned ecosystem offering dense bushveld and sanctuary to a wide variety of animals including elephant, Cape buffalo, black rhino, black-backed jackal, a variety of antelope species and the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.
Day 5 : East London
After a morning game drive, we travel to East London where we overnight at the Quarry Lake Inn. East London is a coastal city and Quarry Lake Inn is located in a quiet suburb - it is a four-star graded guest-house overlooking a rehabilitated quarry, where indigenous plants and trees were introduced to recreate a natural environment that now supports a multitude of animal and bird life.
Day 6 : Umngazi River Bungalows
Today takes us through the rural Transkei, following a particularly scenic route to our overnight destination on the beautiful Wild Coast. Umngazi River Bungalows is our preferred accommodation here, but this is a very popular venue, and availability is often limited. Should we be unable to secure accommodation here, we will stay at a similar venue, to be advised. Perched on the hillside above the Umngazi River mouth, the Umngazi River Bungalows - nestled in the heart of Pondoland - overlook the beauty and splendour that is the Wild Coast.
Day 7 : Umngazi River Bungalows
Our stay here has been designed to give you time to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Wild Coast. There is something for everyone - beach walks and activities for the more active, or just relaxing in comfortable and private surroundings, for the less energetic. There is a beautiful riverside pool where guests can relax and Basil's Bar where guests can hang out playing darts or snooker, getting to feel like a regular in no time. There is also a health spa with professional and dedicated therapists, a gym, and tennis courts as well as beautiful long beaches and a coastline rich in shore life.
Day 8 : Himeville
Travelling from here, inland through the rural Transkei, we reach the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains and follow a beautifully scenic route to Himeville, where we overnight at Moorcroft Manor (or similar). Moorcroft Manor offers classically decorated rooms all with en suite bathrooms and private patios. Fresh tea or coffee with homemade biscotti is delivered to your room each morning, to be enjoyed whilst marvelling at the majestic and uninterrupted views of the Giants Cup.
Day 9 : Sani Pass
This morning we ascend the famous Sani Pass, into Lesotho, in 4x4 vehicles. This is a truly magnificent corner of the province offering breathtaking mountain scenery. The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road and a well-known entry point into Lesotho. Sani Pass is the only border post between Kwa-Zulu Natal and Lesotho and is also the gateway to the 'Roof of Africa', a scenic route that links the scenery of the Drakensberg with the mountains of northern Lesotho.
Once a rough mule trail, descending from the old Basutoland into Natal, drovers would bring wool and mohair down the pass on donkeys, to be exchanged for blankets, clothing or food - essentials for living in a remote, impoverished country. One man had a dream... of operating a motor vehicle service up this fantastic Pass, using the 4-wheel drive vehicles he had seen in service during World War II and thus the Sani Pass was born.
After entering Lesotho, we visit a Basutho village to learn more about the life of these very friendly people, in one of the hardiest and poorest countries. Lunch is enjoyed at Sani Top Chalet - the "highest pub in Africa" (for your own account). We should also have some time here to walk along the edge of the escarpment for stunning views into KwaZulu Natal, before descending the pass, back to Moorcroft Manor.
Warm clothing is a must, no matter the season of the year! You will also need valid passports for the crossing into Lesotho. The ascent of the pass is subject to the prevailing weather conditions.
Day 10 : Durban
After a relaxed breakfast we leave for Durban, arriving early afternoon - in time for a short orientation tour of the city before dropping you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in time for your flight.