10 Day Tour From
Cape Town to Durban
via the Free State and Karoo
Private Guided Safaris Tours. Book your Tailor-made Overland South African Tour
Day 1 : Knysna
Far and Wild Safaris will be departing from your accommodation venue in Cape Town, we make our way to Knysna on the well known ‘Garden Route’. Overnight accommodation is at Knysna Hollow (or similar). Knysna Hollow Country Estate is set on an old country estate near Knysna's famous lagoon. The gracious old manor house forms the central point of the lodge and is set amongst oaks and pecan trees. The building is finished with pressed ceilings, indigenous furniture and yellowwood floors.
Situated in the Manor House, the Knysna Hollow Country Estate Restaurant serves fine food in warm and relaxed surroundings. The menu offers choices of ocean-fresh seafood such as Cape crayfish, linefish and other South African specialties such as Karoo lamb and venison dishes, not to mention their decadent desserts.
Day 2 : Knysna
Today, we visit the Featherbed Reserve, situated on the Knysna Lagoon. Featherbed is a privately owned and registered Nature Reserve as well as a South African Heritage site. Situated on the Western Head of Knysna, the reserve is only accessible by ferry.
We enjoy a four-hour eco-experience including return ferry trip, nature drive, guided walk and buffet lunch at the Food Forest Restaurant. The Featherbed Nature Reserve is a prime example of eco-tourism and in an attempt to protect the reserves natural beauty, access to the Reserve is controlled and visits are only permitted in the company of specialist guides.
Our eco-experience starts with a ferry cruise where we learn of the region’s early shipping industry, oyster cultivation and other fascinating stories of the lagoon, history and ecology of the reserve. On arrival at the Reserve - enjoy a drive to the top of Knysna’s Western Head to enjoy spectacular viewpoints over the Lagoon, mountains, town of Knysna and the sea. An optional 2.2km downhill walk can also be enjoyed with our specialist guide.
The afternoon is free to explore the small town of Knysna. Picturesquely nestled between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua Mountains and surrounded by forests encircling it like a protective mantle, the 21ha lagoon, is at the heart of Knysna and is protected from the sea by monolithic sandstone "Heads".
Day 3 : Oudtshoorn
Today we visit the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn - these caves have some of the biggest stalagmite formations in the world. Some of these sandstone formations, composed mainly of calcium carbonate have been colourfully illuminated and make for beautiful photographs.
In the afternoon, we visit a working ostrich farm where we 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 for ostrich feathers in Europe inspired growth of the industry, with the Oudtshoorn district quickly establishing itself as the “ostrich capital of the world”. At one time ostrich feathers ranked fourth on the list of South African exports - after gold, diamonds and wool. A consequence of this newly found opulence meant that ostrich farmers were able to build beautiful sandstone mansions and we also enjoy 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 a superb example of architecture that was used at the time. Lunch is enjoyed at this farm.
We will overnight at the Turnberry Boutique Hotel (or similar). This tiny piece of Scotland set in the heart of the Klein Karoo, offers a warm welcome. Each of the well appointed air-conditioned bedrooms has satellite television, tea & coffee making facilities, a mini bar and wireless internet connections and all of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms and double beds.
Day 4 and 5 : Karoo National Park
Leaving Oudtshoorn we travel through the Karoo to the Karoo National Park located near Beaufort West. The Great Karoo is a vast and unforgiving landscape of which the Karoo National Park is just a small portion. Home to a fascinating diversity of life, all of which have adapted to survive in these harsh conditions, the Karoo is the largest ecosystem in South Africa. Many species have been relocated including Cape mountain zebra, lion and brown hyena.
Day 6 : Gariep Dam
After enjoying another game drive, we depart for Gariep Dam, which surrounded by the stark beauty of the Karoo, stretches for as far as the eye can see. The sunsets are magnificent and guests will be surprised by the silence and serenity of the evenings.
We overnight at the de Stijl Gariep Hotel (or similar) which is considered to be the Upper Karoo’s most stylish hotel, offering chic, contemporary and extremely comfortable rooms overlooking the Gariep Dam.
Day 7 : Golden Gate National Park
Today we travel through the scenic Eastern Free State Province to Golden Gate National Park. Nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains this park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold which are cast by the sun on the park's many sandstone cliffs, but especially Brandwag rock, located above the main rest camp. This National Park is 11 600 hectares in size and offers genuine highland habitat for a variety of animals including black wildebeest, blesbok, eland, springbok, oribi and Burchell's zebra. The park is also home to the rare bearded vulture and bald ibis.
Day 8 : Himeville
From Golden Gate we travel to the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains through the scenic towns of Bulwer, Underberg and Himeville, We overnight at Moorcroft Manor (or similar). Moorcroft Manor has classically decorated rooms all with en-suite bathrooms. Room facilities include satellite television (selected channels), ceiling fans, hair-dryers and bathrooms robes. The afternoon can be enjoyed at leisure.
Day 9 : Himeville – Sani Pass
After breakfast, we transfer into 4X4 vehicles for the breathtaking ascent up the Sani Pass and into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road and a well-used entry point into Lesotho from South Africa. The Sani Pass is the only border post between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho and was once a mule trail descending from the Eastern Highlands of old Basutoland into Natal. Drovers would bring wool and mohair down the Pass on donkeys and mules to be exchanged for blankets, clothing and maize meal. Once we have entered Lesotho we visit a small Basutho village where we learn more about the life of these very friendly and hardy people, in this, one of the world’s poorest countries.
Lunch will be at the Sani Top Chalet, the “highest pub in Africa” (lunch is for guests 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
Ater a lazy breakfast we make our way to Durban via Pietermaritzburg and the “Valley of a 1000 Hills”. Time permitting, we will do a short orientation tour of Durban before dropping you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in Durban in time for your flight.