Evergreen Escape has tailormade a 13-day combined nature and safari trip, which gives you the opportunity to experience the sights of southern South Africa with the country’s densest population of elephants, beautiful coastlines, sightseeing in perhaps the world’s most beautifully situated metropolis, as well as hiking in the most fantastic nature. In short, a trip that gives you a fantastic insight into what southern South Africa has to offer.
When you have made it through passport control at the airport, your Danish Tour Leader, local guide, and driver will be ready to welcome you.
After a warm welcome, it’s time for the first adventure of the journey when we drive to Addo Elephant National Park. The park, South Africa’s third largest with an area of 1,640 km², was established in 1931 to protect the few remaining elephants from extinction. At that time, the population was only 11, divided into 8 females and 3 males. It turned out to be a good decision, as today the park is home to more than 600 elephants, considered to be the country’s densest population of elephants.
After a wonderful breakfast, it’s time to continue our adventure as we drive to the family owned Kariega Game Reserve. Here, 10,000 hectares of untouched African Wilderness await us. The landscape and topography are some of the most beautiful things we find on these edges, which will give us some completely unique experiences.
On today’s game drive, we drive around in open 4-wheel drive vehicles to better enjoy and observe the wildlife. We must, among other things, see if we can experience The Big Five – the rhinoceros, the lion, the leopard, the elephant, and the buffalo. The term dates back to the 1800s, when big game was hunted on foot. The hunters judged that these five animals were the most difficult and dangerous to kill. So even though the term originates from a bygone era, nothing has changed in that it is still an achievement and requires a lot of luck to spot these five animals.
After a wonderful night’s sleep, it’s time to spend another day on animal experiences in the Kariega Game Reserve. The nature reserve is actually no more than 30 years old, and only opened to the public in 1999. In the 19th century, most of the land in the area was used for farming. To protect their families and livestock, the settlers who lived in the area began to hunt the wild animals.
A walking safari is safari in its purest original form. Where we, as passengers in a 4-wheel drive, are merely observers, we become much more a part of the surroundings when we move around in the bush on our feet. In the evening we will listen to the symphony of African nature as we sit on the terrace and absorb the day’s impressions.
After a wonderful night’s sleep in the middle of the bush, it’s time again for an incredibly special experience when we go sailing on the Kariega River and experience the wildlife from the water’s edge. The Kariega River is 138 kilometers long and winds through the nature reserve.
When we get solid ground under our feet again, we continue our journey and drive towards the coast. The destination for today’s journey is Plettenberg Bay. Plettenberg Bay is located as part of the Garden Route, which is high on many guests’ wish lists when they want to experience South Africa, as this is where you can experience the most fantastic fauna and flora.
After breakfast is eaten to the sound of crashing waves, it’s time to get out and touch us. We are going to go hiking on the Robberg Nature Reserve peninsula (walking time: approx. 4 hours, medium level of difficulty). The area is a world heritage site, as the rocks from the region can be dated back as much as 120 million years.
The rest of the afternoon is at your disposal, where you can choose to go back to the hotel and relax by the swimming pool, take a walk along the beach, take a horseback ride through the forest, or maybe go on a boat trip in the bay.
After a good night’s sleep, we continue our journey along the Garden Route to the beautiful city of Knysna, situated between the impressive Outeniqa Mountains and the Indian Ocean. We leave the car and set off on foot (barefoot) along the beautiful sandy beach from Brenton-on-Sea to Buffalo Bay (distance: approx. 5.5 km, walking time: approx. 2 hours, difficulty level: easy).
From there we drive on to the town with the very telling name of Wilderness. Here we lace up our hiking boots and head towards the local Kaaimans Waterfall. After the hike, we drive to Oudthoorn, which is known for its many ostrich farms, which in the dawn of time supplied feathers to fashion houses all over the world. We arrive in the late afternoon at our hotel
After a delicious breakfast, it’s time to drive to Cango Caves, the largest stalactite caves in Africa. It is a breathtaking labyrinth of caves, passages, and rock formations. All the caves have extensive stalactite formations of impressive sizes.
After an exciting trip inside the cave system, it is time to emerge into the daylight again and continue the day’s journey through the Swartberg Pass, one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world.
We hike in the area for a few hours (distance: approx. 10 km, walking time: approx. 2 hours, difficulty level: easy) before driving back to our hotel, where we can have a swim in the hotel pool or a cool drink to absorb today’s experiences.
After a good night’s sleep, we will go out to experience an ostrich farm. At the end of the 19th century, a number of Jewish traders emigrated from Eastern Europe and settled near Oudtshoorn to run ostrich farms.
After an interesting experience with the wonderful birds, it is time to continue the journey further west as we drive towards the Breede River Valley. The valley is home to some of South Africa’s major wine producing areas. We drive along one of the most beautiful travel routes in South Africa – Route 62.
In the afternoon we arrive at our hotel for the night, where we will taste some of the wonderful grapes from the area.
After breakfast, we go on a short hike through the vineyards so that we can study up close the exciting grapes that create some of the world’s best wine.
We then continue our journey to Swellendam, which is one of the largest agricultural producing areas in South Africa. Here, i.e., huge amounts of grain, canola oil and dairy products, as well as berries, citrus, persimmons, wool and wine are exported.
In the afternoon we drive to the southernmost point on the African continent – Cape Agulhas – where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The cape was named by Portuguese sailors around the year 1500 who called it Cabo das Agulhas (Cape of the Needle) after they noticed that the direction of magnetic north (and thus the compass needle) coincided with geographic north.
After breakfast is eaten to the sound of crashing waves, it’s time to lace up our shoes again and head out into the mountainous region (distance: approx. 12 km, walking time: approx. 4 hours, difficulty level: easy). We walk along the rocks, where we may be lucky enough to spot the whales in their element.
The rest of the day is at your disposal, where there will be an opportunity to go on a whale watching trip (at your own expense – must be booked in connection with booking the trip).
After a well-deserved night’s sleep, it’s time again for more beautiful experiences as we continue our journey towards Cape Town. We drive along the coast and stop at Stony Point Nature Reserve, which is located by the picturesque town of Betty’s Bay. Stony Point Nature Reserve is home to one of the largest and most successful breeding colonies of the African Penguin (also called the Spectacled Penguin).
We get the chance to experience these wonderfully charming birds up close. A nice wooden boardwalk has been created, giving us the opportunity to observe the penguins in their natural habitat as they go about their daily activities without us disturbing or scaring them.
After a certainly enjoyable and unforgettable experience, we drive on to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point.
Cape Town can, without exaggeration, be considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The Mother City, as it is called by the premises, is beautifully surrounded by Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Many travelers love this unique city for its fascinating history, interesting culture, natural beauty, award-winning wines, and laid-back lifestyle.
We begin our city tour in the beautiful Company’s Garden, which is the country’s oldest park and surrounded by historic buildings. The garden was originally built as a supply station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company that rounded the tip of Africa on their way to Asia. After months at sea, their ships could be filled up with fresh produce grown in the garden – hence the name “the company’s garden”.
We continue today’s sightseeing with a stroll through the colorful Cape Malay district of Bo-Kaap. The district originally dates from the 1760s, when many smaller houses were built and rented out to slaves. The inhabitants became known as Cape Malay, and came from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the rest of Africa to work in the Cape Colony.
If you want to experience the prison island of Robben Island, which housed Nelson Mandela for 18 years and today functions as a museum, you drive from Bo-Kaap to the departure point for the excursion boat. On the island, the tours are guided by former political prisoners from the island, giving visitors a truly unique insight into the island’s history and personal accounts of prison life.
We have our farewell dinner at Restaurant Gold, a vibrant pan-African experience in the heart of Cape Town. We sit in a historic old courtyard, where our senses are awakened by a sumptuous feast of African specialties and local African rhythms.
Enjoy the last morning atmosphere in Cape Town. Take a dip in the hotel swimming pool or buy the last souvenirs before we get ready to go to Cape Town International Airport to begin our journey home. Tired, but filled with lots of lovely holiday memories, new friendships and, of course, unique spot shots.
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