This 14-day luxury itinerary showcases the best of Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and the breathtakingly scenic Garden Route before ending off with an unforgettable Big Five safari.
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This trip, combining iconic destinations in South Africa, has been designed for the discerning traveler looking to experience the best of what the country has to offer. The itinerary begins in Cape Town – voted one of the world’s best cities – before moving on to the scenic Cape Winelands, home to over 140 wine estates and a diverse range of some of the country’s best fine dining restaurants. Next, you will travel along the famous Garden Route, stopping over at the beautiful beach towns of Wilderness and Knysna. This region is renowned for its ancient indigenous forests, miles of white sandy beaches, lakes, mountains and more. The scenery along the Garden Route is absolutely breathtaking. The last stop of your Garden Route safari will be at Shamwari Private Game Reserve – a malaria-free wildlife sanctuary focused on conservation and sustainability. Here, you will experience unforgettable encounters with nature, as well as the diverse flora and fauna that call the reserve home. By embarking on this trip, you will also be supporting local communities along the way and a portion of your trip will go towards two of Ker & Downey® Africa’s Legacy Partners. We’ve also included some great tours and activities along the way that are sure to create indelible memories that will last a lifetime.
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Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport you will enjoy a VIP Meet & Greet followed by a Ker & Downey® Africa representative welcoming and assisting you with your private transfer to the luxurious Silo Hotel. Following a seamless check-in, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in your incredible contemporary surroundings, as well as spend time exploring the vibey V&A Waterfront with over 200 shops and restaurants – right on the hotel’s doorstep. Some of the recommended nearby restaurants are Cape Town Fish Market and the Yard. On day 3 we have arranged a fully guided private tour to Cape Point and the Peninsula. Highlights of this trip will be visiting the southernmost tip of Africa, driving along the scenic coastal road of Chapman’s Peak, and seeing penguins in their natural habitat in Simonstown.
The Silo Hotel stands tall over the V&A Waterfront in the heart of the city with sweeping views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean that can be enjoyed from the 28 luxurious rooms or rooftop swimming pool or rooftop bar. This 5-star premium hotel occupies the six floors above the largest museum of African art in the world – the Zeitz MOCAA – and is a celebration of design and creative genius.
Enjoy a refreshing beverage on the rooftop bar with panoramic views of the Mother City, harbor and Table Mountain. Another highlight is a visit to the Granary Café on the 6th floor for an afternoon of Royal Tea – one of the best high tea experiences in the city. We also recommend booking an indulgent treatment at The Silo Spa, or wandering the halls and enjoying the fabulous collection of artwork from local artists.
After breakfast at the Granary Café and a smooth check out, our representative will transfer you for a scenic drive to Babylonstoren, located in the heart of the Cape Winelands, close to Franschhoek. As you enter through the gates you will be struck by the sheer size of the estate. Enjoy scenic views of rows of vineyards flanked by mountain backdrops as you head to reception where you will have access to the incredible gardens Babylonstoren is known for. After checking into your spacious one bedroom cottage overlooking the garden or indigenous fynbos, you will have time to relax and explore all the famous Cape Winelands has to offer. We highly recommend stopping by the deli, cheese shop, farm shop and bakery on the estate. A highlight of your stay at Babylonstoren will be an afternoon 4×4 sundowner drive to the top of a mountain above the farm. Watch the sun go down with gourmet farm snacks and an array of beverages including local from the estate. All ingredients used on the estate are grown organically right on in the farm’s own gardens.
Babylonstoren is located at the foot of Simonsberg in the Franschhoek valley and is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the region. This iconic estate boasts a fruit and vegetable garden of incredible diversity, fine food and wine, and luxury accommodation. Each cottage offers a delicious taste of idyllic country life, characterized by thick whitewashed walls in old farm buildings that have been renovated into sophisticated farm stays.
There are a range of exciting outdoor activities to enjoy on the farm including a stroll through the expansive gardens on a fully guided garden and farm tour. Guests can also enjoy delicious wine tasting in the modern tasting room, olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings in the modern tasting center with floor-to-ceiling glass panes. There are also a range of outdoor activities including rowing on the lakes, mountain biking, fishing and hiking.
After a delicious a la carte breakfast at Babel restaurant, your dedicated driver will transfer you to Cape Town International Airport where you will board your scheduled 45-minute flight to George Airport where the Garden Route leg of your luxurious adventure begins! Upon arrival in George a Ker & Downey® Africa representative will welcome you and transfer you to Wilderness. Enjoy an incredibly scenic drive over the Kaaimans River Pass before arriving in the small village of Wilderness, renowned for its long stretches of coastline and lush forests. Your hotel for the next 2 nights is The Views Boutique Hotel & Spa. After settling into your sea facing room, you will have some time to explore the property that boasts a three-storey rotating ‘aquarium’ showcasing more than a 1,000 individually handcrafted glass fish sculptures. Some of the public spaces of the hotel also showcase incredible life-size recycled crystal glass seagull sculptures, and ceilings that reflect the movement of water. The entire building has adhered to strict environmental considerations and was monitored by appointed Environment control officers during construction. You don’t get more eco-friendly than this.
Views Boutique Hotel & Spa is a five-star boutique hotel located on a beach front dune with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean and Wilderness Beach. Each of the 26 sea facing rooms have been individually designed and comprise floor to ceiling windows and mood control lighting systems. Guests have exclusive access to the upper deck with an outdoor swimming pool.
For those wanting to be active, there are several hiking trails and lakes in the area to explore. Alternatively guests can enjoy unlimited access to the gym and hydro-lounge (heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi in the Views Wellness Emporium). Dining at the Views Restaurant is also recommended. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the ocean while feasting on local produce, mostly seafood.
After a hearty breakfast, our guide will collect you for an exciting full day of adventure exploring the stunning landscapes of the Wilderness National Park and its many estuaries. On the last day, we will travel to the quaint seaside town of Sedgefield and enjoy a stop at Redberry Farm – a local strawberry farm. Sedgefield is a secret gem along the Garden Route and our knowledgeable guide will allow you time to explore this beautiful part of coastline. After Sedgefield, we will stop at Buffalo Bay – a well known beach village with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. This is the perfect location for a lunch stop at one of the well-known eateries which all enjoy amazing sea views. After lunch there will be time to walk along the beach and many rocky outcrops to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. You will arrive in Knysna in the late afternoon. Knysna is home to the famous Knysna Heads and lagoon and boasts some of the most spectacular sunsets in the country. You will spend the next 3 nights in luxury at the Pezula Nature Hotel & Spa. Pezula is a shining beacon of sustainability, located in a natural wonderland. On your last evening in Knysna, your guide will collect you and transfer to the iconic Waterfront for a sunset catamaran cruise around the lagoon. Enjoy the sunset one last time while sipping bubbly and enjoying delicious snacks on board.
Pezula Nature Hotel & Spa is nestled amongst indigenous forests, mountains, lakes and pristine beaches. The hotel features a range of luxurious, environmentally friendly suites and villas, all thoughtfully designed and beautifully decorated with a range of amenities to suit all your needs. Enjoy a sundowner on your private balcony and dinner at Zachary’s Grill Room, or request a picnic basket to take to the beach.
Play a round of 18 holes on the Championship Golf Course or pamper yourself at the exclusive Wellness Quarter with a range of top signature spa treatments on offer. Guests can also explore the area on horseback, or walk along the many paths through the surrounding indigenous forests. We suggest venturing to the top of the Knysna Heads for an incredible view of the ocean and Featherbed Nature Reserve.
Wave goodbye to Pezula after a hearty buffet breakfast and be transferred by our guide along the very scenic Tsitsikamma National Park, with a stop at Storms River mouth. This is a must for any visit to the Garden Route. Watch crashing waves pound against rugged rocky outcrops and wild forests and fynbos roll down to the ocean in this pristine region of untamed beauty. After, you will continue along past many famous sites including the Bloukrans Bridge, home to the country’s highest bungee jump. Next, you will arrive at your safari destination – Shamwari Private Game Reserve which is about a 3.5 hour drive from Knysna. As soon as you drive through the gates you will enjoy a mini-game drive to the lodge location, spotting wildlife along the way. This Big 5 wildlife-rich reserve is totally focused on conservation and is a fabulous safari extension to any Garden Route trip. Upon arrival you will check in and be introduced to your dedicated ranger and tracker who will guide you during the duration of your stay.
Located in a lush, verdant valley along the Bushmans River, Eagles Crag is the flagship lodge within the malaria-free Shamwari. Renowned for its idyllic, tranquil setting, the lodge provides exclusivity and an intimate safari experience for guests. Each of the nine private free-standing suites come with a large wooden deck, outdoor shower and private plunge pool.
Shamwari is home to the legendary Born Free Foundation – a wildlife charity that rescues animals from captivity. Guests at Shamwari will have the opportunity to visit this incredible sanctuary and see firsthand the wonderful work they do. Other activities include horse riding, game drives (including night drives), river cruises, guided walking safaris, bird watching and photographic safaris.
Following your last morning game drive and breakfast, you will wave goodbye to the wonderful staff at Shamwari and meet your driver who will transfer you 1.5 hours to Port Elizabeth International Airport for your onward journey home.
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