Travel up and down the west coast of South Africa viewing all its splendour; from its wildflowers and fynbos to its vineyards, from its sculpture gardens to its private gardens.
Transfer to Vineyard Hotel for 3 nights.
Only a 10 minute drive from Cape Town, together with classic Cape Georgian architecture, rolling parklands and spectacular mountain views, this hotel was originally the home of Lade Anne Barnard.
In the late afternoon, walk through and take in the natural joys of the Vineyard’s historic, eco-award winning riverside gardens overlooking Table Mountain’s eastern slopes (excluding horticulturist) followed by cocktails at the Garden Lounge and a Welcome Dinner.
Visit Table Mountain including a cableway journey (weather permitting) followed by a stop at the Waterfront (for time at leisure) or a short drive over the mountain to Kalk Bay for either a stop at the fishing harbour or a walk through this quaint village, en route back to hotel.
The great charm of Cape Town is the magnificent mountain. It rises behind the city and is a sheer precipice to a height of 1 097m (3.566ft) cutting the skyline with a horizontal front three kilometres (almost two miles) in length. The best views of Cape Town are from the top of Table Mountain. The cableway takes you to the summit in under ten minutes whilst the rotating gondola ensures visitors enjoy a 360 view of the city.
Visit the beautiful historic Stellenberg Gardens of Sandy Ovenstone (with horticulturist) followed by a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens for walking tour with specialist guide.
Kirstenbosch, one of the “Seven Magnificent Botanical Gardens of the World”, beautifully situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The gardens are dedicated to the preservation of the indigenous plants of southern Africa. Some 6 000 different species are grown here, including ancient cycads and many species of protea, erica, pelargoniums and ferns. Throughout the year, the gardens are a colourful blaze of flowers, shrubs and trees.
Morning visit to the Cellars Hohenort Hotel for a guided walk through the award winning gardens before continuing to the West Coast National Park. 1 night at The Farmhouse.
Discovering the outdoors begins in the nine-acre garden at The Cellars-Hohenort, which features the second-oldest camphor trees in South Africa, an enchanted forest, a vineyard, secret doorways, a rose garden and so much more. Regular garden tours are conducted for guests, uncovering the magic of one of the world’s most beautiful privately owned gardens.
Visit to the towns of Lamberts Bay and Elands Bay before arriving at the Clanwilliam Hotel for 2 nights
The coastal town of Lamberts Bay has been proclaimed “the Diamond of the West Coast” because of its white beaches, wildlife and lobsters. Although primarily a fishing town it has become a significant tourist attraction on the West Coast due to it moderate all-year climate.
Elands Bay really is a wonderful spot for dolphin and whale watching (July to November), and freshwater as well as saltwater fishing is touted as one of the best pastimes here. It is a surfer’s paradise – known as E-bay to the surf fraternity. The left-breaking waves mean it is much like Jeffreys Bay, only without the crowds – and in season one can dive for crayfish, provided you have a licence.
Today we visit Hantam National Botanical Garden and the Butterfly Trail.
With its high density of flowers, the Hantam NBG is a great place to observe pollinators. There are many species of bees, flies, beetles, moths and butterflies, as well as birds and rodents involved in pollination. Many of the fascinating interactions that make the fynbos and succulent karoo regions so unique are found in the Nieuwoudtville area.
The McGregor’s blue (Lepidochrysops mcgregori) butterfly has been named after Mr. and Mrs. Gordon MacGregor, owners of the farm “Glen Lyon”, now the Hantam NBG, where the species was discovered. The McGregor’s blue flies close to the ground, among low plants, in non-succulent karoo veld and often rests on the twigs on the underside of larger bushes. They are not easy to photograph because of their erratic flight.
Depart the hotel for Ramskop Nature Reserve just minutes from the Clanwilliam Hotel, before continuing to Worcester via the one of the oldest town in South Africa, Riebeek Kasteel. 1 night at Protea Hotel Cumberland.
Ramskop Nature Reserve lies just next to Clanwilliam, with the Cederberg Mountain, fields of rooibos tea and orange groves as a backdrop. It’s wild flower garden has no fewer than 350 different species of wildflower and it is one of several plaes in the area where during the flower season you are almost guaranteed of a carpet, particularly if you go between 11h00 and 15h00 whilst the sun is at its highest and the flowers are open. The reserve has a series of paths that are easy to follow and give one access to some incredible views out over the mountains and Clanwilliam’s Dam.
Travel to Franschhoek for 3 nights at Protea Hotel Franschhoek.
Protea Hotel Franschhoek combines tranquillity and beauty with attentive service. This magnificent hotel has a rich history, with one section dating back to the 1880s. The town itself takes its name from the French Huguenots who settled in the area in the early 1680s after fleeing from their home country. The convenient location makes it a superb base from which to explore Franschhoek’s culinary establishments, art galleries, cheese factories and some 25 world famous wine estates
Suggested sightseeing in Franschhoek/Stellenbosch:
- Visit the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
- Visit to Babylonstoren for a walk in their gardens (no Horticulturist)
- Stellenbosch University Gardens
- Private gardens
Over 60 sculptures consisting of a comprehensive record of Lewis’ full artistic development thus far have been carefully placed in harmony with the landscape: the human form, shamanic figures, monumental abstracted fragments and his iconic great cats.
The Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia. It also hales back to the mythical garden of Babylon. Spanning eight acres, the Babylonstoren garden is formal in structure. Every one of over 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible and it is grown as biologically as we can. Fruit and veg are harvested year round for use in our restaurant. The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens and includes a prickly pear maze. Gravity feeds water into waterways from a stream into the garden as it was done for 300 years.
The Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden houses many different plant collections ranging from indigenous an exotic species to bonsai. The Garden actively supports regional plant conservation projects. An asserted effort is also being made to build and manage plant collections that are of conservation value while at the same time using these collections to create awareness about threatened species
Onward to Hermanus for 2 nights at Harbour House.
Harbour House Hotel enjoys the most prominent of positions in the heart of the Old Harbour area, flanked by the seaside and the bustling centre of this holiday town. The magnificent Lookout Terrace invites guests to revel in the soothing surrounds of the ocean ahead and enjoy a lunch from Selkirk’s restaurant inspired by abundant local produce and fresh ingredients, alternatively savour a sundowner from the Wine Bar in the Pavilion.
Suggested sightseeing in Hermanus area:
- Visit the Harold Porter Botanical Garden
- Private gardens
- Wine farm visits
- Fernkloof Nursery and Grootbos Nature Reserve
The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden lies in the epicentre (heart) of the Cape Fynbos a dedication to this natural shrubland vegetation with 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos garden, and a further 190 hectares of natural fynbos to gratify the visitor. The peaceful garden includes sweeping mountain slopes, deep gorges, and four vegetation types that occur naturally in the Overberg – afro montane forests, wetlands, coastal dunes and fynbos. Harold Porter is a magical display of proteas, ericas and leucadendrons set amidst meandering nature trails that take one up mountains, down gorges and through gardens in which some 60 species of bird, including the Cape Sugarbird and the orange breasted sunbird, come to play.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve covers 18 square kilometres in the Kleinrivier Mountains in Hermanus and ranges in altitude from sea level to 842 m. The name of the principal vegetation type of this region, fynbos, is derived from the Dutch word ‘fijn bosch’ which is the collective name for a myriad of evergreen shrub-like plants with small firm leaves, often rolled – but also includes woody plants with hard leathery leaves, usually broad. The prevailing climate is Mediterranean with cold wet winters and hot dry summers with strong south easterly winds.
Overland to Cape Town with a stop at a wine farm en route. Walk through their exquisite gardens and enjoy tasting the handcrafted wines. 1 night at Victoria & Alfred Hotel.
The Victoria & Alfred Hotel is situated in one of the country’s top destinations, Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. Built in 1904 as the North Quay Warehouse and converted in 1990 to a luxury hotel, the Victoria and Alfred Hotel is named in honour of Queen Victoria and her son. With 94 spacious bedrooms on three floors – it’s the detail that gives the hotel its elegance, intimacy, romance and reputation.
Day at leisure before transferring to the airport in time for your flight out.
- Price From: US$37,000
Prices on application
Extensions available to Victoria Falls, Botswana or one of the Indian Ocean Islands.