Starting at the southern tip of Africa in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, this fantastic 10-day trip will take you on a magical journey to see the Marine Big Five at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and on to the sights and sounds of the Garden Route. This is the ultimate tour for those wishing to take in the sheer breathtaking beauty of this magnificent country.
- Day 1-3: Cape Town, MannaBay, Fine Boutique Hotel
- Day 4-6: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve spotting the Marine 5
- Day 7-9: Exploring the Garden Route
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to MannaBay Fine Boutique Hotel. This hotel is one of the Mother City's most sought after destinations, an exclusive retreat in the heart of Cape Town with spectacular cityscape views where the evening sun plunges into the Atlantic beyond. At the foot of the towering Table Mountain, MannaBay is surrounded by shops, bars and cafes, the perfect base from which to explore the Cape Peninsula or just kick back and catch some rays in luxurious comfort.
Enjoy the myriad attractions of the Mother City, from a guided tour around the peninsula to a day of wine tasting, or just soak up the sun on beautiful beaches. Visit the townships on the outskirts of the city, and sample traditional cuisine, wine and dine in the Cape's esteemed restaurants and stand on top of the world on Table Mountain, before taking sundowners in Camps Bay.
Grootbos is just a 2-hour drive from Cape Town, a scenic route that meanders past the sea and over mountain passes. This multi-award winning 1750 ha reserve is nestled on the cliffs above Walker Bay, frequented by Southern Right Whales on a regular basis, while Great White Sharks plough the nearby waters of Gansbaai. The reserve is a beacon of biodiversity with more than 750 different species of plants ranging from protected Fynbos (fine bush in Afrikaans) to massive Milkwood Forests, all part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest but most diverse of the world's floral kingdoms.
Kick back on your private deck and take in the uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, with whales in full view in season (July-November), go hiking and birding in Milkwood forests, horse riding along miles of unspoilt beaches and come face to face with Great Whites from the safety of a cage!
Grootbos also supports a number of social responsibility programs, designed to uplift the local communities and protect this fragile ecosystem. You can visit and partake in these projects during your stay, making yours a holiday with a difference!
The Garden Route is an area of unbridled beauty, with lush indigenous forest, dark flowing rivers and rugged mountains combining with untouched beaches and expansive lagoons to form a picture perfect postcard. From Grootbos, you'll head inland through the stark semi-desert landscape of the little Karoo, stopping off at the quaint town of Oudtshoorn, known as the Ostrich capital of South Africa, where you can visit an ostrich farm and marvel at the ancient stalagmites and stalactites in the world-famous Cango Caves. Continue over the mountainous Outeniqua Pass towards the seaside village of Wilderness, at the entrance of a lagoon into the sea. Views Boutique Hotel is your home for the next few days, a stunning new property with a private entrance onto an untouched beach, a wonderful verandah with spectacular vistas and superb cuisine!
The next few days are yours at leisure along the Garden Route. Stroll along the silky sand, go canoeing down bird-filled rivers and hiking through pristine nature reserves. Plettenberg Bay is worth a visit with its dolphin watching tours, while bungee jumping, blackwater tubing and canopy tours are all available in the vicinity. Knysna is a must see, a charming coastal town where you can enjoy a stunning cruise on the Lagoon, sample some of the world's best oysters and come face-to-face with elephants in the Elephant Sanctuary.