Cape Town here we come…
Cape Town is a lovely city with heaps of culture and wildlife nearby. See our 6-day itinerary below, including bed and breakfast at the chic waterfront Victoria and Alfred Hotel, plus a VW rental van and 3 full day tours (Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, Penguins, Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island, Wine Tasting and more). Great White Cage diving optional (Day 5).
Cost (per person sharing): $1430
Day 01; Wednesday, 22 July 2015:
After morning bush drive through Sabi Sabi, transfer to Kruger Airport for flight to Cape Town International Airport. After collecting your bags, pick up your rental vehicle, a 8 seater VW Kombi T5 (including GPS), and make your way to the famous Victoria and Alfred Hotel. The V&A for short. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the famous Waterfront. Our first word of advice is to go up Table Mountain at the very first opportunity, even if it’s on the day of your arrival, and you feel “bushed” after your flight from Sabi Sabi. Cape Town’s weather closes-in in a flash and it could be misty, cloudy, rainy, and windy, for the rest of your 5 days, making it impossible to go up the mountain for weeks.
Day 02; Thursday, 23 July 2015:
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the V & A for a full day Peninsula Tour. The Peninsula Tour includes Table Mountain (if you haven’t done it already) then travel by car along Cape Town’s sea front through the suburbs of Sea Point and Clifton, along the Atlantic seaboard under the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range to the quaint fishing village of Hout Bay. Here you can opt to go on a boat cruise to the entrance of the natural harbour of Hout Bay to visit the colony of Cape Fur Seals at the harbour entrance. From Hout Bay you travel over Chapman’s Peak Drive, which is quite spectacular, and onto the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Chapman’s Peak Drive is often closed due to falling rocks, especially in winter after heavy rain, but your guide will know if it’s open or closed to traffic. Cape Point Nature Reserve is spectacularly beautiful in its wind-swept barrenness, and if you are a romantic, you can actually see where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans “meet!” Lunch is usually near the lighthouse, at the Two Oceans Restaurant. I personally prefer the Black Marlin, a little further towards Simon’s Town.
After lunch, you visit the African “Jack-ass” Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach and return travelling along the False Bay Beach front through historic and quaint little villages of Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg. If time permits, you could visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. This is one of the best-known Botanical Gardens in the world and is well worth the visit. Then back to your hotel after an exhausting but very exciting day.
Entrance fees on the Peninsula Route ($66 total):
- Table Mountain –$26 per person.
- Hout Bay cruise to Seal Island (Circe Launches) – $8 per person.
- Cape Point Nature Reserve entry fee – $13 per person.
- Funicular ride to the old lighthouse – $7 per person.
- Boulders Beach – $7 per person.
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – $6 per person.
Day 03; Friday, 24 July 2015:
After breakfast, meet your guide for a half day City Tour. No visit to Cape Town is complete without touring the “Mother City” itself. Head for Table Mountain (if not already done). Board the cable car and enjoy the crisp air and clear visibility, hopefully, as you reach the summit. Should the weather not permit the assent you will continue onto Signal Hill to view the City. After descending from Table Mountain, the tour continues through the seaside suburbs of Clifton and Sea Point to Green Market Square. Then a short walk through The Company Gardens, which were established in the 1600’s by Jan Van Riebeck, to supply the ships passing through the Cape En route to India with fresh produce. Then you will take the scenic drive passing the Houses of Parliament, City Hall, the Castle, the oldest permanent structure in South Africa, built in 1666, and the Slave Lodge. You will then travel through the “Bo Kaap”, also known as the Malay Quarter. The architecture in this area is typical of what Cape Town was like 200 years ago, before continuing on to Signal Hill to witness the firing of the noonday gun, before returning to The Waterfront. You should plan to be back at the V & A in time to have lunch and catch the ferry, which is moored a stone’s throw away, for your afternoon Robben Island Tour. After saying “totsiens” (good-bye) to your guide, you will have lunch and walk the short distance to the Clock Tower on the V&A Waterfront where you will board the ferry to Robben Island, which departs @ 13h00, weather permitting.
After a 45-minute boat ride, you will arrive at Robben Island Harbour. Robben Island is known the world over as a place of banishment, exile, isolation, and imprisonment. For nearly 400 years colonial and apartheid rulers banished those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society to this rocky, 575 hectare outcrop in Table Bay. The islands unwilling inhabitants included slaves, political prisoners and religious leaders who opposed the Dutch colonialism in East Asia, Khoikhoi and other African Leaders who resisted British expansion in South Africa, Leprosy sufferers, the sick and the mentally disturbed, French Vichy prisoners of war and political opponents of the apartheid regime in South Africa and Namibia. During the apartheid years, Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Yet people such as Nelson Mandela emerged from here to lead South Africa to democracy with a message of tolerance, reconciliation and hope that moved the world. You will also have the opportunity of seeing the prison cell that held Nelson Mandela captive for so many years. You will return to your hotel at about 18h00 after a very full, interesting, and educational day.
Excluded: Robben Island entry fee of $33 per person.
Day 04; Saturday, 25 July 2015:
After breakfast you meet your guide for a Winelands Tour. Head north to the town of Paarl. The first stop is for the morning wine tasting at Nelsons Creek Estate. After a tour through their cellars with a chance to sample some of their local wines as well as a cheese tasting, a brief city tour of the historical town of Paarl follows, before you make your way to Franschoek with a photo stop at the Groot Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela was released in Feb 1990. The little village of Franschoek is nestled amongst the mountains and can easily be mistaken for being in Switzerland. After a short tour of the village, a second wine tasting will follow at a local wine estate followed by a lunch stop – you might wish to savour some of the fresh trout that Franschoek is known for. After lunch the tour continues through to Stellenbosch. It is easy to understand why Simon van der Stel decided to establish a village amongst the mountains of the area. The backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, the white gabled Cape Dutch homesteads and the oak lined streets and lanes all blend in to give Stellenbosch a charm that will not be quickly forgotten. Time permitting, a third, and final wine tasting in the region will be included before returning to Cape Town and the Waterfront at about 17h30.
Excluded: wine tastings at $8 per wine tasting per person
Day 05; Sunday, 26 July 2015:
Full day free to explore Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront, and surrounds on your own, in your rental car. You could use this “free day” to visit the places of interest from your previous day’s Cape Town City Tour that you did not get round to visiting or you can do a Great White Shark Cage dive out of Simon’s Town, weather permitting. The “other” places of interest in Cape Town worth a visit are Green Market Square, The Company Gardens, City Hall, the Castle and the Slave Quarters etc.
Excluded: Great White Shark Cage Dive at $285 per person including full equipment hire
Day 06; Monday, 27 July 2015:
After breakfast, check out of the Victoria & Alfred Hotel and after drop off the Budget Rental Cat at Cape Town International Airport.
Exclusions: Domestic air; fuel and toll fees; lunch; dinner; bar; gratuities.
Cost per person sharing:
$872 per single person
Approximate Domestic Airfare (Kruger to Cape Town and Cape Town to Johannesburg):