OverviewPerfect for those who care about the impact that travel has on the environment, this 10-day self-drive tour winds its way from Cape Town to the Garden Route and supports local communities and conservation projects along the way.
Stay in eco-friendly lodges without compromising on comfort as you start your journey in Cape Town, the Winelands and the nearby Whale Coast before moving on to the Garden Route. You stay on historic farms and nature reserves and will explore one of South Africa's most biodiverse regions with a minimum impact on the natural environment.
SummaryTour Duration: 13 DaysStart: Cape townEnd: Cape TownDestinations Visited
Cape Town, South Africa, V&A Waterfront
Cape Winelands, South Africa
South Africa, Whale Coast
Grootbos Forest Lodge
Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Hog Hollow Country Lodge
Garden Route, South Africa
Jan Harmsgat Country House
Cape Winelands, South Africa
HighlightsSelf-drive tour with strong eco emphasisWind your way through the scenic Cape WinelandsExplore Grootbos Nature ReserveExplore the Tsitsikamma ForestMountain bike through fynbosLearn about the breeding of the extinct quagga
Located at the ever-popular V&aA Waterfront, The Cape Grace is ideally located for those visiting Cape Town. There is plenty on offer in the immediate area but as you are independently mobile, you can take a drive to Camps Bay or Clifton beaches, do some shopping at Greenmarket Square or cruise down the Cape Peninsula to dramatic Cape Point and the endangered African penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
The Cape Grace is a certified member of Fair Trade in Tourism, South Africa. In addition to valuing their staff as individuals and key assets to the hotel, The Cape Grace is also home to The Cape Grace Bar & Waitron Training School, which helps in providing high school students with hotel industry experience.
Days 3-4: Stay at Babylonstoren | 2 NightsUp arrowCape Winelands, South AfricaDrive through the valleys of the beautiful Cape Winelands to Babylonstoren, located just outside Franschhoek, South Africa's gourmet capital. The farm dates back to the 1690s and is today a sensitively rebuilt hotel, spa and restaurant, all resting in enormous vegetable gardens and orchards. The emphasis is on organic produce and sustainable methodologies; for example, slug-eating ducks wander freely, minimising the need for harmful pesticides.
You are spoilt for choice at Babylonstoren. Guests are free to help the gardeners harvest and prune their crops or they can learn about the production of wine from vine to vintage. Stroll through the 200ha fynbos reserve to enjoy the splendid views from the top of the nearby koppie or break out your binoculars for interesting birdwatching.
Days 5-6: Commune with nature at Grootbos | 2 NightsUp arrowWhale Coast, South AfricaToday you will take a drive to the nearby Whale Coast where you spend the next two days at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Go on nature drives and scenic walks or enjoy a thrilling horse ride around the reserve. An expert guide can tell you all about the fynbos - the spectacular indigenous flora - as you meander through the priavte reserve.
The reserve is home to the Green Futures College where unemployed learners are equipped with knowledge and practical skills regarding conservation, fynbos landscaping, horticulture and eco-tourism. This gives them potential to both support themselves and preserve indigenous ecosystems at the same time. Be sure to visit and support the fynbos landscaping business and the indigenous plant nursery that generates an income to sustain the Green Futures College.
Days 7-8: Wind your way along the Garden Route | 2 NightsUp arrowGarden Route, Plettenberg Bay, South AfricaDrive up the beautiful Garden Route to Hog Hollow and settle in for your stay.
Before Hog Hollow was built, the fynbos in the area was rapidly disappearing as a result of the invasion of alien vegetation. In 1993 Andy Fermor decided to use his knowledge and skills to create an environmental haven for fynbos. See the rejuvenated local wildlife as you live in comfort at Hog Hollow.
There is plenty to keep you busy at Hog Hollow- laze around the pool, or take a hike along one of the many walking paths.
Day 9: Explore the Tsitsikamma treetops | 1 NightUp arrowGarden Route, South AfricaToday you will admire the Tsitsikamma Forest from above on an unforgettable canopy tour. After being harnessed into your gear, swing from tree to tree in the company of an experienced guide who will tell you all about this beautiful, leafy environment. The tour is safe and environmentally friendly, and no trees were damaged during the construction of the platforms. The operator employs 84 percent of its 80 employees are from the surrounding area.
After this thrilling tree-top experience, you will make your way to Jan Harmsgat Country House on a nearby farm where you spend the next two nights.
Day 10: Relax on a historic farm | 1 NightUp arrowGarden Route, South AfricaYou have plenty time to relax and enjoy the fresh air with a glass of wine in hand at this charming guesthouse, and there is game viewing to be had as well: go in search of black wildebeest, springbok and ostrich, as well as new bird species to tick off your list.
Take a drive out to the Robertson Wine Valley or visit the nearby town of Swellendam where the owners have set up a project to turn an old jail into a coffee shop. Women from disadvantaged local communities were trained and equipped with the skills needed to earn a stake in the cafe and benefit from a regular, independent income.
Days 11-12: Unwind at Bartholomeus Klip | 2 NightsUp arrowCape Winelands, South AfricaContinue your travels today as you head to Bartholomeus Klip, a 4 000ha fynbos and renosterveld nature reserve where you enjoy a 2-night stay in a Victorian-style guesthouse. Cycle through the flower-decked reserve by mountain bike, or head down to the dam and go canoeing, wind surfing or kayaking.
The farm is also home to an impressive herd of disease-free buffalo. Most buffalo born in the wild are infected with corridor and foot-and-mouth diseases, making the buffalo born at Bartholomeus Klip in high demand for game ranches. Another of Bartholomeus Klip's conservation projects is a selective breeding programme for the quagga - a local breed of Cape zebra with no stripes on the back half of its body, which has been extinct in the wild for 150 years.
Perhaps pay a visit to the Eco-schools Club where children from local schools come on regular visits to learn about the environment and hold leadership camps in the reserve.
Day 13: Return to Cape TownUp arrowCape Winelands, South AfricaYour departure back to Cape Town need not be the end of your journey. Ask us for advice on community-based initiatives and tours such as the Cape Malay Cooking Experience or a trip to Nelson Mandela's former prison on Robben Island.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Go2Africa