Table Mountain is where your journey begins. From the plateau at over 3000ft you are looking at one of the world’s greatest panoramas. Below you, beyond the rocky outcrops of Signal Hill and Lion’s Head lies Cape Town itself, wrapped around the foot of the mountains. Off shore is Robben Island. Below the eastern fl ank lie Kirstenbosch Gardens and away to the south the Cape of Good Hope. You wonder if it can get any better than this… indeed it can.
You will have time in Cape Town to explore the city and to soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful, relaxed and diverse place.
Moving on, we travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, a semi-arid region, for four nights. We’ll visit local attractions such as the Cango Caves and perhaps an ostrich farm. We’ll walk in the Swartberg mountain range, including the famous Swartberg Pass (dependent on local weather conditions). The views from here are awe-inspiring.
From Oudtshoorn, we travel south to the sophisticated town of Knysna, from where we’ll walk in the Tsitsikamma National Park and on the iconic Robberg Peninsula at nearby Plettenberg Bay.
Finally we’ll drive the ‘Garden Route’ back to Stellenbosch, one of the most beautiful towns of the Winelands region. We’ll walk in the surrounding mountains and visit the historic town centre. We’ll also visit Franschhoek to walk in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve before enjoying the opportunity to visit a local vineyard.
Please note: on some days, especially allowing for the heat during summer months and rough terrain, the walks are considered to be at the top of the grade.
At Ramblers Walking Holidays, we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to peoples’ lives. By travelling with us on this holiday, you can directly help us support the destinations we visit through our staff-managed charitable project click Heart Sole
Cape Town Update
According to the City of Cape Town’s modelling, “Day Zero” – the projected date when the city would cut the ordinary supply of water to its citizens – will not take place this year. This achievement is due to residents, businesses, farmers and visitors pulling together to drastically reduce their consumption by 57% in three years, with this Cape Town have enjoyed some rain recently which is helping to fill the dams back up again. Although it is sensible to be mindful about your water consumption when staying in Cape Town, while the city continues to recover, the previous water restrictions are no longer in place for tourists. Read More.
Depart London Heathrow on an overnight flight to Cape Town.
We arrive in Cape Town and transfer to our hotel in Cape Town for four nights, with some time to relax and recover from the journey. A local stroll may be offered in the afternoon.
The following three days we explore Cape Town, visiting the commercial area, local markets, Kirstenbosch (South Africa's answer to Kew Gardens), ascend Table Mountain and have a day trip to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point.
After breakfast we will take the scenic journey to Oudtshoorn going via some places of interest on route.
From Oudtshoorn we will visit some local attractions such as the Cango Caves and an ostrich farm, as well as the Swartberg Mountains for a truly majestic hike.
Here are details of the walk that we are likely to include at the Swartberg Pass:
DIE TOP’ TO ‘MALVADRAAI’ VIA ‘PLATBERG
This is an excellent walk, mostly downhill, firstly on a ‘fixed’ trail through ‘fynbos’ vegetation and then on a superbly engineered dirt road, with spectacular views all the way down from the top of the ‘Swartberg Pass’. 8.5 miles (13km) ascent 130m / descent 880m, 4 hours.
Another alternative is:
DIE TOP’ TO ‘MALVADRAAI’ ON THE ‘VALSKERMVAL’ TRAIL
This is a spectacular walk from start to finish affording beautiful views of the Swartberg range and of Prince Albert. ‘Valskermval’ means ‘parachute’ in Afrikaans and the name is an indication of the steepness of the descent down to the pass.6.5 miles (10.9km), ascent 100m / descent 687m, 4 hours.
From Oudtshoorn we travel south to the wonderful coastline of the Garden Route. We stay at Knysna for five nights.
Knysna is situated on South Africa’s ‘Garden Route’ in the Western Cape. The ‘Garden Route’ was given this name because the early settlers to this region found a “Garden of Eden”. It was a good place in which to settle with plenty of sunshine and high rainfall making it a fertile region, dense natural forests providing timber, deep rivers for fresh water and cooling breezes off the ocean. Knysna is a Khoikhoi word and means ‘woods’ or ‘forests’ or ‘ferns’.
The following four days we will explore the stunning coastline and lush forests of the Garden Route Nature Reserves and National Parks.
Some of the walks and places that we will discover whilst based in Knysna, may include the following:
There are a number of walks that we can enjoy in this area, and each of which are spectacular coastal walks, possibly the most enjoyable of the entire tour because of the beautiful scenery. The leader will choose a walk which best suits the overall groups ability. If we discover the southern side of the peninsula, we may have the opportunity to spot, seals, sharks and whales. The walks vary from 1.5 miles to 6 miles (2.1km - 9.2km), ascent / descent 100m, 45 minutes to 4 ½ hours.
THE ‘KINGFISHER’ TRAILS IN THE WILDERNESS NATIONAL PARK
There are a number of walks for us to discover here, which one our tour leader / guide decides is dependent on the overall ablity of the group. Distances and gradients will be discuss with you by your tour leader.
This is a spectacular walk from start to finish, through beautiful forest and with coastal scenery that is especially memorable. 6.5 miles (10km), ascent / descent 150m, 5 hours.
WATERFALL TRAIL - STORMS RIVER
This walk is part of the famous five day, 48 kms ‘Otter Trail’. This involves mostly level coastal walking but also rock scrambling and boulder hopping. Besides the coastal flora and fauna it is the `constant sound, movement and beauty of the sea. 4 miles, (6kms), ascent / descent 100m, 5 ½ hours.
We leave Wilderness and travel along part of the Garden Route to Stellenbosch where we stay for three nights.
We have two days’ in which we will visit Franschhoek, perhaps visit one of the local vineyards and walk round the surrounding area of Stellenbosch. This is South Africa's second oldest town, established in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, and is full of architectural and historical interest. Overlooked by dramatic mountains, on the banks of the Eerste River, the streets are shaded by enormous oaks, which have been declared ‘National Monuments’. Stellenbosch University is famous for having produced many of South Africa’s former presidents and the world renowned Doctor Christian Barnard. Stellenbosch is one of the most important ‘Winelands’ towns.
Some of the walks that we hope to include whilst in Stellenbosch are as follows:
JONKERSHOEK NATURE RESERVE’ – ‘SOSYSKLOOF’
This is a fairly easy introductory walk with wonderful panoramic views in a reserve which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The walk rewards us with spectacular views of the Jonkershoek Mountains and of the Boland range with wonderful shows of wild flowers in spring and early summer. 4.5 miles (6.9km), ascent / descent 400m, 3 hours.
DELVERA’ VINEYARD TRAIL
A walk through vines to reach an isolated hill which, from the top at 523m above sea level, gives great views over the ‘Simonsberg’ and across to Table Mountain. This walk may be in place of the‘Jonkershoek’ walk, if, for example, forest fires have not made it possible for us to attempt this walk.
We will also take time to discover Stellenbosch and take a trip to another one of the winetowns, Franschhoek.
A day at leisure to further explore Stellenbosh before transferring to the airport in the early evening for the overnight flight to UK.
Arrival in the UK
See where this holiday travels to.
Hidden away in a shady, green and peaceful corner of Stellenbosch, the Devon Valley Hotel is in a perfect location to enjoy the beautiful winelands. Surrounded by its own working Sylvan Vale Vineyard and the picturesque valley, you can enjoy a drink on the terrace overlooking the vines. The Flavours Restaurant serves contemporary cape cuisine using the freshest seasonal produce. Room facilities include air conditioning, personal safe, telephone, television and tea/coffee making facilities. There is free Wi-Fi in certain areas of the hotel.
Nestled in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains on a typical Little Karoo farm. The rooms are furnished in a rustic country style combined with modern luxury. The room arrangement is not typical of a standard hotel and the spacious cottages that we will stay in, will typically have two separate bedrooms with en-suite facilities, but with a shared kitchen and living space. You will therefore be sharing a cottage with your fellow group members. Other rooms will be a double room provided in the Farmhouse. Single occupants will have a double room for sole use.
This four star Premier Hotel Cape Manor is located in the beautifully tree-lined Marais Road on the Sea Point promenade in Cape Town, commanding spectacular views of Table Mountain and the awe inspiring Atlantic Ocean. Sea Point enjoys a bustling 24-hour cosmopolitan vibe offering many shops, restaurants, clubs, coffee bars and convenient access to some of the Cape’s greatest natural wonders and attractions. Rooms are well equipped with hairdryers, telephones, safes and tea and coffee making facilities. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. Enjoy warm colours, a relaxed atmosphere, excellent service, and delicious meals at the Promenade Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, conveniently situated on the ground floor of the hotel. Simple, wholesome and fresh fare that is fast and fun, is core to the culinary philosophy at the luxury Premier Hotel Cape Manor and its Promenade Restaurant & Cocktail Bar.