This is a self-drive itinerary (also feasible as a private tour on request) for the discerning traveler. You will start exploring Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula, with its Penguins and the legendary Cape of Good Hope. Then you’ll head north on the West Coast, before going inland again in the bucolic Cape Winelands. Indulge in the joy of great food and wine tasting, before venturing in a close encounter with the Whales and the Great White of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Get spoiled in the 5 star eco-paradise of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, where you’ll admire the flora and marine life of the Southern tip of Africa. And finally, end-up this journey of distinction with a big 5 safari experience in the exclusive Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.
We have considered boutique accommodation only along this trip. Of course, quality always comes at a price. In Cape Town, we have considered a boutique hotel on the Atlantic Seabord but, if you wish, we can offer you something of similar level on the Waterfront.
All-year round. Bearing in mind that the whale season is June to November, while flowers are blooming in August and September. In the Karoo, winter nights can be freezing, while summer days baking hot.
This itinerary is designed for the self-driver. However, on request, it is possible to get a private driver. This will give you a total piece of mind and a hassle-free journey. Should you need a private driver/guide speaking in Italian, French, German or Spanish, please just ask.
Arrive to Cape Town, pick-up your vehicle at the airport and check-in at your accommodation on the Atlantic Seabord or at the Waterfront Marina.
Rest of the day at leisure, to start to discover the “mother city”, its beautiful beaches ad its most characteristic areas like the picturesque Bo-Kaap, the iconic Table Mountain, the lush beauty of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or the elegance of the residential area of Gardens, where the Parliament is located.
Accommodation: Ocean View House
Days at leisure to discover even more Cape Town and its stunning surroundings. Absolutely not to be missed the visit of the colony of penguins at Boulders Beach, in the False Bay, and the mythical Cape Peninsula, with Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. Don’t miss the Chapman’s Peak drive, if open; its one of the most breathless drives in the world, with a one-of-a-kind view on the Atlantic Ocean. On your way back, why not stopping for dinner at the Mariner’s Wharf? It’s a cozy restaurant stuck in a an old boat on the harbour of Hout Bay, which keeps intact its sleepy atmosphere of a by-gone fishing village. The food is great and not expensive at all for what you eat.
Accommodation: Ocean View House
The West Coast National Park is a gem for unknown reasons neglected by international tourists. This probably depends on the fact that most of travel agents suggest to spend a maximum of 2-3 nights in Cape Town. We think by no mean they should be less than 4, ideally 5, at least. With regard to this itinerary, we reduced to 3 the nights in the mother city for the only reason that for some of the must-see locations we have planned 1 or 2 nights, rather than a day visit from Cape Town.
Accommodation: Dunes Boutique Guesthouse Paternoster (sea-facing room)
One of these not to be missed locations is the West Coast National Park, a mere 2 hour drive north of Cape Town, on the Atlantic coast. The gem of the park is arguably the Langebaan lagoon, which shows its splendour at best by entering from the northern gate of the park (Langebaan gate) in the early hours of the morning. Providing the sky is clear, you can enjoy the view on a crystal clear lagoon with colors recalling those of the Caribbean.
What’s amazing is the contrast between the mighty Atlantic ocean, with its rough currents and high waves, and the calm of the lagoon on the sandy little bays, just a few hundred meter away as the crow flies.
In the months of August and September, the Postberg section is open to the public. A carpet of blooming flowers is home to a plentiful of antelopes, including springbok. Amongst the predators, the elusive caracal and the bat eared fox can bee seen.
Just north of the Langebaan gate, you can find the fishing village of Paternoster, with its blue and white houses, resembling those of the Greek islands. This little village has a name for the most tasteful crustaceans of all Southern Africa.
As an alternative accommodation, for decently large groups (like small parties of friends or families traveling together), a very nice experience would be to spend the night in a houseboat in the lagoon, just a few steps from the romantic sandy bays of Kraalbaai.
Leave the West Coast at your earliest convenience, to head inland to the Cape Winelands, driving through idillic and bucolic landscapes. Take your time by paying a visit to some of the best wine estate for wine tasting. In the towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, amongst the others, there are plenty of delicious and sometimes internationally awarded restaurants.
Accommodation: Franschhoek Country Villa House (luxury room or garden cottage)
From the Cape Winelands to the Overberg, in the whale watching and shark cage-diving country.
The accommodation we suggest in this itinerary is set in its own private nature reserve, in the Walker Bay. Enjoy the ocean and, if you can, don’t miss horse-back riding among the fynbos, the dunes and along the shores.
Accommodation: Grootbos Nature Reserve, garden lodge or forest lodge
Meals: full board
The last wonder of this journey for the discerning traveler is the exclusive Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Home to all big 5 and, as a bonus, to the few remaining free roaming white lions of Africa. The reserve is huge (over 500 kmq) and simply stunning. The lodges offer a great service and a warm atmosphere. One of those has been specifically designed for families and kids on safari.
Accommodation: Tilney Manor House (Gondwana Family Lodge whether with kids along)
Meals: full board
Activities: 3 game drives
Last morning safari, breakfast at the lodge and departure by car to Cape Town International Airport, where you will return your vehicle and will fly you to your next destination.
Activities: morning game drive