South African Journey
A 'South African Journey' combines the magic of Cape Town, the beauty of the Garden Route and the game of the Kruger National Park with the diverse history of South Africa. This itinerary will particularly appeal to those concerned about acting responsibly towards the environment.
Wherever possible we have selected hotels and lodges which have chosen to adopt a policy of responsible tourism, which in turn benefits local communities and the environment.
This means that the hotels practice best policy which includes buying products locally, facilitating health, education and literacy development, using sustainable materials from the region and conserving the environment in all its forms.
For example in Cape Town you will stay at Winchester Mansions Hotel whose management are committed to saving water and energy, and will provide information to guests on playing a role in responsible tourism. In the Kruger we stay at Moswari Game Lodge where only organic cleaning products are used.
DAY 1 DAILY HEATHROW - CAPE TOWN
Fly from Heathrow overnight to Cape Town.
DAY 2 CAPE TOWN
Transfer to the Winchester Mansions Hotel (25 km) for the next four nights. The remainder of today is free to relax or to explore Cape Town.
DAY 3 CAPE TOWN
Today's excursion takes you along the Atlantic coastline via Chapman's Peak Drive to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Continue along the False Bay coastline to Simonstown to visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach before visiting the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (200 km). (b)
DAY 4 CAPE TOWN
The walk to Freedom Tour including Robben Island offers an insight into South African history. Visit the 'Malay Quarter' where 60,000 families were forcibly removed and the living museum where they represent communal life from days gone by. In Langa (Cape Town's oldest formal black township) walk through the vibrant community where you will witness hundreds of squatters who are building their own homes. Then via the V&A waterfront to Robben Island, 'home' to Nelson Mandela for 18 years (120 km). (b)
DAY 5 CAPE TOWN
A full day free to explore Cape Town. (b)
DAY 6 CAPE TOWN - STELLENBOSCH
On delivery of your car, drive to the Spier Wine Estate near Stellenbosch (60 km). (b)
Spier are committed to using natural resources in a sustainable way, so they can meet the demands of today without compromising the needs of future generations. They recycle, reduce consumption and re-use as many resources as they can.
DAY 7 STELLENBOSCH - KNYSNA
Drive via Elgin, historic Swellendam, Riversdale and past Mossel Bay and George to Knysna and the eco resort, your home for the next 2 nights (450 km). (b)
The Phantom Forest Eco Reserve uses only sustainable building materials. A harmonious balance has been created from ragged thatch to hand-crafted wood, shingle and fynbos planted roofs, from meandering boardwalks to a 'freshwater' natural pool and spectacular views shared only with resident fish eagles.
DAY 8 KNYSNA
A free day to relax in resort or to take advantage of the many local excursions. (b)
DAY 9 KNYSNA - TSITSIKAMMA FOREST
You could take a trip on Knysna Lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve and walk the trail to Milkwood Forest (optional extra). Continue through Plettenberg Bay to the Hog Hollow Estate (100 km). En route you could call in at the Elephant Sanctuary or during the winter take a boat in search of whales and dolphins. (b)
Hog Hollow Estate is a member of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa and has a robust recycling programme, vegetable waste is given to a local pig farmer, indigenous trees are planted, they pay for an extra teacher at the local school and sponsor a local football team.
DAY 10 TSITSIKAMMA FOREST - PORT ELIZABETH
Visit Tsitsikamma National Park, see Storms River Mouth and walk to the suspension bridge. In the afternoon head for Port Elizabeth and the Kelway Hotel for overnight (230 km). (b)
DAY 11 PORT ELIZABETH - KRUGER
Fly via Johannesburg to Hoedspruit where you will be transferred to your game lodge (35 km), situated in the Timbavati Game Reserve, which shares a border with the Kruger National Park. Flights permitting, lunch and an afternoon game drive are included. (b,l,d)
The Motswari Game Lodge has implemented an Environmental Management Plan involving reduction and recycling of waste and that most precious of resources - water. The surrounding bushveld is an integral part of the lodge as indigenous vegetation has replaced lawns and alien plants. Only organic cleaning products are used, whilst bio-technologies such as micro-organisms ensure that even on a cellular level everything retains a healthy natural balance.
DAY 12 KRUGER
Morning and afternoon game drives in open-sided safari vehicles and time to relax. (b,l,d)
DAY 13 KRUGER
Morning and afternoon game drives. (b,l,d)
DAY 14 KRUGER - JOHANNESBURG - HEATHROW
After your final morning game drive, you will be transferred back to Hoedspruit Airport (35 km) for the flight to Johannesburg and your flight to Heathrow or your chosen extension. (b)
Storms River Mouth