Day 1 Arrival in Cape Town where you will be met by your local representative who will assist you with the collection of your rental vehicle, answer any questions you may have and present you with a detailed route descriptions for your travels ahead. After collecting your rental vehicle depart the short distance from the airport into the city of Cape Town.
The rest of the day is at leisure to relax and settle into your new surrounds. Time permitting why not take a ride in the cable car up Table Mountain for magnificent views, from this Cape Town’s most famous landmark. Alternatively explore the city centre with the colourful Malay Quarter of the Bo-Kaap or visit the historic Castle of Good Hope, the oldest building in the country.
Overnight on a bed and breakfast basis at the Winchester Mansions Hotel 4****
Day 2 and 3 You have two full days to make the most of all this wonderful city has to offer. Cape Town, affectionately known as the “Mother City” is South Africa’s oldest city and regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world, incredibly set between the towering Table Mountain and the raging Atlantic Ocean.
There are endless options for exploration in and around the city. However, we highly recommend that you do not miss out on the following:
The fabled Cape Peninsula described by the great explorer Sir Francis Drake as 'fairest cape in all the circumference of the world' makes for a wonderful day trip. Following the coastal road all around the peninsula you will take in the breathtaking Chapman’s Peak Drive, the Cape Point Nature reserve with Cape Point (most south-westerly point of the African continent) and the Cape of Good Hope, the seal colony at Duiker island and the penguins of Boulder’s Beach. Add to this magnificent scenery and the world famous Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch and you have a wonderful day of discovery. If you are lucky you may also see some of the southern right whales that migrate to these shores to give birth during the months June to November.
Not far from the city limits and you find the enchanting Cape wine region, regarded as one of the best wine growing regions on earth. The historic towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek are nestled amongst beautiful mountains and vineyards. The towns themselves are some of the oldest in the country and blessed with many fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture so typical of the region. Then of course there are the wine estates that you can visit to taste the world class vintages as well as join guided tours of the cellar complexes themselves.
For those more interested in the country’s turbulent and intriguing history a trip to Robben Island is a must. For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs.
Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. Robben Island came to symbolise, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity.
Overnight on a bed and breakfast basis at the Winchester Mansions Hotel 4****
Day 4 After an early breakfast depart from the hotel for the airport where you will return your rental vehicle to the Hertz counter before your flight (not included) to Johannesburg. On arrival in Johannesburg you will collect you new rental vehicle and depart eastwards to the province of Mpumalanga (there where the sun rises). The province is also referred to as “Paradise Country” thanks to its remarkably beautiful scenery.
Your destination is the wonderfully restored gold rush town of Pilgrim’s Rest. The entire town of Pilgrim’s Rest was declared a National Monument in 1986 as a living memory of the early golf rush days in South Africa in the late 1800s and early 1990s. Since then a dedicated team of historians, architects, curators and special interest groups closely monitor all developments and refurbishments in the village to ensure that it maintains it authentic bygone appeal. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure here to explore this wonderful village and perhaps even try your luck at gold-panning!
Overnight on a bed and breakfast basis at the Royal Hotel Pilgrim’s Rest 3***
Day 5 The full day is yours to explore the breathtaking Panorama Route. This is undoubtedly one of the most scenically beautiful regions of the country. Do not miss out on a visit to Mac Mac falls, God’s window for views to forever and the fascinating Bourke’s Luck Potholes, formed over millions of years through alluvial erosion.
However, the highlight of the Panorama Route is surely the Blyde River Canyon. The 33km long canyon is the 3rd longest in the world and the largest “green” canyon, offering vistas that keep visitors spellbound!
In the afternoon return to Pilgrim’s Rest for your overnight.Overnight on a bed and breakfast basis at the Royal Hotel Pilgrim’s Rest 3***
Day 6 Time to head off on safari! Leaving Pilgrim’s Rest after a leisurely breakfast head north east to the world famous Kapama Game Reserve in the greater Kruger Park region. This is big game territory at its best!
You will arrive at the lodge in time for a sumptuous lunch and time to settle in before departing on your first open vehicle safari in search of Africa’s wild game. The drives at Kapama are undertaken in open 4x4 vehicles under the guidance of your qualified rangers. Whilst on safari your rangers are there to help you make the most of your time in the bush, helping you to discover not only the big game but the myriad of intriguing secrets of the bush.
During your safari you will stop at sun sets to toast the end of another day with “sundowners” in the wild. After the sun has set continue your drive under the cover of darkness with the aid of powerful spotlights. This is the time when the nocturnal game become active and the likes of lions and leopards are on the move! At the end of the drive return to the lodge for dinner. Overnight on a full board basis at Kapama River Lodge 4****
Day 7 Today you will be woken at dawn for an early morning safari. The reserve is home to a wide variety of game including Africa’s famed “Big Five” – lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo, as well as many other species of game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and many species of antelope, as well as being a birders paradise.
Return to the lodge for breakfast after which you have the opportunity to partake in a bush walk with your ranger for a close up look at the secrets hidden in the grass!
During the heat of the day you can relax around the pool or on your private balcony and soak up the sheer peace of nature.
Alternatively why not pay a visit to the neighbouring Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre which plays a vital role in conserving endangered game, especially cheetahs. Here you will get to view these magnificent animals close up and learn of the efforts being made to ensure their long-term survival in the wild. After lunch at the lodge you will partake in a final afternoon / evening safari before returning to the lodge for dinner.
Overnight on a full board basis at Kapama River Lodge.
Day 8 After a final morning game drive and hearty breakfast at the lodge it is time to depart from Kapama for the return journey to Johannesburg. Here you will return your vehicle to the Hertz counter before checking in for your return flight to the United States.