This journey covers three of the most scenic regions of South Africa, all within a stones throw of each other. The variety across this journey will delight, starting off with the bright lights of Cape Town, then wine tasting in the Winelands, concluding with a few days on the coast.
Most of our safaris cover relatively large distances. And although all of it is by air, and much of it in small charter planes, there is still a bit of tedium involved with some of the flying – especially the commercial legs. If you spend your professional life in a suitcase, and don’t want to see the inside of a plane while on holiday, this trip offers a great break.
It starts off in Cape Town – one of the most iconic cities in Africa, if not the world. Whatever your interest, the one thing we are sure of is that you will leave here thinking that you did not spend enough time in this city. Explore the city on your own, or ask about our self drive or guided tours. The options are almost endless.
From Cape Town, the journey heads out to Tulbagh in the Cape Winelands, where you will find vineyards as old as time itself (well almost), in some of the most beautiful settings in the country. Use it as a base to head out on any number of day drives, choose to spend the day at just one or two places, or just hang around the farm at Bartholomeus Klip. Great cuisine, and fine wine. Life at its best.
The final leg of the journey heads off to Paternoster on the Cape West Coast. Like many reasonably modern economies, the architecture in most of South Africa’s towns and cities can best be described as contemporary hodge-podge. Paternoster is one of the few exception. Operating to a strict building code, it has retained all the charm of an old-world fishing village. But it is not just for show. Paternoster is working fishing village with all the quirks and charisma you’d expect.
Cape Town almost always appears on lists of 'Top 10 Cities of the World', and with good reason. The natural beauty of its dramatic mountains and white beaches extends well beyond the city limits to the southern tip of the peninsula. It has hiking, climbing, mountain biking and water sports for outdoor enthusiasts, top restaurants and vineyards for foodies, and a variety of museums for more contemplative excursions. Its complex history has its dark side, with travesties like District Six and the incarceration of political prisoners on Robben Island during the apartheid years, but it has also contributed to making Cape Town one of the most culturally diverse cities on the continent - diversity that is evident in its people, its food, its creativity and much more. Stay for 4 nights on this trip, and we are certain you’ll want to come back for more.
The Cape Winelands is well known for its proliferation of estates and cellars, and beckons the leisurely traveller to meander along its various wine routes. Just east of Cape Town, the trendy towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek nestle in the shadow of the mountains, and are perhaps what spring to mind most readily when the Winelands are discussed. But the menu of choices runs into a long list of names. The more popular of these include Tulbagh, Wellington and Paarl to the north, and Worcester Robertson, McGregor, Bonnievale and Montagu along the popular ‘Route 62’ through the Breede River Valley. The landscape generally consists of craggy mountains interspersed with pastoral valleys. Steep rocky peaks plunge to gentler gradients rich in fynbos and proteas before levelling out into fertile valleys threaded with chortling streams. In these low-lying areas, suspended between the slopes, vineyards stretch in patchwork patterns. Like an artist’s palette the area changes with the seasons - from subtle spring pastels, through lush summer greens, to the earthy shades of autumn.
The isolated stretch of land along the west coast of South Africa is one of its richest natural areas. The Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, is said to be the first recorded European to arrive on South African shores in a bay he named Bahai da Santa Elena (now St Helena Bay) after the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great. But shell middens and stone age artefacts dotted along the coastline suggest that the west coast sustained early human life as long as 700 000 years ago. The Khoi began herding sheep two millennia ago and were well-established herdsman by the time the Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century. Paternoster is one of the oldest villages on the west coast. With charming white and blue fishermen’s cottages and colourful fishing boats resting on the beach, it surprises and beguiles visitors and is popular all year round with Capetonians. Yzerfontein, Langebaan, St Helena Bay, Velddrift, Elands Bay, Lambert’s Bay and Strandfontein are equally popular tourist destinations.
The Cape Grace is situated on a private quay, nestled between the working harbour of Cape Town’s bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and the serenity of an international yacht marina, with Table Mountain and Signal Hill as backdrop.
The wide range of beautifully appointed, ultra-luxurious guest rooms are elegant in style and generous in size, and includes balcony options as well rooftop luxury and penthouse suites. French windows offering magnificent views throughout.
The Cape Grace showcases the essence of the Cape. Its designs embrace local creativity, whilst staying true to the warm atmosphere and personalised levels of service that have defined the Hotel for years.
Children are welcomed as very special guests, with professional child minders in attendance to enable you to go out and enjoy the Mother City with absolute peace of mind.
With dramatic mountains, a long stretch of Atlantic coastline and a picturesque working harbour, there are few cities to rival “The Fairest Cape”, as British explorer Sir Francis Drake described it in 1580. Its Mediterranean climate, superb natural attractions, historic landmarks and fabulous restaurants offer all the ingredients for a top holiday destination.
Key attractions include:
Bartholomeus Klip is an exclusive country lodge located on a working grain and sheep farm in the Riebeek Valley, an hour’s drive from Cape Town. A 4 000 hectare section of the farm has been converted into a game reserve and holds abundant herds of eland, springbuck, black wildebeest, zebra and bontebok.
Bartholomeus Klip offers luxurious, full board farmhouse accommodation, which consists of four luxurious en-suite rooms in the beautifully furnished farmhouse, and a separate suite outside with its own secluded veranda looking over the veld and up to the mountains. It also offers self-catering accommodation at Wild Olive House, which features a beautifully equipped kitchen, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, its own garden, swimming pool, large shady veranda and outdoor barbecue facilities. Finishes are luxurious and stylish throughout, with crisp cotton bedding and elegant fabrics. Bespoke, own-brand toiletries add a special touch to the Victorian-style bathrooms.
Romantic and supremely comfortable, Bartholomeus Klip is an exceptional countryside getaway and has a long history of hospitality in the Cape Winelands. It is renowned for its cuisine. A fascinating range of activities is available on the farm and in the surrounding area.
The Cape Winelands are not only a delight for connoisseurs of fine wines; the towns themselves are centres for a host of enjoyable pastimes. Many are steeped in history and have magnificent collections of traditional Cape Dutch and period architecture, best viewed during a stroll along the leafy streets. The historic Church Street in Tulbagh has the largest concentration of provincial monuments in one street in South Africa.
The university town of Stellenbosch, with its oak-lined boulevards, is the second-oldest town in the country, dating back to 1671. Today it is an important cultural centre with a host of galleries and museums and the country’s oldest music school.
Franschhoek, reclining in a somnolent valley ambience, entices gourmets to sample its fare at some of South Africa’s best restaurants.
The winelands is a great region in South Africa in which to enjoy a leisurely trip along minor roads that fade into the fynbos. Roads that will take you into valleys and gorges, past barns stacked with bales of lucerne, and paddocks with grazing sheep and lazing cows. Dams mirror the sky and hillsides, their reflections rippled by preening waterbirds. For centuries the terroir here has been ideally suited to the production of great wine and today, more than ever before, it is also conducive to the making of good times and fond memories.
The Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel is tucked away in the picturesque fishing village of Paternoster on the unspoilt West Coast of South Africa. Hidden away on the shores of the village, this is a destination of immeasurable charm.
The 10 rooms and 5 suites of the The Strandloper are a fusion of beach style and contemporary luxury, with organic lines, hues and textures, and an overall feeling of simplicity. High ceilings create a feeling of freedom. Each unit has its own terrace or courtyard, some with small splash pools or outdoor showers, and wide doors that open out onto breathtaking views of sky, sand, sea and space.
The magnificent presidential suite has its own private seafront terrace and small splash pool, en-suite bedroom with a large handmade stone bath and shower, lounge, fireplace, dining and relaxation areas, and even a loft office.
A romantic venue for couples, honeymooners or anyone looking for some special me-time, the Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel offers the best of West Coast hospitality and fuss-free luxury. Inspired cuisine with a local and organic slant is served up with breathtaking views for dessert.
The road up the Cape west coast leads through fishing villages such as Yzerfontein, Langebaan, Paternoster, St Helena Bay, Velddrif, Elands Bay, Lambert’s Bay and Strandfontein. With blazing blue skies, white sandy beaches and cobalt seas, the coastal towns have a much-acclaimed Mediterranean feel. After good winter rains, flower-lovers make pilgrimages to the west coast in spring (August to September) to enjoy the colourful splendour, which reaches its full brilliance in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape. However, the west coast is different from the warm, easy going east coast, and can whip up a biting wind, or set in with miserable rain and austere, desolate greyness.
Paternoster is one of the oldest villages on the west coast. Fishing is still the pulse of the village, and the foghorn still sounds a warning when mist creeps over the bay. More than any other village, Paternoster has maintained its aesthetic appearance and atmosphere, with whitewashed cottages and fishing boats strewn across its beaches. Holiday accommodation is sprinkled amid the local houses, and renovated or new cottages maintain the same rustic, crisp simplicity.
This safari commences and ends in Cape Town, South Africa