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overview

Designed with independent-minded, adventurous families in mind, this two-week luxury self-drive adventure showcases South Africa's southern Cape coast from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, taking in stunning scenery, wide sandy beaches and a malaria-free Big 5 game reserve along the way.

The journey opens at the heart of Cape Town with a stay at the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, famous for its relaxed, family-friendly environment and set close to the city's central attractions. South Africa's finest city is packed with things to see and do: not only is a full-day Cape Town tour built into your itinerary but since you also have your own car, destinations further afield are easily accessible. Ride to the top of Table Mountain by cable car, marvel at the penguins of Boulders Beach and search for big game at Cape Point - fun days lie ahead!

After four glorious days in the 'Mother City', set off for the magical town of Franschhoek, tucked away in an alpine setting in the Cape Winelands. One of the country's greatest culinary-oriented accommodations - Le Quartier Francais - is your destination and it won't be long before you join your children in the kitchen to learn a thing or two from the hotel’s award-winning chefs. The food, needless to say, is sensational - and so are the wines...

Two days later the scenic Garden Route beckons and before you know it you will be driving along its breathtakingly beautiful coastline to everyone's favourite seaside town - Plettenberg Bay. Here you have the chance to encounter the Indian Ocean's prolific marine life with a boat safari, included in your itinerary, while the region's pristine beaches and warm water will keep your children more than entertained. If you visit over spring, watch as their faces light up when migrating southern right whales jump out of the water in front of your hotel!

Then it is time to shift gears and head to the Eastern Cape for a safari in the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. This malaria-free reserve boasts excellent animal sightings, thanks to the presence of the Big 5 and a wide range of classic African animals. Fill your days with thrilling game drives and pampering massages while dedicated lodge rangers educate and entertain your children with tailored safari activities.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Self-drive the stunning Garden Route
  • Experience South Africa's great highlights
  • Stay at luxurious family-friendly hotels & lodges
  • Learn to cook South Africa's delicious cuisine
  • See whales from your hotel in Plettenberg Bay
  • Discover the Indian Ocean's marine life
  • Relax & sunbath on beautiful sandy beaches
  • Search for the Big 5 in Kwandwe Reserve

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-4

Let the Mother City embrace you

Having landed at Cape Town International Airport and collected your rental car, the first glimpses of famous Table Mountain will tell you that you have arrived in South Africa's Mother City.  Mesmerising views will accompany you all the way to the iconic and elegant Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, your home for the next four nights.

A welcoming environment for families, The ‘Nellie’ - as this hotel is affectionately known - is ideally located to experience the vibrancy of central Cape Town and all her highlights. Just a short easy walk away are the sprawling, tree-lined Company's Gardens, home to art galleries, museums and historical monuments while a 15-minute drive is all it takes to arrive at the bright lights of the ever-popular V&A Waterfront or the city beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay.

All members of the family will enjoy the full-day tour of Cape Town, included in your programme. Highlights include Table Mountain, the Two Oceans Aquarium and bustling Greenmarket Square, but since you have your own car, make sure you do some exploring on your own. Head out for dramatic Cape Point via the must-see Boulders Beach penguin colony, returning with a slow drive around the Cape Peninsula and breathtaking Chapman’s Peak Drive. If your timing is right, stop off for a delicious dinner on the ever-popular Camps Bay Promenade, best accompanied by a glass or two of fine wine and an Atlantic Ocean sunset.

Days 5-6

Explore the Cape Winelands

Leave Cape Town behind after breakfast and travel to the beautiful town of Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands. The views en route are enchanting and it may be a while before you have made your way to Le Quartier Francais, a charming boutique hotel centrally situated on the town's main street and within walking distance of the many excellent restaurants, shops and street cafes.

Radiating history and charm in equal measures, Franschhoek is South Africa's undisputed gourmet capital and offers a range of fine dining restaurants and wine cellars, making your stay here a world-class culinary experience. Take your time to discover delicious dishes served up in the enticing bistros and restaurants that line these historic streets. Indeed, a stroll through town will prove not only rewarding for your palette but educational too, thanks to the many traditional French-Huguenot buildings that dominate the town. 

Set out on a drive to Franschhoek's surrounding wine estates to taste their exquisite wares while your children run around expansive, manicured lawns. Spectacular views of nearby mountain ranges accompany you on your self-drive explorations, and active visitors may want to fit in a hike or perhaps a round of golf. On returning to the hotel after a busy day, relax in the gardens or treat yourself to an aroma-skincare treatment, a specialty from The Treatment Room.

Days 7-10

Cruise the Garden Route

The focus now shifts from fine food and wine to the southern Cape's amazing coastline. Make an early start from Franschhoek to embark on the spectacular Garden Route coastal drive and make your way to the effervescent holiday town of Plettenberg Bay, set on a grand curving sweep of sand. Here, at the epicentre of the Garden Route experience, you will find some of the best beaches South Africa has to offer plus a wide range of land and ocean activities for you and your family to enjoy.

The Plettenberg, a luxurious hotel situated high on the cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean, will be your home for three nights. The hotel's commanding position makes it the perfect place for huge ocean and sky vistas but keep an eye out for schools of dolphins too - they are commonly seen in the bay and are regularly seen surfing the waves!

Ocean creatures will be the focus of one of your days here: a Marine Encounters Tour has been built into your itinerary, giving you and your family the chance to venture out into the bay in search of the Indian Ocean's wealth of aquatic life. Children will love spotting Cape fur seals, dolphins, a wide variety of seabirds and - from June to November - migrating southern right whales.

There are plenty of restaurants in Plettenberg Bay for all kinds of occasions and several clubs and bars for the more party-oriented members of the family but it's all about the Great Outdoors in this part of South Africa. Go to the local Robberg Peninsula for ocean-side hikes or nearby Keurbooms Beach for a more rugged, yet equally beautiful, beach experience.

Days 11-13

Search for the Big 5

Wave goodbye to Plettenberg Bay and the Garden Route and make your way along the coast to the malaria-free Eastern Cape and Kwandwe Ecca Lodge - a luxurious, made-for-families safari lodge located in the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve.

Settle in and let your family explore their new surroundings. Your children will love the lodge's pool as much as the dedicated play area and interactive kitchen while large family-friendly suites ensure there is plenty of space for all. Canoe trails, animal tracking adventures and night drives are part of the range of experiences but above all this is the chance for your family to encounter Africa's heavyweights.

A landscape that echoes with both human and natural history, Kwandwe offers you and your family all the thrills of a genuine Big 5 safari but without the danger of malarial mosquitoes. Explore this richly diverse reserve on expertly led morning and afternoon game drives as well as guided nature walks in search of elephant, lion, buffalo, white rhino and leopard plus other classic African animals such as giraffe and zebra. With the excited chatter of your children accompanying you back to camp after your evening drive, order a cocktail from the bar on your arrival and watch as the sun sets over the Eastern Cape wilderness.

Day 14

Your family adventure ends

After the last breakfast of your tour, it will be time to return your rental vehicle to Port Elizabeth Airport and fly to Cape Town or Johannesburg to connect with your international flight, taking unforgettable memories of this family safari with you.

Alternatively, you may want a further adventure: why not take the scenic Route 62 all the way back to Cape Town and return your rental vehicle there? A new journey beckons!

Inclusions

  • 4 nights at Mount Nelson on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 nights at Le Quartier Francais on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 4 nights at The Plettenberg on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 nights at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge on a fully inclusive basis
  • 14 day car rental
  • Full Day Cape Highlights Tour
  • Marine Encounters Tour

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 May 2014 - 25 May 2014 $4030
  • 09 Aug 2014 - 02 Sep 2014 $4160
  • 03 Sep 2014 - 27 Sep 2014 $4320
  • 28 Sep 2014 - 22 Oct 2014 $4960
  • 17 Nov 2014 - 11 Dec 2014 $5325

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Carlien Parsons

Carlien Parsons

Product Manager

"A wonderful & easy meander from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape, we've put this journey together specifically with families in mind."

From

$4030

Per person sharing

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