The Best of South Africa: Cape Town, Vineyards and Wildlife Safari
It will amaze you just how much can be squeezed into one single South African trip, beginning in bustling Cape Town with its upmarket harbour area, restaurants and bars – though the stunning natural scenery of Table Mountain and Cape Point Nature Reserve are also within reach. From Cape Town a change of pace comes courtesy of the Winelands Region, where lively streets are replaced by boutique vineyards, intimate eateries and rambling countryside walks. A short coastal break on the beaches of Hermanus (with whale-watching a possibility) is then the perfect stop-gap before traversing the country to Shamwari Private Game Reserve, discovering the best of South Africa’s famous wildlife. All of this in just ten memorable days, and no shortage of five-star comforts, unique hotels and fine gastronomy along the way too.
On arrival in Cape Town, you’ll be met at the airport and helped through immigration and baggage collection, before a VIP transfer to the One&Only Hotel, overlooking Cape Town Marina. This supreme five-star property commands privileged views of Table Mountain too, matching its impeccable suites and prime Victoria & Alfred Waterfront location.
Spend today completely at leisure exploring the highlights of Cape Town in your own time, or with a local guide. The glamorous marina area, its bars and restaurants are on your doorstop, while further afield, day trips to Robben Island, the Table Mountain National Park cable car, Cape Point Nature Reserve, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, or visiting the city’s many markets, galleries and museums is always a popular choice.
South Africa is famous for its world-class wine labels, so no trip would be complete without visiting the picturesque plains of Cape Winelands, where some of the best boutique vineyards, grape varieties and intimate, fine dining restaurants can be found, just a short drive from Cape Town. Fittingly, your home for the next two nights will be the award-winning La Residence Estate, a classical, elegant array of sumptuous colonial-style suites surrounded by orchards, vineyards and the Helderberg Mountains beyond.
Time in Cape Winelands is intentionally effortless, either enjoying the opulent grounds of La Residence, its swimming pool and spa, or indulging yourself with a wine tasting tour and overall gastronomic adventure, in one of the many gourmet restaurants or boutique vineyards nearby.
From inland wineries to dramatic windswept coastline, as you travel to the seaside town of Hermanus in Overberg, an area which – though itself an up-and-coming wine region – is best known for its beaches, wildlife and Whale watching tours. Your destination is Birkenhead House, a supreme clifftop hotel complete with a sea-facing infinity pool, fine dining restaurant and spa.
If visiting between July and November, taking to the water is a must, in search of southern-right whales – which are extremely common here, as well as shark cage diving and sea kayaking, for those brave enough! If preferring to stay firmly on-land however, there are golf courses nearby, horse riding trails, cycling, hiking and beaches too, all easily accessed from the magnificent Birkenhead House.
A VIP transfer back to Cape Town Airport this morning, in time for your onward flight to the Eastern Cape and Shamwari Private Game Reserve, staying at Eagles Crag Lodge. The lodge itself is an architectural masterpiece of sweeping observation decks elevated on bare stone pillars, luxurious thatched cabins and cosy communal areas. Though of course, the real draw is what lies beyond, all to be discovered during game drives, photo-safaris and wildlife walks throughout your stay.
DAYS 8 - 9
Days are all-too-easily filled while residing at Shamwari Eagles Crag Lodge, as in-between those safari drives, birding tours and visits to nearby animal rehabilitation centres are your private-pool suites, sunsets atop the perfectly poised observation decks, a lounge, gym and spa to enjoy, in one of the best wildlife resorts around, no doubt.
A private transfer will take you back to Port Elizabeth Airport and on to Cape Town, in time for your return flight home.