You’ll be left in awe of Mother Nature as this three-day luxury safari shows off the rustic beauty of vast open plains and expansive ocean horizons packed with the possibility of unprecedented wildlife sightings. Are you ready for the wild... The big blues are the star of the show as you set off along the picturesque coastal route of Clarence Drive to reach Hermanus, which holds the honour of one of the best land-based whale watching locations in the world! You’ll get to marvel at the rugged coastline along the way, and stop off to visit some adorable African penguins. With your ocean fix taken care of, you’ll head towards your resting place for the evening, none other than the African rondavel/hut inspired suites of Gondwana Game Reserve.
Day two is destined for all things safari and you’ll spend the entire day within the magnificent 11000-hectare wildlife reserve trying your hand at animal spotting on a morning and evening safari. When you’re not out on the search, you can kick back at the spectacular lodge and gaze adoringly at the dramatic background formed by the Outeniqua and Langeberg Mountains, or get up to speed on your knowledge of the exquisite surrounding fynbos vegetation, found nowhere else on the planet... Another night beneath the stars unlocks a whole new level of relaxation as you cosy in to your private suite with panoramic views of the reserve.
When you awake to the brilliance of the golden sunlight flowing into your skylight, enjoy breakfast at Gondwana’s African style lodge before heading back to the Mother City. But as you know, travel is as much about the journey as it is the destination, and the last day's route is certain to impress too. Kilometres worth of rolling vineyards sprawled in every direction indicate your arrival at the world’s longest wine route, Route 62, and an afternoon meander is the perfect way to remind you of the beauty that surrounds. As Table Mountain beckons you back, find yourself mesmerised by the vistas ahead and the memories that lie in your wake.
Roadtrip along Route 62's semi-desert country plains with quirky pitstops along the way.
Hike amongst fragrant fynbos along the Hermanus cliff paths for some of the world's best seasonal land-based whale watching.
Meet the cute resident penguins at Stony Point Nature Reserve.
Wind along the wild beauty of the Kogelberg Biosphere with dramatic coastal scenes of Clarence drive.
Follow rustic dirt roads and cross valleys and hills in search of all five members of the Big 5 at Gondwana Game Reserve.
Get wild as the lazy afternoon scenes at Gondwana Game Reserve beckon you in on a thrilling safari.
Sip on sublime wines at Jakkalsvlei, a diamond in the rough family estate.
Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town.
Set out, expectant for the day ahead with a guaranteed window seat and the promise of many awe-inspiring moments to come. You’ll depart Cape Town and head along the spectacular Clarence Drive, winding along the coastal road and marvelling at the dramatic twists where the ocean meets the mountain slopes. The view changes with each turn, revealing more of the silhouettes ahead and exposing the vast expanse of False Bay as the ocean stretches out before you. If the skies are clear, you’ll be able to see glimpses of the Cape Peninsula across the bay, in all her glory. Just as you thought the sights couldn’t get any better, you’ll arrive at the clumsy colony of African penguins at Stony Point, where a hoard of waddling penguins are ready to win your heart over. Traverse the wooden boardwalks as you gaze upon the playful fellas and learn more about the history of this former whaling station and the conservation efforts made to keep the African penguin colony growing.
More coastal beauty awaits as you continue on to the little hamlet of Hermanus, known around the world for its unparalleled land-based whale watching. You’ll set off on a light hike amongst the indigenous fynbos to get to the perfect vantage points from which to watch frolicking whales leap forth right before your eyes. June to November is whale season in Hermanus, and the bay sees huge numbers of calving southern-right and humpback whales pop-in to wave a fin at adoring on-lookers. While the thrill of spotting a breaching big blue is difficult to top, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the magnificent surrounding scenery and the intricate sights and smells of the unique fynbos lining the paths. When you’re all whale’d-out, head into the heart of the quaint streets of Hermanus for a hearty lunch at a local eatery.
You’ll then head towards your safari suite for the night, at Gondwana Game Reserve. Set at the foot of the towering Outeniqua and Swartberg mountains along the esteemed Garden Route, this 11 000-hectare private reserve offers prime Big 5 animal viewing in a stunning malaria-free setting. Your hideaway for the evening takes the form of a traditional-style Khoi-San rondawel, decked out with all the creature comforts you would expect from a private luxury suite, while still bringing you back to basics and the beauty of nature.
Dinner is included at the African inspired lodge where you’ll fine dine in the heart of the reserve surrounded the heavenly scents of the wild surrounds.
Today is all about your wild surroundings and those hoping for some serious safari moments are in for a treat. You’ll awake in your chic suite, overlooking the undulating fynbos-covered hills, littered with bursts of colour and the odd grazing antelope. Your first order of the day takes you straight into the heart of the reserve with an early morning safari game drive. Your experienced field guide will welcome you onto the open safari vehicle, perfectly constructed for optimum wildlife viewing, and once settled, you’ll head out to the bush in search of the free-roaming Big 5 members and more! As you cruise, 4x4 style, over the rolling hills along rustic dirt roads you can’t help but be delighted by the unmistakable scent of the surrounding fynbos. Gondwana Game Reserve is populated with the most exquisite displays of colourful fynbos and indigenous beauty that you might just catch yourself so mesmerised that you forget to look out for animals! Luckily, your ranger will reign you in with fascinating facts of the bushveld and its local residents. You can try to find all the members of the Big 5*; as well as herds of zebra; 15 different species of antelope such as eland, bontebok or waterbuck; illusive cheetahs; and more! The hills and valleys of the reserve allow you to marvel over the ever-changing scenery, amidst the backdrop of the breathtaking Outeniqua mountain range.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, a delicious breakfast awaits you at the main lodge after your morning safari, prepared with a uniquely African touch. Dine easy as the friendly staff attend to your every need while you enjoy the meal and even try fit in a bit of game viewing from the lodge verandah! A day at leisure awaits, you can choose to relax at the infinity pool, book an optional Africology spa treatment, kick back with a book, or simply laze about amidst the spectacular surroundings.
The last few hours of daylight hold the possibility to tick even more animals off the list with another 4x4 safari. Head out again with your ranger to view the bush in the afternoon as the lazy local animals settle in for the evening. You’ll get the opportunity to enjoy the landscape with some sundowners, the perfect way to soak in the safari feeling. At the end of your full day in the bush, there’s nothing better than the smells of a “braai” (a quintessentially South African BBQ) wafting through the air and the sound of the crackling fire, beckoning you into a state of ultimate relaxation.
Another morning in the bush means another opportunity to wake up with the animals and catch a glimpse of them from your panoramic suite in the comfort of your king-size bed. After breakfast, you’ll depart Gondwana with cameras and hearts full. Make sure to save some space for a few more snaps, because the views along your route back are not to be missed! Before you leave the Garden Route, you’ll get to pay homage to the spectacular scenery with a stop at Jakkalsvlei Private Cellar where innovative wine pairings await in the most enchanting setting. With palates pleased, you’ll then head on through the lush green surrounds of the Garden Route and watch as the landscape changes before your eyes.
This begins your journey back to the Mother City along the world famous Route 62 - the longest wine route in the world! Wind along the expanse of country road, passing wine farms on either side, enjoying the unique Klein Karoo landscape. By the time the distinct silhouette of Table Mountain ushers you back to Cape Town, your senses will be in seventh heaven, an immaculate backdrop to end off your trip on a high note.
End with an evening drop-off at your Cape Town accommodation.
Maximum 8 guests per vehicle or guide with a guaranteed window seat.
Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.
Transfers to included tour highlights.
There is no central meeting point for this tour. A transfer service will collect you from your Cape Town accommodation.
2 nights accommodation
2x Breakfasts included
2x Dinners included
Local and international flights are excluded.
You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance.
Meals and drinks not mentioned as included can be purchased on tour.
*Leopards are elusive, nocturnal animals and hardly seen during game drives.
Since the beginning, working as a guesthouse manager 13-years ago, I have been involved in creating personalised experiences for people in the travel industry. It has grown into my work passion and I love being able to create tailor-made experiences for people that they will remember for the rest of their lives. In between doing that, I create my own memories and experiences by spending time with my family (usually on the beach), attending festivals and capturing it all with my camera.
Click terms for more details.
Full amount required to reserve or confirm a booking.
Children under 12 years are not allowed. Children between 12 and 18 years must to be accompanied by an adult.
11 official Languages Spoken
Afrikaans – English – isiNdebele – Sepedi.– Sesotho – Siswati – Xitsonga – Setswana – Tshivenda – isiXhosa
How to say hello?
Molo – Xhosa
Sawubona - Zulu
Hallo - Afrikaans
Dumela - SeSotho
Electricity – Volt & plug
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.
WiFi/Internet Access on tour
WiFi can be found at most accommodations, restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect to watch HD movies in your spare time.
When to go
South Africa is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year. Summer in South Africa is usually peak season, lasting between November – February, however Easter time (March) is often still considered peak season too. Temperatures range from 25ºC in coastal areas to high 30ºs in inland areas. Cape Town has ideal weather during this time and Durban sports warm beaches and humid air, Johannesburg experiences hot clear days and often an afternoon thunderstorm.
Shoulder season is April and May, as well as September and October. Surprisingly, the weather in Durban is often at its best during this time, and other areas simmer down from their scorching highs. Prices are lower and crowds are smaller. September and October see eruptions of flowers and blooms all around the country.
Winter is beautiful in most parts of the country. Cape Town experiences winter rain and is often a little cold and miserable, but still crisp and beautiful. Because of the warm Indian Ocean, Durban has spectacular weather in winter, often hovering around 20-25ºC with clear blue skies. Inland areas get quite chilly and the odd snowfall is not uncommon (it only lasts for a day though!). Prices are at an all time low and it is an ideal time for game viewing, as the animals are more active in the cooler weather.
Best time to go
Jun-Jul = Safari
Jan-Feb = Beach
With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays. In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.
|1 Jan||New Year's Day|
|21 Mar||Human Rights Day|
|30 Mar||Good Friday|
|2 Apr||Family Day|
|27 Apr||Freedom Day|
|1 May||Workers' Day|
|16 Jun||Youth Day|
|9 Aug||National Women's Day|
|24 Sep||Heritage Day|
|16 Dec||Day of Reconciliation|
|17 Dec||Day of Reconciliation Holiday|
|25 Dec||Christmas Day|
|26 Dec||Day of Goodwill|
Visa & Travel docs
Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival. These travellers do not need a visa to enter South Africa. A valid passport is essential with at least two empty pages. You generally will need to show return or onward travel arrangements. Children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate (showing both parents details).
Some countries do, however, need a visa. Visas are not issued upon entry, they must be attained beforehand. It is advised that you clarify this before you leave, the Department of Home Affairs office has a comprehensive list of countries that do not require visas. http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries
What to pack
We're generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head to our shores. Here's some clothing advice when in South Africa:
Health & Safety
There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter South Africa with exception of a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a yellow fever area within the last 12 months.
The only major health risk you might face in South Africa is malaria, which is confined to small areas in the north-eastern parts of the country. Small pockets of the northern parts of the Kruger National Park fall under this area but the risk here is considered extremely low and it is not always necessary to take anti-malaria tablets. Remember as a precautionary measure to check with your accommodation what is recommended.
South Africa may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of South Africa’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.
South Africa has 3 world-class airports that receive international flights every day; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Most international airlines will have flights into one or all of these airports daily.
There are numerous budget carriers that offer domestic flights between the major cities for very reasonable rates; this is the fastest and safest way to span large distances, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is a 2-hour flight.
From the airports there are numerous shuttles and taxis that you can pick up upon arrival, there are also many different car hire options at each airport and in all major cities. Uber is another reliable and affordable option.
Our currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. You can easily convert your currency to rand at a bank or Forex Bureau, the airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available throughout South Africa. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are usually accepted in hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping.