Long Breaks| 7 nights
Today, drive to the Cape of Good Hope which lies within the Cape Peninsula National Park. This is Africa's most southwestern point and there is a number of walking trails and picnic spots in the reserve.
Return to Cape Town in the afternoon and relax. In the evening, drive to the hip celebrity residential areas of Camps Bay or Clifton and chill-out at one of many lounge bars, finishing off with a meal at one of the many seaside restaurants.
In the morning, drive out to Franschoek, which has to be in our opinion, the prettiest town in the Cape Winelands. Tucked away into a deep valley surrounded by the mountains, this former 17th century settlement of French refugees is refreshingly compact, with its shops and restaurants located all along the main street. Thanks to the French influence, some of the country’s best vineyards are also in and around the town.
Spend the day visiting some of the award-winning vineyards, tasting wine and cheeses. Many of the vineyards have excellent restaurants, and Franschoek can claim to be the gourmet capital of South Africa. In the evening, treat yourself to a special romantic dinner at a fine dining restaurant (book in advance!)
Places: Cape Town, Franschoek, Hermanus & Grootbos Nature Reserve | Activities: Go up Table Mountain; visit Mandela's Robben Island Prison; dining and shopping in chic Cape Town; wine-tasting and vineyard tour in Franschoek; stunning coastal self-drives; whale watching in Hermanus; and being moved and awestruck at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
If you were to ask what’s truly unique to see & do in South Africa, that perhaps cannot be found anywhere else in the world, then we would unequivocally say – “why, that would be the fairest of them all - the Western Cape Regionl!”
“And why the fairest?” you might challenge.
Because for starters, this region, especially Cape Town, is blessed with some of the highest sunshine hours in the world; because the roads of the Western Cape have the most scenic and safest coastal roads that even local South Africans fantasize about being let loose on (picture this, because we have seen it: a convoy of 5 red Ferraris with their top down on a sunny morning driving along a cliff-hugging road with unending miles of ocean below); because early settlers planted some of the best New World wine (to taste of course!) along the cool climate slopes of Table Mountain and the limestone coast; because the Western Cape is home to the world’s top floral bio-diversity region called the fynbos (with more plant species than all of Europe put-together!) And lastly, because the warm waters of the Indian Ocean mingle with the cold currents of the Atlantic to create a staggeringly rich soup of marine wildlife. So rich that you can just sit in your hotel balcony and watch Southern Right whales spawn just a few yards off the beach, in one of nature’s most spectacular annual migrations. Goosebumps?!!
Depart Chennai after midnight and arrive into Dubai in the morning. Take a quick connecting flight from Dubai direct into Cape Town, arriving in the late afternoon. Pick up your rental car at the airport and drive to your hotel.
In the evening, visit the chic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront to take in the sundown atmosphere of the city. Have an early dinner at a restaurant or back at your hotel.
In the morning, go up Table Mountain when the crowds are less and the air is clear and crisp. Take the cable car to the summit of South Africa’s most recognized icon for the most spectacular views of Cape Town.
In the afternoon, visit Robben Island. Declared a Cultural World Heritage Site, Robben Island is where former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for more than two decades. Catch the hourly ferry from the V&A Waterfront. On your return, get in some shopping at the V&A Waterfront, with loads of restaurants, bars and shops housed in restored warehouses.
Early in the morning, go for a meandering walk through an ancient Milkwood Forest, where thousand-year-old trees send exploratory branches in search of sunlight. Then after breakfast, visit the Green Futures Foundation. This unique social development project provides annual, practical-based training programs for unemployed people in the fields of Fynbos landscaping, horticulture and eco tourism. The project is designed to develop nature-based sustainable-livelihoods for people from local communities around Grootbos.
In the afternoon, go horse-riding or perhaps for a walk on the tranquil Walker Bay beaches accompanied by Grootbos guides. Explore tidal pools teeming with marine life; shine a torch in caves as you hear tales of shipwrecks and pirates. And in the evening, before sundown, ask Mike Lutzeyer, owner of Grootbos to drive you to the neighbouring Cliffside coastal village of De Kelders for the best landside views of Southern Right whales that venture to mate and calve just a few metres offshore.
Couples & Families | Visit All-Year | Fly to Cape Town
In the morning, depart Franschoek and driving through South Africa’s most famous wine growing area, Stellenbosch. Stop at a couple of wine cellars for some tastings, but keep a steady head for one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives from Strand to Kleinmond on the Faure Marine Drive. Drive high above the ocean on the edge of a mountain – on one side the slopes of the mountain rise steeply and on the other side, sheer cliff-sides plummet hundreds of feet to the crashing waves beneath. All along, the azure ocean is a constant companion with the distant haze of the Cape Peninsula in the background.
Arrive into Hermanus in the afternoon. Explore this lovely coastal town, famous for its Southern Right whales that come here between July and September to mate and give birth. There are several vantage points from where you can watch these whales sitting in a comfortable bench armed with a hot flask of coffee and a croissant. But there is more to Hermanus than whales - this pretty town has become a magnet for artists and writers, and is a wonderful place to spend a few hours exploring its art galleries, craft markets, open-air concerts, and excellent food.
In the morning, drive east along the coast to Grootbos. Grootbos Nature Reserve, with its two 5-star lodges is a jewel of Cape ecotourism and luxury accommodation. The reserve is spectacularly situated on the fynbos and forest clad hills overlooking the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. Grootbos has carved a unique niche in the upmarket eco-lodge sector by specializing in the Cape region of South Africa’s world-renowned flora and marine biodiversity. This multi-award winning 1750 ha reserve is home to more than 750 different species of plants, offers warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, fine South African wines and is a nature lover’s paradise.
Drive back to Cape Town Airport from. We travel out of Grootbos back along the coast to Hermanus and then over the Houhoek mountain pass, taking in the apple and pear growing areas of Grabouw and Elgin. We then cross the Hottentots Holland mountain range and onto the N2 highway over the majestic Sir Lowry’s Pass into Cape Town and to the airport.
Fly back to India via Dubai.