gateway to the galaxy & ancient civilizations tour

The route: Cape Town – Stellenbosch – Oudtshoorn – Fraserburg – Loxton- Victoria West – Graaff-Reinet – Addo Elephant Park.


Tour highlights:
 Table Mountain
 Cape of Good Hope reserve
 Winelands
 Cango Caves
 Swartberg Mountains
 Ostrich Farm
 Dinosaurs footprints
 Rock Paintings & Fossils
 Addo Elephant Park & Schotia Private Game Reserve 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL CAPE TOWN (APPROX. 50 KM)
On arrival at Cape Town International Airport you will continue to Cape Town where you will check into your Hotel.
Overnight: Cape Town Hotel of your choice

DAY 2: CAPE PENINSULA TOUR (APPROX. 250 KM)
After breakfast you have the option to visit Table Mountain (Included – Weather Dependant), Cape Town’s most famous landmark. Take the Cable car to the top of Table Mountain. The five-minute ascent to the top of Table Mountain offers a 360° view of Cape Town, the ocean and the neighbouring peaks. Once at the top enjoy spectacular views and the peaceful feeling of being over one thousand metres above the city below.
The Cableway operates in the Table Mountain National Park, an important part of the Cape Floristic Region and the single richest floristic area in the world. This area is also a World Heritage Site.
After our visit to Table Mountain we depart on a tour of the Cape Peninsula. Travel via Lion’s Neck to Camps Bay. Then travel along the Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Seaboard to the "Republic of Hout Bay".
From Hout Bay you proceed via the world renowned Chapman’s Peak Pass towards the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, forming part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The Cape of Storms, later renamed the Cape of Good Hope by King John of Portugal, has claimed many a ship over the past few hundred years. The bare bones of a number of shipwrecks remain today as evidence of the danger presented to ships along this part of the South African coastline. A number of wrecks can also be found within the confines of Cape Point Nature Reserve. You have the option to enjoy a lunch at the Two Oceans Restaurant .
Your tour then takes you to Simon's Town to visit the African Penguin colony, one of the only two breeding colonies on the mainland, at Boulders. Enjoy dinner at any restaurant of your choice.
Overnight: Cape Town Hotel of your choice

DAY 3: CAPE TOWN - STELLENBOSCH
Today you can enjoy a half-day at leisure in Cape Town.You might decide to visit the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront renowned for its restaurants, shopping and beautiful views over the harbour as well as Table Mountain.
If you are interested in South African history, book an excursion to Robben Island, an island in Table Bay, 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. The name is Dutch for “Seal Island”. Robben Island is roughly oval, 3.3 km long north south, and 1.9 km wide, with an area of 5.07 km². It is flat and only a few metres above sea level,
because of an ancient erosion event. It is of particular note as it was here that past President of South Africa and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela and past South African President Kgalema Motlanthe alongside many other political prisoners, spent decades imprisoned during the apartheid era.
You also have the option to book a Township Tour, an experience you will not soon forget. This tour gives an insight into the past as well as focusing on post 1994 progress. We visit projects, which are helping previously disadvantaged communities develop a better life for all. It gives an insight into the "other" side of Cape Town and focuses on job creation via community-based initiatives.
Another option would be to take the Hop-on-Hop-off Bus for some City Sightseeing. Explore Cape Town’s attractions at your own pace. Simply hop off and on at any of our stops with your ticket.
At 15h00 you can depart for Stellenbosch.
Overnight: You can consider our Stellenbosch – Cape Winelands Connexion partner; The River Manor (4-star) Visit: http://capewinelands.connexion.travel/

DAY 4: STELLENBOSCH WINELANDS
After breakfast you can visit Stellenbosch, second oldest town of South Africa. Visit the legendary Dorp Street and Oom Samie se Winkel (meaning “Uncle Samie's Shop”), a store that is kept in the Victorian style, and operates the same way now as it did then. The store has been a Stellenbosch institution since 1904 and is now a national monument. The shop is a popular tourist attraction because it stocks rare items in the modern world – items such as sticky toffee, boiled sweets and authentic old century butter churns. The shop also stocks rare antiques and traditional South African biltong (a dried spiced meat similar to jerky).
After a drive through Stellenbosch you can visit a Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch area and enjoy a Sparkling Wine Tasting paired with sweet treats at J.C. Le Roux Wines. Lastly you can visit a Wine Estate in the Franschhoek area for Wine Tasting and Cellar Tour.  Tonight you are free to dine at any of the fine restaurants in Stellenbosch.
Overnight: You can consider our Stellenbosch – Cape Winelands Connexion partner; The River Manor (4-star) Visit: http://capewinelands.connexion.travel/

DAY 5: STELLENBOSCH – OUDTSHOORN (APPROX. 430 KM)
Today you will travel west on the picturesque Route 62 to Oudtshoorn. The Route 62 is one of the most beautiful travel routes in South Africa, leads through the wine-growing areas of Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester, Robertson and the Klein Karoo and is thus one of the longest wine routes in the world.
En-route you visit one of the Wine Estates in the Robertson area and have the opportunity to enjoy Wine Tasting.
During your drive to Oudtshoorn, the country road meanders through the fertile valleys of the Klein Karoo, past rugged rock formations, the tops of which are covered in snow in winter. Time and again the road leads over steep passes, which open up to spectacular views of the wide land. In the afternoon you arrive in Oudtshoorn, the “feather capital of the world”. Oudtshoorn in an area separated from the sea by the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains, and from the vast expanse of the Great Karoo by the Swartberg Mountains to the north. Ostriches are still the area’s chief industry and tourist attraction, but this is also an area of immense natural beauty.
Overnight: You can consider accommodation offered by any our Klein Karoo Connexion partners. Visit: http://kleinkaroo.connexion.travel/

DAY 6: OUDTSHOORN (APPROX. 100 KM)
After a hearty breakfast we visit the world famous Cango Caves in the limestone of the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains, described as one of the great natural wonders of the world. Sculpted by nature through the ages the fascinating limestone foundation occurs in a variety of colours.
From the Cango Caves you can travel west towards the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains (UNESCO World Heritage Site) from where you will commence your ascend of nearly 900 metres up the world renowned Swartberg Pass, a National Monument, constructed in 1888. Get close to nature and explore the spectacular Sandstone formations dating back more than 300 million years. Feast your eyes on the full splendor of diverse “fynbos” species ranging from various protea species as well as “cone bush” and “pin cushions”. You may even spot a soaring Verreaux Eagle or Jackal Buzzard while the agility of the “Klipspringer” (small antelope) over the rugged sandstone formations will astound you. At the summit (“Die Top”) of the Swartberg Pass, you enjoy a panoramic view over the Great Karoo to the north (170 km view) and the Klein-Karoo to the south.
You can return to Oudtshoorn and head for Karusa Vineyards where you can enjoy lunch and a wine and beer tasting. After you can visit an Ostrich Show Farm where you will learn more about these fabulous birds.
For guided Swartberg Mountain Tours please visit, www.truesouthtravel.co.za
Overnight: Oudtshoorn 4-Star Guest House (D/B&B)

DAY 7: OUDTSHOORN - FRASERBURG - LOXTON
Today you will be introduced to the majestic Great Karoo! After breakfast you will travel north to Fraserburg via the Scenic Meiringspoort which is a natural gorge through the Swartberg Mountains and also travel through Prince Albert. Arriving in Fraserburg you can explore the 250 million-year-old footprints, covering the Mesozoic era and local history and culture. From here we suggest you travel to Melton Wold Guest Farm (close to Loxton) which is where you can overnight.
Overnight: Melton Wold Guest Farm

DAY 8: LOXTON
After a hearty “farm breakfast” you can explore the historical sites on the farm – Torr and Paley graves, Manor house. That will take you about 30 minutes. The bossie trail (indigenous shrubs) is a 30 minutes walk where you can learn more about Karoo shrubs. After a light lunch you can visit the Bradysaurus fossil and Diamond mine which is an hour’s drive. An afternoon game drive with sundowners will complete your Great Karoo Farm experience. On returning from the game drive you can relax in our ladies bar, The Dear and Pheasant. After dinner we explore stargazing in the Karoo!
Overnight: Melton Wold Guest Farm

DAY 9: LOXTON - GRAAFF- REINET
After a hearty breakfast you will depart for Graaff-Reinet which is the fourth oldest town in South Africa. Apart from exploring this unique historical town you can also visit the renowned “Valley of Desolation” in the Camdeboo National Park.
The Valley of Desolation, a geological wonder of weathered dolerite pillars which is a declared national monument with magnificent views over the Karoo plains.The Camdeboo National Park of 200 km2, on the outskirts of the town with its interesting flora and fauna. Visit Stretch's Court, a picturesque restored street of Karoo cottages with brightly painted shutters and doors as well as Reinet House Museum, a Cape Dutch building, formerly the Dutch Reformed Church parsonage
The Dutch Reformed Church, a national monument in the centre of the town is the only known church in South Africa and possibly in the world to have a kitchen and a chimney.
The Drostdy Hotel, a Cape Dutch building erected in 1806 as the local seat of government by the VOC, is also worth a visit.
Overnight: Ganora Guest Farm

DAY 10: NIEW BETHESDA / GRAAFF - REINET
After a farm style breakfast you can visit a shelter where Bushmen once lived. A guide will inform you more about their way of life and spiritual believes. He will also share with you the meaning of the various paintings they left behind, some as old as 8000 years.
Near the shelter there are also stone engravings done by a 21 year old man while hiding in the same shelter as the Bushman during the Anglo Boer war. The story and hardship of what happened to this family will be shared with you.
From there you can take a short trip into Nieu-Bethesda, a small Art village about 7km from Ganora Guest Farm, which people often think of as a village that has stood still for 200 years! There are a variety of activities to part take in such as a visit to famous Owl House. Athol Fugard wrote a play "The Road to Mecca" on Helen Martins, who created these sculptures in her back yard over many years. You will be able to visit her house as well as a small museum about her life.
You can also visit The Bethesda Art Center is a creative center where local people make applique/ tapestry art work. These huge wall hanging tell stories of the Bushman Folklore and their
believes. They also do lino cuttings and some other forms of art which you can at times see how they go about it while visiting.
The Brewery and 2 Goat Deli serves cheese lunch platters. The beer is brewed locally. Tastings can be organised. Lunch can be enjoyed by one of the many small eateries.
After your trip into town you can head back to Ganora Guest Farm. Before dinner you will have an informative talk on Ganora's private collection in our museum of Fossils found on the farm.
Most of these fossils are 250 million year old Mammal-like-reptile fossils, found by JP and his sons, Louis and Renier themselves. During your stay at Ganora Guest Farm you are most welcome to go on one of the many marked hiking routes up into the mountains or along the river. You will get to see some of the many bird species as well as farm animals such as sheep and calves. When it is lambing season there are sometimes lambs that need to be bottle fed and you can join in the fun!
Overnight: Ganora Guest Farm

DAY 11: ADDO ELEPHANT PARK
Today you will travel to Addo Elephant National Park which is South Africa’s third largest national park, stretching a massive 180 000 hectares over Eastern Cape's Sundays River region. Responsible for the conservation of five of South Africa's nine major vegetation zones, the park encompasses a massive section of ecological biodiversity. Areas of conserved vegetation, many facing a possible extinction, include Albany Thicket, Fynbos , Forest, Nama and the Indian Ocean Coastal Belt - consisting of coastal dunes and grassy plains that make up the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere. Founded in 1931 to provide a sanctuary for the dwindling elephant population in the area, the park’s focus is on the conservation of mega-herbivores. Starting with a population of only 16, Addo National Park is currently home to more than 550 elephants. Other mammals in the park include 400 Cape buffalo, more than 48 endangered Black Rhinos as well as a variety of antelope species. Lions and spotted hyenas have also recently been re-introduced to the area.
Overnight: You can consider Zuurberg Mountain Inn for accommodation

DAY 12: ZUURBERG – SCHOTIA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
You can enjoy a quiet morning enjoying a late breakfast and the tranquillity of our beautiful surrounding. You might even decide to lake a leisure stroll before you depart for our afternoon “tooth & claw” safari at Schotia Private game reserve.
Schotia Safaris is the oldest private game viewing reserve in the Eastern Cape, bordering the eastern side of Addo Elephant National Park. This malaria free reserve is probably the most densely stocked reserve in Africa, and with over 40 mammal species and approximately 2000 animals, can offer consistently good game viewing throughout the year. Schotia was the first reserve in the Cape Province to have free roaming lions and can almost guarantee sightings of these magnificent animals on every Tooth & Claw game drive.
Your guided game drive starts at 15h00 in an open Land Rover. Lions are nocturnal hunters and are best viewed from sunset. After the game drive we will enjoy dinner at Schotia before returning to our Lodge.
Overnight: You can consider Zuurberg Mountain Inn for accommodation

DAY 12: ZUURBERG MOUNTAIN INN – PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT (APPROX. 160 KM)
You final day in South Africa has unfortunately arrived After a hearty South African breakfast you will check- out and depart to Port Elizabeth Airport.
For any advice or assistance please visit, www.truesouthtravel.co.za
Africa Safari Connexion and True South Travel are the Founding members of the H.O.P.E Foundation. By travelling with us you can be assured that you contribute to the social upliftment programmes and conservation initiatives pioneerd by the H.O.P.E Foundation. Visit us on: www.hopefoundation.co.za.
We look forward to welcome you to our beautiful and friendly country!! 

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