Self-drive through the Western Cape, Garden Route and parts of the Eastern Cape to enjoy a few of the region’s finest luxury safari experiences – all on spectacular malaria-free territory. To break the trip in style, we recommend a couple of stopovers at superb country retreats along the way.
Drive the pretty route from Cape Town to Swellendam, a distance of 218 km. Swellendam is one of South Africa’s oldest towns, with a history of more than 250 years. Many historic buildings of the Cape Dutch and Victorian periods have been preserved there, creating a charming atmosphere. Explore the town, its cellars, museums, art galleries and craft studios. There are beautiful nature reserves near Swellendam.
Journey from Swellendam to the Mossel Bay area at the start of the Garden Route, and head for Gondwana Private Game Reserve. The journey is 165 km. All the Big Five roam freely in the Gondwana reserve, and what makes this safari particularly special and unique is the reserve’s vegetation of Cape fynbos. Set out on a game drive in the late afternoon and enjoy sundowners out in the reserve as the day winds down. Return to the lodge for dinner – Gondwana’s cuisine combines elements from African and European cooking.
The day begins with an early morning game drive, returning to the lodge for a boma breakfast. Consider a nature trail with Gondwana’s field guides, to appreciate the fynbos. Fynbos provides wonderful opportunities for birding. A picnic, a hike, or some fishing are among your other options for the day. The second safari will depart again in the late afternoon and return after sundown for dinner.
Check out after breakfast, which follows the morning game drive, and travel to either The Crags or Plettenberg Bay, a distance of 160 km. Spend the afternoon relaxing at your chosen stopover – a spa treatment could be a good antidote between safaris!
Set off after an early breakfast and drive to the award-winning Samara Private Game Reserve near Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, a 364 km drive. Recommended arrival time is 14:00. Participate in safaris lead by Samara’s rangers, and walk with the highly endangered cheetah on a vast and captivating landscape. Enjoy excellent dining – in a ding room, at the poolside or on the verandah, in a traditional boma or out in a bush setting.
In addition to the daily safari drives, Samara also offers biome walks and walking safaris. Consider a picnic on Samara’s lawns. (Samara’s inclusive tariff includes two guided game activities daily.)
Check out of Samara and drive to the Amakhala Game Reserve, a distance of 236 km. This is another Big Five safari experience in the Eastern Cape, with a diversity of wildlife on the reserve. Luxurious safari huts overlook a waterhole where animals come to drink. Enjoy a late afternoon safari on Amakhala, followed by dinner.
OVERNIGHT AT THE SAFARI LODGE
Note: You may wish to book a longer stay here. If you stay 3 or more nights at The Safari Lodge, your stay will include a game drive in Addo Elephant National Park.
If you are not staying on at The Safari Lodge for another 2 nights, check out and either drive to Port Elizabeth (267km) and fly to your next destination, or drive back to Cape Town, overnighting at Knysna or Wilderness to break the journey.
END OF TOUR
This tour can be custom-tweaked to suit your particular interests and travel schedule. It can also be combined with other holiday ideas to create a more comprehensive tour of South Africa.
Mail us for more information or call +27 21 797-7122.
Kindly Note: The accommodation booked for you may not necessarily be the exact room types depicted in the images used in this sample itinerary.