8 Day Magical Cape Town and West Coast Tour
The Cape Town and West Coast Tour is one filled with many magical experiences and locations that you will remember forever. From popular sights of Cape Town and the city and traveling deep into African history with Archeological places of interest and West Coast experiences of wild game and animals. Our tour guides earmark this as one of the greatest and most interesting tours you will experience while visiting South Africa.
All entrance fees, lunches, transport and airport transfers.
Accommodation - Bed and Breakfast
A happy, friendly and experienced tour guide! :)
N.B. Secure parking is provided on request
Refreshments and alcoholic drinks
Anything not specifically included in the itinerary
In 2014 Cape Town was named the best place in the world to visit by both the American New York Times and the British Daily Telegraph. The earliest human settlements in the Mother City were found at Peers Cave in Fish Hoek and date to between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago.
Cape Town was home to many leaders of the anti-apartheid movement. Robben Island held many famous political prisoners and is now one of the cities premier tourist attractions. In one of the most famous moments marking the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech from the balcony of Cape Town City Hall, hours after being released, on 11 February 1990. His speech heralded the beginning of a new era for the city, and for South Africa.
Cape Town has a warm Mediterranean climate with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers.
We will transfer you to your hotel which will be your accommodation over the following three days.
Visit historic Hout Bay via Chapman's peak drive. Hout Bay is surrounded by mountains to the north, east and west which are often shrouded in mist, and by the southern Atlantic Ocean stretching beyond the horizon to the south. Off the coast of Hout Bay is a Big Wave known as "Dungeons", with swells reaching over 14 Meters, one of the sixteen recognized big wave spots around the globe. Chapman's Peak Drive forms part of the route of two of South Africa's biggest mass-participation races, the Cape Argus Cycle Race and the Two Oceans Marathon. Two different endangered vegetation types can be found along this road, the Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos and Cape Granite Fynbos, both endemic to the city of Cape Town.
Visit the 33 M high Slangkop lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the southern hemisphere, completed in 1919. It is situated near the town of Kommetjie and painted stark white so as to stand out against the dark green backdrop of the mountain.
Visit Cape Point, which is located at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent, situated within the Table Mountain National Park. The park is generally wild, unspoiled and undeveloped and is an important haven for seabirds. It is windy 98% of the time. Cape Point is often mistakenly claimed to be the place where the cold Benguela Current of the Atlantic Ocean and the warm Agulhas Current of the Indian ocean collide. In fact, the meeting point fluctuates along the southern and southwestern Cape coast, usually occurring between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point. The two intermingling currents help to create the micro-climate of Cape Town and its environs.
Cape Point is the site of one of the Global Atmosphere Watch's atmospheric research stations. In the early years of the 20th century icebergs from Antarctica were occasionally sighted from its mountain heights. There are about 250 different bird species and 1100 indigenous plant species that can be found here, as well as a broad assortment of animal life that ranges from the nearly extinct bontebok to the deadly Cape cobra. This world heritage site is also home to The Flying Dutchman, a legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.
Lunch will depend on the time of any airport pick-ups. This will also determine the length of time spent at Cape Point.
Visit the Boulders Penguin colony. Situated Just around the corner from the seaside village and naval base of Simons Town, this famous colony of African Penguins (once called Jackass Penguin because of their braying call) is home to approximately 2 000 birds, among the remaining survivors of an estimated 60 000 breeding pairs worldwide. The birds do spend much of September and October feeding out at sea, so the number of penguins on the beach at this time of year is lower.
Drop off back at Hotel. We will choose the most scenic route back, depending on where the hotels are situated.
Pickup at your hotel.
Visit the Rhodes Memorial situated on Devil's Peak in Cape Town. The magnificent view facing north-east can be imagined as the start of the Cape to Cairo road. It is a memorial to English-born, South African politician Cecil John Rhodes (1853–1902), designed by the renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker and lies on Rhodes's favourite spot on the lower slopes of Devil's Peak. Rhodes's own wooden bench is still situated below the memorial. Rhodes owned vast areas of the lower slopes of Table Mountain, most of which he bequeathed to the nation on his death. Part of his estate was used for the University of Cape Town upper campus, part is now the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, while much else of it was spared from development.
The architect modelled the memorial after the Greek temple at Segesta although it is actually closer to the temple of Pergamon in design. The memorial is surrounded by groves of oak trees and stone pines from Europe, and there are also a few remaining pockets of the original Afromontane forest nearby. Just up the slope from Rhodes Memorial there is a small forest of a famous native tree called the Silvertree. Table Mountain is possibly the only place on earth where this majestic tree grows wild and Rhodes Memorial has one of the last surviving stands.
Visit Robben Island, an island in Table Bay, situated 6.9 kilometres west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. The name is Dutch for 'seal island. The maximum security prison for political prisoners closed in 1991 while the medium security prison for criminal prisoners was closed five years later. Robben Island is a South African National Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. To date, three of the former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become President of South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe, and current President Jacob Zuma.
The tour takes about 3.5 hours and consists of a ferry trip to and from the island, and a tour of the various historical sites on the island that form part of the Robben Island Museum. These include the island graveyard, the disused lime quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers, and the maximum security prison including Nelson Mandela’s cell. Many of the guides there are former prisoners.
Lunch at the V&A Waterfront, situated on the Atlantic shore and one of Cape Town's biggest tourist attractions.
Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium which comprises seven exhibition galleries with large viewing windows. It houses more than 3000 creatures and 88 species - many of them unique to the Two oceans Aquarium, for example the strange, serpentine and somewhat grotesque hagfish – it produces up to 5L of slime when it gets scared. It is an ancient fish without jaws, eyes, fins or scales and can only be viewed at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
The rest of the afternoon is free to shop or simply explore the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. The complex houses over 450 retail outlets, including fashion, homeware, curios, jewellery, leather goods and audio-visual equipment and many more. While The V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s most popular shopping destination it is also still a working harbour and fishing boats bring in fresh fish, and larger container ships are towed in by tugboats.
Drop off at Hotel.
Pick up at Hotel.
Visit The Castle of Good Hope, a bastion fort built in the 17th century. Originally located on the coastline of Table Bay the fort is now located inland following land reclamation. In 1936 the Castle was declared a historical monument (now a provincial heritage site) and following restorations in the 1980's it is considered the best preserved example of a Dutch East India Company fort. Built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679, the Castle is the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa. It replaced an older fort called the Fort de Goede Hoop which was constructed from clay and timber in 1652. The Castle acted as local headquarters for the South African Army in the Western Cape, and today houses the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for the traditional Cape Regiments. The Castle is also the home of the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment, a mechanized infantry unit.
Visit Groot Constantia, the oldest wine farm in South Africa, dating from 1685. The roots of the South African wine industry can be traced to the explorations of the Dutch East India Company, which established a supply station in what is now Cape Town. A Dutch surgeon, Jan van Riebeeck, was assigned the task of managing the station and planting vineyards to produce wines and grapes. This was intended to ward off scurvy among sailors during their voyages along the spice route to India and the East.
The first harvest and crushing took place in 1659, seven years after the landing in 1652. The man succeeding Van Riebeeck as governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Simon van der Stel, sought to improve the quality of viticulture in the region. In 1685, he purchased a large 750 hectares (1,900 acres) estate just outside Cape Town, establishing the Groot Constantia wine estate. The Constantia Valley is located south of Cape Town on the Cape Peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Because of its location, the region receives oceanic influences on each side that create a cooling effect contributing to a long, slow ripening period in the summer where average daily temperatures fall between 18–19 °C. Winters are often moderate and mild but wet with annual precipitation usually over 1,000 millimeters. The area is now home to 11 wine farms. It is the oldest wine-growing region in the country, with the farm Groot Constantia being the oldest wine estate.
Lunch at the Groot Constantia Estate.
Visit (weather permitting) the Top of Table Mountain, a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town. Table Mountain is home to large array of fauna and flora, most of which is endemic. It's vegetation types form part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas. These protected areas are a World Heritage Site, and an estimated 2,285 species of plants are confined to Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula range, of which a great proportion, including many species of proteas, are endemic to these great mountains and isolated valleys and can be found nowhere else. Of the 2,285 species on the Peninsula 1,500 occur in the 57 km2 area comprising Table Mountain, a number at least a large as all the plant species in the whole of the United Kingdom. The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometers from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs.
The plateau, flanked by Devil's Peak to the east and by Lion's Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheater of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbor. It measures 1,086 meters above sea level at its highest point. The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orthographic clouds, formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain's slopes into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form the so-called "table cloth" of cloud. Legend attributes this phenomenon to a smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks. When the table cloth is seen, it
Pick up at Hotel.
A stylish home cooked breakfast at a Game lodge which is committed to the conservation of biodiversity within a sustainable environment and is also a San (the First People) sanctuary.
Visit the West Coast National Park, 120 Km North of Cape Town and covering 27,500 hectares in size. The park is particularly well known for its bird life and for the spring flowers which occur in the months from August to September. The park has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area.
Visit Langebaan Lagoon, a large salt water lagoon and a wetland of international importance; only 6 meters deep at its deepest and completely open to the sea. No river runs into it making it one of only three lagoons world-wide not fed by fresh water. It is 16 km long and never wider than 3 km. Here the water is warm enough to swim in during the summer months.
Lunch and visit at the West Coast Fossil Park. These fossil sites have exceptionally well-preserved remains of fossil fauna that date to circa 5.2 million years B.C.E. In this period sea levels were higher and many now extinct animals lived in the riverine forests, wooded savanna and along the sea coast near the Fossil Park. The fossils include bones of over 200 different animal species and represent possibly the greatest diversity of five-million-year-old fossils found anywhere in the world.
Dinner and Overnight in Citrusdal, a town of 5,000 people nestled in the Olifants River Valley, some 140 Kilometres from the West Coast Fossil Park. Citrusdal lies at the base of the Cederberg Mountains just below the 2 026 Meter high Sneeuberg, the highest peak in the Cederberg. Agriculture in the area is dominated by citrus fruit farming, hence the town's name.
Pick up at Hotel.
After a hearty breakfast, visit the Cape Nature reserve in Lambert's Bay, an important nesting site for Cape gannets, one of only six sites world-wide where Cape gannets breed. It is the only breeding site easily accessible to the public. It is also an important site for crowned cormorants. Often Cape fur seals can be seen basking in the sun.
Lunch on freshly caught fish right next to the Atlantic Ocean where the 200 to 300 kilometer wide Benguela current teems with ocean life
Pick up at Hotel.
After breakfast we head off into the mountains.
Traveling on a well maintained sand road, visit a series of caves and an ancient rock art site which holds some excellent examples of San rock art, in particular paintings of elephant. The San have inhabited the Cederberg since time immemorial, but stopped painting some 200 years ago. The Cederberg has some 2 500 known rock-art sites, estimated to be between one and eight thousand years old.
Lunch at a unique restaurant in the Cederburg, which houses its own Craft Beer Brewery.
Visit a second rock art site located in Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve east of the rocky Cederberg Wilderness. This Nature Reserve was proclaimed a nature reserve in 2000 and a World Heritage Site in 2014. This site boasts impressive sandstone formations and rock art dating back some 5000 years B.C.E. To preserve this unique natural and cultural heritage, CapeNature has provided the site with displays which take visitors on an historical journey through pre-historic, San and Khoekhoe cultures spanning millions of years.
Dinner and overnight in the remote and tranquil Cederburg Mountains.
Weather and viewing conditions permitting we will visit the Cederberg Astronomical Observatory and have a brief guided display of stars in the Southern African skies.
Pick up at Hotel.
After a leisurely full breakfast you travel to a private Game Reserve which is home to the Big Five wildlife and where the Cape Mountain Leopard is often sighted. This is also the home of several endangered Black or Verreaux Eagle.
Buffet Lunch at the private Game Reserve where you can feast on traditional culinary delights.
Return to Cape Town for a traditional Braai (bar-b-que) under the stars. Overnight in Cape Town.
Enjoy a late breakfast with a picturesque view of Cape Town once more.
While there perhaps a short walk onto the beach again, some shells and photographs. (There is a National Geographic Frame to take pictures in)
Transfer to Airport.
(Price includes Transport, Guide, Entrances, Lunch, Accommodation and Breakfasts)
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