Stay in 5* accommodation throughout your holiday, ending in a small, intimate safari lodge with your own private plunge pool and viewing deck overlooking a waterhole.
You begin with 4 nights in the Mother City, Cape Town. Each of the chic rooms at The Dock House Boutique Hotel & Spa have been individually decorated and imbued with a unique and understated Victorian elegance, juxtaposed with lush contemporary style and comfort. The hotel's prime V&A Waterfront location ensures that guests have a safe and convenient access to the vibrant harbour area, upmarket shopping malls, excellent restaurants, entertainment areas and ocean cruise facilities all within walking distance.
Then you head to the Winelands, to the gorgeous village of Franschhoek for 2 nights. One suggestion for your full day here is to take a hop-on/hop-off tour on the Franschhoek Wine Tram - a totally unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as you trundle in an open-side tram bus through vineyards and stunning scenery, stopping at wine estates along the way.
Next stop...Knysna. The St. James of Knysna is an exclusive 5* star country house hotel uniquely situated directly on the shores of the famous Knysna Lagoon. The luxuriously appointed suites and rooms offer spectacular views across this peaceful lagoon to the dramatic Knysna Heads or over the magnificent 3 acre gardens.
Finally, you end with a 3 night safari at Amakhala Bush Lodge, in the Big 5 Amakhala Game Reserve. Your tented and thatched suite has a secluded private viewing deck overlooking a waterhole, and also has a private plunge pool. You will be guided on the morning and afternoon daily game drives by informative, professional rangers through the reserve in open Land Rovers. Here you can return to nature and explore the abundant wildlife, the diverse vegetation and the dramatic landscape of the Eastern Cape.
Holiday Title: Cape Town, Garden Route and Big 5 Safari
Countries Visited: South Africa
Arrive into Cape Town Airport. Collect your luggage then make your way into the Arrivals Hall. Here, you will be met by your driver who will be holding a signboard with your name on it. You will then be transferred to the vibrant V&A Waterfront area, your 'home' for the next 4 nights.
Exclusive accommodation and personalised yet unobtrusive butler-style service at The Dock House will make your stay in the Mother City an unforgettable experience.
Your hire car will be delivered at 09:00 this morning. With a hire car, you can explore slightly further afield - maybe taking a day trip down to the Cape Peninsula, stopping en-route there or back at Boulders Beach, which is home to one of only 2 mainland nesting colonies of African penguins in South Africa.
11 Day Car Rental: Group D: Toyota Yaris or similar - Automatic Transmission (on Super Cover)
Drive to Franschhoek (about an hours drive). Franschhoek is nestled at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by rolling mountains, and is arguably one of the most prettiest villages in South Africa. There are over 20 wine estates in the region, and staying in the area will give you the chance to either search out the labels you are familiar with from home or to go on a voyage of discovery and find new favourites. The main street in Franschhoek is home to many excellent restaurants, quite deservedly earning the town the reputation of being South Africa's 'Food and Wine Capital'.
Drive to Knysna (approx 440 km / 4 h 30 mins). Situated right in the heart of the Garden Route and set on the shores of a beautiful lagoon, Knysna (pronounced 'Nysna') is a bustling little holiday town, with a lively Waterfront area.
Allow about 3.5 hours to drive to the Amakhala Game Reserve. Become part of Africa as you experience a Big 5 safari adventure here on daily morning and evening game drives. Wildlife likely to be encountered during the game drives in the reserve are lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard as well as cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and plenty of antelope species.
After you return from your morning game drive, you will have time to enjoy breakfast at the lodge before you need to depart for the drive back to Port Elizabeth Airport (approx 70 km / 50 mins), where you will return your hire car and check in for your flight home via Cape Town or Johannesburg - passengers are advised to check in for domestic flights approximately 90 minutes prior to the flight departure.