Feel the heartbeat of nature as you watch for whales from the shoreline, and explore a Big 5 game reserve in open 4x4 safari vehicles or on guided walking safaris, where you may have an exciting encounter with a pride of rare white lions - only one of a small number of free-ranging white lion populations in Southern Africa.
You begin your holiday staying in Southern Sun The Cullinan, just moments from Cape Town's vibrant Waterfront area. The colonial architecture of the building is reflected throughout the hotel, with high ceilings, a balconied mezzanine level, and soaring columns around the pool area.
Then you stay at the Spier Hotel, which is situated on the historic Spier wine farm in the heart of the Stellenbosch winelands.Village-style buildings, lush green lawns and spacious rooms situated next to the calming Eerste River are the defining characteristics of the hotel. Enjoy award-winning wine paired with innovative food at the tasting room on the banks of the Spier dam.
Visit Hermanus where you can enjoy whale watching (in season) and shark-cage diving (if you're brave!). 2 nights in Hermanus over this period gives you the opportunity of going on an early morning whale watching boat trip, but also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the whale watching from the land. Cape Aghulas, the southern most tip of Africa, is also only a short drive from Hermanus and can easily be visited as a day trip.
You will then have 3 nights at Periwinkle Guest Lodge, directly across the road from the Blue Flag Robberg beach, and also just a 5-10 minute drive from the bustling restaurants, galleries, coffee shops and bars of Plettenberg Bay's main street. This is a great place to visit all the attractions of the Garden Route from, or just relax on the beach, before you head off on safari.
The Pumba Game Reserve is your final destination for 2 nights. Awake to the sounds of the African bush as the sun makes its appearance on the horizon, bringing with it the prospect of another perfect day. The reserve is home to Africa’s Big Five as well as rare white lion, hippo, hyena, cheetah, giraffes, various antelope and more than 300 bird species. Pumba Water Lodge is set amongst dense bushveld overlooking Lake Kariega and all chalets open onto private game viewing decks boasting plunge pools and outdoor showers.
Upon arrival into Cape Town Airport, collect your luggage and enter the Arrivals Hall.
Make your way to the Bidvest Car Rental office. Complete the necessary paperwork - you will need to present your driving licence, passport and credit card. The keys to your hire car will then be handed over to you.
13 Day Car Rental: Group C: Toyota Corolla Manual or similar (on Super Cover)
Drive to the Southern Sun The Cullinan, situated just on the edge of the vibrant V&A Waterfront, with postcard views of the harbour and Signal Hill.
Drive to Stellenbosch (about a 45 minute drive), a pretty little university town in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is not only the oldest wine route in South Africa, but also arguably the country's most famous, with over 100 cellars.
Drive to Hermanus (approx 75 km / 45 mins), the whale watching 'capital' of the Western Cape. The peak time, when daily sightings are virtually guaranteed, is during September and October. 2 nights in Hermanus over this period gives you the opportunity of going on an early morning whale watching boat trip, but also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the whale watching from the land. It is also possible to go cage diving with Great White Sharks that prowl the chilly waters of the south coast here.
Allow between 4-5 hours to drive to Plettenberg Bay. Originally called Baia Formosa, or Beautiful Bay, by the early Portuguese, Plettenberg Bay is home to some of the best beaches along the Garden Route. Set around a curving horseshoe bay, schools of playful dolphins and resident Orca and Bryde's whales are often seen, and between July and December, the migratory Southern Right whales come to the bay to calf.
Drive to the Pumba Game Reserve (approx 335 km / 3 h 15 mins). The famous Big 5 are present at Pumba Private Game Reserve - lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. Morning and afternoon game drives with fellow guests will take you out to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures, as well as many of the other animals that call Pumba 'home'. For many guests, the sighting of the spectacular and rare white lion is the ultimate highlight of a safari here. Bird lovers will find the resort an absolute paradise too, as there are over 300 species of birds present.
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 to Port Elizabeth Airport (approx 110 km / 1 h 0 mins). 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 at least 90 minutes prior to the flight departure.