Day 13-17: Garden Route

Day 13 – cont’d. We will arrive in the morning at George, Western Cape, joined by any new guests arriving from Johannesburg. We drive through the magnificent coastal scenery to Lunch at Kurland Country House, our home for the next three days. This lovely old estate has the enticing patina of a different era, but with all of the comforts of today. Owned by Peter Behr and his family, which has owned it for more than a century, it is only 20 km from Plettenberg Bay, and close to the Tsitsikama Forest National Park. That first afternoon, we will take a walk around the estate and visit the polo grounds.
10.Kurland Polo Clubhouse

Day 14. The next morning, it’s animals and birds: the world’s largest single dome free flight bird aviary, is a dramatic environment to see an amazing bird collection. The aviary is open for us to roam around, without guides!
africas gems part b primateNearby is the primate park of more than 500 apes and lemurs, seen up close in their forest environment; you can expect to see a variety of primates, including the Gibbons of Asia and the Lemurs of Madagascar. The knowledgeable rangers will tell you about these fascinating mammals as you encounter them roaming free in the forest.
After all of this fauna, we will head to Lunch at the farm of an artisanal cheese producer. After lunch, we will visit the Tsitsikama Forest – forest walk for the animal and bird lovers, and bungee jumping for the adventurous (at the World’s Highest Commercial Bungy Jump – a whopping 216m)!
After returning to Kurland, we will drive to dinner at an exceptional location near Plettenberg Bay – Zinzi restaurant at the architecturally stunning Tsala Country House, before returning to Kurland for the night.
Day 15. The morning will be devoted to exploring Plettenberg Bay and its beaches and shops. Lunch at The Outlook restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean will convey the beauty of the coast. After lunch, we anticipate spending time watching a Polo Match at Kurland, where we will enjoy a final dinner.
Day 16. We will drive the 45 minutes to Knysna, one of the jewels of the Garden Route and the “Oyster Capital of the World” with its beautiful lagoon, and dramatic headlands. We will be based on the lagoon and free to take a boat ride, stroll around the shops and galleries of the waterfront of Knysna, or play golf at the renowned Pezula Golf Course with its dramatic views over the lagoon and the Indian Ocean. Staying at a curious small converted power station – The Turbine – at dinner we may sample the local oysters and other delicious seafood. The oysters are famous and might be the largest and sweetest in the world.

The heads knysna

Day 17. Our final day on the Garden Route will take us through dramatic scenery to Outschoorn – the “Ostrich Capital of the world” where we will visit an ostrich farm, and some of the glorious scenery of the area. We will have dinner at, and spend the night at, the Rosenhof Country House Hotel.

Day 18-20: Cape Town

Day 18. We will take a flight from George to Cape Town around lunchtime, where we will be conveyed to the lovely “Last Word” boutique hotel in the beautiful surrounds of Constantia. For those interested, in the afternoon we will visit the impressive National Gardens at Kirstenbosch, including the new “treetop walkway”. We will have dinner at the hotel after our return.
robin island
Robben Island, from Table Mountain
Day 19. The following day, we have the choice among visiting the stunning Cape Peninsular, or taking the cable car up Table Mountain, or taking a boat to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for so many years, and whichever option, will try to include a visit to the Rhodes Memorial (Cecil Rhodes was the founder of De Beers Consolidated Mines). Dinner at Bistro 1682 on the Steenberg Estate, or a theatre or concert, if available

Day 20. This morning is time for experiencing both some of the best wines in South Africa and the historic vineyards where they have been produced for more than four centuries. These will include some of Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, or Buitenverwachting. After lunch at a vineyard, we will visit the city centre to see the Parliament, the Gold Museum, and/or the Old Biscuit Mill (the renovated eclectic fashion centre of Cape Town). Dinner will be at “La Colombe” in Constantia, one of Cape Town’s best restaurants.

Day 21-22: Kimberley

Day 21. The next morning is available for more visits before we leave, with much reluctance, the “Mother City,” and fly in the early afternoon to Kimberley. Kimberley is in the middle of the country, where diamonds were discovered in 1870 on the farm of Mr. de Beer, creating a diamond rush and sparking avarice in the minds of British imperialists. The town has had a tempestuous history, including being besieged during the Anglo-Boer War. We will stay at the historic Kimberley Club of which Cecil Rhodes was one of the founders. We hope to have a senior De Beers manager join us for dinner.
15.The Kimberley Big Hole being created
The Kimberley “Big Hole” Being Created
Day 22. On Saturday, we will visit the Famous “Big Hole” and the Kimberley Mine and Museum in the morning and, f time permits, visit the Anglo Boer War monuments and Battlefield, before flying to Johannesburg where we will stay overnight at the Intercontinental Hotel at the airport.