Garden Route holiday, tailor made, South Africa
Description of Garden Route holiday, tailor made, South Africa
This Garden Route holiday, tailor made, includes a winning combination of activities, ideal for a family adventure. We've based this on self-drive, but use guides wherever they will add to your experience. We've also based this on some gorgeous and interesting places to stay.
Highlights include Cape Town, a sea kayaking and Cape Point day trip and a wine tram tour at Franschoek. Visit Hermanus, with perhaps some whale watching, too, depending on the time of year, and take in Outdsthoorn, where you can visit an ostrich farm and the Cango Caves. Drive along the Garden Route and enjoy Plettenberg Bay and take a safari in Kareiga Game Reserve.
This is purely a suggested itinerary based on the most popular places to see, the list of accommodation choices is huge and these are just some of the options. Ask us for recommendations and a tailor made quotation.
1 Reviews of Garden Route holiday, tailor made, South Africa
Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019 by Sarah Mortimer
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
So hard to pick one - the game reserve experience, the stormy sea view at De Kelders, Kirstenbosch Gardens in the early morning before breakfast on our final day, enjoying fantastic views on our drive through Western Cape
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Have at least 3 days in Capetown and ideally the Game Reserve too - and leave plenty of time for a leisurely drive through Western Cape. We always felt that one night in places wasn't enough so avoid time constraints! Go when the Table Mountain cable car is open!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes I did feel that consideration was given to these matters - most obvious was the ethos of the game reserve. However self drive is an SUV is not environmentally friendly and neither are luxury hotels really. We saw that some local people were employed too.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Fantastic and we wished it was longer.
PlanetKariega Lodge backs the Kariega Foundation which is dedicated to conservation and wildlife management. Having lost 2 rhinos to poaching a few years ago, they have an ongoing fund to support anti-poaching and offer protection, especially to one rhino that was attacked and whose rehabilitation they have been supporting. In addition to this, the foundation plants trees in the area, notably near the school they back.
At Outdshoorn , you will stay at an ostrich farm, however our company backs the banning of using ostriches to ride on. This has happened for many years as an activity in this region, but it's been shown to be damaging to the birds, so we stopped promoting this a few years ago once this became known.
We recommend two activities whilst in Plettenberg Bay, both of which have a great positive impact on the region - a treetop canopy tour and a specific marine wildlife tour. Both of these activities are undertaken with the environment firmly at the heart, and so they protect important indigenous forest as well as marine wildlife.
For every person that travels with the company, it plants trees through The Travel Forest initiative. Depending on where they plant and the requirement of the specific area, they plant either indigenous trees or a mix of indigenous and non-native species. Planting non-native seedlings may seem counter-intuitive but doing this can often help any remaining indigenous forest from being cut down (e.g. for fuel) as some non-native trees grow much more quickly than indigenous types. They particularly aim to save ancient or older indigenous forest, through offering an alternative option for fuel requirements of local communities. In addition to this benefit, their Travel Forest initiative helps with such things as planting for water-course retention, soil erosion, shade and even food – all depending on what is planted and where. They have planted almost 100,000 trees to date in various degraded locations including the Andean mountains in Peru, northern Tanzania and Malawi. This has always been done in conjunction with the local communities who plant and then tend the seedlings. Trees are far more important to the health of this planet (and us) than many people imagine. This global Travel Forest initiative can and does make a big difference.
As a company we think about our partners overseas carefully. Whereas it is not always possible for them, due to their locations in remote areas, the company ethos is to use properties around the globe that have a similar ethical stance to ourselves. If they can use local suppliers for their provisions, be it food or furnishings then they do, and all offer a variety of menus including vegetarian and vegan/plant-based options. Our partners support the use of solar/renewable energies, and many are looking at ways of switching their current supplies to more eco-friendly options in order to be more efficient. The use of solar, water and air are options in use or being explored, as well as grey water run offs. Energy efficient appliances and practices, card operated in room lighting, low energy bulbs, and a change in laundry practices, are all in operation, and show just a few of the initiatives used. Our partners also use local staff within their properties. Many live on-site in seasonal properties for example reducing the travel emissions of the company, many come from the local villages and communities surrounding the properties. This includes everyone from house keeping to management and the guides that are from the locale.
Due to the nature of the holidays provided by the company, it is impossible to eliminate all flights but where possible we use the minimum flight hours an itinerary can operate with. The packages we have on offer include rail portions in some areas, which keep emissions low, many walking options and shared transportation.
The UK head office has a good policy of recycling, reducing and re-using (electricity, paper, plastic etc). They also buy only fair trade goods such as tea, coffee, and use biodegradable detergents etc. They also make a point of buying only top eco-rated equipment (eg monitors).
The company is located on a former farm and the directors grow fruit and vegetables which are shared with the team (apples, pears, blackcurrants, broad beans, lettuce, mint, courgettes, squashes etc!), so we keep our own footprint low. In addition, there are other members of staff that have home grown products that are available to their team members. As a company, we look to buy energy-efficient computers, and believe in recycling, so the latest computers bought have been both energy efficient and re-conditioned.
PeopleYour visit to Kayamandi township in Stellenbosch is a wonderful way to get to know something of the local culture here. You will walk around the area, and a local mama will invite you in for a Xhosa lunch. The tour is about 3.5 hours long and this not only directly benefits the community, but is a good way to build understanding of life in a township.
At Plettenberg Bay we recommend going to try the Treetop Canopy tour at Tstitsikamma. Not only does this have a positive impact on the conservation of the flora here, but this is a remarkable community project which offers local employment. 90% of the staff here are from the locality, and they are offered training as well as the opportunity to gain more senior positions. In addition they support a feeding scheme for local children, an AIDS awareness programme, and clothes distribution to the needy.
Kariega Game Reserve is the largest employer in the Kenton-on-Sea area, and they also commit to local development projects. The local school is one of the projects they back and have helped with things such as renovating classrooms and a new school vegetable garden.