South Africa holiday, Cape escape

“Escape to the Cape with this unforgettable South Africa tour. A rich introduction to the history, scenery and culture of a fabulous destination. ”

Highlights

Cape Town | Cape Peninsula National Park | Cape of Good Hope | Seal Island | Boulders Bay | Hike or cable car up Table Mountain | Walking and wine-tasting in Stellenbosch | Franschhoek | Oudtshoorn | Cango Caves | Ostrich Farm | Knysna | Garden Route | Tsitsikamma National Park | Boteilierskop Reserve game drive | ‘Whale Route’ | Cape Agulhas |

Description of South Africa holiday, Cape escape

This marvellous 11-day South Africa holiday is a perfect way to discover Cape Town and the many cultural and natural highlights on its doorstep.

You will hike up the iconic Table Mountain (or take the cable car if you prefer); sample a range of superb wines in the world-renowned Stellenbosch region; travel along the breathtaking Garden Route, and take a thrilling game drive in the private Boteilierskop Reserve, where the wildlife includes rhinos, giraffes and zebras. You may even get the chance to meet some orphaned elephants and lions!

Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most desirable destinations. The natural beauty in the surroundings is practically unparalleled, and there are reams of cultural excursions available. You will be travelling as part of a small group, led by a knowledgeable tour leader to ensure that everything runs smoothly. That leaves you to relax and bask in activities such as seeing the penguins in Boulders Bay, boat-tripping out to noisy Seal Island, and even whale watching from the cliffs of Hermanus (in season).

Among the most memorable moments will surely be Table Mountain. The walk up takes three to four hours, and is not to be under-estimated, but the effort is very much worth it for the panoramic views from the summit. You will drive along a section of the Garden Route, considered one of the world’s most beautiful roads, and pause in Knysna, an artists’ retreat from where seals and dolphins can often be seen in the ocean. On your final day, you may also wish to take the boat trip out to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was once imprisoned.

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20 Dec 2019
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Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

South Africa holiday, Cape escape

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

On a tour that includes many of South Africa’s favourite ingredients, we also have the opportunity of appreciating this young country’s cutting edge programmes of wildlife conservation and environmental care. In season, the Southern Right Whale can be observed off the Western Cape, and there is the chance to explore the Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks – plus, of course, to view the Jackass Penguin colony at Cape Point. South Africa is leagues ahead of many developed nations when it comes to environmental care, and its Zero Litter Tolerance in its reserves is widely respected. Transportation on this guided trip includes chartered bus, boat and ample walking – all contributing to a more in-depth exploration, whilst avoiding the harmful impact of fly/drive tourism. Local businesses are widely supported through our use of local suppliers, hotels and restaurants. In addition there is the option to visit the Township at Swellendam – a great opportunity to learn more about the local people.

As well as the above, we support a variety of charities and projects worldwide which support vulnerable communities and habitats including Friends of Conservation, Hope Worldwide and Send A Cow. We are also actively engaged with UK travel industry bodies which promote best practice in responsible tourism, such as Tourism Concern, The Travel Foundation and AITO. Our commitment to responsible tourism is not limited to our overseas operation and we have measures to ensure our UK office operates according to our responsible tourism policy. As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

2 Reviews of South Africa holiday, Cape escape

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 09 Jan 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing and going up Table Mountain, the wonderful wild flowers and birds, going to the most southerly tip of Africa, seeing Whales, dolphins and penguins and visiting a Township. The optional trip to Robben Island was memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for sudden weather changes. Bring a good camera and binoculars. Make sure you visit a Township. Make sure you get up Table Mountain when it is possible as weather conditions can make that not possible. Treat Table Mountain with respect - it isn't just a small hill!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. The money we paid to go to the township went, as far as I know, directly to help that Township with health and social issues. We gave employment to the guide and driver and were able to hear from them about South Africa and then tell our friends back in the UK. We stayed in small local establishments.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Overall it was good, but I was disappointed that there was such an emphasis on wine tasting and wine buying. I know it is a wine growing area and very important to their economy (although that may well be more the rich white Africans) but I had hoped to see more local other industries and to be able to get out more and walk and explore the local areas.

Reviewed on 25 Dec 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town; staying in vineyards in Stellenbosch; township visit in Swellenham.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel light - be prepared to pay for many options including meals at accommodations and most sightseeing venues.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We did usually spend money in local establishments. Much more could be done in the way of recycling ESPECIALLY with water bottles - but no one organized it for the tour bus etc - even though it could easily be done.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good to excellent.

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