South Africa guided
The World within One Country.
Departure from Europe
Departure on Saturday evening.
On Sunday morning, we'll arrive in Johannesburg. You'll meet your tour guide immediately upon exiting customs at the airport. Together, we'll take an approximately five hour bus shuttlw to Hazyview on the edge of the Kruger National Park. The spectacular descent into the subtropical Lowveld is an unforgettable experience. Beautifully situated at the outskirt of Hazyview, along the Sabie River, is our very comfortable accommodation, the Kruger Park Lodge. During the cocktail hour we can already listen to the sounds of Africa.
Kruger National Park
Today will be dedicated to the incredible world of African wildlife in the expansive Kruger National Park, which has the same surface area as Belgium. The park is home to 3,000 hippopotamus, 9,300 elephants, 2,000 leopards, 3,000 zebras, as well as 500 bird species. With some luck, we'll observe the "Big Five": buffalo, rhinoceros, elephant, lion and leopard). In any case, it will be an incomparable wildlife experience. Second night in the Kruger Park Lodge.
After breakfast, we'll head out on a panoramic route through the Drakensberg Mountains in the direction of Johannesburg enjoying spectacular views of the Blyde River Canyon along the way. We'll explore Bourke's Luck Potholes, a system of bizarrely carved out rock formations at the confluence of the Blyde and Treur rivers, and enjoy the famous view of the Three Rondavels. After these landscape highlights we will fly from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth (not oncluded) in the afternoon. The Brookes Hill Suites, overlooking the Indian Ocean, welcomes us tonight.
Our bike tour starts near Clarkson at the beginning of the Garden Route. We'll ride through an easy landscape of fields and forest bordered to the north by the Tsitsikamma Mountains, and the Indian Ocean to the south. In the late afternoon, the charming Tsitsikamma Village Inn awaits.
After a descent into the virgin forest of the Tsitsikamma Nationl Park, we'll arrive at Storms River. During a one hour hike we cross the fantastic suspension bridge directly over the river mouth and see the dramatic spectacle of the river gushing into the Indian Ocean. In the afternoon, the route takes us into the depths of the primeval forest of the Bloukrans River Gorge. At the Bloukrans River we cross the border from Eastern to Western Cape Province, and our uphill efforts will be rewarded with a thrilling descent into Nature's Valley and miles of empty beach. In nearby Plettenberg Bay we will spend the night in the pleasant The Dunes Hotel & Resort.
This morning finds us on a two to three hour hike on the unique Robberg Nature Reserve, a red sandstone peninsula covered with Fynbos. With some luck we may see whales and dolphins, and most certainly the seals who have colonized the area. After a noontime break in the vacation town of Knysna, we'll travel on a natural trail through the lonely Lake District to Wilderness. Tonight's accommodation, the Views Boutique Hotel (swimming pool), will be reached in the late afternoon.
Our bus will take us over the Outeniqua-Pass to Little Karoo for a visit to the world famous Cango Caves, giant limestone stalactite caverns. By bicycle we traverse the spectacular Schoemans Gorge before visiting an ostrich farm. Here, we'll learn about the ostrich life-cycle and their economic importance for the Oudtshoorn region. At the end of our ride with expansive views over Little Karoo, we'll be welcomed by the African couple Pieter and Hilda Retief at the charming inn Adley House in Oudtshoorn. In the evening, Pieter will prepare an authentic South African Braai (barbecue).
Leaving the ostrich capital behind, we cross the Little Karoo by bus, heading eastern along the Swart Mountains, a route offering wonderful views over the endless barren steppe. From Barrydale we bike through the impressive Tradouw Gorge down to the small missionary town of Suurbraak. Riding along a gently undulating road, we'll reach Swellendam. Founded in 1743, it is the third oldest city in South Africa. Tonight we shall be spoiled in the excellent inn Guest House De Kloof.
In the morning, we visit the Dôstdy museum, former seat of the district judge, and get an idea of the life of the Boers in the 18th century. Our cycle tour leads along the Breede river through a fruit- and wine-growing valley. We'll enjoy our lunch at a vinery near Robertson which gives us the chance to taste some of the local wines. Afterwards, our bus takes us to the Atlantic coast and the romantic town of Hermanus. We'll spend the night in the comfortable guesthouse Auberge Burgundy. (on date three the Misty Waves Hotel)
Our cycle route to Gordon's Bay leads mostly along small coastal roads, with only few moderate ascents, along the False Bay. If the weather permits, the view of the Cape peninsula accompanies our way with the „Mother City“ already in view from the distance. In Gordon's Bay a lively beach promenade awaits and we get a first impression of the multicultural Cape Town. We'll spend the night in the Zevenwacht Country Inn, located aside the Stellenbosch Wine Route. It offers an own wine production and a comfortable restaurant with cape-dutch style.
In the morning, we'll ride along small roads from Stellenbosch to the nature preserve of Jonkershoek, where we bike a loop of about 8 miles. The landscape is reminiscent of Switzerland: forested valley floors surrounded by steep rock walls. It has little in common with the area around Stellenbosch only a few miles away, lending truth to South Africa's reputation as "the whole world in one country." This afternoon, we visit the Dorp Museum in Stellenbosch. The historic buildings bear witness to the lifestyle of the 18th Century Africans. You will have time to wander through this historic university town before traveling by bus to nearby Franschhoek (French Corner). In the evening, we enjoy the comfort of the hotel Protea Franschhoek. A restaurant known for its French cuisine welcomes us tonight.
We will undertake two hours of light hiking through the Mount Rochelle naure reserve with fantastic views over the Winelands around Franschhoek. The incredible range of fynbos (1300 plant varieties) in this nature preserve is overwhelming. In the early afternoon, our bus will take us to Cape Town and a visit to a kindergarten in Khayelitsha Township. The visit provides an enriching opportunity for authentic contact with the black population. The Portswood is our splendid hotel on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in the center of Cape Town (2 nights), on date 1 the Commodore Hotel. Tonight, we'll dine in an African restaurant in the city center.
Our starting point today is the famous botanical garden of Kirstenbosch, directly below Table Mountain. We then continue along the Cape peninsula in the direction of the Cape of Good Hope. On the way we'll stop in Boulder's Beach and admire one of two African penguin colonies. After taking in the view from the tip of Africa, we'll ride through the Table Mountain National Park to Kommetije where our African cycling tour comes to an end. Our bus will take us along Chapman's Peak Drive high over Hout Bay, a ride of breathtaking natural beauty. We'll enjoy our farewell dinner in a well-known restaurant on the waterfront. Second night in The Portswood.
Cape Town and Departure
On a tour through the historic center, we'll see many points of interest including the Parliament buildings and the former garden of the Dutch United East India Company. Finally, we enjoy a cable car ride up the 3262 ft. Table Mountain where a spectacular view of Cape Town to Robben Island awaits. In the early afternoon, we say goodbye to Cape Town and drive to the airport for the flight back to Frankfurt, Germany. Cape Town lends itself for an extended stay to explore the city and/or for a side trip to Victoria Falls and Chobe National park.
Arrival in Europe
Our overnight flight lands in Munich in the early morning. From here you have excellent national and international flight connections.
A trip of medium difficulty on small paved side roads. There are only three stretches of unpaved dirt road during the tour. The terrain is generally easy to bike, although some days include slightly hilly, but not mountainous stages. A support vehicle is always available should you want to take a rest.
|Nov 3, 2018
|Nov 17, 2018
Category: All hotels are of good to very good standard. Some guest houses are particularly luxurious and charming. The food is of a high standard throughout the trip and excellent South African wines are available.
- Accommodation as mentioned
- 13x Breakfast buffet or extended breakfast
- 13x Half-board: multi-course dinner
- Guide during the whole tour
- Service bus during the whole tour
- Luggage service
- Detailed trip documents
- All interim shuttels as mentioned in the tour description
- All entry fees as mentioned in the tour description
Airports Johannesburg and Cape Town
- The seasons are opposite in South Africa compared to those in Middle Europe. That’s why the best months for us to offer bike tours here are from September until the start of December (spring and early summer) and in March/April (autumn). In these months (especially along the ‘Garden Route’), the temperatures are moderate and precipitation is rather infrequent.