self drive
CAPE TOWN, GARDEN ROUTE & SAFARI

This is a land of dazzling beaches and magnificent marine creatures; surreal wine lands and mellifluous forests; a land where a great animal kingdom stirs as scintillating sunsets capture your attention…before the stars take the stage.  

Here grand greens welcome golfers and photographers want for nothing.  Luxury trains guide you through breath-taking landscapes. Families find adventure and partners fall deeper in love in tranquil settings.   Chefs mesmerize gastronomes and winemakers have guests marvelling at their creations.

Explore and discover the gems of South Africa in this 12 night adventure from Cape Town, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Plettenberg Bay and Kwandwe Private Game Reserve.

day one to three

On arrival into Cape Town, you will be greeted by a representative who will assist you to collect your car rental and hand over your detailed travel itinerary.

They will be able to assist you with any information required for your vacation.

Once you have collected your car, then you will self drive from Cape Town International Airport to Ellerman House. This will take approximately 30 minutes to drive. 

Arrive to Ellerman House where you will check into a Classic House Room on a Bed and Breakfast basis for 3 nights.

Spend the next 3 days exploring Cape Town at leisure where you can take a cable car to the top of Tabletop Mountain or explore Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. This amazing place is steeped in history, offers various cuisines and great shopping by the harbour. 

Check out the Experiences tab below for more recommendations on what to do in Cape Town.

Included:

Breakfast,  beverages (excluding wines and Champagne) inclusive of spirits & beers, fully stocked in-room bar with luxury brands, guest pantry with wide selection of snacks and in-between meal options, daily sunset cocktails & canapes, access to Ellerman House Spa & Fitness Centre, Wi-fi, laundry and subject to availability private transfers within 15 km radius of the hotel.

Excluded:

Lunch, dinner, wines and champagnes, invited guests’ meals and drinks.

DAY FOUR TO six

Today you check-out from Ellerman House and depart to the De Hoop Nature Reserve on the east coast of South Africa. It is a mere 3 hour drive to your next destination.

Self Drive from Ellerman House to Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop. Guests are recommend to get to the Car Park for 1400. Check-in to Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop staying in a standard room on a Fully Inclusive (selected beverages) basis for 3 nights.

Access to Lekkerwater is via the Potberg Park Entrance (not the “Morukuru and De Hoop Collection entrance gate”). From the Potberg entrance gate it is 14.8km (30-45 minutes’ drive) to the lodge’s car park. De Hoop Nature Reserve Gates open at 07h30 and close at 16h00. Gate entrance fee of ZAR 60 per person (estimated park fees subject to confirmation), per night is payable in cash upon entry. Please note that there are no credit card facilities available.

Spend three days at leisure to explore the De Hoop Nature Reserve area. A great destination if you are looking to spend a bit of time relaxing as you grab your swimsuit and head to the 6km of white sandy beach. If you keep your eyes peeled, then you may spot Whales playing. 

De Hoop is ideal for those who love a bit of walking, nature and being close to the wildlife

Included: All meals, all local house wines, beers, spirits and cool drinks, road transfers to/from the lodge’s guest car park 6 km away and all daily activities. 

Excluded: Flights, premium brand beverages, park entrance fees (payable as you enter the park)  discretionary tips/gratuities, items of a personal nature, transfers from Cape Town and personal travel insurance.

 

Check out the Experiences tab below for more recommendations on what to do in the De Hoop Nature Reserve Area

DAY seven TO ten

Check-out from Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop which would be scheduled for 10h30. After being dropped off at your vehicle depart for Plettenberg Bay. 

Self Drive from Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop to Tsala Treetop Lodge. This is a 4 hour, 45 minute drive so why not stop off at Mossel Bay for a break. Relax in the Harbour with a iced coffee or your a spot of lunch.  
 
Arrive and Check-in to Tsala Treetop Lodge and spend 3 nights in a Treetop Suite on a Bed & Breakfast basis. 
 
The Tsala Treetop lodge is ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Both great towns to explore if you are looking for streets lined with cafes, delicious seafood restaurants, art galleries, local shops. 
 
 Check out the Experiences tab below for more recommendations on what to do in Knysna and Plattenberg Bay

day ten to twelve

Your next adventure awaits, on Day Ten you will make your way to Kwandwe Game Reserve for your safari experience.

Self Drive from Tsala Treetop Lodge to Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge. The drive is over 4 hours, so why not take a stop off along the way at Port Elizabeth for a spot of lunch before heading to the lodge. 
 
Arrive and check-in to Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge where you will spend 3 nights in a Suite on a Fully Inclusive basis.
 
The lodge is set along the lush green banks of the river after which it is named and it is designed to amplify the endless landscape. 

Be one with nature and the wildlife and experience twice daily game drives, nature walks accompanied by an armed ranger, and big game walking safaris with the opportunity to track white and black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot, which are all included in your stay 

Included: Accommodation as specified (exclusive use of the villas), twice daily game drives, nature walks accompanied by an armed ranger, big game walking safari (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot, accompanied by an armed specialist ranger and tracker team; subject to availability), 3 meals daily, a selection of South African premium and sparkling wines, local & premium brand spirits, beers, soft drinks, teas & coffees, refreshments on game drives, laundry, emergency medical evacuation insurance, VAT, transfers to & from the reserve’s airstrip, complimentary child-minding.

Excluded: Community & Conservation levy, in-room massage treatments, telephone calls, safari shop purchases, gratuities, all items of a personal nature, imported champagne, cigars and additional specialized safari activities not mentioned above.

day thirteen

After your final safari and breakfast head to Gqeberha where you will drop your vehicle and depart on your flight back home OR if you want to extend your holiday further then we can add on a beach stay to either Mauritius or Zanzibar. Speak to your Personal Consultant about this and we can recommend the best option for you.

 
Self Drive from Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge to Port Elizabeth Airport which will take around 2 hours. 

experiences in cape town

Private Tour to Cape of Good Hope
Take a leisurely exploration of the amazing scenery and fascinating wildlife of the Cape Peninsula on this flexible-length private tour. Travel by private vehicle, complete with on-board refreshments and Wi-Fi, as you call the shots on what to see and do. Among the potential sights you might pick are a wine tasting at Cape Point Vineyards, a visit to the penguins of Boulders Beach, or a visit to the beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. A private guide, private vehicle, and round-trip hotel transport are covered.
  • Relax during the road trip aboard your private vehicle, compete with on-board refreshments and Wi-Fi
  • Pick from among sights like the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and the penguin colony at Boulders Beach
  • Flexible itinerary means you get to choose the day’s activities and sights
  • Private, South African flag-badge tourist guide ensures personalized service and expert knowledge
Cape Town, Robben Island and Table Mountain – Private Tour
This full-day Cape Town excursion offers two tours wrapped into one. With round-trip transportation from your hotel, part 1 takes you via ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. A bus tour of the island, delivered with intimate detail by a former political prisoner, includes a viewing of Mandela’s jail cell. Part 2 returns to Cape Town for a guided city bus tour highlighting all its major monuments and places of interest including a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain.
  • Stress-free door-to-door service from your hotel
  • Tour Robben Island with a former political prisoner and see Mandela’s cell
  • Visit Cape Town’s most important sites during a guided bus tour
  • Ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, a UNESCO world heritage site
Full day Winelands , Explore Private Tour of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl
Skip the crowded group tours and enjoy a more personalized experience of some of South Africa’s best wineries on a private tour of the Cape Winelands. Visit three wineries in Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek to sample their wines—as well as cheese and chocolate—and learn about how the combination of climate, soil, and grape varietals create the unique wines for which South Africa is known.
  • Private, personalized, tour to Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl wine regions from Cape Town
  • Tour three prestigious wine estates
  • Sample chocolate and cheese as well as South African wine varieties
  • Hassle-free pickup and drop-off from your Cape Town hotel, airport, or port
Experiences can be pre-booked and added to your itinerary and are chargeable 

experiences in De hoop Nature Reserve

Beach Walks & Bird Watching

Take a stroll amongst the pristine sand dunes and enjoy a sundowner from atop your castle of sand!

 

Rock Pool Explorations

Explore the tidal pools and caves on a marine walk, keeping your eyes peeled for multi-coloured schools of fish and fascinating marine life.

 

Land Based Whale Watching

Experience some of the best land-based whale watching in the world: as well as southern right whales, you’ll also spot the less common Bryde’s whales and perhaps even humpbacks as well as dolphins cresting the waves.

 

 

Fynbos Walks

Lace up your boots for a walk through the fynbos. A part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, you’ll discover thousands of endemic plant species in the reserve including the national flower of South Africa, the King Protea.

With over 250 species of birds recorded in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, you’ll definitely be able to tick more than a few sorts from your list.

 

experiences in plattenberg Bay & Knysna

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary (Plattenberg Bay)

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary is the world’s first multi-species, free roaming primate sanctuary with 12 hectares of indigenous forest which is home to over 500 primates of 9 different species. These include:

Squirrel, Capuchin, Howler, Vervet and Spider monkeys, Saki, Gibbon, Ring-tailed and Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs that all enjoy the freedom to climb trees, forage amongst the undergrowth and live a life that is far removed from where they came.

These animals are all ex-pets, laboratory animals and surpluses from zoos that used to live in cages. Now they are free to roam and behave in a way that is natural to them.

On a one-hour tour, the experienced rangers will guide you through the the forest, pointing out the different species whilst offering a wealth of information on their ecology and conservation.

To experience breath-taking views of the forest then make sure you go onto the 128m long suspension bridge that stretches across the forest canopy.

 

Stand Up Paddle Boarding In Knysna 

Explore the waterways of Thesen Island and the Knysna Estuary with the world’s fastest growing watersport, Stand-Up Paddling. Stand-Up Paddling, or SUP for short, is easy, fun and guaranteed to keep you fit whilst enjoying the spectacular scenery of our waterways & lagoon.

The calm waters of Thesen Island are ideal for beginners and the many inlets and coves are perfect for the more adventurous or experience paddlers.

Eight top quality boards and paddles are available for rent by the hour.

travel, transport & getting around

Travelling around South Africa is relatively easy by air, road and rail.

Facilitating travel around South Africa are 10 airports managed by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA). In addition, there are some 90 regional airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit and the Skukuza Airport, offering access to the Kruger National Park.

An extensive tarred road system makes travelling in South Africa by vehicle convenient and easy. You will find gravel roads in rural areas though. Note:

A valid international driver’s licence is required.

We drive on the left hand side of the road.

Wearing seat belts is compulsory and mobile phones can only be used ‘hands free’.

Speed limits are generally set at 120km on freeways, 100km on secondary roads and 60km in urban areas.

Toll fees apply on certain national roads.

Petrol stations are widespread.

Most global car hire firms have branches in South Africa.

Another means of getting around South Africa are luxury inter-city bus services such as Greyhound and Trans-Lux. Metrobus buses are available for inner-city transport. Metered taxis must be ordered by telephone. There is a hop-on-hop-off bus service in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Our rail system includes the long-haul, inexpensive Shosholoza Meyl Metrorail trains. More luxurious options are the Blue Train, Premier Classe and the steam train Rovos Rail. There is also the new Gautrain rapid transit railway system in Gauteng Province which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekhuruleni and OR Tambo International Airport.

weather

South African temperatures, which are measured in centigrade, average at highs of 28°C (82°F) to average lows of 8°C (46°F) in the summer months while winter temperatures range from 1°C (34°F) at night to around 18°C (64°F) in the day. 

Average annual rainfall is on the low side at under 500mm a year, making the country somewhat dry. Much of the rain falls in the Western Cape in the winter, differing from the rest of the country, which experiences summer rainfall. On the plus side, the South African climate boasts more than its fair share of sunshine, recording an average of 8.5 hours a day.

ACCOMMODATION

ELLERMAN HOUSE

At Ellerman House in Cape Town, South Africa, the guest is treated as master in his or her own Cape Edwardian mansion. 

Service is gracious and discerning, and no wish is left unfulfilled. Whether attending a wedding (or just watching one from your veranda), celebrating an anniversary, or simply enjoying a weekend getaway that starts and ends with a South African pinotage under a palm tree by the heated pool, Ellerman House delivers.

 

LEKKERWATER BEACH LODGE

A mere three hour drive from Cape Town, in the eastern, most exclusive sector of De Hoop Nature Reserve, is Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop.

Undoubtedly one of the most glorious coastal reserves in Africa.

The seven rooms at Lekkerwater Beach Lodge are positioned along six kilometres of pristine white sand. 

TSALA TREETOP LODGE

Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Tsala is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty the celebrated Garden Route has to offer or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge.

Like the monumental ruins of an ancient central African civilisation, Tsala’s impressive stone-masonry entrance flanked by water features leads to a magnificent foyer supported by Blackwood columns.

KWANDWE GREAT FISH RIVER LODGE

Set along the lush green banks of the river after which it is named, the 9-suite lodge is designed to amplify the endless landscape.

Featuring a classic-contemporary style of understated elegance and earthy tones, Great Fish River Lodge is all about tranquillity and solitude. Watch majestic kudu meander down to the river from the expansive viewing decks, or soak in the views from the privacy of the suite’s plunge pool.

 

Feeling inspired?

May – July 2022
Double or Twin Rooms
London Heathrow
Board basis as per itinerary
Airport lounge included at Heathrow
Fast Track included at Heathrow
 
Prices from 10,769 per person

Based on 2 adults sharing one room. Offer subject to availability at the time of the booking and the price may vary depending on the hotel & flight availability and the exchange rates. Terms and Conditions apply. Other UK airports are available, price may vary, please check with your consultant

(Other dates are available, prices may vary, speak to your consultant today) .

Inclusions:

Tomsa Levy, Meet & Greet, Detailed Digest, Car Rental: PDAR Group O – BMW 3 Series or similar – Classic Plus Navigation OR Wifi Router x 13 days, Ellerman House in a Classic House Room on a Bed and Breakfast basis for 3 nights, Lekkerwater Beach Lodge in a Standard Room on a Fully Inclusive (Selected Beverages) basis for 3 nights, Tsala Treetop Lodge in a Treetop Suite on a Bed and Breakfast basis for 3 nights, Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge in a Suite on a Fully Inclusive basis for 3 nights, Return Business Class flights from London Heathrow, 

Exclusions: 

All other meals, Optional tours, All items of a personal nature – i.e. all drinks, laundry, telephone calls, curios, etc., All gratuities for guides / drivers (Recommended at US$ 1 per person, per guide / per driver, per day), Any other services not mentioned above.

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travel luxuries

Contact Us

You can contact us via email, telephone or simply complete the below form and we will contact you.

Email: hello@optimum-experience.com
Telephone: 020 3962 4212