South Africa truly is a world in one country. This ‘Journey of a Lifetime’ tour starts, and finishes in Cape Town, and visits the winelands of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Robertson and Constantia. You will see whales in Hermanus – location for the world’s closest land-based whale watching. You will drive some awe-inspiring and stunning mountain passes. You will go on safari in the Addo Elephant National Park and in luxury private game reserves. You will visit cities, towns and quaint villages, drive along the coast, across rolling countryside and over incredible mountain ranges. The tour encompasses the Western Cape and a small section of the Eastern Cape regions of South Africa.
With the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic to the west, South Africa’s coastline is one of the most varied, spectacular and beautiful in the world. The hinterland boasts an unrivalled wealth of flora with six of the world’s seven floral kingdoms. The fauna is world-famous with the likes of elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebra etc.
This is an incredible tour and one not to be missed!
May be subject to change.
Day 1 : 3 November 2016
Arrive in Cape Town, most likely on a morning flight (not included). You will be collected from the airport in a luxury car and brought to the hotel at the V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town, for the first five nights of the tour. Stay in one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the One & Only, with rooms overlooking the iconic Table Mountain. The first day is at leisure, to either relax or wander around the Waterfront. There will be a welcome dinner this evening in the hotel restaurant.
Your car will be waiting for you in the hotel car park, having been transported from the docks just a mile or so away. Read more about car transportation below. Alternatively, you can hire a classic or convertible car.
Cape Town is acclaimed as one of the world’s most attractive cities, blessed with blue skies, a wonderful climate and a magnificent backdrop of ocean and mountains. With a rich cultural heritage, the city boasts a wealth of museums, art galleries and theatres, and an excellent choice of restaurants and shops. Presided over by Table Mountain and skirted by the Atlantic Ocean and exquisite beaches, top attractions include the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island to name a few.
Day 2 : 4 November 2016 91 miles
Enjoy a fabulous circular tour down to the Cape of Good Hope. Leave the Waterfront and head through Constantia and along Boyes Drive, offering spectacular views of False Bay. Stop at Simonstown, South Africa’s naval town, to visit some of the museums, before continuing to Boulders Beach to see the famed African penguin colony.
Then continue along the cornice road to the National Park. Drive through the park to Cape Point and/or the Cape of Good Hope. You will hopefully see Cape Mountain zebra, baboons and ostriches, as well as lots of other flora and fauna. Return to Cape Town via the western side of the Cape Peninsula, visiting lovely villages such as Nordhoek with its incredible beach, and then drive the sensational Chapman’s Peak Drive to Hout Bay. This is a truly spectacular corniche road and often voted as one of the best in the world. It’s then a lovely drive from Hout Bay back to Cape Town.
Day 3 : 5 November 2016
No driving today, but a day to enjoy the sights and sounds of Cape Town. There’s plenty to do and see at the V&A Waterfront, or you can take a boat trip to Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated for years.
Day 4 : 6 November 2016
Central Cape Town is home to a wealth of interesting sights. Visit the Castle of Good Hope, South Africa’s oldest building, dating back to 1679 and built to protect the settlement from possible attack. The 190 year old South African Museum is truly excellent, with over 1.5 million specimens of scientific importance. It is located in the beautiful Company’s Gardens, an attractive, shady botanical garden that was originally a vegetable garden established by Jan van Riebeeck to supply local settlers and visiting ships with fresh produce.
Also known as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap is mainly inhabited by descendants of slaves who were brought in from India and the East Indies. It is an area of narrow cobblestone streets, mosques and distinctive architectural style, with pastel colours and ornamentation. The Bo-Kaap Museum is also worth a visit.
Day 5 : 7 November 2016
After breakfast we have a private tour of the Shimansky Diamond Works which will show you how diamonds are mined and then turned into the precious gems and jewellery.
Afterwards visit the outstanding Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful garden in Africa and one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
Rising over 1000m, Table Mountain offers a fantastic vista over the Cape Town area and beyond. The revolving cable car makes the journey very easy but for the energetic, there are marked trails. See the Rock Dassies (little rodents) and the wonderful flora and fauna. There are some 1470 species of plants, including more than 500 species of Erica and over 100 species of Iris. Upon descending Table Mountain treat yourself to a fabulous and renowned institution that is afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, or The Nellie as it’s known.
Day 6 : 8 November 2016 69 miles
Leave Cape Town and drive through Constantia down to False Bay. Head east along the shores of False Bay to Strand, where we shall be visiting the Cheetah Outreach Program for a private visit and tour of the facility and the chance to see these beautiful animals up close and learn about them.
Then we shall have lunch at Waterkloof Vineyards, which is stunningly situated with views across the whole of False Bay and the Hottentot Holland Mountains.
In the afternoon visit the renowned Vergelegen Estate, one of the oldest estates and Cape Dutch manor houses. Or nearby is the wine and olive estate of Morgenster, or the wonderful winery at Lourensford. Drive to Stellenbosch and stay at a beautiful and historic Cape Dutch manor house and vineyard on the outskirts of Stellenbosch for the next three nights. Dinner is included this evening only.
Day 7 : 9 November 2016
Spend the day exploring the delightful town of Stellenbosch. The town is home to a large university and has the quiet air of academia about it. The main street is the longest stretch of original Cape Dutch houses in South Africa and is very picturesque. There are over thirty vineyards around Stellenbosch, all open to the public for tours, tastings and sales. The town, ideally situated in a magnificent mountain valley, boasts a mild Mediterranean climate. Situated at the head of the Eerste (First) River Valley, it was one of the first valleys to be settled in. The area is full of charming scenes and rich in history. The towns, villages and farmlands contain finely preserved examples of one of the most serene forms of domestic architecture found anywhere in the world – the Cape-Dutch style.
Day 8 : 10 November 2016 41 miles
Discover some of the many fabulous vineyards and wine estates in the area, along with some outstanding restaurants. We have created a circular drive that encompasses the beautiful Helshoogte Pass and the wonderful Boschendal Estate, and then north to Paarl and the Fairview Vineyards. Or drive, cycle or hike in the beautiful Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, which is just up the road from the hotel.
Day 9 : 11 November 2016 70 miles
Leave Stellenbosch and take the fantastic Clarence Drive around the coast from Gordons Bay. Stop at Betty’s Bay to see the African penguin colony or enjoy a stroll around the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, renowned for its coastal fynbos.
Continue on to Hermanus, on the shores of Walker Bay and site of the closest land-based whale watching in the world. Hermanus, particularly Walker Bay, is the mating and breeding grounds of the Southern Right Whales during the winter and spring months(from June through November). Southern Right Whales migrate from the Antarctic around June to calve and mate. Calving takes place in August and September and the males arrive for mating in October when the whale population peaks.
Hopefully you will see whales in the bay, and if lucky will also see them breach or spy-hop. It’s an incredible experience and a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Stay overnight at a gorgeous seafront hotel in town. Dinner is included.
Day 10 : 12 November 2016 120 miles
After a lazy morning, watching whales from the hotel or whilst strolling around Hermanus, head north, across the agricultural lands of the Caledon. Stop for lunch in the charming little town of Greyton. Then continue (with a 30km of untarred road) to Swellendam, another delightful, small town. There is the wonderful Drodsty Museum to visit – a collection of historical buildings, as well as taking time to stroll around town. The tour will be staying in two guesthouses this evening, about 100m apart and both divine. We shall be dining together at the larger of the two guesthouses.
Day 11 : 13 November 2016 161 miles
Leave Swellendam and climb over the Tradouw Pass to the little town of Barrydale in the Little Karoo. The scenery changes constantly, from mountains and river valleys to wide open plains and scrubland. Continue to Calitzdorp, known for its port-wine vineyards, and then on to Oudtshoorn, a town famed for its ostrich farms. To the north is the Swartberg Mountain range, and within this are the incredible Cango Caves. See the awe-inspiring caverns, stalactites and stalacmites on the hour-long tour.
Then head over the sensational Swartberg Pass (untarred road) – one of the most amazing and inspiring mountain drives. The road is flanked with proteas and fynbos, and it’s common to see little klipspringers and huge eagles. The rock formations are breathtaking. Descend to the delightful little town of Prince Albert, nestled just to the north of the pass. Stay overnight in the best hotel, in centre of the town.
Day 12 : 14 November 2016 157 miles
Leave Prince Albert head towards Klaarstroom. We have a visit to a nearby farm this morning to see the olive oil and cheese production. Then drive through the incredible river canyon that is Meiringspoort, to Oudtshoorn. Drive south over the Outeniqua Pass to George, at the start of the Garden Route. Continue on to Knysna and then to Harkerville, where we shall stay for the next three nights in some incredible and totally unique, luxury tree-top lodges, set amongst the forest canopy. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 13 : 15 November 2016
Head back along the N2 for a few kilometres to explore Knysna, one of the southern Cape coast’s best-known holiday destinations, offering a wide variety of activities and attractions. The day is at leisure to wander around the town. There are a couple of classic car garages at Knysna in ‘Gasoline Alley’ as well as a fabulous private collection of cars and toy cars, which we shall be visiting for a tour. There will also be a braai for us with the Garden Route Motor Club this evening.
Day 14 : 16 November 2016
Spend the day in the Garden Route’s other major town, Plettenberg Bay. Plett, as it’s popularly known, has sweeping golden beaches, the iconic Robberg Peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests and unpolluted rivers, vineyards and wine estates. With its moderate climate and beautiful view sites over the Indian Ocean, Plett’s about lazy sun-filled beach holidays and adrenalin-filled activities ranging from mountain biking to abseiling and diving with the seals. You’ll be spoilt for choice with restaurants, shopping experiences and things to do! Plett is home to wildlife sanctuaries, game reserves, whale and dolphin watching, canoeing up the Bitou and Keurbooms rivers, sailing, boating … and so much more.
Day 15 : 17 November 2016 186 miles
Head east past the Crags and through Nature’s Valley to Port Elizabeth and then north to Addo Elephant National Park. Stay for the next two nights in two adjacent boutique hotels, just on the edge of the Park. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 16 : 18 November 2016
There will be a game drive for everyone today. Half the group will be on a morning drive and the other half will take an afternoon game drive in the hotel safari vehicles. It is also possible to drive your own vehicle around Addo ENP or you can join an additional game drive from the main camp. There are also night drives available, which offers an excellent chance to see the nocturnal animals.
Day 17 : 19 November 2016 133 miles
Leave Addo and head west to Kirkwood and Steytlerville, which is an ideal spot for lunch. Continue on to Willowmore and then to Zandibela, a private game reserve and our overnight stay. There will be a game drive for everyone during our stay, either in the afternoon, early evening, or the following morning before breakfast. Zandibela is known for its sable breeding program in particular. The geography of the Baviaanskloof is quite different to Addo and offers another dimension to wildlife viewing. Dinner is included this evening and if the weather is fine will be an outdoor braai overlooking the dam.
Day 18 : 20 November 2016 177 miles
After breakfast leave the Baviaanskloof and head across to De Rust. Continue to Oudtshoorn and then south over the Robinson Pass towards Mossel Bay. Cut across on a small amount of untarred road (or take the main road as an alternative) and drive to Gondwana Private Game Reserve, the only free-ranging Big 5 private wildlife reserve in the southern Cape, and our home for the next two nights. All meals are included during the stay as well as game drives with expert guides. There will be an afternoon game drive and afternoon tea, followed by dinner in the evening.
Day 19 : 21 November 2016
A full day relaxing, with no driving. After breakfast enjoy a game drive and then return for lunch. There will be another game drive in the afternoon, followed by tea and then dinner. There is also time to relax by the pool, enjoy the far-reaching views, and read a book.
Day 20 : 22 November 2016 145 miles
After breakfast and a final game drive, leave Gondwana. Drive west to Montagu, a gorgeous little town on the R62. Entry to the town is via Kogmanskloof, with a wonderful arch in the rock. Stay overnight in a beautiful boutique hotel in a traditional building. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 21 : 23 November 2016 92 miles
Drive back through Kogmanskloof and south to Bonnievale. Then wind along the river valley, dotted with vineyards, purple jacaranda trees (which will be in full bloom) and wonderful flowers. Pass through Robertson and then Villiersdorp. It’s then a fabulous drive over the Franschhoek Pass to the famed town of Franschhoek, renowned for its superb wineries and its quality restaurants. Stay for three nights in two lovely small boutique hotels right in the centre of Franschhoek village. Dinner will be included at a nearby restaurant.
Day 22 : 24 November 2016
Spend the day in Franschhoek, which is easily explored on foot. There are delightful shops and boutiques, art galleries, a variety of cafes and restaurants and, of course, wineries. There is a wine tram that allows you to visit the wineries that are a little further afield, and still have a drink or two. Franschhoek is also renowned as the gourmet capital of South Africa so sumptuous restaurants are plentiful.
Day 23 : 25 November 2016 115 miles
There’s a beautiful circular scenic drive today, heading out of Franschhoek, past the fabulous Motor Museum. Head up to Paarl and then drive the wonderful Dutoitskloof Pass. Descend to the Worcester wine region and drive along the Breede River valley. Then head round across the really incredible Bain’s Kloof Pass, a wonderful, little-used road, back to Wellington and Paarl. Return to Franschhoek.
Day 24 : 26 November 2016 80 miles
Leave Franschhoek by heading back out of the valley over the Franschhoek Pass. Then drive along this fruit-producing valley and over the Viljoens Pass to Grabouw. Climb over the Hottentot Holland Mountains, via Sir Lowry’s Pass and descend to Strand. Take the N2 into Cape Town and across to Camps Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. Stay for the final two nights of the tour in a fantastic beach-front hotel in the centre of Camps Bay.
Day 25 : 27 November 2016 26 miles
Enjoy a circular drive heading south from Camps Bay to Llandudno and onto Hout Bay. We have a very special invitation to visit an outstanding private classic car collection at a beautiful Cape Dutch-style manor, where we shall also have lunch.
Then continue over Constantianek and into Constantia. Visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where we shall be attending a sunset concert at the foot of Table Mountain.
Then make your way back to Camps Bay for a final, farewell dinner.
Day 26 : 28 November 2016
Take the cars to the docks ready for shipping home (or return your hire car). Most flights to Europe depart in the late afternoon or evening, so enjoy your last few hours on the beach or in Cape Town. Fly home.
We have hand-picked some wonderful places to stay, each with its own character, and the hotels are very luxurious. There will be extremely stylish city-centre hotels, historic manor houses, seaside luxury, charming boutique hotels, fabulous game reserves and delightful town houses. It’s a varied and memorable selection of fabulous places to stay, all with suitable parking (sometimes garaged). The hotels we have chosen are renowned for their quality food, excellent service, comfort and style.
- An extensively researched and carefully designed itinerary to optimise your trip
- Tour book – includes a history of South Africa and the Cape, emergency details, overview route maps and detailed, yet easy to follow directions, accommodation information, and a very detailed account of everything there is to do, see and visit each day. The book eliminates the need for any other guide books.
- There will also be a road atlas, rally plate and regalia (bag, pen, hats etc)
- Accommodation in luxury hotels for 25 nights, including a full breakfast. All taxes and tourism levies are included already.
- Three-course dinners with wine (1/2 bottle per person) on 14 evenings. On the other evenings restaurant recommendations will be in the tour book and we can make reservations if required.
- Sunset sail in Table Bay (weather dependent)
- Cheetah encounter at The Cheetah Outreach Project in Somerset West
- Lunches at Waterkloof Restaurant, and Gondwana Private Game Reserve
- Entry to the Franschhoek Motor Museum
- Up to 9 game drives at Addo Elephant National Park, Zandibela Private Game Lodge & Gondwana Private Game Reserve.
- Visits to three fabulous private classic car collections with either lunch or dinner
- Transport of your car in South Africa from Cape Town docks to the first hotel in Cape Town, ready for your arrival at the start of the tour
- Coach transport from the docks at Cape Town to the final hotel or airport at the end of the tour.
- A contact network of classic car garages on route in case of any ‘failures to proceed’ or mishaps.
- Experienced and friendly tour director, Sarah Dowding and assistant, Liz Dowding
- Mechanical back-up provided by a knowledgeable classic car tour mechanic, who will also be providing limited luggage transport (airline cabin bag equivalent size per car) in the van, and a trailer in case of breakdowns.
What’s not Included:
- Ten (10) evening meals. Recommendations will be made in the tour book and reservations can be made if required
- Entry to any attractions, museums, sight seeing etc, other than stated
- Any lunches (other than stated – 5 included)
- Vehicle shipping is not included as the price varies depending on the size and value of the car. However, Classic Travelling will make all the arrangements for shipping, marine insurance, customs and handling on your behalf. (An estimate of around £3,500-5,000 GBP per car return, including shipping, handling, customs, marine insurance etc)
- Car hire/rental (if you choose to do this instead of shipping). See below.
- Motor insurance whilst in the South Africa as the price varies depending on the car. However, all the arrangements will be made on your behalf, unless you tell us otherwise.
- Flights to South Africa. Classic Travelling does not offer flights and you will be able to find the best deals online. You will be flying to and from Cape Town International Airport.
Car Shipping: We shall arrange shipping from the UK to Cape Town and handle every necessary aspect of this on your behalf. As a rough estimate it is around £3,500 (depending on car value) to ship a car in a container from the UK to Cape Town return, including the insurances, customs clearance etc. This does not include the Carnet. The total price will be around £3,800-£5,000 per car return, depending on value.
Classic Car Hire: We have arranged a partnership with Cape Cobra Hire in Cape Town to supply Cobras for those who would prefer to hire a car for the tour. There are only a limited number of classic cars available. The rental price is a special rate of R2,400 per day, which is R57,600 for 24 days of the tour (you won’t require a car for the first or last days of the tour). This includes mileage for the tour. A ZAR15,000 credit card authorisation is required though. Please contact Cape Cobra Hire directly, quoting that you’re joining this Classic Travelling Tour.
- All passports must be valid for six months after the end of the tour. You will also need your vehicle registration documents, driving licence (a photo-card licence or international permit is best), and an international insurance green card.
- It is advised to obtain IDPs (International Drivers Permits) before coming to South Africa. It is worth noting however that these IDPs are only ‘translation documents’ and should always be accompanied by a current, valid driver’s license at all times.
- However, the most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, relish individual, luxury, character hotels and enjoy the company of like-minded travellers.