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Cape Town Extension - Secluded South Africa

Explore beguiling Cape Town, where sophisticated style meets stellar scenery
Day 1: Cape Town, South Africa
On arrival you are met at the airport by our local representative and transferred to the Victoria & Alfred Hotel in the heart of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. This prime location is close to the Two Oceans Aquarium, a multitude of distinctive shops and restaurants, and just a short ride to the center of Cape Town. This evening, we gather for our first meal together in Cape Town.

Day 2: Full Day Tour of Cape Peninsula & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
From Cape Town we head west along the Atlantic seaboard, a magnificent coastline characterized by rocky indentations, long stretches of broad beach, and picturesque bays. At Hout Bay Harbor, we stop to stroll among the fish markets and shops, or, as an optional extra, take a half-hour cruise to see the seals.

From Hout Bay our journey continues along Chapman’s Peak Drive, hugging the cliffs more than 2,000 feet above the ocean, touted by many as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. Each view is better than the last as we observe panoramas of Long Beach and the Noordhoek Valley en route to Kommetjie and Scarborough, little hamlets on the Atlantic Coast. From June to November there's a chance to see Southern Right whales just off the coast, which migrate into these waters to mate and calve.

Our route ultimately reaches the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, known for its floral diversity (about 1,200 species) and wildlife including healthy populations of Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, springbok (South Africa's national emblem), Cape grysbok, grey rhebok, red hartebeest, eland duiker, Cape fox, caracal, and chacma baboon. These baboons' unusual diet consists largely of marine foods, which they gather at low tide. More than 160 bird species have also been recorded in the reserve. Cape Point itself offers superlative views—you can either climb the steps or take a shuttle bus to the top.

After lunch, we visit famous Boulders Beach to come face to face with whimsical African penguins, the only penguin species found on the continent. Later, we head back along the False Bay coastline to Simonstown, then on to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the premier botanic gardens in the world. Half the country’s 18,000 indigenous flowering plant species are cultivated here. The plants attract myriad birdlife, including the Cape sugarbird, malachite, lesser double-collared and orange-breasted sunbirds, Cape bulbul, Cape francolin, Klaas’s cuckoo and Cape batis.

Day 3: Full Day Winelands Tour
No trip to the Western Cape is complete without a tour of the legendary Wine Country. As we traverse verdant valleys and farmlands, backdropped by views of the Hottentots Holland and Simonsberg Mountains in the distance, we'll taste wines and sample cheeses at some of the Cape's most beautiful estates. Estates visited will vary, but usually include Neetlingshof, with its elegantly restored Manor House and modern cellar, or Vlottenburg Co-op.

After lunch, we continue to Franschhoek, nestled in the Valley of the Huguenots where the French first settled in 1688, and pass the Victor Verster Prison where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner. Then, if time permits, we'll visit the Huguenot Memorial and Museum before driving to Boschendal for a tasting and tour of this historic estate. Crossing Helshoogte Pass, we reach Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa. Enjoy the drive along Dorp Street with its beautiful display of traditional Cape Dutch houses. After a chance to browse the shops and galleries in town, we visit the town of Paarl, birthplace of the Afrikaans language, before returning to Cape Town.

Day 4: Depart
Transfer to the airport today for homeward flights.

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