Depart Cape Town this morning, following a scenic route along the eastern shore of False Bay to reach the community of Betty’s Bay and the Stony Point Penguin Colony. One of three mainland breeding colonies for African penguins, Stony Point is home to some 3,600 penguins, a population that has boomed since two birds originally took up residence here in 1985. We view them at close range via a network of boardwalks through the colony. The focus of conservation efforts, the endemic African penguin arrived from declining offshore island colonies to this rocky headland in 1982 and has thrived ever since. Also present in the colony are three species of cormorant, Hartlaub’s gulls and kelp gulls, while the rock hyrax, commonly known here as the dassie, inhabits the surrounding rocks.
Continue south to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, an exclusive eco-sanctuary tucked between mountains, forest and the sea. Over 8,600 acres of pristine wilderness are protected within the reserve, which harbors 900 plant species—(100 of which are endangered and six were newly discovered here), three milkwood forests over 1,000 years old, 29 mammal species, 118 bird species including 26 endemics, and South Africa's "Marine Big Five," which includes the African penguin, Cape fur seal, dolphin, southern right whale and great white shark. Arrive in time for your choice of afternoon activities before sitting down to a dinner that promises to be as memorable as the rest of your stay. The culinary experience here is both delectable and aesthetic, with each chef-crafted meal a colorful work of art sourced from the freshest local ingredients, including Grootbos' own organic farm. And, of course, the finest South African wines will accompany your meal, with an extensive and award-winning collection curated by a top sommelier.
Days 2 & 3: Exploring Cape Coast Nature on the Grootbos Reserve
Over the next two days, choose from a wide-ranging slate of activities to discover the beauty of the wild Cape coast. Discover the exquisite fynbos vegetation up close on a guided walk through the wonders of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The Cape Floral Region, found only in the southern reaches of South Africa, is one of the most biodiverse plant areas in the world and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While it comprises less than 1% of the African continent, it contains 20% of its flora. Fynbos, Afrikaans for “fine bush,” describes the unique floral species endemic to a small portion of the Western Cape province. Some 9,000 species of fynbos plants are found in the wider Cape area, 6,200 of which are endemic, and many of these are threatened with extinction. You can also choose a botanical safari by 4x4, scouting for birds and wildlife as well.
Other walks and drives include the milkwood forest, Walker Bay, De Kelders cliff walk or Klipaat Cove, where excellent land-based whale watching is possible from June to December. You can also go birdwatching, mountain biking or ride horseback across the reserve. All of these activities are included with your stay. Other options at an additional expense include scenic flightseeing, shark cage diving, horseback riding on the beach, a boat trip to Dyer Island for seasonal whale watching, golf, spa treatments, wine tasting at a nearby estate, or a day trip to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa.
Day 4: Transfer to Cape Town / Depart
After breakfast this morning, transfer back to Cape Town, a drive of approximately 2–2.5 hours. Your extension concludes at the airport to meet departing flights.