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Cape Town Extension

Itinerary

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Itinerary Map
Day 1: Cape Town, South Africa
Our local guide meets you at the airport and accompanies you on the transfer to your hotel for three nights' accommodation on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Choose among three appealing options: two hotels—the Cape Grace and the Victoria & Alfred—are located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront close to the Two Oceans Aquarium, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Watershed crafts market, and an array of distinctive shops and restaurants—all just a short ride to the center of Cape Town. A third option, More Quarters, sits just off trendy Kloof Street in the heart of Cape Town’s residential Gardens suburb, with restaurants in walking distance, and the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain and other popular sites just minutes away. 

Day 2: Full-Day Tour of the Cape Peninsula & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
From Cape Town, head west along the Atlantic seaboard, a dramatic coastline characterized by rocky indentations, long stretches of sandy beach and picturesque bays. Stop at Hout Bay Harbor 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, continue along Chapman’s Peak Drive, hugging the cliffs more than 2,000 feet above the ocean. One of the most scenic coastal drives in the world, the route offers ever more stunning views as you observe panoramas of Long Beach and the Noordhoek Valley en route to the coastal hamlets of Kommetjie and Scarborough. From June to November there's a chance to see southern right whales just offshore, which migrate into these waters to mate and calve.

Continuing south, arrive at Cape Point Nature Reserve on the Cape of Good Hope, known for its diversity of flora (about 1,200 species) and wildlife, including healthy populations of Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, springbok (South Africa's national emblem), Cape grysbok, gray 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 fantastic views— you can either climb the steps or take a shuttle bus to the top for a small additional fee.

After lunch, visit famous Boulders Beach to see African penguins, the only penguin species found on the continent. Later, head back along False Bay to Simonstown, then on to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the premier botanic gardens in the world.  Half of South Africa'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: Table Mountain / Full-Day Cape Winelands Tour
This morning, take the revolving cable car to the top of Table Mountain at 3,560 feet above sea level. From the flat summit, survey 270-degree views of the city and peninsula (weather permitting; the cableway also closes annually in late July/early August for maintenance).Table Mountain National Park is part of the Cape Floral Region UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most biodiverse plant areas in the world. While it comprises less than 1% of the African continent, it contains 20% of its flora. On trails that lace the mountaintop, wander among the fynbos floral kingdom, found only in South Africa. Fynbos, Afrikaans for “fine bush,” describes the unique and exquisite floral species endemic to a small portion of the Western Cape province. Some 9,000 species of fynbos plants are found in the Cape area, 6,200 of which are endemic and 2,000 of which grow on Table Mountain, and many of these are threatened with extinction.

Continue to the Western Cape's renowned wine country, traversing verdant valleys and farmlands backdropped by views of the Hottentots Holland and Simonsberg Mountains. Pass through the lively university town of Stellenbosch in the heart of the wine region, admiring its classic Cape Dutch architecture and oak-shaded streets bustling with cafes, boutiques and art galleries. During your visit to the Winelands, you'll have a chance to taste varied vintages and sample cheeses at two of the region's most beautiful estates. Your first stop is Babylonstoren, one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, established in 1692. Your visit begins with a tour of the estate's magnificent 8-acre garden, which supplies its two restaurants and farm store with a rich bounty of produce.  All of the more than 300 varieties of plants in the garden are edible or have medicinal value. On your guided tour, you'll be invited to pick, taste, smell and touch an array of fruits and vegetables. An indulgent lunch is included at one of the two estates you'll visit. Return to Cape Town to spend a final night. 

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

Physical Rating: Easy

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