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Cape Town Extension

Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town, South Africa
Our local representative meets you at the airport and transfers you to your hotel for three nights' accommodation on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Choose among three outstanding options: two hotels are located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront close to the Two Oceans Aquarium, distinctive shops and restaurants, and just a short ride to the center of Cape Town, while the 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. This afternoon, you may wish to take a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain for a dramatic view of the city and coast from nearly 3,600 feet. 

Day 2: Full-Day Tour of the Cape Peninsula & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
From Cape Town, head west along the Atlantic seaboard, a magnificent coastline characterized by rocky indentations, long stretches of broad 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. Celebrated as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world, our route offers ever more stunning views 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 offshore, which migrate into these waters to mate and calve.

We ultimately reach the 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 whimsical 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: Full-Day Cape Winelands Tour
No trip to the Western Cape is complete without a tour of South Africa's renowned 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 Stellenbosch Hills, formerly known as the famous Vlottenburg Co-op founded in 1945.

After lunch, continue to Franschhoek, nestled in the Valley of the Huguenots which the French first settled in 1688, passing the Victor Verster Prison where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner. Then, if time permits, we'll visit the Huguenot Memorial 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.

Physical Rating: Easy

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