South african essentials - northbound

  • The Cape Winelands
  • Ostrich's in Oudtshoorn
  • The Knysna heads
  • Coffee Bay
  • Hluhluwe Big 5 Game reserve. Elephants at play
  • Giraffes in Hluhluwe
  • Hector Pietersen memorial in Soweto

Cape Town to Johannesburg (TIRB-N)

This tour is now only available Southbound
Joburg to Cape Town >> click here

travel along South Africa’s eastern coastline; visit winelands; World Heritage Sites of Table Mountain and iSimangaliso Wetlands; meet ostriches, enjoy the awesome beauty of the rugged Wild Coast, experience the Big 5 in the Kruger National Park


  • Meals:15 Breakfasts; 5 Dinners, Entrance Fees:Taal Monument; Stellenbosch Walking Tour; Brandy Tasting; River Cruise; Storms River Bridge; Ostrich Farm; Cango Caves; Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park open safari vehicle morning game drive; Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park conservation fee; Kruger National Park conservation fee; Blyde River Canyon; Bourkes Luck Potholes; Wonder View; Lisbon Falls.

Day 1 | Saturday


Arrival at Cape Town International Airport, transfer to hotel (own arrangements and for own account)a TDM representative will meet and assist guests at the hotel with any queries. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase optional day excursions if not pre-booked. Lunch (own account)
At leisure or Optional Table Mountain & City afternoon tour (own account – pick-up at 12h30) TDM representative and tour guide to meet at 18h30 for tour briefing Dinner at hotel (own account).
Inn on the Square or similar – bed and breakfast (4 star)

Day 2 | Sunday


Cape Town lingers on the edge of Africa where oceans meet and cultures fuse under the ever watchful and majestic Table Mountain. Cape Town is as diverse as its history and bursts with enticing activities. Optional Things to See & Do are full day Cape Point Tour available. Sights of this tour include Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens; Cape of Good Hope Reserve; the funicular (optional extra) to reach the hillcrest at Cape of Good Hope; the penguin colony at Boulders Beach (optional) Chapman’s Peak (subject to the road being open); Hout Bay stop at the harbour; Sea Point. This evening’s dinner can be enjoyed at the hotel or restaurant in town (own account).

Day 3 | Monday

After breakfast we leave Table Mountain behind us and travel north to Stellenbosch through the Cape Winelands.
We first stop in the beautiful town of Paarl, South Africa’s third oldest town. Paarl gets its name from the enormous granite pluton that shimmers like a pearl (or paarl in Dutch) after rain showers.
This huge granite boulder is called Paarl Mountain and is the second largest granite projection on the planet.

On a hill overlooking Paarl, we stop off at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument (Afrikaans Language Monument), where we learn more about this beautiful structure and museum.
We stop for lunch and a wine tasting (own account) at one of the many stellar wine farms in Paarl. Finding some of the world’s finest wines is an easy task in the Cape Winelands.

We journey further into the heart of the Winelands and arrive in the beautiful and university town of Stellenbosch. We embark on a walking tour of Stellenbosch to see the town’s historic sites and colonial Cape Dutch architecture, and some of the country’s oldest buildings, along its leafy streets and mountainous backdrop. Check in at your hotel.

Take some time at leisure to enjoy the comfortable and luxurious settings and views before drinks and dinner (own account) at one the hotel’s restaurants.
Protea Hotel Stellenbosch or similar – bed and breakfast (3 star)

Day 4 | Tuesday

Enjoy a Cape breakfast at the hotel before departing Stellenbosch.

We travel to Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo via Route 62, an iconic route with intoxicating and ever changing landscapes. Running along orchard lined valleys, towering mountain ranges, rivers and indigenous fynbos, Route 62 bridges the Western and Eastern Cape and includes what is possibly the world’s longest wine route.

Next up on our trip is a visit to an award winning brandy distillery in Robertson, where you’ll have a fun and educational experience in brandy tasting and food pairing. Lunch will be had along the scenic Route 62.
See the landscape change as we journey further into the semi-arid beautiful Klein Karoo onward to our destination of Oudtshoorn. Enjoy some time at leisure when you arrive this evening’s accommodation. Delight in its charming country setting as you enjoy a dinner (own account) of local fare and hospitality.

Day 5 | Wednesday

After breakfast, our journey takes us south, via the Outeniqua Pass to Keurboomstrand, near Plettenberg Bay. Our first stop outside Oudtshoorn, in the Cango Valley, is where we discover the spectacular subterranean world of the Cango Caves.

This 20 million year old world wonder, features an impressive display of gold and vermillion dripstone stalagmites and stalactites. These calcite formations grow between 2-6 mm in length per one hundred years making it a true treasure and natural marvel.
Back above ground, we take a tour of a nearby ostrich farm where you will be introduced to these strange and exotic birds as well as the ostrich industry. Lunch will be had at the ostrich farm’s restaurant (own account).

Traveling down towards the coast via Knysna, we drive over the Outeniqua Pass. This Pass was constructed by prisoners of war from 1943 – 1951 and now bridges the semi-arid Klein Karoo and the coastal Garden Route.
In Knysna we stop for some wonderful photographic opportunities at the lookout points at the Knysna Lagoon and the Heads (weather permitting). Your final stop for the day finds you in Keurboomstrand, near Plettenberg Bay at your hotel. Enjoy some time at leisure or take advantage of the resort’s private access to the 8km stretch of beach. This evening, take pleasure in the oceanic ambience while you will dine at the resort’s elegant restaurant (own account).

Day 6 | Thursday

Today is yours; enjoy a full day at leisure or venture on an optional excursion to a South African Heritage Site, Featherbed Nature Reserve and the Elephant Park in Knysna (own account, including lunch).

On arrival at the Knysna Waterfront, board the ferry that will take you to Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Knysna Head. On arrival at the reserve, board a Unimog-drawn trailer and drive up to the top of the reserve.
While stopping at a scenic lookout point, our specialist guide will share fascinating tales about Knysna and the surrounding area while you enjoy the panoramic views. An optional 2.2 km guided nature walk takes you through the forest onto the cliffs into the caves and along the scenic coast.
This is followed by a buffet lunch at the Forest Restaurant, a unique outdoor restaurant situated on the edge of the Lagoon under a canopy of Milkwood trees.

After lunch depart for an educational elephant interaction experience. Here you will get the opportunity to meet, hand feed, interact with Elephants and get to know them and their dedicated handlers in a natural and relaxed environment.
Walk alongside them in magnificent Garden Route scenery, characterised by pristine forests, Cape Fynbos (wild plants) and mountain views. Enjoy time at leisure before dinner (own account).

Day 7 | Friday
Plettenberg Bay to Port Alfred via Eastern Garden Route

(± 380 km's)

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we travel to the marina town of Port Alfred along the Garden Route. We travel further along the Garden Route to Storms River Mouth where you will experience the wonderful views on the suspension bridge where the Storms River meets the Indian Ocean.

Tsitsikamma is the ancient San name meaning place of abundant water, an enchanting and fabled part of the country.
Drive along the coastal road to Port Alfred, at the heart of the Sunshine Coast on the banks of the Kowie River. Arrive late afternoon at your riverfront hotel.
Halyards Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast (3 star)

Day 8 | Saturday

After an early breakfast take a boat cruise (weather permitting) along the scenic Kowie River before departing the Sunshine Coast for the mystical beauty of Coffee Bay, via Nelson Mandela’s birthplace of Qunu.

Qunu, which is part of the former Transkei, consists of a number of little villages which have recently enjoyed much attention and growth as Mandela’s birth place.
These are the green hills and pastures where Madiba herded sheep and cattle and which today still remains his family home. An area steeped in ancient Xhosa traditions and culture, taking you back to a simpler, humbler time.

Venture further north along the coastal road. Lunch en route (own account). Continue along the N2 highway into the Wild Coast also known as the Transkei or Pondoland, in the Eastern Cape.

This drive will present you with incredible untamed views of green rolling hills and rugged cliff faces, dotted with colourful traditional rondawels and free roaming cows and goats.

With an unassuming beauty hidden from the modern world, it is a place where “African Time” makes sense.
Our final port of call for the day is your hotel situated in Coffee Bay. The village of Coffee Bay derives its name from a ship that ran aground here in 1893 with a cargo of coffee beans.
Ocean View Hotel or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast (3 star)

Day 9 | Sunday

Awaken to the calming and refreshing sounds of the ocean and enjoy breakfast along with the views. Today is yours; enjoy a full day at leisure.

Spend the day taking part in the many optional activities offered in the area. Choose from hikes, snorkelling or fishing to the more adrenalin filled activities like abseiling, quad biking and rock climbing.
Alternatively enjoy a more relaxed approach and spend the day on the beach, discover the legendary Hole-in-the-Wall with its mythology or shop around for local crafts, while meeting the friendly amaPondo people.

Enjoy lunch at your own pace (all for own account).
Round off the day with pre-dinner drinks (own account) before savouring dinner at your hotel.

Day 10 | Monday
Coffee Bay to San Lameer via Mthatha (±370km)

Drive along the N2 highway, via Mthatha to KwaZulu-Natal
Mthatha sites – Mandela’s Route, Lunch near Mthatha (own account)
Arrive at beach hotel late afternoon, Dinner at hotel (own account).
Peermont Mondazur Resort or similar – bed and breakfast (4 star)

Day 11 | Tuesday

After an early breakfast we depart the hotel and travel up the North Coast to Hluhluwe via St. Lucia. Drive up the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and arrive at St. Lucia, the only town in South Africa that lies inside a nature reserve, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
This park is a World Heritage Site and the largest estuarine system in Africa. Enjoy time at leisure or take an optional boat cruise (own account) around the estuary. With rare and wild birdlife, mangrove swamps and vegetated sand dunes it makes for an interesting and educational cruise.

Savour the sensational views of the lake while enjoying lunch (own account). Arrive in the late afternoon at Bonamanzi Game Park, this evening’s accommodation. After check in you will be whisked away on an open vehicle game drive to the nearby Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park.

The historic hunting grounds of Zulu Kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka, Hluhluwe and Umfolozi became the first game reserves in Africa.
The two were linked by the Corridor Reserve in 1989. Return to the lodge in the late afternoon, relax and get ready for dinner and drinks (own account), at the lodge.
DumaZulu Lodge & Cultural Village or similar – bed and breakfast (3 star)

Day 12 | Wednesday

Wake up charmed in this piece of paradise on the Elephant Coast. Today sees us travelling to Hazyview in Mpumalanga via Swaziland.
After an early morning breakfast, we travel north along the N2 highway, entering the warm and welcoming Kingdom of Swaziland at Lavumisa Border post (visa own account). Swaziland is a beautiful and richly cultural country.
An absolute monarchy and one of the smallest countries on the African continent, it runs about 193km from north to south and 130km east to west.

We stop for lunch (own account) at Nisela Safari Lodge. Our drive through Swaziland takes us through 1000 year old hardwood vegetation and shallower pans of the Hlane Royal National Park, the Kingdom’s largest protected area and together with its neighbouring parks, makes up the vast bushveld expanse known as the Lubombo Conservancy. Exiting Swaziland at the Mangana Border post, we enter Mpumalanga, the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces, which is blessed with magnificent lush beauty and many natural and ancient curiosities.

After a comfort stop in the Malelane area, we make our way to Hazyview. We arrive in the late afternoon at your accommodation, on the fringes of Hazyview. Relax before easing into leisurely dinner (included) at the hotel. Pestana Kruger Lodge or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast (4 star)

Note: When entering the Kingdom of Swaziland, please ensure that you are in possession of a valid passport, and for nationals of certain countries, multi-entry visa terms and conditions will apply.

Day 13 | Thursday

Departing the hotel after an early breakfast we travel to the iconic Kruger National Park. Enjoy a guided closed vehicle game drive prowling the bushveld looking for the Big Five, their friends and natural enemies, inside the legendary Kruger National Park, a place where elephants always have the right of way.

The Kruger National Park covers 19,485km2 and runs 360km from north to south. It supports a staggering variety of fauna and flora including 147 mammals and 507 birds species, some rare and indigenous to the area.

Staying inside the park, fill up on lunch (own account) while enjoying the wild scenery at one of the park’s rest camps before continuing your bush adventure. We exit the Kruger National Park in the late afternoon, and head back to the hotel to freshen up and enjoy pre-dinner drinks (own account) before tucking into dinner (included).
Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar (4 star)

Day 14 | Friday

Today’s excursion, after breakfast, will see you travelling along the Panorama Route via the Blyde River Canyon to Ohrigstad. The Panorama route includes The Three Rondawels, Lisbon Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Wonderview (the highest viewpoint on this route), some of the country’s most beautiful views and cherished natural marvels.

This route also includes the awe-inspiring Blyde River Canyon, which may be the world’s largest green canyon due to its lush vegetation. Lunch (own account) en route. Arrive in the afternoon at your overnight accommodation, on the outskirts of Ohrigstad. Relax before dinner (own account) at the lodge.
Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar – dinner, b&b 4 star)

Day 15 | Saturday

This morning you will be taken on an optional nature drive (own account) on the reserve. On this nature drive, expect to see plains game such as the rare Sable, Oryx, giraffe, zebra and serval. Enjoy lunch (own account) in the picturesque village of Dullstroom, renowned for its trout fly-fishing and natural beauty.

We leave the rich poetic expanses of sub-tropical Mpumalanga and continue on our journey down to Johannesburg, one of the fifty largest metropolitan areas in the world and also the world’s largest landlocked city.
Founded in 1886, Johannesburg or Joburg has a rich and vibrant social and political history. A cultural melting pot, it is a place of opportunity and the African dream. We arrive in the afternoon at your hotel. Enjoy dinner and drinks (own account) at the hotel.
Crowne Plaza – The Rosebank Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast (4 star)

Day 16 | Sunday

After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, enjoy the day at leisure discovering the vibrant Joburg, Egoli, Place of Gold, or alternatively embark on an optional guided Soweto morning tour (own account) from ±09h10 to ±14h00.
Soweto is the most metropolitan township in South Africa and a leader in politics, music, fashion and popular culture. In 1963 the acronym Soweto became its official name, adapted from South Western Townships.
This tour highlights the political struggles and present day life style. Arriving back at your hotel, we say Hamba kahle, good bye and go well.

Note : Please book any to O.R. Tambo International Airport transfers separately with your booking agent.

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