SCENIC KWAZULU-NATAL & GARDEN ROUTE

This 15 day tour covers the best that KwaZulu-Natal has to offer and brings together the magnificent scenery, historical, cultural and natural heritage of this province with the best of the Garden Route, an awe-inspiring region along the south-western coastline of South Africa. The programme ends with a revitalizing stay in Cape Town.

Description

Scenic KwaZulu-Natal & Garden Route

Highlights

  • KwaZulu Natal UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Drakensberg & St Lucia Wetlands

  • Battlefields (Anglo-Zulu & Anglo-Boer wars)

  • Safari Experience

  • Overberg Region

  • Picturesque Garden Route

  • Dramatic coastal drives

  • Encounters with elephants

  • Ostriches & Cango Caves

  • Cape Town City

  • Cape Point & Peninsula

  • Cape Winelands

Information

  • Tour Code – IL-SKZG15

  • Departure – Bi-Monthly on the 2ND and 4TH Tuesday of each month (excluding festive period)

  • Transport in an air-conditioned luxury vehicle

  • English speaking THETA registered tour guide

  • Luxury accommodation

  • Includes 14 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 10 Dinners

Day 1 – Tuesday                            Durban / Pietermartizburg / Drakensberg           (Dinner)
Depart the cosmopolitan city of Durban and travel inland to Pietermaritzburg, the administrative capital of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. Enjoy a brief city tour and take in the significance of this high character city and its captivating past. The Mahatma Gandhi statue is visited outside the Colonial Building. Continue the journey through the midlands to Howick and the site where late former President Nelson Mandela was captured on August 5th, 1962.
The Natal Midlands is a beautiful region filled with stretches of farmland, charming little towns, a wonderful arts and crafts route and picturesque scenery bordering on the sublime. You would not be found to be at fault should you request that your guide take it easy on the drive to your accommodation which is considered to hold one of the finest locations in the entire Drakensberg range. Check into the hotel and enjoy some time at leisure before enjoying dinnerOvernight Champagne Castle Hotel (standard room) or similar

 

Day 2 – Wednesday                    Drakensberg                                                                 (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today is dedicated to enjoying the magnificent scenery on offer in the Drakensberg, as well as discovering the cultural significance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site – the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. At Giant’s Castle we enjoy a 45-minute walk to the main caves for a short tour and interpretation of the San paintings and artefacts on display in the museum. After the San experience, spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the facilities on offer at the hotel, including tennis courts, an animal farm, aviary, hiking trails, bowling green, swimming pool and so much more. Overnight Champagne Castle Hotel (standard room) or similar

 

Day 3 – Thursday                        Spioenkop / Dundee / Isandlwana                           (Breakfast, Dinner)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast followed by check-out formalities. Make your way to the summit of Spioenkop Mountain. Your guide shall recount and bring to life the Anglo-Boer 9-day battle of January 1900 – the third and bloodiest attempt by the British to relieve Ladysmith. Witnesses to this battle include Louis Botha (the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa), Winston Churchill and Mohandas Ghandi, who led the heroic British stretcher bearers and later became the Mahatma. Continue to the town of Ladysmith, a town which made world headlines at the end of the 19th century when it was besieged for 118 days during the most crucial stage of the Anglo-Boer War. Its historic heritage gives many fascinating sites to discover. Visit the Seige Museum where a diorama excellently depicts Ladysmith and its surrounding hills at the time of the Siege. Artefacts, documents, uniforms, firearms etc. are on display. Travel via Dundee to your accommodation which is located in at the heart of the battle sites between the Zulus and the British. Enjoy dinner at the hotel. Overnight Rorke’s Drift Hotel (standard room) or similar

 

Day 4 – Friday                               Battlefields                                                                    (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today is dedicated to the exploration of the most famous battlefields of all the many in KwaZulu-Natal. Your guide shall recount the Anglo Zulu War battle of Isandlwana where 20 000 Zulu warriors wiped out almost an entire British regiment and their firepower within 2 ½ hours. Visit Rorke’s Drift Mission where British soldiers, outnumber 35 to 1, fought off 4000 Zulus for 12 hours. This battle generated the award of 11 Victoria Crosses – the highest number to a Regiment in a single action. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight Rorke’s Drift Hotel (standard room) or similar

 

Day 5 – Saturday                          Battlefields / Hluhluwe                                             (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After an early breakfast, travel across the various battle sites of KZN to Hluhluwe where you complete your Kwazulu Natal discovery with an African safari experience. Depending on your time of arrival, enjoy lunch followed by an afternoon open vehicle game drive which yields exciting game viewing opportunities. The highly qualified rangers have a wide knowledge of the rich bird and animal life of the region, as well as the indigenous trees and plants. Return to the lodge for dinnerOvernight Falaza Game Lodge & spa (tented suite) or similar

 

Day 6 – Sunday                              Hluhluwe                                                                       (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Start the day with an early morning game drive when the animals are at their busiest, before the harsh African sun beats down and they take shelter from the sweltering heat in shady areas.  Return to the lodge for breakfast and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Enjoy the facilities on offer at the lodge including the well-equipped Spa on the reserve (treatments to own account and subject to availability).  We end the day with an afternoon open vehicle game drive before enjoying dinner and overnight. Overnight Falaza Game Lodge & spa (tented suite) or similar

 

Day 7 – Monday                             Hluhluwe / Durban // Cape Town                            (Breakfast)
Embark on a final game drive followed by breakfast and check-out formalities. Travel via the Elephant coast back to Durban for your flight to Cape Town (flight not included).  Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you will be met by an ILIOS Travel representative and transferred to your hotel. Balance of the evening at leisure. Dinner to own account. Overnight Pepperclub Hotel & Spa (deluxe room) or similar

 

Day 8 – Tuesday                            Overberg Region                                                            (Breakfast, Dinner)
Morning departure from Cape Town over the Hottentots-Holland Mountains via Sir Lowry’s Pass into a region of immense beauty. Stop for a wine tasting of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley terroir driven wines. During whale season (June to December), also stop in Hermanus which boasts the best land based whale watching along its cliff path. Here you would have the option of embarking on an eco-marine (all year round) and whale watching (seasonal) boat trip (additional charge). After lunch (to own account), continue to Swellendam – the third oldest settlement in South Africa. Dinner is enjoyed at the hotel restaurant. Overnight Schoone Oordt Country House (luxury room) or similar

 

Day 9 – Wednesday                     Swellendam / Mossel Bay / Plettenberg Bay        (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After a leisurely breakfast, depart Swellendam and enjoy your journey along the Garden Route via Mossel Bay. Travel to Plettenberg Bay – millionaires’ playground for lunch and a stroll along the white sandy beaches. Check into your accommodation during the afternoon. Dinner is enjoyed at the lodge. Overnight Hog Hollow Country Lodge (standard room) or similar

 

Day 10 – Thursday                       Tsitsikamma / Plettenberg Bay                                  (Breakfast, Dinner)
After breakfast, get up-close-and-personal with nature at the Elephant Sanctuary. The visit presents you with the opportunity to touch, feed and photograph these gentle giants. After lunch (to own account), travel to the Tsitsikamma National Park. Enjoy a walk along the suspension bridge across the Storms River mouth gorge which offers visitors incredible views and photo opportunities. Spend some time at leisure in the town of Plettenberg Bay – ‘millionaires’ playground’ – before returning to the lodge for dinner and overnight. Overnight Hog Hollow Country Lodge (standard room) or similar

 

Day 11 – Friday                               Plettenberg Bay / Knysna / Oudtshoorn               (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Morning departure from Plettenberg Bay to the lagoon-side town of Knysna – gem of the Garden Route. Embark on an excursion to the Featherbed Nature Reserve which is located on the western Knysna Head. The trip includes a ferry across the lagoon to the base of the western head, a drive to the top of the reserve and an optional 2.2 kilometre downhill nature trail walk. The tour ends with a delicious lunch served under the shade of the milkwood trees. On return to the mainland, continue your journey to Oudtshoorn. Visit an ostrich show farm for a guided tour. Following this visit of discovery, check into your overnight accommodation. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight Rosenhof Country House (standard room) or similar

 

Day 12 – Saturday                         Oudtshoorn/ Route 62 / Cape Town                        (Breakfast)
Before departing Oudtshoorn enjoy a morning visit to the Cango Caves – one of the natural wonders of the world and which has become a major draw-card to the Karoo area. Travel along the famous Route 62 to Cape Town. Stop near Barrydale for lunch (to own account). After lunch, enjoy a slow drive to Cape Town. Check into the hotel and enjoy a relaxed evening at leisure. Dinner is to own arrangements. Overnight at Pepperclub Hotel (standard room) or similar

 

Day 13 – Sunday                             Cape Point & Peninsula                                               (Breakfast)
This morning you will be collected for your scheduled full day Cape Point & Peninsula Tour. We travel along the Atlantic Seaboard via Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, stopping at a Llandudno look-out point before continuing to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbour with magnificent mountain views and beach (optional boat trip to Seal Island – to own account). Continue via Chapman’s Peak , one of the world’s most breathtaking coastal drives, to Cape Point and the Good Hope Nature Reserve. After lunch at a nearby restaurant (not included in cost), we go on to historic Simon’s Town – a village with charming Victorian architecture, a naval base and a large penguin colony at the beautiful Boulders Beach. Boulders Penguin Colony is home to a growing colony of the vulnerable African Penguin. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins in their natural habitat and there is also a new information centre. End the day with a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape Flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The tour ends upon return to your hotel during the late afternoon. Dinner to own arrangements.
Overnight at Pepperclub Hotel (deluxe studio) or similar

 

Day 14 – Monday                            Cape Winelands                                                              (Breakfast)
Today you embark on a scheduled full day Cape Winelands Tour. This is a delightful drive, which winds its way to the heart of the Cape Winelands through superb mountain ranges, vineyards and Cape Dutch homesteads. Head off to the wine country via the N2 to the heart of South Africa’s wine industry, Stellenbosch, boasting great beauty and culture that is steeped in South African history. With the sheer vastness of wine estates on offer, we are truly spoilt for choice when we enjoy our first wine tasting of the day. Travel over the Helshoogte Pass to the town of Franschhoek. Billed as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, this charming town, in a most picturesque valley, retains a French Huguenot style. We enjoy a wine tasting before taking time to enjoy the fabled culinary skills of the Franschhoek chefs at one of the many award winning restaurants (lunch to own account). Time permitting, a visit to a Paarl region estate would be included to round off the day’s wine-tasting experiences before heading back to Cape Town. Dinner to own arrangements. Overnight at Pepperclub Hotel (standard room) or similar

 

Day 15 – Tuesday                           City & Table Mountain Tour / Departure           (Breakfast)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by morning collection from the hotel for a scheduled City Tour – a geographical and cultural extravaganza showing you Cape Town from its historical beginnings to modern buildings and malls. The tour commences with a tour of Table Mountain (weather permitting; cable car fee not included). In the city itself, we visit the Company Gardens, the S.A. Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and the vibrant and arty flea market, Greenmarket Square. The tour ends with drop-off at Cape Town International Airport for your onward flight arrangements.

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