Let the wind blow through your hair as you cruise through the Cape Winelands on a classic 750cc Sidecar Motorbike.
Stop at the town of Paarl (Dutch for pearl), where you will visit an estate to enjoy some wine and cheese tasting. The town boasts many magnificent examples of Dutch architecture, scenic drives, hiking trails and of course, the Paarl Wine Route.
Continue to Franschhoek, founded in 1688 by French Huguenot immigrants. Known as the gourmet capital of South Africa, what better place to stop for lunch before visiting a local vineyard for another wine tasting.
Your last stop today is South Africa’s most famous wine region – Stellenbosch. Here in the heart of wine country, you can enjoy a final wine tasting before cruising back to Cape Town.
- Summerwood Guest House pick-up
- Riding gear
- Wine tasting
If it’s July to November, don’t miss the chance to go whale watching in Hermanus. If it’s out of season, you’ll enjoy a visit to this lovely seaside town on the shore of Walker Bay, near the southernmost tip of Africa.
Nestled between magnificent mountains and the sea, Hermanus offers some of the best shore-based whale-watching opportunities in the world (July to November). Visitors travel from around the world to witness the giant southern right and humpback whales from Hermanus’ shoreline and cliffs.
Hermanus has its own whale crier – in fact, he’s the only whale crier in the world! So if you encounter a man with a feather in his hat, patrolling the streets and blowing a weird-looking kelp horn, don’t panic – it’s the whale crier! He is merely letting people know the whereabouts of whales with different horn codes. Read his sandwich board for the key to these codes.
On your return to Cape Town in the late afternoon you’ll travel via Elgin and Sir Lowry’s Pass.
No visit to South Africa is complete without taking a safari to a game reserve! Head to the Aquila Game Reserve on this easy day trip from Cape Town to spot giraffes, lions, leopards, zebras – you name it! The Aquila Game Reserve is the closest private game reserve to Cape Town, only a 90-minute drive away.
After an early morning departure you’ll reach the beautiful Aquila Game Reserve to be taken on a game drive by an experienced ranger. Optimal game viewing is ensured in open 4WD vehicles.
Giraffes, lions, leopards, springboks, zebras, black and blue wildebeest are just some of the wildlife inhabiting the reserve. There are also good opportunities to see crocodiles and, if you are very lucky, you might even spot the illusive mountain leopard.
Aquila Game Reserve has a large natural wetland and bird-watching opportunities are plentiful. It is home to over 170 species of birds, including the endangered black eagle which the reserve is named after.
- Game Drive
- Entrance fees
- Hotel pickup and drop off
- Professional guide
Playing Golf at a Top Resort – Mind the Giraffes
South Africa is home to some of the most beautiful golf courses on the planet and they’re affordable too. Gary Player and Ernie Els earned their first birdies on South African golf courses. And where else could you find crocs in the water hazards, and have to stop for ostriches crossing the green? Here’s a list of top ten golf resorts you must visit if you have even just a little interest in golf. If your spouse is not a golfer, these resorts have excellent spas that will more than make up for your round or two.
Ride an Ostrich
Riding an ostrich takes a lot of skill but amateurs are welcome to try their luck in Oudtshoorn, in the Karoo. Ostrich farms abound in this semi-desert area of South Africa, there are hundreds of them. Oudtshoorn is the place to master riding this ungainly but strangely attractive, non-flying bird. If you’re feeling very confident, there are regular races to be enjoyed as well but you should probably leave those to the professional ostrich jockeys. Once you’re done attempting to ride the bird, you can taste its relatives by eating some delicious Ostrich Biltong or Paté.
Stay in a Tree-House
Tree-house lodging is a fantastic eco-friendly idea and there are several options to choose from. Teniqua Treetops is a tented tree-house resort that offers self-catering canopy lodging in the foothills of the Outeniqua mountain range in the Western Cape, not far from the beach.
Surfing in SA
The South African coastline is defined by a series of points and bays, technically logarithmic spiral beaches, because of their mathematically determined shapes. And, as any surfer worth his or her bar of Mr Zogg’s Sex Wax knows, points and bays are the salt and water of surfing. What you may also know is that the quality of the surf depends on the size of the swell and the direction of the wind. For that latter reason, the Cape Peninsula (with Cape Town at its northern end) is pretty much a 360 degrees, 365 days a year ride. But there are some other radical breaks too, so wax up, click on the heading above, and hit the water as we explore South Africa’s 10 best surfing spots.
Swim with Penguins
Swimming with penguins at Boulders Beach on the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town, is a real thrill. A small public beach is set apart from the main penguin colony that resides here (on Foxy Beach), but that doesn’t stop the penguins from sitting on your beach towel or darting around your legs while you take a refreshing dip in the Ocean. Penguins like to walk about and generally ignore fences.
Dive With Great White Sharks
If you’d like to see the Great White Shark without losing a leg then let me introduce you to the wonderful world of cage diving. Cage diving with the Great White Shark is a relatively new adventure sport in South Africa. There are several operators who offer cage diving packages and most of them concentrate around an area known as “shark alley” in Gansbaai, just 2 hours drive from Cape Town.
Canoe or Raft down the Orange River
The Orange River originates in the Drakensberg Mountains and cuts through some incredible mountain and desert scenery as it winds its way down to the Atlantic Ocean. Well organized canoe and white-water rafting trips down the Orange River are plentiful and most operate in the Richtersveld National Park along the border with Namibia.
A Leisurely Drive around the Greater Simonsberg
This area encompasses exactly its name—the greater Simonsberg that lies to the north of the town. Start on the R44 northbound and, if you’re feeling lucky, try an experimental wine at the government-funded research facility Nietvoorbij. You might just discover a gem. L’Avenir recently rebuilt their cellar, where you can also taste offerings from Michiel Laroce’s French and Chilean estates.
To the right lies a little cluster of wine farms, including Knorhoek, Muratie, Delheim and Quoin Rock. Relax with a cheese platter on Delheim’s stoep while the kids do some bird watching, and try their honey, olives and olive oil. And then onwards for a spot of bubbly tasting at Simonsig, or something to eat at Cuvèe Restaurant, or if something stronger is more your cup of … um, brandy, head for Uitkyk for Estelle Lourens’s estate brandy, great on a rainy day. And on the way down, try some Kanonkop Paul Sauer.
Now there is a choice between circling Klapmutskop from the left or the right. The former will take you past Elsenburg and Westbridge,De Meye with its lavender oil, onward to Ernst & Co, Hoopenburg and Eaglevlei, where you can stop for a bite to eat—the kids will go wild for the jungle gym, which will give you some time to savour a glass of Pinotage Rosé.
If you continue on the R44, however, Delvera will probably take up the rest of your day, as you eat lunch or visit the various shops on the property selling everything from wine and cheese to olives, wool and ceramics. If you can tear yourself away, however, you can visit the wine farms all the way to Klapmuts—Laibach, Lievland, Warwick and maybe even try a Pinotage bath at Mont Destin. A leisurely drive around Simonsberg will bring you back to Stellenbosch from the Pniel side, taking you past farms like Zorgvliet with its great picnics, Rainbow’s End, Tokara and Delaire, the latter under serious construction and promising to be one of the winelands’ most stunning spectacles once done.
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