Western Cape Biodiversity Tour: 6 Days
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WESTERN CAPE BIODIVERSITY TOUR
(Private 6-Day Tour)
Day 1 - Simonstown
Day 2 - Simonstown
Day 3 - Cederberg
Day 4 - Cederberg
Day 5 - Cederberg
Day 6 - Stellenbosch
Arrive in Cape Town and a transfer to your accommodation near the naval town of Simonstown on the Southern Peninsula for a 2-night stay.
In the afternoon take a walk with a guide from Baboon Matters to view endemic Chacma baboon troops resident in the area and find out about conservation efforts to protect these sociable animals, which face a bleak future in many parts of the peninsula with encroaching urban development. Return for sundowner drinks and dinner at Afton Grove Country Retreat.
After breakfast, take a morning drive from Simonstown for a sea kayaking experience to the unique Boulders Beach Penguin Colony (weather permitting).
On your return, drive to the nearby Cape of Good Hope National Park for a hike and picnic lunch, with a visit to the legendary Cape Point, the south westernmost point of the continent. The afternoon takes you to the settlements of Masimphumelele or Ocean View for a first-hand experience of these local communities and their lives, and a visit to the Light from Africa Project in Noordhoek, which provides funds for skills development and job creation for promising ceramic artists. Return for a sundowner drink and dinner at a coastal restaurant in the area.
After breakfast, drive via Bloubergstrand for a photo stop, taking in Table Mountain across the bay. Move on to !Khwa ttu San Culture & Education Centre for a morning with the San, (“Bushmen”) South Africa's first indigenous peoples, whose culture dates back some 40 000 years. Accompany San guides through the area, as they demonstrate skills (like animal tracking and the identification off edible and medicinal plants) share their ancient oral history, and enlighten us about their modern-day struggle to re-claim their rights to land and intellectual property.
Enjoy lunch at their restaurant, before we continue to the West Coast National Park at Langebaan for a traditional braai (barbeque) and overnight at the cosy Duinepos Chalets.
Note: During “Flower Season” in August /September, the trip may proceed directly to the West Coast National Park for the chance to enjoy spectacular wildflower displays for which this area is famous, with alternative accommodation at the Farmhouse in Langebaan.
After a pre-breakfast visit to a bird hide on the Langebaan Lagoon, we take a short drive to the West Coast Fossil Park for a morning exploring and sieving at one of its fossil 'digs'. The park is regarded as one of the richest sites of vertebrate fossils( some, the forerunners of modern animals) buried around 5 million years ago in an ancient riverbed.
After lunch, drive to the WWF's Matjiesrivier Research Centre in the Cederberg Mountains, where we leave our vehicle and continue on to Bakkrans Farm to relax and enjoy the wild and unspoilt beauty of this more rugged part of the Cape. Options for accommodation include the Mount Cedar Lodge or a luxury 5-star stay at the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat.
From your acommodation, explore the magnificent Cederberg area, with options like moutain hikes or vehicle drives to see the many unique natural features of this area. The Cederberg is an oudoor adventurers' paradise, with incredible sandstone rock formations, such as the imposing Maltese Cross and the Wolfberg Arch, along with waterfalls, pools and caves featuring examples of important rock art - all set amidst a wealth of fascinating vegetation, including the rarely seen Cedar tree, the blood red Cedar Pincushion and the strange Elephant's Foot plant. Local guides and conservationists will introduce us to projects such as the Cape Leopard Trust and the protected Rock Art sites located in the area.
After breakfast, drive through the Southern Cederberg taking in the glorious scenic vistas of the Gydo Pass, Ceres Valley, Mitchell Pass, and the Bainskloof Pass as we head towards Stellenbosch for our final overnight stay at the WWF's Sugarbird Manor in the Devon Valley. We pause en route, finally, for wine tastings at one or more of the wine estates that are part of the Bio Diversity Wine Initiative in this premier wine region - a celebratory finale to a week imbibing the best of this magical region.
Transfer to airport.
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