Rivers to Ranges

13 days from £3,195pp

If you're looking to traverse South Africa's scenery and take in the country's glorious sights then this is the trip for you. In the first few days, you'll ascend the iconic Table Mountain and gaze upon the landscape from up high. Further into the journey, you'll watch penguins navigate quiet beaches and discover more about the local way of life in the Cape Peninsula, a short trip from bustling Cape Town. Tour the regional wineries and witness whales up close when you kayak in Hermanus.

The second part of the trip you will be spending in the majestic region of the Drakensberg. Prepare for a multiple day hike to explore the stunning mountain range and end your holiday with a relaxing massage at the local spa. 

Your trip will be as vibrant as you imagine the rainbow nation to be.

Highlights

  • Travel up Table Mountain on foot

  • Enjoy sumptuous accommodation

  • Discover laid back living in the Cape Peninsula

  • Sample wine on a relaxed tour

  • Kayak on the coastline of Hermanus

  • Discover international influences in Durban

Jody
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
Let's talk
I was lucky enough to live and work across South Africa, and I miss the excellent gourmet food and award-winning wines, perfect for enjoying in front of dramatic mountain ranges. I also had an amazing experience diving with seals; the water was freezing but it was definitely worth it!

Rivers to Ranges

13 days from £3,195pp
2019 Feefo

Itinerary

This exciting trip to South Africa includes international flights, transfers, accommodation, car rental, some meals, and selected excursions.

From the first conversation until you arrive home from your holiday, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has travelled extensively in the region and will give advice from their personal experience on how to make the most out of your trip.
All of our trips are entirely bespoke and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.

 

Day

Location

Type

1-4

Cape Town

City

You’ve landed in Cape Town! To ensure a smooth entry into the country, you’ll be met upon departing your plane, assisted through the airport and then taken to your accommodation the La Splendida, located near the city's coast. 

After finding your feet in the hotel and local area, your South African adventure really begins on day 3. In the first half of your day, you’ll encounter one of Cape Town's most astonishing landmarks, the looming Table Mountain. Transported from your hotel to the lower cable car station, steel yourself and get ready to ascent the mountain on foot; hikes such as the India Venster route give you astonishing views of the city and its surroundings. With rock sections to climb and steep winding trails, this journey might make novice climbers apprehensive, but don’t be alarmed- you’ll be accompanied by a guide and more straightforward routes are available to try out. Gazing over the land beneath you from virtually any point on the mountain is a moment to remember. Your journey back to earth is via a relaxing cable car ride, though it can shut in bad weather, which requires a 2-hour hike down.

Chances are you’ll be looking forward to a calm day after all that clambering and hiking; you couldn’t find a better opportunity than this tour of the Cape Peninsula. Located south of Cape Town, you’ll discover a bohemian, bucolic way of life, well removed from the busy pace of urban areas. You will spend a lot of time on foot, discovering the Cape’s burgeoning coffee scene, meeting the local fishing folk, and browsing handmade arts and crafts in the local boutiques.

In Simon's Town, you’ll be able to witness penguins waddling across a little-visited beach, plus enjoy activities such as snorkelling and stand-up paddling. Heading deeper into the Peninsula, you’ll find gems that are missed on the tourist trail; from beautiful wild beaches to mysterious coves, you won’t be bothered by throngs of tourists. In the local section of Table Mountain National Park, you’ll be able to see exotic animals frolic in the wild. Capping off the day, sample a few cold beers in a watering hole that surfers frequent; however, they can be so welcoming that you’ll hardly want to leave.

Things to do

5-7

Hermanus

Activity & Adventure

On day 5, you’ll bid Cape Town adieu and travel southeast to Hermanus, on the Western Cape. Your rental car will be dropped off at your accommodation, from where you will start your two-hour journey. As you have the day at leisure go at your own pace, while looking forward to what's in store. The coastal route to Hermanus is one of the most beautiful routes in Southern Africa so take your time to enjoy the views! 

Prepare to sample some of the region’s most delectable wines on day 6. You’ll be riding in a safari-style vehicle on a hop on, hop off tour of the amazing Hemel-en-Aarde - which translates to Heaven and Earth - valley, sample varieties of pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc from a range of independent vineyards. As you travel, you’ll enjoy the picturesque views and hear the insights of drivers who know the area intimately. Your ticket will be valid from 09:00 on weekdays (09:40 on weekends) and the last transfer departs the wineries in the early evening.

You’ve travelled via land and air over the last few days, now it is time to discover South Africa via water. You’ll be enraptured by the mountains and coastline of Hermanus on a kayaking expedition led by an experienced guide, in addition, you’ll get to experience some of the area’s amazing sea-life. Visitors flock from all over the world to enjoy land-based whale watching when the Southern Right Whales congregate nearby. If you’re travelling from June to November, you may have the opportunity to view majestic whales from just 300m away, undisturbed by pollution or distractions. You’ll also be able to see cormorants, cape fur seals and a range of different birds - see if you can take some pictures while paddling away.

Things to do

8

Durban

City

Having experienced the natural wonders Hermanus has to offer, it’s time to head to Durban via Cape Town Airport. At Durban International Airport you will collect your rental car and drive to your accommodation The Benjamin Hotel. On a day without a fixed itinerary, you could take the opportunity to check out the local area or simply just sit back and relax in the hotel.

Things to do

9-12

Drakensberg Region

Activity & Adventure

On day 9, you’ll discover the rich background which makes South Africa the rainbow nation. The tour takes you to the city centre, where you’ll grasp how strongly the local Indian community has influenced Durban; the architecture borrows hugely from Indian culture, while the traders around Grey Street sell a vibrant array of beads and fabric. Retaining its diverse ethnic mix to this day, you’ll notice the shops and community hubs of recent immigrant populations from Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique which sit side-by-side with the rest of the community. Sample the spices, arts and crafts on Victoria Street Market; though be prepared to haggle to strike a fair price. The day will end with a trip down the beach-lined "Golden Mile", where you’ll pass the World Cup stadium. After your guided tour you will be on your way to the Drakensberg, where you will be staying at the Cavern Resort in the Northern Drakensberg Mountains

Get ready for a long, enjoyable hike on day 10. Post-breakfast, your guide will meet you to explore the Sandstone Cliffs, a gigantic formation which borders the entirety of the Drakensberg. During the trek, you’re able to visit San Rock Art at Lone Rock, a collection of stone paintings and engravings by the indigenous population which were completed thousands of years ago. Your route progresses to Sugar Loaf Gap, where you’ll be able to take in an enthralling view of the Northern Drak Valley from above the cliffs. This route means you’ll ascend an impressive 1273 metres, though a large amount of that distance occurs during the initial section of the hike. Have a bite to eat and spend the night at Witsies Lodge before an eventful day 11.

In the morning, you’ll travel to the gigantic Sentinel Peak in the Drankensberg Mountains. Initially your journey is a hike along a clear route, before the path becomes more zig-zagged on the way to the Sentinel’s base. The reward is stunning views of the Maluti mountains and Witsieshoek plateau, which seem to run as far as the eye can see. In the unlikely case that you been insufficiently dazzled, wait until your see Africa’s highest waterfall, where the Tugela headwaters drop into the gorge from over 600 metres. Continuing to hike for 3 to 4 kilometres and you’ll arrive at the Eastern Buttress and Rainbow Falls, though this somewhat challenging route may only be best attempted by confident hikers. Your journey back will take you to Witsieshoek lodge by around mid afternoon, with an evening meal and stay in Witsies Lodge.

Your penultimate day will be a placid route down the Mahai River Valley, venturing into the Royal Natal National Park. You’ll criss-cross the Mahai River several times on your trip, offering a great opportunity to take pictures or have a swim, before reaching the Mahaj Campsite, where you’ll be picked up and taken to your transport at Cavern Berg hotel. For the rest of your stay, you can take in ancient bushmen paintings or enjoy a massage at the Carvern's Forest Spa.

Things to do

13

Durban

City

Your trip comes to an end with your arrival at Durban airport, making a stop at Johannesburg before heading back to London. From your hike up Table Mountain to your wine-filled voyage through Hemel-en-Aarde, or your bartering on Grey Street and appreciation of ancient indigenous art, safe to say your trip to South Africa has been memorable, but with so much more to see, it's doubtful that you'll be away for long.

Map of your trip

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