In the afternoon we take a walking city tour of Cape Town where we will see St Georges Cathedral and the Cape Castle, the oldest building in South Africa. With its unique position and the impressive backdrop of Table Mountain, Cape Town truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The evening is free to enjoy the many restaurants within walking distance of our hotel.
The highlight of today is our visit to the famous Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which covers an area of 7680 hectares. The reserve is home to eland, bontebok, grysbok, springbok, wildebeest, baboon and ostrich. Rugged cliffs, unspoilt beaches, shipwrecks and beautiful flora are the main features of the reserve. We will hike the three-hour shipwreck trail on the Atlantic coast, exploring various wrecks and the pristine coastline. We will also take a shorter walk to the Cape of Good Hope. In the afternoon we will stop at the former Royal Navy base town of Simonstown and take time to visit the resident Penguin Colony at Boulders Bay. Walking time 5 hours.
After breakfast, we depart for the beautiful forests of Newlands, which are on the southerly slopes of Table Mountain. Our first stop is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, one of the seven finest botanical gardens in the world. Here we commence our hike with a walk through the gardens before following the Skeleton Gorge route up Table Mountain, which ascends the forested slopes, before reaching the 'Back Table' and then passing the Woodhead and Hely Hutchinson dams, en route to the summit. Weather permitting, we then set our sights on the cable car, which will take us down Table Mountain (one way ticket included). A shuttle will then collect us and transfer us back to our hotel. If the wind is howling then even though it may be clear blue skies, the cable car does not operate. In this case will take a slow walk down the gentle gradient through Cecilia Forest, ending back at Kirstenbosch. Walking time 5 hours.
After breakfast we transfer out of Cape Town and head north to the Cederberg Wilderness Area. The Cederberg covers an area of 83,000 hectares and is renowned for its spectacular landscapes and rock formations, as well as its namesake, the increasingly rare Clanwilliam cedar tree. After lunch we will hike up to the Maltese Cross. It is a moderate uphill climb with magnificent views of the Cederberg range and then a downhill return the same way. Walking time 4 hours.
We spend the whole day walking to the Wolfberg Arch. This is a steep mountain walk with some easy scrambling at the top. The walk should take you about one and a half hours to go up. From here you continue along the top of the mountain range for about one and a half hours to the Arch. The sandstone rock creates magnificent structures and the 15m high Wolfberg Arch is spectacular. The walk is the ideal way to experience this remote wilderness area. Walking time 8 hours.
In the morning we travel to the town of Paarl, which was founded around 1717 and received its name from a massive rock which, when in direct sunlight, resembles a huge pearl. Here we will enter the Paarl Rock Reserve and take a 45 minute walk on these imposing rock formations. They are the second largest granite domes in the world. We also visit the Afrikaans Language Monument on the southern slopes of the Paarl Mountain range, Afrikaans being one of the eleven official languages in South Africa. After lunch we transfer to the Franschhoek Valley and enjoy a wine tasting session. Walking time 2 hours.
Today we explore the mountains of the Du Toit Range. The towering peaks reach up to 2000 metres above sea level, and the region is renowned for its trout fishing and beautiful rambles amongst protea-covered slopes, with views extending far into the hinterland. We do the trail known as the Krom River Walk following the river up to the waterfall. We will hopefully see Baboon, Klipspringer and Black Eagle to name a few. One thing is for sure; this mountain wilderness is unrivalled in its diverse array of fauna and flora. After a picnic lunch we transfer to Stellenbosch for an afternoon of wine tasting. Walking time 4 hours.
In the morning we transfer back to Cape Town to enjoy last minute shopping at the Waterfront or a half day Township tour. This tour is mostly on foot and will take us through the Langa township, were we visit the Guga S'Tebe Community Arts Centre, a self-help housing initiative and then a local tavern-'shebeen' called Tygers Place. Those on Land Only arrangements will leave us this afternoon.