South Africa's Karoo and Garden Route: On beyond the horizon!
Cape Town and Surroundings
In the morning we will pick up our bikes and go for a Peninsula Drive, we will see all the Highlights of Cape Town and surroundings: Signal Hill, Camps Bay
and the beaches, the harbor in Hout Bay, Chapmen’s Peak Drive, Cape Point, Simonstown and the Penguins, Groot Constantia and Table Mountain.
Overnight in Cape Town.
Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape L´Agulhas
We leave the hotel at 9.30am and head for the exhilarating and spectacular drive round False Bay via Gordons Bay, Betty's Bay and on to the historic coastal resort of Hermanus, the “whale capital” of South Africa where we lunch. After lunch the route continues through rolling wheat fields with long sweeping bends - ideal bike country. Finally we arrive at Cape L'Agulhas, and there visit the southern most point of Africa. Our accommodation for the night has a superb restaurant specialising
in locally caught fish.
Overnight in Cape L'Agulhas.
Cape Agulhas – Swellendam - Knysna
Again traversing the rolling wheat lands with magnificent views of rich farming country we head for the picturesque town of Swellendam and then leave the coastal lowlands via the rugged Tradouw Pass which crosses the Langeberg range of mountains. Immediately after the pass we are in the arid "Little Karoo" where ostriches and tobacco farming are the main occupations. Passing through the area's main town of Oudtshoorn we leave the Little Karoo via the huge Outeniqua pass which brings us back to the coastal plain and on to the "Garden Route" . Our overnight destination, Knysna surrounds as tranquil lagoon which empties into the Indian Ocean through the turbulent waters of the "Heads".
Overnight in Knysna
Rest Day, Knysna
A 'rest' day. We suggest you take the steam train which skits the coast on a fantastically picturesque route to George in the morning and visit the Blue Hills Wild Life Park in the afternoon where you will see buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, kudu and possibly even leopard. An alternative is just to laze around the resort's swimming pool or get a tan on the beach.
Overnight in Kynsna.
Knysna – Port Elisabeth – Addo National Park (Big Five)
Today, after an early start we continue along the 'Garden Route' and pass through the Tsitsikamma forest where the indigenous forest includes stink wood and yellow wood trees. Along the way we leave the main road to do the Grootrivier Pass and Bloukrans Pass on the twisty old road under the ancient forest canopy.
Passing through the industrial town of Port Elizabeth we turn inland, encounter typical "African bush type country" with huge thorn trees and arrive in Addo in time for dinner which is followed by the evening safari on trucks in the
Addo Elephant National Park.
Overnight in Addo
Addo – Graaf-Reinet
Heading further inland we traverse the Olifantskop Pass and spend the entire day on magnificent roads with hardly any traffic in remote African bush type country.
We pass through the frontier towns of Cookhouse and Cradock before crossing the Sneeuberg (Snow Mountain) range via the Wapadsberg and Nauderberg passes and finally descend to the historic town of Graaf-Reinet. Before or after dinner (depending on the time of year) we take a short trip to the Valley of Desolation to watch a truly magnificent sun set of the Great Karoo. In Graaf-Reinet our accommodation is in the much revamped old slave quarters of the area governor's former residence.
Overnight in Graaf-Reinet
Graaf Reinet - Oudtshoorn
Today brings an entirely new sensation - passing through the endless flat plains of the Karoo. At times it is as if one is biking across the sea, vistas are so enormous, the horizon so vast and far away. Distant mountain ranges subtly change colour and only an occasional car or truck is encountered. We lunch in the little hamlet of Willowmore (there being no where else to stop !) and finally reach Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world. Here we will visit a typical Ostrich farm and
the famous Cango Caves
Overnight in Oudtshoorn
Oudtshoorn - Montagu
We recross the Little Karoo , again through wild and rugged country passing through Calitzdorp, Ladysmith and Barrydale arriving back in the Western Cape at Montagu, an attractive spa town with natural hot water springs hidden in a mountain cleft.
Overnight in Montagu
Montagu – Stellenbosch (Winelands)
Today we will visit the famous Cape Winelands. Spectacular mountain passes will take us first to Franschhoek and further to the oldest Town in South Africa: Stellenbosch. After check inn, we will visit a wine farm and enjoy a wine tasting.
Overnight in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch – Cape Town
From Stellenbosch, we head north towards Wellington. The picturesque Bainskloof Pass, one of the oldest Passes in the region brings us to Ceres. From Ceres we turn west towards the Atlantic Ocean. Via Melkbos Strand and the Table Mountain ahead we return to the Mother City Cape Town.
This tour can be extended for 2 days to include the West coast and Cederberg Area.