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Beyond Cape Town

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Winelands


Within ninety minutes in any direction outside of Cape Town are the bulk of the country’s wine estates – collectively known as the Cape winelands. Recognized by many as the most scenic winelands in the world, they boast hundreds of estates – from small boutique vintners to large producers – and some of the country’s finest wines and restaurants. There are over a dozen established wine routes in South Africa, each with their own charms and specialties, but there are two routes that attract particular attention and interest: Stellenbosch, which has the greatest concentration of wineries in the country, and Franschhoek, the wine and food lover’s paradise.



Stellenbosch


Stellenbosch is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and the heart of the Cape wine region. It is affectionately known as ‘Eikestad’ – city of oaks – for the many trees planted there over 300 year ago. As home to more than 140 wine estates owned by celebrities from Ernie Els to third and fourth generation vintners, this charming university town and historic village is a wine-lovers playground.



Franschhoek


In 1689, 180 French Huguenots escaping religious persecution settled in this fertile, scenic valley – thus the birth of a village the Dutch coined Franschhoek (“The French Corner”). The Huguenots brought their wine- making skills to the region, and later adopted the French style of champagne production known as Methode Cap Classique (MCC) here. This artsy village of boutiques, wineries and fine restaurants has evolved from a sleepy little town to become the gourmet food capital of South Africa, and one of the most scenic and quaint wine routes.

Ocean Encounters




Great Whites


Whether you have an interest in seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, or having an up close –and protected – encounter with the them in a cage, the Cape is the prime place to see these great predators of the sea. For limited times during the year, you can take the plunge for a Great White encounter right outside of Cape Town in Simon’s Town, or year-round in the shark-rich waters of Gansbaai or Mossel Bay. These daylong excursions are a must for those who seek a truly unique and unforgettable underwater adventure.



Southern Right Whales


A scenic, 2 hour coastal drive from Cape Town, and nestled in the expansive Walker Bay, is the whale-watching mecca of Hermanus. From June to early December, this seaside village is home and birthing ground to endangered Southern Right Whales – making it one of the best spots in the world for land-based whale watching. A favorite weekend getaway destination for Capetonians, Hermanus also boasts its own wine route – complete with award-winning estates, and restaurants with a view.



Dolphins


Tucked in the middle of the southern Cape Coastline and the Garden Route is one of South Africa’s tonier beach getaways, Plettenberg Bay. More than a favorite haunt of jet-setting South Africans and international polo stars, “Plett” is a marine life playground. With its many species of whales, colonies of fur seals, and waters teeming with dolphin pods. This region is one of the best places in the country to find a diverse range of land and sea-based ocean encounters.



Cape Fur Seals


The waters surrounding Cape Town are awash in fur seals. Often, you can spot small groups sunning themselves right on the docks of the V&A waterfront. But for a more up-close and inspiring encounter, head off for an excursion to Seal Island in False Bay, or Duiker Island off of Hout Bay to see massive, bustling seal colonies, or arrange a snorkeling adventure off of Partridge Point near Simon’s Town, where you can swim among these playful and inquisitive creatures.



The Garden Route


The Garden route – aptly named for its magnificent array of flora and landscapes – is a journey of breathtaking seascapes, stretching from the western Cape’s Mossel Bay, along the southeastern coast of South Africa, to Plettenberg Bay. This region has the mildest climate in the country, rarely going below 50 degrees or above 82, and boasts ten nature reserves of varying ecosystems, as well as unique marine reserves with soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and other marine life. Take a several day drive along the route to see all the sights, stopping along the way for stays in charming seaside towns, or take a flight to the heart of the route and head out on a guided or self-driven tour to some of the prime spots for a taste of what is the full splendor of the Garden Route.



Cape Wild Life Parks


For travelers with limited time in South Africa, there are several smaller, private game parks within a few hours drive of Cape Town that offer easier, more affordable and less time-consuming wildlife viewing than that available in the more remote Kruger region. Here, you can enjoy a day visit or overnight stay at a smaller, fenced game park with many of the amenities offered in the national park region – including a guided game drive and luxury accommodations – all within a short drive of the city and in a malaria-free zone.

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a boutique firm specializing in South African travel. From our flagship food and wine safaris, to tours tailored to you or your small group’s interests and timeline, to excursions in Southern Africa, we offer the ultimate in South African experiences.
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Wild Life Wine Safaris
123 D Street SE
Washington, DC
Phone: 1(888) 558-5221
Website: http://wildlifewinesafaris.com
Email: info@wildlifewinesafaris.com

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