Renowned for its stunning scenery, cultural diversity and rich variety of wildlife, South Africa is also well known for its indigenous flora. Old colonial gardens, well kept botanic gardens and vineyard estate gardens all contribute to the wide diversity of experiences available to the garden tourist.
Day 01 – 04: Cape Town
Sightseeing in the “Mother City” will include:
- half day orientation tour of the city including a visit to the Company Gardens and ascent of Table Mountain (weather permitting)
- full day exclusive guided tour of the world renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- full day visit to Vergelegen Wine Estate, considered a gardener’s paradise from the time the land was tamed by Willem Adriaan van der Stel in 1700. A wine tasting of the estate’s award winning wines will be included during the visit
- full day tour over spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and onto Cape Point. Look out for the indigenous fauna and flora conserved in this wilderness area
Hotel Recommendation: Cellars-Hohenort: acknowledged as having some of the finest hotel gardens in the world and voted by Garden Design, a top American magazine, as one of the top 30 hotel gardens in the world
Day 05 – 06: Gansbaai, Western Cape
The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest but also the most diverse with over 9000 species of flowering fynbos plants, 70% of which are found nowhere else on earth. Fynbos is not only famous for its remarkable diversity but also the incredible beauty of many of its wildflowers. A visit to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, situated approximately two hours east of Cape Town, will highlight the many features of this unique floral kingdom.
The afternoon 4×4 flower safari on Grootbos is the perfect way to discover the scale and splendour of this pristine wilderness. Drive over mountains and across valleys through a variety of unique vegetation types and discover co-dependent relationships between flowers, insects, birds and animals.
The following day will include a visit the Green Futures project, a horticultural and Life Skills College where the students tend to their seeds and cuttings in the college’s greenhouse; prune indigenous plants in the nursery or attend a theory session in the classroom. Then it’s a short scenic drive through the reserve to the Siyakhula Organic Farm to meet the inspiring women of the food production team. Finally a visit to the forest rehabilitation project, Future Trees, will allow you to get your hands dirty by putting down some roots and contributing to the greening of the globe by planting a tree seed.
Hotel Recommendation: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, with over 765 flower species, six of which were discovered at Grootbos.
Day 07 – 08: Johannesburg
Return to Cape Town for departure on a scheduled flight to Johannesburg. The following day will be spent visiting what has been described as “Johannesburg’s most splendid garden”. The Brenthurst Gardens, attached to the Brenthurst Estate, has been owned by the Oppenheimer family since 1904. These eco friendly gardens, situated in a 48 acre private park are home to 70% indigenous plants and grasses and are also 100% organic.
Hotel Recommendation: Da Vinci Hotel, or similar. Situated in the heart of Sandton, the hotel is within walking distance of Sandton City, an upmarket shopping centre with its many shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
Day 09 -10: Pilanesberg National Park
Situated an easy two to three hour drive from Johannesburg, the Pilanesberg National Park promises thrilling Big 5 game viewing in a malaria free environment. Activities at the lodge include two game viewing activities per day as well as all meals, teas and snacks.
Hotel Recommendation: Ivory Tree Lodge, or similar
Day 11: Departure
An early morning game drive followed by breakfast and transfer to Johannesburg International Airport