Leading out in the Cape area are some fabulous places to visit. All worthy of an addition to any luxury safari vacation. From Cape Town head out east along the rugged coastline toward the Gansbaai, Hermanus, de Hoop and then the famous Garden Route, where these areas ‘safari’s’ focus on pure natural beauty, stunning views, smaller wildlife treasures and the ‘Marine Big 5’; the African penguin, the Cape fur seal, the great white shark, dolphin, and whale.
Hermanus a pleasant town with plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants with coastal views of the draw here is viewing the passing southern right whale, frequently spotted in the bay between August and November. But even without the whales this is a special place with beautiful coastline, wonderful birdlife and glimpses of passing dolphin pods.
Day boat trips are available from From Walker’s Bay with marine biologists studying the local bottlenose dolphins, colonies of Cape Fur Seals, African penguins and, of course, the great white and other sharks which feed upon them.
The area allows for many activities focused on nature; excellent guiding will undertake botanical safaris explain the medicinal properties of plants and explain the woodlands, engage in horse-riding on hillside trails or head to sandy beaches and coastal caves.
The area is fabulous for hikers, wildlife enthusiasts and families who enjoy nature, the oceanic escapes and marine life and a relaxed pace.
Nestling between ancient milkwood tree forests and above sweeping ocean bays, Grootbos luxury accommodation and exclusive-use villas within the private Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is dedicated to the preservation of the endemic flower-filled fynbos hillsides and ecosystem which once covered much of Cape. This reserve has two luxurious contemporary lodges; each with world class restaurants and stunning coastal views.
After decades of conservation work to restore the natural environment, the wilderness here is flourishing. The air is filled with the sweet, heady scent of seasonal flowers and the landscape sings with myriad insects and twittering birds. A hundred endangered plant species have new hope of survival, over 800 plant species clad the hillsides and three, indigenous Milkwood forests nurture trees over 1,000 years old.
Aside from the fynbos, Grootbos is all about the beauty and smaller wildlife experience; with over 30 mammal elusive small antelope to black-backed jackals, and numerous birds including resident nectar-sipping Cape sugarbirds, Knysna woodpeckers and rare Black Harriers.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route is a 300-kilometre stretch of the south-eastern coast of Cape from the the border of Tsitsikamma Storms River in the Eastern Cape extending to Witsand in the Western Cape. As the name evocatively implies the area is green and rich with ecologically diverse vegetation. Including towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay, Great Brak River, Little Brak River, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Nature's Valley; with George, the Garden Route's largest city.
This area, home to the patchwork Garden Route National Park, is a beguiling mix of wide sandy beaches, seaside cliffs, lakes and lagoons, shady evergreen forests and protea-studded slopes. In common with the area noted above the route offers fabulous marine wildlife and bird watching.
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