Start with the world’s best land-based whale watching and pristine white sand beaches at Hermanus, and then savour the fine wines, gourmet fare and beautiful landscapes in the historic and charming Franschhoek Valley in the Cape Winelands. Round this off with an escape to the remote Cederberg wilderness area to explore over 130 ancient Bushman rock-art sites and experience blissful game viewing among these majestic mountains.

Itinerary overview

Duration11 days/ 10 nights
CountrySouth Africa
AccommodationBushmans Kloof Wilderness ReserveLa ResidenceBirkenhead House, Hermanus
Suited ForFamily, Romance, Adventure
HighlightsLand-based whale watching, Cape Winelands, Bushman rock art, Wilderness

Itinerary in detail

Image of Birkenhead House, Hermanus

The heart of South Africa’s whale route, the fishing village of Hermanus gives you thrilling opportunities to watch magnificent southern right whales undisturbed as they come into Walker Bay to calve between July and November. Observe them at play as close as five metres from the shore or from the clifftop path, or take a guided whale-watching boat tour or aerial flight. Wine tasting at the farms in picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven-and-Earth) Valley is another highlight.

Image of La Residence, Franschhoek

Tightly hemmed in by soaring mountains, the historic French Huguenot village of Franschhoek has earned its stripes as the food and wine capital of South Africa. Sample the region’s famous award-winning wines amid vineyards at historic farms with Cape Dutch-style architecture in the prettiest countryside you can imagine. Franschhoek is increasingly famous as an art destination, and it is well worth exploring the outstanding galleries in this thriving farming town.

Image of Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, Cederberg

The Cederberg offers spectacular scenery under an enormous African sky, expansive by day and brightly lit by the Milky Way by night. For millennia the San and the Khoi clans lived in the Cederberg region, leaving behind them one of the richest open-air rock-art galleries in the world. Discover up to 130 rock-art sites at Bushmans Kloof, an ecological oasis that offers a distinctive wilderness experience among open plains and ancient sandstone formations.     

Accommodation in South Africa

Birkenhead House, Hermanus

There is simply no need to ever leave this opulent, all-inclusive boutique hotel, with its outstanding sea views, delicious meals and welcoming, easy-going atmosphere. In whale season you can even watch southern right and humpback whales breaching from your lounger beside the one of the two swimming pools. Previously the owners’ beach house, this five-star hotel has a wonderfully laid-back, intimate atmosphere with all the luxury and lavish detail you expect from a property of this calibre. The excellent service is unobtrusive yet always very attentive. The varied and delicious meals prepared daily by Executive Chef Ziyaad Brown celebrate Cape…

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Accommodation in South Africa

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve

Bushmans Kloof offers you a totally immersive experience in a spectacular predator- and malaria-free wilderness area in the Cape Floral Kingdom. This Relais & Chateaux property has won multiple awards over the years, including best small hotel in the world, but it is not just its undeniable luxury that has earned it these plaudits. What sets it apart is the sensitive way in which it blends world-class comfort and hospitality with the pristine wilderness of its South African Natural Heritage Site surrounds. Bushmans Kloof’s sincere dedication to creating a sanctuary for endangered flora and fauna in the 7 500-hectare reserve…

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Accommodation in South Africa

La Residence

The 30-hectare (74-acre) private estate is lushly planted with vineyards and plum orchards backdropped by Franschhoek’s breathtaking mountains. The entrance is magnificent, with glittering chandeliers suspended from the vaulted ceiling and walls covered with huge mirrors. The sumptuous furnishings are an indication of what to expect in the lavish bedroom suites. Attention to every detail, no matter how small, is an integral part of the La Residence experience, and each artfully designed suite is lavishly decorated in its own scheme. Elegant antiques, natural textiles, rich colours, privacy, space and comfort are a given, whether you are in the exotic, oriental-influenced…

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