22 days of pure camper enjoyment between Johannesburg and Cape Town ER 139

Description

South Africa can offer you a lot of diversity in one country! This country has something for everyone, beautiful countryside with fantastic views, beaches, mountains, gardens, wine and fantastic wildlife. Exploring and travelling South Africa by camper is an unbeatable way to see the delights of this magnificent country, and also gives you access to places off the beaten track where you can experience the great outdoors. This camper holiday offers you beautiful highlights like i.e. the famous Kruger National Park, Swaziland, the Panorama route, the Drakensberg mountains, the Garden route, Addo Elephant park, the wine lands and of course Cape Town and her surroundings. You won't have time to waste so your route has been selected and your accommodations have been booked for you.

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22 days of pure camper enjoyment between Johannesburg and Cape Town ER 139

Itinerary:

Day 1-2 Blydepoort/Forever Resorts Blyde Canyon/Camping 2 nights.
Distance: approx. 340 km.

Welcome to Johannesburg in South Africa! You can collect your camper between 8 and 9 am in the depot and after all the paper work has been sorted and instructions given, your adventurous holiday can start!

Your first day will be lots of driving so please leave as soon as you can. We are taking you through the Mpumalanga province which captures the world's vision of Africa. Endless bush velds, the simmering haze above the hot plains, darting antelope and the thrilling site of the buffalo, elephant, rhino or leopard. Don't be fooled by the monotonous landscape at first that will change quickly!
If you feel you have spare time please visit the Botshabelo Mission Station, 13 km north of Middelburg. This area is the ancestral home of the Southern Ndebele, famous for their love of colourful and symbolic decoration and you can see exquisite examples of their famous work in this museum. Or visit the Fort Merensky, a strange but impressive historic building, lots of wars have been taken place in this region.

There will be lots to see in the flowing grasslands of Mpumalanga which stretches north and east of the Highveld plateau, rising towards the towering Drakensberg mountain range. The Drakensberg Escarpment marks the point where the Highveld plunges down over 1000 m, before spilling out onto the eastern lowveld. It is one of South Africa's most scenic areas, marked by dramatic cliffs, stunning views and an abundance of adventure activities. So drive slowly and enjoy the ride!

Don't forget to admire the Montrose Falls. The road leads you through lush farmland and you can buy tropical fruits, nuts and curious from road side stalls. If you are a cave lover, a visit to the Sudwala Caves is a must! A guide will take you 600 m inside and 150 m below the earth to admire nature's wonders.

The road northwards via Graskop to the Blyde River Canyon should be taken at a leisurely pace so that the breathtaking views can be enjoyed! Pinnacle Rock, Jock's View, God's Window are some of the spots where you can stop to look out from a sheer cliff outposts over the expanse of the lowveld. Further north laid the Lisbon Falls and the Berlin Falls before you reach Bourke's Luck Potholes. Here you can follow the paths and bridges to the viewing sites overlooking the extraordinary example of river erosion.

The Forever Resort Blyde Canyon where you will stay for the coming 2 nights is situated between Graskop and Ohrigstad. It is surrounded by the spectacular Drakensburg Mountains and the breath taking scenery of the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon of the world, which makes it the location perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers! The resort offers 30 spacious caravan and camping sites equipped with power supply and serviced by two neat ablution facilities. There is a convenience store, filling station and not forgetting a famous restaurant where you can relax and enjoy the unforgettable view of the Three Rondavels.

So put on your hiking boots and start exploring or if you don't like to walk go horse riding!
Northwards the Blyde River Canyon has carved a magnificent gorge though the mountains which you can admire from the viewing points. The canyon is dominated by three similarly shaped peaks, the Three Rondavels and by Mariepskop. There are a number of short walks in the surrounding area to points where you can look down to the Blydepoort Dam.

Via the Bonnet Pass you can visit Pilgrim's Rest, the first gold mining town in South Africa. Today the entire quaint town is preserved as a national monument and living museum. Pilgrim's Rest is also the starting point for two routes, the Morgenzon Trail and the Rambler's Trail, offering a selection of short walks.

Be in time back in the resort to have you sundowner cocktail at the restaurant while overlooking the Three Rondavels!

Day 3 Kruger National Park/Satara rest camp/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 120 km.

With its vast savannas, abundant wildlife and long conservation history, the Kruger National Park is one of the best safari destinations of the world and you are about to experience that! Although it is served by an extensive network of roads and rest camps, this infrastructure barely affects the natural wildness. The speed limit of 40 kph should never be exceeded as not only for the fines but also game spotting is seldom successful when travelling above this speed.

It is unwise to cover large areas in a short time, it can be very rewarding simply sitting quietly at a water hole rather than driving around in the hot sun. The best game viewing is in the morning until around 10 am or in the late afternoon.

Most animals are found throughout the park, but the frequency of sightings is determined by the topography and vegetation.

Tonight you will stay in the Satara rest camp which is situated in an area of flat and fertile plains that attract large numbers of grazing animals and is one of the best spots to view lions. The ambience of Satara Camp recalls the mood of the colonial Africa with red-roofed public buildings, thatched rondawels and neatly raced paths. This camp is the third biggest one in the park and has a.o. a grocery store, restaurant, filling station, laundry facilities and a swimming pool. So no time to waste here.

Think of booking a night drive which allows you in on the nocturnal activities of Kruger's secretive creatures while in the company of experienced guides and trackers. Guided bush walks with trained field guides who take groups of up to 8 people out into the bush for a few hours are not to be missed. Learn and observe fascinating facts about the African bush. There are also regular day game drives. Plenty of activities like bush barbecues and traditional dances complement the game viewing.
     
Day 4 Kruger National Park/Skukuza rest camp/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 80 km.

A fascinating drive ahead of you towards your next rest camp. Have an early game drive and/or enjoy the hot midday hours by having a leisurely picnic at a water hole or in camp.
Skukuza camp is situated on the southern banks of the Sabie River. Well foliaged, with lofty trees along the river's edge, you can expect a diverse amount of animals and plants at this popular camp, as well as an extensive range of activities and facilities. If you love playing golf, you can do it here!
Besides the bigger animals, other attractions include wild dog, a warthog population, vervet monkey (from which you should be careful to protect your possessions). Night time visits are made by genet, thick-tailed bush baby and fruit bat, while the river front of the camp offers an opportunity to look for hippopotamus and buffalo. Have a peaceful sleep under the stars!

Day 5 Kruger National Park/Berg-en-Dal rest camp/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 170 km.

Near the southern rivers, where are now, hippo, elephant, crocodile, buffalo and small herds of giraffe are often spotted. So take your time to drive to your next rest camp and enjoy the surroundings.

Located in the midst of striking prehistoric settlements on the Matjulu Spruit, Berg-en-Dal camp has been built with care and preservation for the surrounding area, original San rock paintings still clearly visible from the hill shelters along the Bushman trail. And here you will be staying tonight. This camp is one of the few places in which one can regularly see the rare and beautiful wild dog, Africa's most endangered carnivore. So keep you camper van closed at night! You will find all the necessary facilities like a shop, restaurant and fuel station and you can have some adventure in the form of guided bush walks and game drives, all under the supervision of well informed and keen professional field guides or just jump in their swimming pool.

Day 6
Swaziland/Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 230 km.

Perhaps tough to say goodbye to so much beauty but be assured that you will experience lots more. Have your passport ready as today you will experience another African country namely the Kingdom of Swaziland. You can leave the Kruger Park via the Malelane border post and drive towards the Jeppe's Reef border.

Swaziland is a fascinating country with its laid-back ambience, friendly people and relative lack of racial animosities. Small as it may be, Swaziland is an exciting destination with its art and craft outlets and traditional markets and wildlife reserves. Visit the Matsamo Cultural village where you get to live just like the traditional Swazi in a custom-built 'hive'. This is a traditional Swazi village where the colourful Matsamo people tend their cattle, cultivate their crops and produce beautiful crafts. The drive to Piggs Peak is one of the most scenic in the country. Check out the Sibebe Rock, Ngwena Glass village, where each item is handmade from 100% recycled glass and/or visit a vibrant local Swazi market on your way to the beautiful Ezulwini Valley where you will stay the night in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary..

At Mlilwane Game Reserve tame birds and animals are free to come and go and wander through the camp ground. This sanctuary is a tranquil retreat and offers horse and bike trails, game drives, walks and bird viewing. Or open your lungs by climbing to the top of a mountain and looking out at infinity or swim in the mountain springs.

The Mlilwane Rest Camp is found in the southern corner of the reserve, in the midst of a well matured rehabilitated area. Tall indigenous trees, all grown from seed, now tower over the camp overlooking an artificially created wetland system, which is home to hippopotamus, crocodile and a variety of water birds including infrequent visiting fish eagles.
The camp is unfenced, yet relatively safe as only smaller species of wildlife occur in the Sanctuary. The camp is tranquil and relaxing with a continual stream of animals such as impala, warthog and ostrich too, walking between the facilities quietly tolerant of human presence.

Day 7-8 Hluhluwe/Bushbaby Lodge/Camping 2 nights.
Distance: approx. 250 km.

Back to South Africa and this time to Zululand a place of unspoilt beauty characterized by a pristine coastline, abundant forests, rolling green hills and zig zagging rivers. It is a world of rich natural diversity and enormous social contrasts, a place where modern lifestyles thrive adjacent to a culture steeped in traditions.

The next two nights you will be staying at the Bushbaby Lodge in Hluhluwe in the heart of Elephant Coast, in a picturesque tropical garden under the shade of enormous indigenous trees with South African hospitality at its best. Treat yourself to traditional home cooking, or make use of the equipped communal kitchen and cater for yourself. Enjoy leisurely walks while viewing the rich bird live and game of the area. This is a malaria area so please take precaution.

They are only 20 minutes away from the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve which cannot be missed! As one of South Africa's most celebrated game parks, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is renowned for its variety of animal and bird life, its wide-ranging photography, and an extremely rich diversity of tree and plant communities. The game reserve offers visitors activities from self-guided walks, auto-trails, game drives as well as picnic sites. Viewing hides overlook pans and waterholes enabling visitors to see animals at close range.

Day 9-10 Isimangaliso Wetland Park /Cape Vidal/Camping 2 nights.
Distance: approx. 200 km.

Today you only have a short drive so make the most of the extra time you have to explore the beautiful surroundings. Don't forget to buy your groceries and water for the night in St. Lucia village as there are no shops at your next peaceful stopover in Cape Vidal in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa's first World Heritage Site. The 332 000 hectare Park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa's remaining swamp forests, Africa's largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000 year-old coastal dunes - among the highest in the world.

The name iSimangaliso means miracle and wonder, which aptly describes this unique place. In December the loggerhead and leatherback turtles come out of the sea to lay their eggs on the beaches. What more can we say?

Cape Vidal is a magnificent coastal resort set in a sheltered coastal bay with shallow pools and rock ledges for snorkeling, fishing, unspoiled beaches for walking and self-guided trails around the fascinating wetlands, in the rich coastal forest and on the shores of Lake Bhangazi. This iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers a mind-blowing range of natural systems, ranging from dune, swamp and coastal forests to rocky and sandy shores, coral reefs and submarine canyons, mangroves, savanna grassland, thickets, woodlands, and the largest protected wetland in southern Africa.

On the same day you could see hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, elephants, whales on their northerly migration to Mozambique to calve, loggerhead and leatherback turtles in summer as they come onto the beaches to lay their eggs, dolphins, and a variety of water, forest or grassland birds. In other words you will be spoilt by this unique piece of paradise and we trust you will indulge every moment. So enjoy these two nights you will be spending in this beautiful area.

Note: Gate times: Summer (01 October - 31 March) 05:00 - 19:00. Winter (01 April - 30 September) 06:00 - 18:00.

Day 11 Salt Rock/Salt Rock Camp Ground/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 220 km.

Enjoy peace and quietness before you drive via the beautiful Dolphin Coast region with numerous resorts nestled along the coast. It is the frequent sighting of Bottlenose dolphins playing in the Indian Ocean waves that has resulted this area being called "The Dolphin Coast".

The name Salt Rock originates from King Shaka's days when his handmaidens used to collect dried salt off the rocks at low tide. Near the main beach complete with lifeguards is also a large safe tidal pool. The beach also provides some good fishing spots and there are beautiful reefs off-shore which will give divers hours of enjoyment. If you love playing golf you have plenty opportunity in these stunning surroundings. Also a need for proper shopping can be fulfilled in the huge Gateway Mall close by.

Tonight you will stay at the Salt Rock Resort which is nestled amongst tropical palms on the golden shores of the warm and sparkling Indian Ocean. You will have all the modern facilities and can enjoy sundowners at the elevated sun terrace or for daily dolphin viewing and seasonal whale watching. Another beautiful day in Africa.

Day 12-13 Drakensberg mountains/Injisuthi camp site/Camping 2 nights.
Distance: approx. 300 km.

After perhaps an early dive into the sea it is time to drive towards the impressive Northern Drakensberg mountain range. If you have time and are interested to learn more about sharks, please visit the Natal Sharks Board, a research centre, in Umhlanga Rocks. Learn here the important role sharks and other animals play in the marine ecosystem. Or just have coffee in this holiday resort village before hitting the highway.

After leaving the capital of Kwazulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg, behind you the traffic will slowly decrease. The majestic Drakensberg mountain range is waiting for you! The Northern and Central Drakensberg area has some of the most beautiful scenery that can be imagined.

Your Injisuthi rest camp is in the northern section of the Giant's Castle area of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. This hutted camp is cradled between the Injisuthi and Cowl Fork rivers at the head of the Injisuthi Valley. It is surrounded by magnificent scenery and is dominated by Cathkin Peak, Monk's Cowl and Champagne Castle. There are interesting walks into the Mdedelo Wilderness Area, as well as a guided walk to the Battle Cave, famous for its bushman rock art. So put on your hiking boots! Several kilometers of trout waters provide an excellent opportunity for fly fishing.

Day 14 Port St Johns/Cremorne Estate/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 325 km.

Are you ready for a totally different part of South Africa? Make sure you leave early so you can make the most of this day.

The Wild Coast is an incredible, unassuming combination of breath taking coastline, precipitous and craggy cliff faces, wild and desolate beaches, secluded bays and green rolling hills that rush headlong into deeply etched river valleys. Included in the Wild Coast is what used to be the Transkei, which, largely due to lack of infrastructure, past neglect, and the well over 200 kilometer coastline is virtually inaccessible to all but those prepared to hike it, or venture forth on horseback. The beauty of the coastline is interfered with by few, and aside from the odd collection of thatched rondavel huts, is virtually uninhabited.

Port St Johns is a small coastal town in South Africa known as the Jewel of the Wild Coast. It has escaped industrial development and is renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle.

Port St Johns also offers a unique blend of cultural richness. The Xhosa culture, both traditional and modern, is always apparent. You will see a sangoma (traditional healer) strolling along in all his finery, hear the thumping sound of modern kwaito music from a furniture store, and dodge the ever-present voracious mini-bus taxies. This vibrant noise and colour is contrasted with some crumbling reminders of a colonial history.

Tonight you will be staying at the Cremorne riverside holiday resort on the banks of the Mighty Umzimvubu River, which offers grassed sites and run along the river's edge, all with electrical points. They have a wide variety of facilities to offer from fishing to scuba diving.

Day 15 East London/Areena Riverside Resort/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 250 km.

An early start is required as you are having a longer trip ahead of you towards East London. The Eastern Cape is an interesting place to visit. Some of the country's most powerful political figures, like Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, were born here and the capital city, Port Elizabeth, was a crucial center of the anti-apartheid movement.

A city that still manages to retain some of its old fashioned values blended with a dollop of laidback charm makes East London the gateway to the wild coast and the sunshine coast and the only river port in South Africa. East London is all about its long, white stretches of sandy beach that appeal to surfers, swimmers and sun worshippers alike. The beaches here are some of the finest in the world and a few, like Nahoon Reef, are a surfer's paradise and host to international surfing competitions.

You will be staying at the stunning Areena Riverside caravan park where most camp sites are well grassed and shady and with more than half of the sites spread along 800m of river frontage. Each site has one 15-20 amp electrical outlet and a braai with a grid. Water taps and sparkling-clean ablution blocks are placed within easy reach from each site. Delicious meals are available from Areena Quays, the restaurant at the slipway if you don't feel like cooking tonight. There are loads of thrilling activities waiting for you so be in time!

Day 16 Addo/Addo Elephant National Park/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 280 km.

It is time to go inland again and find some animals!

Now the third largest national park in South Africa, the malaria free Addo Elephant National Park has expanded to conserve a wide diversity of biodiversity, landscapes, fauna and flora. Stretching from the semi-arid karoo area in the north around Darlington Dam, over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sundays River valley and south to the coast between Sundays River mouth and Bushman's river mouth, Addo covers about 180 000 hectares (444 700 acres) and includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups.

The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.

Hope you are ready to have close encounters with the gentle giants and enjoy their surroundings. The popular main rest camp of the park offers a wide variety of activities to keep you busy. A unique feature is the waterhole lookout point, floodlit at night, within the camp as well as the underground hide, allowing close encounters with wildlife at the waterhole. The caravan sites each have a 220v electricity supply point. You will need to provide your own international adaptors or two-point plug adaptors.

Day 17 Storms River/Storms River Mouth Camping/Caravan site 1 night.
Distance: approx. 210 km.

The Garden Route takes a sweeping tour through a land of lushness and bountiful nature. The first 160 km from Port Elizabeth (an important harbour town) till Storms River isn't that interesting. Although if you are a surf fan you have to visit Jeffrey's Bay, legendary among the world's surfing community.

A region of incredible beauty along the famous Garden Route, the Tsitsikamma National Park is an area of spectacular scenery and forms part of South African National Parks. Towering cliffs overlook the lush forest canopy below where Fynbos Heath and Proteas carpet the forest floor. Combining terrestrial, coastal or marine ecosystems, the park encompasses an 80km ecological mosaic of winding ravines along the coast between the rolling Tsitsikamma Mountains and the warm Indian Ocean.

You will have one night in this paradise to explore and enjoy this serene beauty so make the most of it. Storms River Mouth Rest Camp nestles against the ocean, drinking in the surrounding area's fantastic forest walks and setting you on exciting marine and river adventures. If you need to burn some adreline don't forget to bungee jump of the Bloukrans River Bridge (125 m) above the river.
Facilities offered by the camp include a souvenir shop that also stocks basic commodities, an a la carte restaurant which also serves light refreshments, a laundromat and a swimming pool. Fuel is available at Storms River Bridge (±25 km from Storms River Rest Camp).

Note: Gate time will be as follows as from 01 November 2010: Gate opening 06:00 am and closing times 22:00 pm due to restaurant service.  Late arrivals (after 18:00) may collect keys at entrance gates. Overnight guests arriving after 18:00 should call the resort on +27 42 2811 607 if late arrival is expected and keys maybe collected at the gate with security service.

Day 18 Wilderness/Ebb and Flow South Camping/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 130 km.

Tucked away in the Wilderness National Park, in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, Ebb and Flow Rest camp is known not only for its striking nature trails and thick woodlands but also for its famous inhabitants, the green and ruby-plumaged Knysna Turacos. Situated on the banks of the Touw River, the rest camp is made up of bright and pleasant forest camp sites that sprawl on a wide lawn under a canopy of trees.

Start early so you will have plenty of time to visit the vibrant coastal town 'Knysna'. No visit to Knysna is complete without a cruise to The Heads. This pair of huge, orange sandstone cliffs flanks a deep, potentially treacherous channel through which the sea pours to flood the Knysna Lagoon. Or jump on the Paddle Cruiser which is the only paddle-driven vessel in South Africa and is a unique lunch venue in Knysna. It is the ideal opportunity to unwind and enjoy a cocktail, locally brewed beer from the legendary Mitchell's Brewery or a fine wine from an award-winning selection, while savoring fresh lagoon Knysna oysters. Rather stay at shore no problem as you can enjoy shopping, eating and drinking around the water front.

The small village Wilderness is renowned as much as for its natural beauty, vast stretches of beach, tranquility and calm seas, as it is for its tradition of hospitality, which began as far back as the late 1800's. It offers a rich diversity of attractions. Within the village are coffee shops, bistros and restaurants.

Day 19 Oudtshoorn/Kleinplaas Holiday Resort/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 70 km.

Time for a change of scenery and this time in the Little (Klein) Karoo. This is the land of succulents, their thick, fleshy diversity unparalleled anywhere else in the world, peppered only by the odd bush and tree that gives the Karoo, at first glance, the appearance of arid, dry and very flat land devoid of living matter and given over to hot days and cold nights.

Herds of buffalo, elephant and kudu once dominated these plains only to be hunted or driven out by modern development. Today the mainly visible animal in the area is the ostrich, farmed for his meat, eggs and feathers, but stay a while and you'll hear the rustlings of the bat-eared fox, the suricate or meerkat and the common barking gecko.

You are on your way to Oudtshoorn with its unique and diverse architectural styles, much of which is attributed to the ostrich boom of the 1880s and early 1900s. It has a strong Afrikaans feel, tree-lined streets, shops and restaurants selling everything ostrich.

Not to be missed are The Cango Caves, just west of Oudtshoorn. They were discovered by a young Hottentot looking for missing cattle and extend underground for over two kilometers. Formed as a result of 20 million years of rainwater scouring and dissolving rock and limestone to form halls and passageways, the caves were declared a National Monument in 1938 and include the Wonder Cave that has some superb examples of drip stone formations and a resident bat population. Guided tours of an hour are available. Visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch, the endangered species breeding facility. The oldest and biggest cheetah contact centre world-wide offers the rare opportunity of interacting with their hand-reared cheetahs and getting actively involved in saving this species and others from extinction.

You will be staying at the Kleinplaas Holiday Resort just outside Oudtshoorn. They offer 4 star caravan stands with facilities such as a swimming pool and a restaurant. Just put your feet up and relax.

Day 20 Swellendam/Swellendam Caravan Park/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 205 km.

Ready for the Route 62, which is the tourist route in the Western and Eastern Cape that meanders between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth offering the shorter, scenic alternative to the N2 highway? You are on your way to Swellendam, a historic town dotted with old oaks and surrounded by rolling wheat country and mountains. The town, dating back to 1776, is the third oldest magisterial district in South Africa. It backs up against a spectacular ridge, part of the Langeberg Range. The centre of Swellendam has much to offer: lovely old Cape Dutch style buildings, excellent restaurants, shops, and arts & craft projects. The main sight in town is the excellent Drostdy Museum.

In the Klein Karoo, the land of ostriches, wild flowers and birds, the land of majestic sandstone mountains cleft by spectacular ravines, of vineyards and orchards, you will pass Calitzdorp. Take a walk down Queen Street, the oldest street in town, with its fine examples of Edwardian and Victorian architecture and don't miss the lovely stone church. The Hennie Cloete Nature Garden offers a lovely view of the town and a one-hour walk to view many of the succulents for which Calitzdorp is famous. You can visit the five wine cellars on the wine route: Boplaas, Die Krans, Calitzdorp Winery, Axe Hill and Withoek, which produce a variety of red, white and dessert wines as well as the famous port for which Calitzdorp is world renowned.

Ladismith serves as an extensive farming area with ideal climate for the production of quality fruit apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines and grapes. They produce a third of South Africa's apricots! Ladismith also has two cheese factories, Ladismith Cheese Factory and Parmalat. The local Winery offers the wine lover a great selection of Towerkop wines. A variety of architectural styles can still be seen in the old building of the town: from neo Gothic to Victorian to the typical Ladismith style, square with round vents at the front.

Close to Swellendam is the Bontebok National Park, part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, now heralded as a world heritage site, Bontebok National Park always offers something in bloom. The Park is proud to promote its achievements in biodiversity conservation, from the endangered fynbos veld type, coastal Renosterveld to the namesake bontebok!

It is also the largest youngberry growing area in the world, due mainly to the unique microclimate of the Hermitage valley just a few kilometers outside of Swellendam, and includes farms such as Wildebraam Liqueur farm, which offers liqueur tasting and a cellar tour.

Swellendam Caravan Park is situated close to the centre of town, yet its quiet tranquility creates the impression of being out in the country with panoramic views of the majestic Langeberg Mountains. This well-grassed, shady park is professionally managed and in excellent condition. Charming, self-contained and caravan sites have 220v hook-up.

Swellendam still lives up to its reputation as a foremost 'refreshment station' and there are many restaurants and coffee shops in the town.

Day 21 Simon's Town/Oatlands Village/Camping 1 night.
Distance: approx. 230 km.

You have two choices how to approach your next destination, Simon's Town. Either after Caledon follow the R43 towards Hermanus/Kleinmond. And enjoy the little coastal villages such as Betty's Bay and Pringle Bay. In this whole area you can enjoy the fynbos which is famous not only for the diversity and unusual composition of its plant species but also for the sheer beauty of many of its wild flowers. If you like to learn more visit the Harold Porter botanical gardens in Betty's Bay. Betty's Bay is also home to one of only three breeding colonies on the mainland in South Africa. The Jackass Penguin Colony at Stony Point can be viewed from the walk ways and it is very picturesque with crashing waves and a sea of black and white birds.

The incredible scenic ocean drive (R44) will take you towards Gordon's Bay and the highway (N2). With its sea-meets-mountain scenery the road is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Western Cape, and has several lookout points and picnic spots along the way. Try to spot whales, dolphins and/or seals in front of Cape of Good Hope.

Or stay on the N2 highway and enjoy the Sir Lowry's Pass. It crosses the Hottentots-Holland mountain range between Grabouw and Somerset West. The summit of the pass is at 420m and will give you a fantastic view all the way to Cape Town. You will pass the Elgin Valley which has been known for almost a century for its famous fresh produce, most notably apples and pears. Have a pit stop at the Houw Hoek and/or Peregrine Farm Stall and enjoy their South African dishes such as bobotie and venison pies washed away with homemade Apple cider!

Instead of the highway you can enjoy the impressive beach road via Muizenberg (R310) which starts close to the township of Khayelitsha. Khayelitsha is a mix of old and new, formal and informal and affluent and poor. There are housing projects which are continuously on the go. The residents are warm, friendly and welcoming. The population harbours an untapped wealth of artists and craftsmen, actors and musicians. Tools of the trade are extremely innovative. There is a strong community spirit and once you are welcomed into the community, you become part of an extended family, which is an honour. You can always book an official tour and meet these incredible people.

This impressive drive will lead you to the attractive coastal villages such as Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and ultimately Simon's Town, where you will be staying. Enjoy the attractive fishing harbour and arty shops in Kalk Bay.

Situated in Simon's Town, on the majestic Cape peninsula you will be staying at the Oatlands Holiday Village overlooking False Bay onto the Mountains beyond. Close to Cape Town and the convenience of the city yet far enough away to get that country feeling. Oatlands gives you the freedom and informality of a clean, open setting as well as a village atmosphere, salty air and spectacular views. The Terraces 1 and 2 are prime caravan sites with electrical outlets.

Have you missed the penguins in Betty's Bay don't worry as you can go to Boulders Beach just outside Simon's Town where you can enjoy these beautiful animals. The South African Navy is an integral part of Simon's Town and although the harbour and dockyard are closed to visitors, you can visit the Royal Navy museum.

If you still have time today or tomorrow, start exploring:

Think of hopping on the 'hop on/hop off' bus and explore Cape Town in a relaxed way. Or visit Robben Island (you have to book this beforehand) and just a few kilometers from the glitzy Waterfront, it was "home" to Nelson Mandela for almost 20 years. The intention to silence anti-apartheid leaders by imprisoning them on Robben Island had the opposite effect and the island became a focal point for international resistance to the apartheid regime. Today it has become a symbol of freedom, the transformative power of forgiveness and a place of political pilgrimage.
An early morning visit to Table Mountain and enjoy the incredible views! Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and if you do that on a Sunday in summer check their sun downer concerts and take your picnic.

Drive to Hout Bay and Camps Bay and enjoy the scenery ... have a sundowner cocktail in Camps Bay and feel the vibrant atmosphere. Of course visiting Cape of Good Hope is a must and either book a wine tour or enjoy the surroundings of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek yourself with lots of wine farms to visit. These are just a few of the highlights in this stunning area... so pick, choose and enjoy!

Day 22 Cape Town/Camper depot
Distance: approx. 50 km.

Hope you enjoyed your camper holiday in South Africa! Please drop off your camper before 16.00 pm at the camper depot in Cape Town. We wish you safe travels home.

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You can choose your own camper directly via www.camperspecialist.co.za or alternatively contact us via info@zuidafrikaspecialist.nl.

Duration:

22 days, 21 nights

Departure:

Daily or based on availability

Accommodation:

Camping sites with electricity or otherwise

Care:

Based on self-catering

Price:

Per person based on double occupancy

Starting point:

Johannesburg

Endpoint:

Cape Town

Malaria area:

Yes

Age:

All ages

Trip characteristics:

Active and adventurous

Countries:

South Africa and Swaziland

Highlights:

Kruger National Park, Garden Route, Swaziland and the Western Cape including Cape Town

Visa required:

No

Including:
-
Reserved camping sites
(according to description or equivalent)
- Road map

Excluding:
-
Flights
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- Camper hire: book directly via www.camperspecialist.co.za
- Optional activities
- Cross-border fees, gratuities and entrance fees