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Abseil down Table Mountain, swim with playful seals and stay in a luxury safari lodge with bush walks and open-top game drives
South Africa: Wildlife encounters & mountain abseiling
Hike to the summit of Table Mountain in Cape Town and abseil your way back down
Seek out elephants and lions at a luxury safari lodge, with open-top game drives and bush walks
Swim alongside the playful seals of Plettenberg Bay, with an experienced instructor
Take a SUP safari in Boulders Beach alongside South African penguins
Sample South Africa’s celebrated wines in Stellenbosch
Wine, wildlife and abseiling adrenaline. Give up 13 days and you’ll get the best of South Africa in return.
What we love about this trip is that it’s an adventure of contrasts. You’ll channel your inner daredevil with an exhilarating abseil down Table Mountain, before sipping on some of the celebrated wines produced in Stellenbosch.
Yes, you’ll encounter lions and elephants on a breathtaking safari, but you’ll also sunbathe with penguins on beautiful beaches.
Sound like your dream adventure? Ours too.
*From September 2020, we’re running a shorter 12-day itinerary which will end with the safari experience. If you’re looking for more details, scroll down to Important Notes or get in touch with our Travel Advisors.
Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Welcome to Cape Town, South Africa’s breezy port city overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Your private transfer will take you to your harborfront hotel, where you’ll meet your fellow travelers and dedicated guide. Head out together for welcome cocktails, just in time for sunset. Dinner tonight will be served at a waterfront restaurant, with sweeping views of Table Mountain – which you’ll be conquering tomorrow.
*Adrenaline junkie? You can opt for an additional day of shark cage diving, just before this adventure starts. The cost includes an airport transfer and one night in a Cape Town hotel – with a very early start the following morning to encounter the Great Whites.
Today’s agenda: conquering Table Mountain. One of South Africa’s most iconic landmarks, this flat-topped mountain (hence its name) towers majestically at 1,086 meters. It’s a steep trek, but the views from the top are worth every breath, as you see Cape Town and beyond unfolding before you. Then you’ll make your way down – by stepping off the edge of the mountain and walking down the cliff-face (fully harnessed, of course). Back at sea level, spend the rest of the evening exploring Cape Town’s vibrant nightlife with your fellow travelers.
Today you’ll head for the Cape Peninsula, a region of pristine beauty where the Atlantic Ocean meets Africa’s most southwestern extremities. Glide into the ocean on a fleet of stand-up paddle boards, then it’s time for you to meet the locals: penguins. This is the only place in the world where you can encounter African penguins, in the sandy comfort of their natural habitat. Get to know your new friends, then you’ll return to Cape Town for the evening.
Providing the weather is on your side, this morning will see you head over to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner. Here, you’ll learn about the island’s history, with a former political prisoner to talk you through the experience. After your boat trip back to Cape Town, you’ll go to Stellenbosch, known for its mountainous nature reserves and famous vineyards. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this charming university town at leisure. Our suggestion? Settle into your new surroundings with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
No trip to Stellenbosch is complete without a visit to its vineyards, and no trip to a Stellenbosch vineyard is complete without tasting the wine – and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing today. Begin your day with a short, scenic hike through Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, exploring these vast winelands nestled beneath the mountains. Wine-lovers among you will be in your element, as you pause for tastings along the route, drinking in the terroir of this landscape. This evening is yours to explore Stellenbosch’s lively nightlife, with bars and cafes that spill into the pavements into the early hours.
Hear the call of the whales this morning, as you head along the coastline to Hermanus. At one of the best whale-watching spots in the world, you’ll be well-placed to admire these gentle giants leaping above the waves. Then, catch your transfer to Oudtshoorn, a six-hour drive away, where you’ll check into your farm hotel.
*The optimum season for whale-spotting is June to November. If your adventure falls outside this season, your guide will take you along the inland route to Swellendam, where you’ll enjoy lunch in a rustic restaurant.
Your farm offers the unique opportunity to enjoy a pre-dawn (one-off) encounter with meerkats. It’s an optional extra which will be paid directly to the farm, so it’s entirely up to you (we won’t tell the meerkats if you’d rather stay in bed). Then, head over to Plettenberg Bay, where the rest of the day is yours to swim alongside playful seals. Often described as the dogs of the ocean, these intelligent, inquisitive creatures are great fun to swim with, and you’ll find them all too eager to share the water with you. Then, catch your transfer to the seaside town of Knysna, which will be your new base for a day of surfing tomorrow.
This morning is all about catching Knysna’s majestic waves. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner – today’s surfing class will accommodate for all levels of experience. With the South Atlantic waves rolling in, this is a fantastic place to hone your surfing skills. Then, your afternoon will see you explore the Garden Route. A stretch of coastline running from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape, this is a region of rugged cliffs and pristine beaches – perfect for a gentle hike. Along the way, you’ll pass the Tsitsikamma Forest, where you’ll find the world’s highest commercial bungee jump. Feeling brave?
Today is yours to spend at your own leisure. There are plenty of sights to explore in this region, from rugged horse trails to a nearby elephant sanctuary. Your guide will be full of recommendations – but you could equally take this opportunity to unwind by the pool (guilt-free).
Make the journey to the Eastern Cape this morning, where you’ll enjoy welcome drinks at your elegant safari lodge. Located in the South African bush, your new hideaway boasts characterful chalets that blend seamlessly into the environment. Once you’ve checked in, hop onto a fleet of jeeps and enjoy an afternoon game drive with expert rangers. Keep an eye out for elephants, big cats and giraffes as you settle into your new safari surroundings.
You’re off to an early start this morning, as you head out for a quiet sunrise safari over the grasslands. Watch as the misty sunlight reveals the wakening giraffes and elephants. Return to your lodge for brunch, before spending a few hours relaxing. In the afternoon, it’s back into your jeep for an afternoon game drive.
Savor your final game drive this morning, before checking out of your safari lodge and heading to the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. The rest of the day is yours to explore its lively waterfront and soft white beaches, with plenty of seaside bars to keep you well hydrated (thirsty, anyone?).
Your South African adventure has come to an end. It’s now over to you to make your own way to the airport. Not done with Africa? We suggest extending this escape by crossing the border into neighboring Zimbabwe.
Browse a selection of our favorite hotels, for a flavor of where you may stay on this trip.
This contemporary hotel leads the way for modern interiors and bold pops of color.
We love the rooftop bar for yoga and cocktails. With a central location and live music and art exhibitions often hosted here, this hotel is well-placed for exploring Cape Town’s best sights.
Simple cabins and cottages nestled in the South African veld, with views of the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains, a fire pit and a swimming pool.
For the optional sunrise meerkat visit, where you’ll be taken to a nearby burrow, given a cup of coffee and a chair and allowed to sit and watch these playful, nosy mammals.
"Everything was organized brilliantly. A great mixture of adventure, relaxing and just hanging out with some fun people. Want to paddle board with penguins? Have the most beautiful vineyard picnic or swim with seals and spot a herd of giraffes right next to the road in the middle of nowhere? Then this is your vacation. "
"The tour itself was the right mix of activities and downtime. Our guide Jamie was so knowledgeable and very much became part of our group. I've met some great people and experienced new things... swimming with seals and drinking wine in vineyards are just a couple of the highlights. I highly recommend it as a way to travel and would absolutely recommend Flash Pack."
"Our guide did really well trying to cater for everyone and did a good job of reorganising activities when the weather wasn’t on our side. Overall, a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a lovely group of people."
"What a great trip! Flash Pack put together a very diverse and interesting itinerary covering everything from city life, wine country, beach activities, safari, and even a touch of history. The local guide provided a wealth of knowledge on the history and culture of SA – even geology and wildlife. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone looking to check out South Africa for the first time!"
The latest from Flashpackers in South Africa on #picsworthsharing
Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and fly out of Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ).
It is best to arrive into Cape Town before 4pm, if possible, and at the end of your adventure you can book your flight home from Port Elizabeth at any time.
Please note that from September 2020, we are implementing a shorter 12-day itinerary which will end with the safari experience. The rest of the itinerary will remain unchanged. For these dates, we advise booking your flight home from Port Elizabeth Airport after 3PM. If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Travel Advisors.
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more.
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