South Africa vacation, Cape escape

“Escape to the Cape with this unforgettable South Africa tour. A rich introduction to the history, scenery and culture of a fabulous destination. ”

Highlights

Cape Town | Cape Peninsula National Park | Cape of Good Hope | Seal Island | Boulders Bay | Hike or cable car up Table Mountain | Walking and wine-tasting in Stellenbosch | Franschhoek | Oudtshoorn | Cango Caves | Ostrich Farm | Knysna | Garden Route | Tsitsikamma National Park | Boteilierskop Reserve game drive | ‘Whale Route’ | Cape Agulhas |

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02 Aug 2019
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09 Aug 2019
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31 Jul 2020
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30 Oct 2020
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27 Nov 2020
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18 Dec 2020
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Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South Africa vacation, Cape escape

On a tour that includes many of South Africa’s favourite ingredients, we also have the opportunity of appreciating this young country’s cutting edge programmes of wildlife conservation and environmental care. In season, the Southern Right Whale can be observed off the Western Cape, and there is the chance to explore the Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks – plus, of course, to view the Jackass Penguin colony at Cape Point. South Africa is leagues ahead of many developed nations when it comes to environmental care, and its Zero Litter Tolerance in its reserves is widely respected. Transportation on this guided trip includes chartered bus, boat and ample walking – all contributing to a more in-depth exploration, whilst avoiding the harmful impact of fly/drive tourism. Local businesses are widely supported through our use of local suppliers, hotels and restaurants. In addition there is the option to visit the Township at Swellendam – a great opportunity to learn more about the local people.

As well as the above, we support a variety of charities and projects worldwide which support vulnerable communities and habitats including Friends of Conservation, Hope Worldwide and Send A Cow. We are also actively engaged with UK travel industry bodies which promote best practice in responsible tourism, such as Tourism Concern, The Travel Foundation and AITO. Our commitment to responsible tourism is not limited to our overseas operation and we have measures to ensure our UK office operates according to our responsible tourism policy. Carbon offsets for all flights booked with us are included in the tour cost.

3 Reviews of South Africa vacation, Cape escape

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 09 Jan 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing and going up Table Mountain, the wonderful wild flowers and birds, going to the most southerly tip of Africa, seeing Whales, dolphins and penguins and visiting a Township. The optional trip to Robben Island was memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for sudden weather changes. Bring a good camera and binoculars. Make sure you visit a Township. Make sure you get up Table Mountain when it is possible as weather conditions can make that not possible. Treat Table Mountain with respect - it isn't just a small hill!!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. The money we paid to go to the township went, as far as I know, directly to help that Township with health and social issues. We gave employment to the guide and driver and were able to hear from them about South Africa and then tell our friends back in the UK. We stayed in small local establishments.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Overall it was good, but I was disappointed that there was such an emphasis on wine tasting and wine buying. I know it is a wine growing area and very important to their economy (although that may well be more the rich white Africans) but I had hoped to see more local other industries and to be able to get out more and walk and explore the local areas.

Reviewed on 25 Dec 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town; staying in vineyards in Stellenbosch; township visit in Swellenham.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Travel light - be prepared to pay for many options including meals at accommodations and most sightseeing venues.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We did usually spend money in local establishments. Much more could be done in the way of recycling ESPECIALLY with water bottles - but no one organized it for the tour bus etc - even though it could easily be done.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good to excellent.

Reviewed on 02 Mar 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Hiking up table mountain in the morning and doing two wine tastings in the afternoon on one day.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Could be as active or lazy as you want. Are options every day. Not much time in Cape town on the tour so good to add on some extra days. Although no jet lag still long travel time so also good to get there a day or two early to make the most of the tour.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Did benefit local people also local guide and driver.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Good mixture of walks and excursions. Also a certain amount of flexibility within the group.

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