What we see and where we go
Cape Town is Africa's most popular tourist destination. It is located on the shore of Table Bay, on the South Western tip of Africa. With Table Mountain towering above the city, being one of the Natural Wonders of the World, it is a must visit in for any visitor to South Africa.
Cape Town was established as a supply station in 1652, by Jan van Riebeeck, for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India and the Far East. The first European Settlers were mostly Dutch and French. They soon explored further into the country and founded Stellenbosch and Paarl, which today is situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands.
Today Cape Town is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world! With everything the whole world has to offer on its doorstep.
Route 62 is the old trade route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, stretching up to 850km. It runs inland through the semi desert area of the Little Karoo (Place of Thirst). It is one of the most scenic drives in South Africa and is known as our equivalent of the World Famous Route 66 in the United States. Route 62 is also known as the world’s longest wine route, stretching passed the wine-growing areas of Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester, Robertson and the Klein Karoo.
Oudtshoorn is the capital city of the Klein Karoo area along the scenic Route 62. It has about 80 000 inhabitants. It is also home the world’s largest Ostrich population, with a number of specialised ostrich breeding farms around the area.
The area of the town was originally inhabited by the Bushmen, as evidence will prove by rock paintings found in the Cango Caves and the surrounding Swarberg Mountains.
The first large structure to be erected in Oudtshoorn was in 1839, a church of Dutch Reformed denomination, near the banks of the Grobbelaars River. This was the centre around which the town of Oudtshoorn grew. It was named after the appointed Governor of the Cape Colony in 1772, Baron Pieter van Rheede van Oudtshoorn.
The main reason why Oudtshoorn flourished into such a beautiful town, and massive mansions scattered in the surrounding areas was the ostrich. Ostrich feathers had become extremely popular fashion accessories between 1875 and 1880 in Europe. This resulted that ostrich prices reached up to GBP 1000 a pair! After the other farmers realised this, they all planted lucerne for ostrich feed, and so Oudtshoorn became the ostrich capital of the world.
Because of overproduction, the ostrich industry took a massive dive in 1885, and many farmers lost a lot of money and their properties due to the demand not being as big as at first.
In 1913 the ostrich business peaked at its highest, but only for a short while. This is the time when most of the palaces were built in the area and the farmers made their fortunes. The collapse of this boom was blamed on Henry Ford and the arrival of the motor car. Reason being that the ladies with their large ostrich feather hats could no longer wear their hats, because of the car speeds being to hi and their hats would simply blow off their heads. This resulting in a plummet of the industry and most farmers decided to return to farming more traditional crops.
Addo Elephant National Park is the largest National Park in the Eastern Cape, and home to the world’s densest African Elephant population. It is third in size out of 19 National Parks in South Africa, after Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park. Addo Elephant National Park is now 3600 km² big including a marine section, Bird Island and St. Croix Island.
Addo Elephant National Park was founded in 1931 by Sydney Skaife, in order to provide a safe sanctuary for the remaining eleven elephant in the area. These eleven elephant were the last ones saved after the citrus farmers of the Sundays River Valley shot out the elephants after the elephants would destroy their crops. This turned out to be a great success as today the Addo Elephant National Park is home to over 500 elephant and large numbers of other indigenous wildlife.
Addo Elephant National Park is also the only National Park in the world to be home to Africa’s “Big 7” (elephant, rhinoceros, lion, buffalo, leopard, whale and great white shark) in their natural habitat. The Park also contains five of South Africa’s seven major biomes (vegetation zones).
Addo Elephant National Park is a truly unique wildlife experience with the best African Elephant viewing in the world, and also being a malaria free area adds to its value as being a top tourist wildlife viewing destination.
Jeffery’s Bay is world renowned for being one of the world’s top surfing spots. In fact number two on the “Best in the world” surfing list. In the late 1960s Jeffery’s Bay was known as a hippie hangout, where mostly surfers hung out and “chilled” the days away. From being a quiet fishing village it is now one of the fastest expanding urban areas in South Africa.
Jeffery’s Bay is home to the best right hand point break in the entire world, in season. It’s been divided into several sections from the top of the point, Kitchen Windows, Magna tubes, Boneyards, Supertubes, Impossibles, Tubes, the Point, and Albatross. "Supertubes", which itself breaks for about 300m or more, is regarded as the best part of the wave.
It is here in this area and nearby St. Francis Bay where the classic surf movie The Endless Summer was shot in the 1960s.
Other than the great surf, Jeffery’s Bay is a booming town on the coast with beautiful beaches and surrounding areas. It is home to all the Surf Wear Factory Outlet stores, where you as a shopper can find the beach wear clothing, surf wear, boards for a bargain price all throughout the year.
Schotia Tooth and Claw
Schotia Safaris is a private game reserve on the border of the Addo Elephant National Park. It is very well known for having some of the best wild lion sightings in the world. They take you as close as possible to get the best viewing of the more popular sighting that any other reserve. They will bring you within a few feet of Rhino, Hippo, Giraffe and the Lion. Also plenty of other antelope they have roaming freely on the property.
The Tooth and Claw experience is a four hour game drive in an open top Land Rover safari vehicle. Stopping for refreshments and snacks during the drive. You get to enjoy a traditional in an open air “boma” prepared on an open fire pit. After dinner the guides take you back to the reception building while driving with a spotlight trying to spot more of the nocturnal animals.
Sedgefield is a small quiet town in the heart of the garden route in South Africa. It is known as South Africa’s first slow town. It is known as a slow town only because of the relaxed lifestyle that happens here in Sedgefield. Nothing happens in a hurry in Sedgefield. The town is very well reflected in its motto of being a place where ‘the tortoise sets the pace’.
The town’s main economy revolves around tourism, and has grown in recent years to become one of the more popular coastal tourist destinations along the garden route in South Africa. Beautiful beaches and scenic mountains and forests surround the area along with a lake and river lagoon flowing into the Indian Ocean. Sedgefield is situated between the two popular towns of Wilderness and Knysna.
Struisbaai is an old fishing village near the southernmost tip of Africa, and for many years sported a beautiful natural harbour. It is one of few coastal towns that has not been too affected by the rigours of overdevelopment. Fisherman still make a living in the area but as the tourism industry grows, more of them are starting to work at the leisure activities offered in the area. Activities such as surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, fishing, horse rides etc. Struisbaai is also home to the longest stretch of natural beach in the Southern Hemisphere, called “Die Plaat” which stretches a total of fourteen kilometres.
Struisbaai is only 5km from Cape Agulhas, which is the Southernmost point of the African Continent, which when staying in Struisbaai is a must visit. There is a large beacon marking the Southernmost Tip of Africa and where the two oceans (Indian and Atlantic) officially meet.