Namaqualand, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Western Cape, Whales & Wine



11 Days

Prices Start from

£3,295pp (ex. flights)

This overland journey encompasses the best of the Western Cape, showcasing a quieter, more authentic side to South Africa. Begin with the bustle and history of Cape Town, before travelling north to the endless beaches of the windswept Atlantic seaboard and majestic beauty of the Cederberg Mountains. Finally, Hermanus for whale watching and boutique vineyards.

As an alternative to the more commonly suggested Garden Route, this trip excels – offering the same wonderful gastronomy and scenery, but with a wilder twist that is brought by the rugged mountains and windswept Atlantic coast.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Oryx between Flowers, Namaqualand, South Africa 1

Namaqualand Daisies

Walk through beautiful meadows of wildflowers, which bloom between August and September.

Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa 2

The Rise of a Prisoner

Spend a morning with Christo Brand, former prison warden and close friend of Nelson Mandela.

Rock art at Bushmans Kloof, Cederberg, South Africa 3

Ancient Art

Visit the ancient rock art sites that litter the caves and cliffs of the Cederberg Mountains.

Southern right whales, South Africa, Hermanus Whale Festival 4

Whales & Wine

Sample award winning wines see whales off the coast between June and December.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Cape Town (More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel)

  • Day 2

    Cape Town (More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel)

  • Day 3

    Cape Town (More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel)

  • Day 4

    Cape Town - Paternoster (Abalone)

  • Day 5

    Paternoster (Abalone)

  • Day 6

    Paternoster - Cederberg (Simbavati Cedarberg Ridge)

  • Day 7

    Cederberg (Simbavati Cedarberg Ridge)

  • Day 8

    Cederberg - Hermanus (Birkenhead House)

  • Day 9

    Hermanus (Birkenhead House)

  • Day 10

    Hermanus (Birkenhead House)

  • Day 11

    Hermanus - Cape Town

Day 1

Cape Town (More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel)

Arrive into Cape Town and transfer to your accommodation. This afternoon take a private tour of the city including a cable car journey to the top of Table Mountain for spectacular views of the city.

Day 2

Cape Town (More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel)

Visit Robben Island for a poignant insight into South Africa’s dark history – elevate this experience by spending the morning in the company of former prison warden and close friend of Nelson Mandela, Christo Brand.

Day 3

Cape Town (More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel)

Head south to explore the Cape Peninsula following one of the world’s most breath-taking coastal drives to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Visit fishing villages and the historic Simon’s Town plus Boulders Beach with its African Penguin breeding colony.

Day 4

Cape Town - Paternoster (Abalone)

Transfer north along the coast to the small fishing village of Paternoster, stopping enroute to explore the West Coast National Park including Tulbagh, the 4th oldest city in Western Cape which boasts Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian heritage sites and a host of vineyards and Olive Estates.

Day 5

Paternoster (Abalone)

Explore this charming part of the coast by quad bike or horseback, or take an early morning kayaking trip to a nearby penguin colony. There are many guided hiking trails and wine tasting in nearby Darling. During August and September, the local area is carpeted by the bright colours of the Namaqualand daisies.

Day 6

Paternoster - Cederberg (Simbavati Cedarberg Ridge)

Transfer north to Clanwilliam and through the flower fields of the Western Cape, then beyond into the rugged Cederberg Mountains, a journey of around two hours.

Day 7

Cederberg (Simbavati Cedarberg Ridge)

Lodge activities include guided walks and mountain biking adventures.Alternatively, visit a rooibos farm, take a sunset boat cruise or explore the ancient rock paintings on the Sevilla Rock Art Trail.

Day 8

Cederberg - Hermanus (Birkenhead House)

Travel south to the quaint seaside town of Hermanus, a journey of around four hours.

Day 9

Hermanus (Birkenhead House)

Take a full day tour of the region. Firstly time to spot the southern right whale who come to breed and rear their young in the bay. Then head away from the coast through scenic landscapes to sample some of the best wines in the country.

Day 10

Hermanus (Birkenhead House)

Spend the day at leisure. Spend time spotting whales from the clifftop path, visit the penguins of Betty’s Bay and stroll on white-sand beaches. Away from the ocean, explore the Fernkloof nature reserve or wander through Hermanus’ bustling market.

Day 11

Hermanus - Cape Town

Transfer around two hours back to Cape Town for your onward travel.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More Details

Langebaan flowers, South Africa
Wild flowers in Langebaan

The Namaqualand daisies

During the spring months of August and September, the normally barren landscape surrounding Paternoster transforms into a vision of colour as the Namaqualand daisies bloom. A region that receives little rain, these endemic flowers have evolved to grow and survive in dry and harsh conditions, flowering after the winter rains. Over 3000 species of flower can be seen, ranging from daisies to vygies in brilliant orange, yellow and purple colours.

Vineyard, South Africa
Cape Winelands

South African Gastronomy

This holiday to South Africa is full of opportunities to sample and learn about local food and wine. Cape Town has a vibrant gastronomic scene and although peaceful and unassuming, the traditional fishing village of Paternoster is home to Wolfgat restaurant, winner of Restaurant of the Year in 2019. Their tiny restaurant serves fresh coastal ingredients to a maximum of 20 guests. Onto the Cederberg Mountains, home of the rooibos plant the bark of which is stripped to make tea. Finally the vineyards of Walker Bay, recognised for producing some of the best pinot noir, pinotage, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay in the country.

people looking over walker bay, Hermanus, South Africa
Walker Bay, Hermanus, South Africa
Humpback Whale, Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
Humpback Whale in Hermanus, South Africa

Whales of Hermanus

Between June and December the waters surrounding the bay of Hermanus fill with migrating southern right whales, leading to some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. Gathering to find a mate or give birth, as well as these huge mammals, this coastline also attracts other whale species including humpbacks and Brydes as well as penguins, Cape fur seals and dolphins. Observing the whales in their natural habitat, from the shore, as they roll, lobtail and spyhop offers a window into their world without encroaching on it. There are some lovely cliff walks to enjoy, take a picnic and some binoculars for the perfect day out. Alternatively, take to the water for a whale watching cruise.



Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel £££££

  • Africa
  • City

More Quarters collection of converted heritage townhouses come together to create the Neighbourhood Hotel. Each of their entrances opens to a cobbled lane adjoining the main boutique hotel, Cape Cadogan, creating the feel of a secluded quarter in the suburb.

View Property

Abalone House £££££

  • South Africa
  • Boutique

Abalone House is a boutique guesthouse situated in picturesque Paternoster on the west coast; set in the tranquil south side of the village, this property is merely 200 metres from stretches of white sand beaches, with direct access.

View Property

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge £££££

  • Africa
  • Wilderness

Cederberg Ridge is a luxurious wilderness lodge in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, overlooking the Cederberg Wilderness Reserve and beyond.

View Property

Birkenhead House £££££

  • South Africa
  • Boutique

A privately owned, world-class, luxurious boutique hotel, Birkenhead House has an exhilarating cliff-top position overlooking the rugged and scenic Walker Bay in Hermanus.

View Property

How does this holiday make a positive impact?

A stay at Birkenhead house includes a conservation and community levy which goes directly towards uplifting local communities, promoting conservation and protecting the coastline on which it is found. As members of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Birkenhead House has so far sponsored the rehabilitation and release of over 30 penguins.

During your stay at More Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel it is possible to join one of the hotels community projects as part of their More Community Foundation. Anything from one-on-one reading practice, renovation assistance, water collection with community members and tending to a school vegetable garden, all of which support social development are self-sustainability with local communities.

As partners with local non profit organisation Eco Children, a stay at Simbavati directly supports the improvement of education, school infrastructure, teaching and conditions in the local area.

South Africa: Self Drive the Garden Route

Stretching along South Africa’s south eastern coast, the Garden Route is a 300 kilometre route that is a well trodden and popular route for self drive itineraries. Named after the diverse vegetation found along the route it takes in towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn and offers beautiful scenery and a variety of attractions including cave networks, coastal bays, scenic passes, wildlife sanctuaries and ostrich farms.

7 days - Price on request

South Africa

South Africa: Eastern Cape Reserve Safari

Incorporate some safari time into this holiday with a visit to the Eastern Cape Reserves and a stay at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge. This beautiful riverside lodge is located in a malaria free zone, and is home to species including endangered black and white rhino and cheetah. A short flight from Cape Town, spend two days here in search of wildlife on game drives and bush walks.

3 days - Price on request

White Rhino Mother And Calf, South Africa
Sabi Sands, South Africa

Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls

Extend your time in Africa and fly to Victoria Falls to spend three days taking in these mighty waterfalls plus activities including white water rafting and kayaking. From here it is easy to extend your adventures in Zimbabwe, encountering some of the continent’s best safari guides, or cross the border into Botswana to explore the vast wetlands of the Okavango Delta and huge herds of elephants.

3 days - Price on request

Victoria Falls from the air, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

South Africa: The Cape Winelands

Drive around 60 minutes north east of Cape Town into the mountainous scenery of the Cape Winelands and spend time exploring some of the world’s most renowned vineyards. Sample fabulous wines and gastronomy, chill out at the spa, explore on foot, bicycle or on horseback and if travelling with children, enjoy family friendly activities, from tractor rides to grape juice tasting.

3 days - Price on request

Grape wineland countryside landscape background of hills with mountain backdrop, Cape Winelands, South Africa
Cape Winelands, South Africa

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £3,295 Per person

When to travel

South Africa in January

A great time to visit around Cape Town and the Garden Route, as it is hot and dry. Further north in the Kruger, it is also hot, but there is a much greater chance of rainstorms.

South Africa in February

Peak season in the Cape continues, and it is often the hottest time. It is worth booking well in advance to get your preferred accommodation.

South Africa in March

It is an excellent time to visit all parts of the country, as the weather is still warm and the rain eases in the north. In the Kruger, it is lush and green after the rainy season.

South Africa in April

Visitor numbers drop, and lower temperatures make for ideal hiking conditions in the Drakensberg mountains. It is warm and dry across the country, making it a great time to explore multiple regions.

South Africa in May

A quieter time of year and a good time to visit, especially if you are not looking for balmy heat. The north and especially the Kruger enters its dry season, with cooler temperatures.

South Africa in June

Midwinter brings the rainiest time in the Cape, but it is still pleasantly mild in the day with the sun shining. The dry season in the north makes for excellent wildlife viewing as animals congregate around watering holes.

South Africa in July

Clear skies and crisp sunshine dominate in the north, as it is the driest month. It is low season so parks are generally quiet and it is easier to spot wildlife around the sparse waterholes.

South Africa in August

A fantastic time to see KwaZulu Natal as is one of the warmest places in the country at this time. In the Western Cape, it is starting to dry out in time for whale watching season.

South Africa in September

The West Coast springs into life as the flowers bloom and temperatures rise across the country. A chance to spot newborns and it is prime time for whale watching in the Cape.

South Africa in October

A great time to see both the north and south, as it is relatively dry everywhere. Flowers carpet the countryside as temperatures continue to rise.

South Africa in November

The start of the rainy season in the Kruger and the north, as temperatures heat up. Impressive thunderstorms become more regular in the afternoon. The last chance to see whales in the Cape, and a good time to see inland areas before they toast in the summer heat.

South Africa in December

Summer approaches and with it visitor numbers rise, especially in the south. If you want to travel around Christmas and New Year, you should book well in advance to secure the best spots.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes


Get in touch

  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.