This relaxing, luxurious Faces of the Cape self drive holiday begins with 3 nights in cosmopolitan Cape Town. You then explore three contrasting areas. You first head to the dramatic Cedarberg mountains with its rockpools, rock art, nature drives, walking and biking possibilities. Next you travel south to the verdant Cape Winelands. Your final destination is the exciting Whale Coast near Hermanus. The Faces of the Cape trip is also ideal for an easy-going honeymoon. You stay in luxurious romantic country house lodges and one of our favourite hotels in Cape Town.

This relaxing self drive holiday is ideal anytime but it’s particularly from August to November when wild flowers are in bloom and the Southern Right whales are breeding off the coast of South Africa. However its lovely through our summer months as well from December to March. It is easy to add a safari afterwards to make a longer holiday or honeymoon.

Faces of the Cape at a glance

3 nights, Taj Cape Town Hotel or Kensington Place, Cape Town
3 nights, Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve, Cedarberg
2 nights, Le Quartier Francais or Mont Rochelle, Cape Winelands
3 nights, Grootbos Garden Lodge, Whale Coast

See Day by Day
Day 1
Arrive in Cape Town to stay 3 nights at Taj Cape Town or Kensington Place, Bed & Breakfast

On arrival at Cape Town, you collect your rental car (Hyundai Tuscan / Toyota Rav SUV 2×4 or similar) and drive to the Taj Cape Town or Kensington Place where you spend 3 nights.

Cape Town is one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world. Cradled by Table Mountain, it has immense charm and historical interest whilst its unique cultural blend; part African, part European and part Asian, makes for a cosmopolitan dining experience. Take the cable car or walk up Table Mountain, visit the colourful Malay quarter or meander through the wonderful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Browse through the vibrant Greenmarket Square, head out to Robben Island by boat or simply relax on the beach.

The Taj Cape Town lies in the heart of historic Cape Town and offers a winning combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architecture. Originally home to the South African Reserve Bank, the Taj Cape Town successfully combines the heritage of the old with the luxury of the new.

Accommodation: Taj Cape Town
Located in: Cape Town - Cape Town City - South Africa

Accommodation: Kensington Place
Located in: Cape Town - Cape Town City Bowl - South Africa

Accommodation: Camps Bay Retreat Private Nature Reserve
Located in: Atlantic & Camps Bay - Cape Town - South Africa

Day 4
3 Nights Cedarberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, Full Board and Activities

Head north via the West Coast to the Cedarberg for 2 nights at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve (Approx drive time: 3½ hours, 270km).

Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve & Retreat is one of our favourites places to stay in the Cedarberg. The canyons, rivers and waterfalls of the Cedarberg can be savoured from the warm and stylish ambience of this luxurious Relais & Chateaux lodge, run by an ever-attentive team. A South African natural heritage site, Bushmans Kloof offers the world’s largest open air art gallery with more than 130 pristine rock art sites, some dating back 10,000 years. Guided rock art walks and sunset nature drives bring guests close to the indigenous game, including eland, red hartebeest, gemsbok, klipspringer, cape mountain zebra and the elusive cape mountain leopard. Other activities include birding, mountain biking, walking trails, archery, croquet, fly-fishing, canoeing and, of course, relaxing by one of the four swimming pools or swimming in the crystal clear rockpools of the river. There’s also a health and beauty spa. Mouth-watering cuisine is served in different locations throughout the lodge including Makana, with its open views over the starlit river at night.

Accommodation: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
Located in: Cederberg & West Coast - Cederberg Mountains - South Africa

Day 7
2 nights Cape Winelands, Le Quartier Francais or Lanzerac Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Travel to the Winelands via Tulbagh to spend 2 nights at Le Quartier francais (or Mont Rochelle Hotel) in Franschhoek (approx drive time: 3 hours, 250km).

The Winelands is an exquisite area of rocky mountains overlooking green vineyards. Oak avenues lead to elegant Cape Dutch wine estates and some of the most charming towns and villages in South Africa. The pleasure of this region is the enjoyment of the good life: appreciating the wine and the unique Cape architecture; savouring long, lazy meals at one of the many excellent restaurants; debating the merits of the latest vintages; or browsing in the craft studios and art galleries. Stellenbosch is a historic university city with charming Cape Dutch streets, shady oaks, and water furrows.

Le Quartier Francais in South Africa offers a sophisticated ambience combined with a ‘Cape Provencal’ style in the heart of the pretty village of Franschhoek with easy access to all the boutiques, cafes and galleries of the village. This luxurious boutique hotel is set around a colourful garden with a central swimming pool. The 15 rooms, 6 suites and private villa are spacious and well-furnished with modern fittings, vibrant colours and vivid hand-painted fabrics.

Accommodation: Le Quartier Français
Located in: Cape Winelands - Franschhoek - South Africa

Accommodation: Mont Rochelle Hotel
Located in: Cape Winelands - Franschhoek - South Africa

Day 9
3 nights Near Hermanus, Grootbos Garden Lodge, Full Board and In-house Activities

Take a scenic coastal route to Hermanus to spend 3 nights at Grootbos Nature Reserve (Approx drive time: 2 hours, 180km).

The southern coast boasts some of the finest land-based whale-watching in the world between July and early December, when the Southern Right Whales come right into the bays to give birth. Enthralling sightings are a daily occurrence with spectacular breaches and whale song.

Grootbos Nature Reserve, located amidst the spectacular fynbos and ancient dunes of the Southern Coast, is a multi-award winning gem. Overlooking Walker Bay, it’s a nature-lovers paradise – all but the most committed urbanite will enjoy the inclusive activities: guided fynbos 4×4 drives, milkwood forest walks, horse riding, beach visits and guided land-based whale-watching as well as the optional activities of boat-based whale watching and shark cage diving. This tour is based on a Classic One bedroom suite at Garden Lodge – upgrades are available to a Luxury Suite at either Grootbos Garden or Forest Lodge if you prefer.

Accommodation: Grootbos Garden Lodge
Located in: Hermanus - Hermanus & Route 62 - South Africa

Day 12
Return rental car to Cape Town

After a final morning activity at Grootbos you have the whole day to enjoy Hermanus as you meander back to Cape Town Airport where you drop off your rental car in time for your onward flight.

View Interactive Itinerary
See Route on Map
Meals and accommodation as shown in text, Group E car rental with unlimited kilometres and super cover insurance. Upgrades to larger vehicles easily arranged.
International & domestic flights, visas, items of a personal nature, meals not specified
Best time to go:
All year, especially August through to October
Mediterranean climate in the Cape (hot dry summers, winter rains) Daily flights into Cape Town
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