South Africa Fair Trade Explorer

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11 Days
Availability : April to October
Cape Town, South Africa
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Min Age : 10+

Explore Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Swellendam, Plettenberg Bay and Amakhala on this exclusive Greenloons trip. Stay in stylish, boutique, socially and environmentally conscious hotels and experience Jazz Safaris, Big 5 Game Safaris, Bicycle Township Tours, Wine Tastings, Whale Watching Tours, Birding Tours as well as some optional Horseback Riding, Elephant Sanctuary, Hiking, and Boating Tours all the while supporting local businesses that are helping their communities socially and environmentally each day.


In addition to staying in eco-certified guest houses and lodges, guests hire bicycles from the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) and then tour Masiphumelele incorporating local businesses. Since establishment more 4000 tourists have participated on this tour, spreading considerable financial benefit to the community. Apart from the various donations from the visiting tourists, much needed income has been generated and put into circulation in local township as part of tourism services and fees paid to business owners such as Mzwamadoda Mtshaba BEN IBD Bicycle shop, Nongoloza is a local small business which provides lunch; Traditional Healers/ Sangoma’s and the local Creche with approximately 100 children. Other benefits have included an photography exhibition of the township held by German photographer Christoph Siegert in March 2004. All the proceeds of the sale of artwork went towards BEN Bicycle workshop and assisted BEN to purchase tools and 20 bicycles. The AWOL tourism project in Masiphumelele has generated significant, sustainable benefits and has proven to provide real, lasting benefits for local people and greater Cape Town.


Day 1Cape Town

On arrival in Cape Town, guests will be met by a representative who will escort them to the transfer vehicle. One of the world’s most picturesque tourist destinations and most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is situated amidst majestic mountains and is surrounded by pristine white beaches. Often called the ‘cosmopolitan hub of Africa’, it is home to a rich cultural and historical heritage, vibrant restaurants and nightlife and a multitude of activities – from extreme sports to leisurely scenic cruises and world-class shopping. On arrival guests will check in at Antrim Villa. Built in the late 1800’s, this old English Victorian house was originally a family residence. High ceilings and well kept stuccos give this guesthouse charm and light. Situated in Three Anchor Bay, at the foot of Signal Hill, it is only a 10-minute walk from Cape Town’s new stadium and 10-minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. We purchased the house in 2008 from South African owners that had been running it as a guesthouse for 10 years. It has now been fully refurbished, inspired by a tropical-African style in a earthy colour palate, accentuated with natural fabrics such as sisal, linen and bamboo. The large, new saltwater pool lies enticingly in a secluded, tropical garden. Most of the rooms at Antrim Villa still have the original pine flooring. This is a friendly, airy house with a cosy fireplace in the lounge. Guests will enjoy the day at leisure where they can visit the various highlights of Cape Town. Later in the day, guests will be transfterred to the start of the tour (approximately 7 pm) for an evening Jazz Safari. Cape Town is an incredibly musical city. This is the city where music is at its most creative in South Africa, something which is due partly to the natural environment we have, which encourages creativity, but mainly it is because of the history of the city and the diversity of people and cultures and sounds that have ended up here. On this special music journey we are doing to travel deep inside the jazz music of the city, by visiting local jazz musicians in their homes. Part one is a visit to the home of a jazz musician for dinner, with music and conversation, and part two is a visit either to the home of a second musician for a nightcap, or to a jazz venue for the late set. The experience is intimate and deep, full of music and engagement and fun. It is a unique opportunity to meet local musicians away from club stages, and an excellent way to discover more about Cape Town and the lives of the people that live in it – through the music. Our hosts include will Cape Town musicians young and old, all of them composers and performers. These are the musicians defining the sound of the city.

Please note that this tour runs on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s only.

Day 2Cape Town

After breakfast guests will be collected for their half day cultural experience. Meet the people of Masiphumelele, experience Xhosa culture and discover township life by bicycle. AWOL’s Community-based Bicycle Tours in Cape Town – a responsible take on township tours – providing the tourist with many more opportunities to interact with the community than they would have from an air-conditioned bus. BEN facilitates the importation of discarded second hand bicycles to South Africa where they have helped to set up and provide ongoing support to locally owned bicycle workshops, training and employing members of the local community to renovate the bikes for the Community Bicycle Tours. As a result of this work, they have also been able to assist a local lady to set up a restaurant providing further income for the community. In 2002 AWOL Tours initiated a bicycle tourism programme in the Masiphumelele community of Cape Town in conjunction with the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) a non-profit organisation. BEN promotes the use of the bicycle in all of its forms to enhance low-cost, non-motorised, transport and health and access to opportunity, employment, skills and education. This programme evolved from BEN’s importation of second hand bikes and the establishment of Independent Bicycle Dealers (IBD) owned and operated by local residents. AWOL’s guests hire bicycles from the BEN IBD’s and we then conduct a tour of Masiphumelele incorporating local businesses. Since establishment more 4000 tourists have participated on this tour, spreading considerable financial benefit to the community. Apart from the various donations from the visiting tourists, much needed income has been generated and put into circulation in local township as part of tourism services and fees paid to business owners such as Mzwamadoda Mtshaba BEN IBD Bicycle shop, Nongoloza is a local small business which provides lunch; Traditional Healers/ Sangoma’s and the local Creche with approximately 100 children. Other benefits have included a photography exhibition of the township held by German photographer Christoph Siegert in March 2004. All the proceeds of the sale of artwork went towards BEN Bicycle workshop and assisted BEN to purchase tools and 20 bicycles. The AWOL tourism project in Masiphumelele has generated significant, sustainable benefits and has proven to provide real, lasting benefits for local people and greater Cape Town.

Day 3Cape Town to Stellenbosch

After breakfast and completing check out formalities, guests will be transferred to the Winelands before heading to their accommodation at Spier for the evening. Guests can also enjoy a wine tasting and lunch at Spier before checking in at 14:00. Guests can depart Cape Town on a scenic and historic drive through the local wine regions in Cape Town: Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Guests can stop at various wine estates to sample the local wines produced in South Africa. Stellenbosch – 45 minutes from Cape Town city centre, a warm welcome awaits you, the visitor, to the Stellenbosch Wine Route – the first in South Africa – founded in 1971. Stellenbosch consists of tree lined streets and historical architecture. Guests can explore the popular Dorp Street and Oom Samie se Winkel. Franschhoek – The Gourmet Capital, surrounded by majestic mountains culminating in an awe-inspiring pass, provides added value to the food and wine experience. The Spier Hotel, built in 2000, is a place in which to relax and unwind. The 155-bedroom hotel is built on the banks of the Eerste River and has panoramic views of the Helderberg mountains and vineyards. The Spier Hotel provides four-star comforts in a charming village-style setting with comfortable, spacious bedrooms grouped around six private courtyards and individual pools. Spier puts its focus on sustainability and wherever possible locally made and environmentally friendly products are used. Spier also offers stimulating experiences, from exploring the collection of contemporary South African and African art to discovering the art in Spier’s wines. Guests can wander around the extensive grounds, landscaped with indigenous plants, or ramble along the river banks, watching the bird life or simply enjoy the peace.

Day 4Stellenbosch

After breakfast, guests will be transferred to Stellenbosch and enjoy a Dine & Vine tour in Stellenbosch and the winelands. Please note that the tour departs from Stellenbosch.
A foodie and a wine enthusiast? This is the ideal 1-day Stellenbosch experience. In the morning you’ll eat and drink your way through the charming old town on a Classic Cape Cuisine walk. Then in the afternoon, you’ll visit the scenic winelands. Savour traditional Cape food and drinks as your guide leads you through the historic heart of Stellenbosch with its beautiful architecture and oak-lined streets. Enjoy the Classic Cape Cuisine walk from 10:00 till 13:30 which includes a guided historic walking tour of the town centre, tasting of indigenous teas and old-style rusks, wine tasting, traditional snacks and a heritage lunch at the oldest hotel in the country (lunch cost not included). From here continue on the Stellenbosch Winelands tour from about 13:30 until 17:00. Guests will be returned to Stellenbosch.

Day 5Stellenbosch to Swellendam

After breakfast and completing check out formalities, guests will meet their guide and continue to Swellendam. In season (July to November) guests will stop in Hermanus to do some land based whale watching, alternatively they can also visit the Hermanus wine route out of Whale season. Hermanus is one of the best whale watching spots in the country, and it even has its own Whale Crier, who announces the sighting of whales with a blow of his kelp horn, calling everyone in the town to come watch these majestic animals of the ocean frolick in the water. The Old Harbour Museum is another landmark of the town, which has an outside display of an old sea wall, old fishing boats and reconstructed stone fishing huts. The inside display is of anything used for fishing in the early days and aquarium displays of locally caught specimens. In the surrounding Hemel & Aarde Valley (Heaven & Earth Valley) just 2 km outside Hermanus you can embark on the Hermanus Wine Route. This area is fast making a name for itself for its magnificent Burgundy varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Afterwards continue to Swellendam. Nestling at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, Swellendam has much to offer visitors who have an interest in history, nature and outdoor activities. Situated on the N2, approximately 240km from both Cape Town and George, Swellendam is the perfect choice for a halfway stopover or as a base from which to explore the area. The town was founded by the Dutch east India Company in 1745 in order to exercise control over independent frontiersmen who migrated over the Hottentots Holland Mountains at the beginning of the 18th century. A landdrost was appointed and a Drostdy and other building were erected. The district and town were named after the reigning Governor of the Cape, Hendrik Swellengrebel, and his wife, Helena Ten Damme. On arrival guests will check in at Jan Harmsgat Guesthouse. Jan Harmsgat Guest House is a 2-hour drive from Cape Town, on a working farm in the scenic Klein Karoo winelands region. The towns of Robertson, Montagu and McGregor are nearby and Cape Agulhas (southern tip of Africa) is an easy hour’s drive away. Guests are treated to understated elegance and comfort in the farm’s original slave quarters. 2 loft rooms and the guest lounge boast expansive mountain views. Relax by the pool with a book from the extensive library or explore the farm and surrounding wine routes, as well as museums and heritage sites in nearby Swellendam and surrounding areas. Guests will have the evening at leisure. They can decide to have dinner at the Guest House or in town. Your guide and vehicle will be on hand should you need him / her.

Day 6Swellendam to Plettenberg Bay

Guests will enjoy breakfast at the guesthouse. After completing check out formalities guests will continue to Plettenberg Bay via George and Knysna. Knysna is one of the Southern Cape coast’s best known holiday destinations, situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful lagoon – it offers many activities and attractions of a wide variety. The most well known attraction being the heads – two great sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon which connects the estuary with the sea. A lookout has been erected on the Eastern Head, commanding spectacular views of the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna. Plettenberg Bay was named after Governor Joachim von Plettenberg, who incorporated the bay under the administrative sovereignty of the Dutch-East India Trading Company in 1778. The Company used the place primarily as a shipping port for timber. Later on there was a whaling station built here, which was active until 1920. “Plett” – as South Africans simply call this exclusive seaside resort – boasts the most beautiful beaches of the Garden Route. They stretch over many kilometers all around the bay. The watersport possibilities are plentiful, and in season the bay it is an excellent place to watch whales and dolphins. On arrival guests will check in at Hog Hollow. Hog Hollow Country Lodge, a private nature reserve, is situated 18km east of Plettenberg Bay in the heart of the Garden Route. 12 rooms offer uninterrupted views over the indigenous forests and Tsitsikamma Mountains. Each African-styled room is situated in the gardens surrounding the main house, has a private wooden deck with a hammock and wooden furniture overlooking the forest and an ensuite bathroom with bath and shower, as well as a ceiling fan, mini bar and a tea/coffee station. Facilities in the main house include a dining room, 3 lounge areas (one leading out to the pool area, another in the leafy garden vista, and the third underneath an old Cape Ficus Tree. The swimming pool overlooks the Matjes River Gorge. Activities on the property include walking trails and bird watching.

Days 7 & 8Plettenberg Bay

Guests will enjoy breakfast at the lodge. Guests will spend the next two days on various optional activities in the area. Your guide will be on hand to assist you.

Some activities in the area are as follows (for additional charge):

– Horse Riding at Hog Hollow
– Walk through the Indigenous forest from Hog Hollow
– Monkeyland and Birds of Eden
– Elephant Sanctuary
– Various beaches in the area: Nature’s Valley, Keurbooms, Plettenberg Bay
– Guests can take a walk in Robberg Nature Reserve
– Boat bases whale and dolphin tours during season

Monkeyland is unique in that the sanctuary caters for several species of primate, and they are not caged, they are free to move about the forest, and do so in harmony. Monkeyland is a modern primate sanctuary established in a pristine natural high canopy forest, which is well suited to those primates fortunate enough to live there. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the sanctuary is that it is both a multi-species and free-roaming facility. Monkeyland, which opened in 1998, is totally self-sustaining from the revenue it derives from tourism. This revenue is generated by enthusiastic rangers who take visitors out on monkey safaris. The safaris, which are fun and exciting, are also educational and generally result in our guests leaving the sanctuary with a whole new focus on the primates of the world and the problems they are facing. The world’s largest single span aviary, just a few kilometres east of Plettenberg Bay in the Garden Route, where birds are free to fly free provides an incredible experience for those who visit, and a wonderful way of life for over 2000 previously caged birds. The completely unique venture of Birds of Eden is an enormous two hectare dome spanning a gorge filled with verdant, indigenous forest. Within it are some 100 species of incredible African birds, a few of them endangered, that provide anyone entering the dome with a literal experience of paradise. The Elephant Sanctuary provides a safe-haven for our elephants and offers a platform for guest education and interaction. We offer guest and elephant driven programs where the most important part of our operation is happy elephants and satisfied guests. Our programs offer one of a kind elephant interaction and are unique to the Elephant Sanctuary. All our elephants are rescued African elephants and we have gained their trust through our unique reward based training. We believe in forming bonds between humans and elephants and all our elephants are exercised and stimulated daily, which provides a firm foundation for trust. Elephants are highly intelligent and delightful and you will discover a different character, personality and temperament within each one. We are a family orientated operation catering for the young and old. An experienced guide will introduce you to the elephants, and you will learn about their backgrounds, behaviors, characters and more while being able to touch, feel, feed, interact and walk trunk-in-hand with the elephants. Suitable for all ages.

Day 9Plettenberg Bay to Amakhala

Guests will enjoy breakfast at the lodge. After completing check out formalities guests will continue to Amakhala Game Reserve. The Amakhala Game Reserve began in 1999 as a joint conservation venture. Today, six independently owned lodges of The Heritage Collection, are all TGCSA Star Lodge accredited. The lodges are owner managed by the descendants of the original families who arrived here with the British settlers of 1820. The lodges offer various styles of accommodation, which include two gracious colonial homesteads, two classic bush lodges, an historic inn and a Settler farmhouse. Amakhala Game Reserve is a unique conservation initiative that allows animals to be re-introduced to the area where they once roamed freely and so making a contribution to the conservation of our natural heritage. The land was used to ranch sheep and cattle up to the turn of the century. The challenge has been to re-establish the original flora and fauna species to the area and to return the land to nature. On arrival guests will check in at Bush Lodge. Feel invigorated by the sounds and fragrances of the African bush, while lounging on your personal deck, or viewing from within your plunge pool. Built in the bush, against a back drop of aloe’s and indigenous fauna and flora, make the Bush Lodge a perfect African retreat. Our luxurious. secluded tented rooms with private plunge pools, atmospheric fireplace, alfresco double showers and hot and cold air-conditioners, offer an unforgettable and exceptional romantic experience. Leisure time can be spent indulging in professional treatments in the privacy and comfort of your own suite by an exclusive in-house therapist. Enjoy cuisine that excites the palate and leaves you needing to explore true African culture, hosted by local staff that are willing to attend to your every need. A far cry from the average safari experience, the Bush Lodge provides undivided, personal attention ensuring your stay is pleasurable and unforgettable. While browsing in the new boutique shop, enjoy a special espresso coffee or should you feel like a pampering, indulge in our new whisper room. All treatments are with our professional therapist, calm, tranquil and rejuvenating. On arrival guests will enjoy lunch at the lodge – depending on arrival time. Guests will enjoy an afternoon game drive in the reserve where they will have a chance to spot the Big 5 followed by dinner at the lodge.

Day 10Amakhala

Guests will enjoy a morning game drive in the reserve. After the game drive guests will return to the lodge for a scrumptious breakfast and have the rest of the morning at leisure. Guests will enjoy lunch at the lodge followed by an afternoon game drive and dinner at the lodge.

Day 11Amakhala to Port Elizabeth and Depart

Guests will enjoy breakfast at the lodge. After completing check out formalities guests will be transferred to Port Elizabeth Airport where they check in for their outbound flight. (Flight costs not included)

Tour Details

Contact us for discounted children’s pricing if your group consists of between 4 people and 7 people or if you want to participate in other activities.

Price Includes

  • Accommodations in Standard Rooms
  • Meals as Indicated
  • Transportation (VAT exempt) in Luxury A/C Vehicle
  • SATOUR Registered Driver / Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • Porterage for One Luggage Per Person
  • Tourism Levies, Where Applicable

Price Excludes

  • International Airfare or Departure Taxes
  • Gratuities
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Travel Insurance (Mandatory)
  • Optional Tours & Transfers

Optional Activities

  • Extensions to Johannesburg
  • Extensions to Kokolo Game Reserve - Waterberg
  • Extensions to Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge
  • Extensions to Mashovhela Bush Lodge
  • Extensions to Timbavata Game Reserve