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Botany & Ecology

Day tours:

a.) Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point Nature Reserve & African Penguins

Kirstenbosch.jpg Start the day by visiting the breathtaking Kirstenbosch, one of the world's most famous botanical gardens, renowned for the splendour and diversity of the Cape flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
  • Be enriched by the incredible beauty of the Cape Floral Kingdom at its best. The estate supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country.
  • Also enter the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is managed by the South African National Parks. The Nature Reserve is recognized globally for its extraordinary land formations, rich and diverse fauna and unique flora.
  • Fauna includes, to name a few, the mountain zebras, antelope, about 250 species of birds and several troops of baboons.
  • Also included in this ecological tour is a visit to Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, were there will be unsurpassed opportunities for photography and observation of the rare African Penguin. From mating to moulting, breeding to bathing, their daily lives are played out within a few meters of fascinated visitors.
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b.) Botanical highlights of the West Coast

alt The West Coast of South Africa is a region where the rugged coastline contrasts the pristine beauty of the springtime floral tapestry.
Whales and dolphins also frequent the waters of the Atlantic Ocean during this time and it is a bird enthusiast’s paradise. This is a unique place filled with outstanding character and breathtaking natural beauty.
  • Start the day by departing for !Khwa ttu, a cultural nature reserve, where visitors are introduced to the way of life of the San people. San hunter-gatherers (often referred to as ‘Bushmen’) were the first indigenous people of southern Africa. At !Khwa ttu guests will be taken on a brief walk or tractor ride with local guides of San origin, who will give you insight into the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and the San’s ingenious techniques of survival and sustainable living. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy a short audiovisual presentation on their unique culture and way of life and to visit the small school, art gallery and craft centre on the premises.
  • Then drive to a nearby private Nature Reserve – approximately 800 Ha in size and 4km from the sea, which has both Karoo-oid and Sandplain fynbos vegetation and is home to the most incredible floral diversity. Here we enjoy a walk through the wildflowers and coffee at the conservation centre on the premises, which houses a herbarium and artists gallery (depending on availability).
  • Next stop is near Langebaan where we visit the West Coast National Park - which provides a safe haven for thousands of birds who roost on the sheltered islands and pristine beaches. The Postberg Flower/Game Reserve, which opens only for flowering season offers spectacular floral displays and also unique Western Cape big game sightings. Langebaan is also known for its whale watching (June to October).
  • Our final stop on the way back to Cape Town is at Bloubergstrand – a wide beach with classic views of Table Mountain, Robben Island, Devil’s Peak and Signal Hill – the perfect photo opportunity at the end of an unforgettable West Coast Flower experience!
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c.) Overberg reserve, botanical garden and whale watching (in season)

alt Along the beautiful False Bay Coast line (which offers whale watching opportunities as one drives along) we stop at the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens. Pollination, seed dispersal and germination - there is always something happening and a story to be told.
  • Then drive towards the coastal town of Hermanus for lunch (own account). Hermanus is a stunning town nestled between a quiet bay and the rugged fynbos-clad mountains. During August, this bay, well known as one of the best land-based whale watching spots in the world, may be teeming with Southern Right Whales. Rock hyraxes and other wildlife are also usually present to entertain us.
  • In the afternoon begin the journey back to Cape Town, via Grabouw, one of the main fruit growing regions in South Africa. Enjoy a wine tasting at one of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative Estates in the area.
  • The development of a biodiversity wine route is one of the core strategies of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), a pioneering initiative between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector. The BWI aims to minimise the further loss of threatened natural habitat, and to contribute to sustainable wine production, through the adoption of biodiversity guidelines by the South African wine industry.
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Associations

Tour Associate SATSA Bonded
Tour Associate Wildlife and Environmental
Society of South Africa
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Tour Associate FTTSA
Tour Associate Responsible Tourism Cape Town

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Joan Ramo
Dear Ince:
As i think about the last year, I remember well the wonderful trip that led us on in Johannesburg, a trip which was so well organized and fun and carefully planned by you.
My whole family is still raving about your professional, yet personal, guidance.
We are grateful.
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