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WESTERN CAPE

WESTERN CAPE
Africa

Cape Rockjumper

An extravaganza of flowers, singing birds and displaying whales make springtime in the Western Cape an exhilarating destination.

Africa

An extravaganza of flowers, singing birds and displaying whales makes early summer in the Western Cape an exhilarating destination. Stunning proteas drip with sunbirds and sugarbirds in the shadow of Table Mountain while, further along the coast Southern Right Whales congregate, sending massive blows into the sky and breaching to the delight of gathered onlookers on the shore. Elegant Black Harriers float low over coastal scrub while Blue Cranes dance in farm fields. From humble beginnings in 1982, there is now a large, thriving and extraordinarily confiding colony of African Penguins which pose for all to enjoy. On top of this, the forests, mountains, fynbos and wetlands of the region offer other ornithological riches including endemics such as Cape Rockjumper, Knysna Warbler and Cape Siskin.  Our two-week tour will take a circular route around the Western Cape, stopping at strategic points in hand-picked quality accommodation where we take time to enjoy the many local offerings.


Contact The Ultimate Travel Company 0207 386 4682 to make a reservation.

2018
27October - 11 November
16 days (15 nights)
£TBC
+£TBC
Full
N/A
N/A

Economy class flights, accommodation with private facilities, full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner), ground transport, tips and services of Wild Insights leaders.

Travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry and phone calls.

The Western Cape. South Africa

PROGRAMME
Day 1:        
Depart London Heathrow p.m

Day 2 – 5:    
Arrive Cape Town a.m, check in and enjoy the hospitality of our first accommodation where we will be based for the next 4 nights. This will give us time to explore, at leisure, various sites in the Cape Town region including the stunning botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch. Spectacular floral displays merge into a wilder forested habitat, leading up towards Table Mountain providing some of the finest opportunities to view, at close quarters, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird and Cape Francolin. Other local highlights include Spotted Eagle Owl, Cape Batis, African Olive Pigeon, Swee Waxbill and Paradise Flycatcher. The wealth of small birds also attracts raptors such as Rufous-breasted and Black Sparrowhawks which can suddenly appear anywhere. During our time in the region we will also visit the Cape of Good Hope (an excellent site for seabirds and the endemic Cape Siskin), Rondevlei for wetland birds and the forested habitats of the Constantia greenbelt, a good spot for elusive Knysna Warbler and the delightful slopes of Black Hill where the flowering fynbos rings with the song of Cape Grassbirds, Neddickies and Cape Rock Thrushes.

Days 6 – 7:        
Our tour now takes us east along the attractive rocky coastline toward Hermanus. Along the way we will stop at certain favoured spots where we will check for other endemic species including Victorin’s Warbler, Cape Rockjumper and the rather bizarre Ground Woodpecker. This area is also regularly patrolled by Jackal Buzzards and magnificent Verreaux’s Eagle. Stoney Point is one of the best places to see African Penguins which pose perfectly. Hermanus strategically juts into the southern Atlantic and is not only good for a wide range of sea-birds but has the added unforgettable spectacle of colossal Southern Right Whales gathering and breaching. From here we will also visit other excellent birdwatching sites - Fernkloof and the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, both of which offer further chances for typical fynbos species plus Swee Waxbill, Victorin’s Warbler, Jackal Buzzard and Verreaux’s Eagle. Overnights at Hermanus.

Day 8:      
Today we head across the Overberg where we will explore farmland surprisingly rich in birds including Black Harrier, Denham’s Bustard, Agulhas Long-billed Lark. It is here we will also have our best chances to view elegant Blue Cranes feeding in the fields. We will also take a walk along the delightful river at Stanford which is one of the top birdwatching towns in the area. This is an excellent spot for enjoying the manic activities of Red Bishops and seeing both Amethyst and Malachite Sunbirds. Klaas’s Cuckoo can often be heard, giving its unmistakeable two-syllable call and Pin-tailed Whydahs - males complete with unfeasibly long tails - dance to attract the attention of females. Overnight at Arniston.

Day 9 – 10:       
Today we depart from Arniston and take a short journey to Swellendam. En route we will visit De Hoop Nature Reserve where 36,000 hectares of lowland fynbos supports a wide range of species including Knysna Woodpecker, Denham’s Bustard, Clapper Lark, Ostrich, Southern Black Korhaan and Black Harrier. The unmistakable song of Bokmakierie is heard everywhere and this is also a good spot for a number of hirundine species including White-throated and Greater Striped Swallows. From Swellendam we visit the beautiful Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve which has some of the most mature forest of the region. It will also will give us our best chances to find a number of species on the west of their range such as Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Greater Double-collared Sunbird and the very elusive Narina Trogon. This is also one of the few places where Forest Buzzard occurs and the massive Crowned Eagle has been reported from time to time. Overnights at Swellendam.

Day 11 – 14:      
Today we will head back over to the west coastline of the Cape where Langebaan will be our base for the next four nights. En route we will stop off at Paarl Mountain Sanctuary, for more nectar-loving species in the picturesque gardens and fynbos-covered slopes. The next two complete days will be spent exploring the West Coast National Park where the 16 km long Langebaan Lagoon attracts a plethora of waders and wildfowl plus Black and African Marsh Harriers, Black shouldered Kite, Grey-winged Francolin, White-throated Canary, Karoo Lark, Cardinal Woodpecker and Levaillant’s Cisticola to name a few.  On one day we will also travel a little further north to the bird-rich estuary at Veldriff, exploring some of the farm roads in the area for Cape Long-billed Lark and Sickle-winged Chat. Overnights at Langebaan.

Day 15:     
This morning we will travel back to Cape Town where our international flight departs p.m. arriving in London Heathrow early a.m. the next day.

Wild Insights overseas tours are part of a wider programme of Ultimate Travel Company holidays worldwide, and their terms and conditions apply. The Ultimate Travel Company  is fully licensed and bonded with ABTA and IATA and all their overseas tours are fully protected by their Civil Aviation Authority  ATOL Licence, number 5111.

Louisa Thompson 0207 3864682
www.theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk