Cape Town and the Garden Route – steam and scenery

South Africa is probably a long way for you to travel, and whilst the Stars Festival at Sandstone is well worth the effort, you may wish to enjoy
a little more of what the sub-continent has to offer before heading back home. South Africa is sometimes called “a world in one country”,
there are many interesting regions to explore and Geoff is happy to offer advice on how to visit them, but he has chosen the following journey
that he will host, believing it to be a great choice for a first-time visitor. The programme has a good mix of trains and tourism, it has also
been timed to allow for a more train intensive option should you also book the Bloemfontein to Kimberley steam charter, or a more tourism
centred option if you prefer to travel directly from Sandstone to Cape Town. The Cape and the Garden Route are a photographer’s delight,
and the programme has been planned to put you and your camera in some excellent photo spots at the right time of day to give you superb
results.

No visit to Africa would be complete without a wildlife experience, and so the tour ends with a few days on a private game reserve near Port
Elizabeth. Whilst this is an excellent way to see a little more of Africa, it is appreciated that time and budget may make it difficult. An option
has been included to leave the tour at the end of our Port Elizabeth stay.

You are welcome to book the Cape Town and Garden Route tour as a stand-alone holiday, you do not have to visit Sandstone first although
it is strongly recommended that you do so.  Geoff expects to host the full Sandstone International festival and the steam charter train.
Sheelagh will host the tour that leaves Johannesburg for Sandstone on 08 April and travels via Johannesburg and a flight to Cape Town on
12 April.

Friday, 12 April 2019
09h00. Dep. Your hotel (Coach).
15h00. Arr. Johannesburg.

Transfer from Sandstone to Johannesburg. Fly to Cape Town. You will be met at Cape Town airport and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town.

Saturday, 13 April 2019
A steam train journey
The largest steam train operator in the Cape Town area is Ceres Rail. This innovative company runs a steam train from Cape Town to the
town of Ceres on Saturdays, and we plan to go along for the ride today.
Transfer by coach from your hotel to the Royal Cape Yacht Club to board your steam train bound for Ceres, probably hauled by a Class 19D
4-8-2 locomotive. Travel through Wellington, Nuwekloof Pass, Wolseley and Michell’s Pass on your scenic journey. Reach the Ceres Golf
Estate at about 12h00, where you will enjoy a buffet lunch. Board the train again to take the same route back to Cape Town for an expected
arrival of around 18h30. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, muffins, cupcakes and other snacks will be available for sale in the Dining Car.
Overnight: Cape Town. Breakfast and a buffet lunch included.

Sunday, 14 April 2019
Cape Town city tour
Spend today in and around Cape Town, recognized as one of the most attractive cities in the world. Nestled between Table Mountain and
Table Bay, there are numerous photographic opportunities to explore with your local guide there to make the best of the day. Included will be
the Malay Quarter with its colourful town houses, Signal Hill with views across the city, the Company Gardens and a boat trip around Cape
Town harbour when you will get close-up to the inner fishing harbour and the outer container terminal, probably accompanied by seals and
porpoises.
Spend time at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, watching the sun set and enjoying the golden hour as the night’s entertainment gets into full
swing. Street musicians and dance troupes abound, you get close to commercial shipping and historic buildings with Table Mountain as a
backdrop. Great photo opportunities – reflections, lights, buskers and boats.
Overnight: Cape Town. Breakfast included.

Monday, 15 April 2019
Cape Peninsular, Simonstown and Table Mountain
Leave your hotel after breakfast and travel south to Muizenberg on the False Bay coast to photograph the technicolour Bathing Boxes that
make for some striking imagery. Continue a short drive along False Bay to Kalk bay, a working fishing community filled with brightly coloured
boats, some noisy seals and even louder ladies hard at work processing the day’s catch. Simonstown will be your next stop, a naval base
with picturesque Victorian buildings and, of course, ships. You will also visit Boulder’s Beach, home to a colony of Jackass penguins. After
lunch, motor to The Cape of Good Hope nature reserve, where we will spend time photographing the iconic landmark and the unusual flora
and fauna. Later this afternoon, head back towards Cape Town via the breathtaking Chapman’s Peak Drive. This winding road is cut into the
enormous cliff face made of granite and sandstone which by this time is being transformed by the dipping sun. We stop at the top of the
drive to take in the view back along the cliffs and to Hout Bay harbour
Overnight: Cape Town. Breakfast and lunch included.

If you are continuing from the Steam Charter, fly from Kimberley to Cape Town this evening. You will be transferred to Kimberley airport and
met at Cape Town airport.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Head inland this morning to visit the Cape Flats and the winelands. Cape Dutch gabled architecture with attractive mountain backdrops are
a dominant feature of the picturesque region. Included will be the L'ormarins Franschhoek and La Grande Provence wine estates, with wine
tasting included. After lunch, visit the Uva Mira Mountain vineyard with scenic views across the Cape Flats to Table Mountain and Cape Town.
Overnight near Franschoek. Breakfast and dinner included.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Coach to Mossel Bay
After breakfast, drive through the Fynbos floral region known as the Garden Route. Enjoy the scenery as we head to the town of Mossel Bay,
a harbour and beach resort on the Indian Ocean. Included will be a visit to the Voorbaai locomotive depot, where Transnet Freight rail
maintain diesel locomotives and have a small steam locomotive servicing facility.
Overnight: Protea Mossel Bay Hotel. Breakfast included.

Thursday, 18 April 2019
This morning, continue to George either by road or by Powervan, a unique railway motor trolley experience. The final choice depends on the
size of the group and availability of the powervan. On arrival, visit the national railway museum. Later this afternoon, continue by coach to
Knysna.
Our overnight stop will be Knysna, attractively located on a lagoon that opens out to the Indian Ocean through ‘The Heads’, a narrow
entrance with cliffs on both sides that claimed many sailing ships.
Overnight: Protea Knysna Quays Hotel. Breakfast included.

Friday, 19 April 2019 (Easter)
This morning, drive through the Tsitsikhama Forest between Knysna and Port Elizabeth. After a break for lunch, take a short orientation tour
of Port Elizabeth before checking into your hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Protea Marine Hotel, Port Elizabeth.

Saturday, 20 April 2019
The Apple Express
Port Elizabeth is home to the famous Apple Express narrow-gauge railway. This line runs from Port Elizabeth harbour to Avontuur, with a
branch line to Patensie. Out of service at present, the Apple Express volunteer group have been hard at work refurbishing two steam
locomotives and a rake of vintage coaches with plans to reintroduce a service on part of the line. We do not at present know what service will
be available during our visit, but have set today aside to enjoy whatever is on offer.
Overnight: Port Elizabeth

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Option one: Transfer this afternoon to Port Elizabeth airport for onward flight to Johannesburg.

A wildlife experience to end your holiday

Option two: Transfer to a private Game Reserve.

After a relaxed breakfast, transfer to a private game reserve, about a one hour drive from your hotel. Check in to your lodge in time for lunch
and relaxation before an evening Game Drive. The game reserve and safari is malaria free, it spans 5 ecosystems, resulting in a breath-
taking diversity of flora and fauna. The reserve is home to the Big 5 (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo & leopard) as well as other predators like
cheetah, hyena, jackal & lynx. Also present on the vast African plains are zebra, giraffe, warthog, impala, wildebeest, blesbuck and various
other antelope species. All of the animals, including the predators, are free-roaming throughout the entire game reserve. Your wildlife
experience brings you the charm of authentic Africa and is a  blend of the formal and informal. The 3 main aspects of any African safari are
the game-viewing, the accommodation and the food - this tour takes care to ensure that these three “ingredients” make your Big 5 African
safari memorable.
Overnight A Safari Lodge. Full board and safari activities.

Monday, 22 April 2019
Following an early morning wake-up call, enjoy a light breakfast before your early morning game drive begins. Return from your morning
game drive in time for a sumptuous brunch.
You then have time to relax between brunch and afternoon high tea - this is the time to have a sleep, lie at the pool, read a book.
High tea is served at your lodge in the late afternoon after which you depart on an afternoon drive, returning after nightfall for a safari cuisine
dinner.
After dinner, sit around the fire, have a drink and to chat with your ranger and other guests.
Overnight A Safari Lodge. Full board and safari activities.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Morning and afternoon game drives.
Overnight A Safari Lodge. Full board and safari activities.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Transfer to Port Elizabeth airport this morning (Transfer included).

There is also the possibility to extend your holiday with a visit to Victoria Falls.
Page updated on
24 November 2017
Geoffs trains tours
The prices listed here may change at any time due to cost increases or foreign currency adjustments.

Cape Town to Port Elizabeth:
12 to 21 April 2019

To be advised:         Per person sharing
To be advised:         Single use of a twin or double room

Your package includes:
  • Your transfer from Sandstone to Johannesburg.
  • Transfer from Cape Town airport to hotel.
  • 9 nightsfour star accommodation.
  • Meals listed in the programme.
  • Winelands tour including tasting.
  • Cape Town city tour with harbour cruise.
  • Cape peninsular tour.
  • Table Mountain cable car (weather permitting).
  • A steam train to Ceres and back.
  • George Railway Museum.
  • Port Elizabeth tour.
  • Apple Express train visit..
  • The services of the Geoff's Trains team.

Your Package does not include:
  • Lunch and dinners except where specified.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Flights.
  • Gratuities.

Kimberley to Port Elizabeth
15 to 21 April 2019:

To be advised:  Per person sharing.
To be advised:  Single use of a twin or double room.

Your  Package includes:
  • Your transfer from Cape Town airport to your hotel.
  • 6 nights four star accommodation.
  • Meals listed in the programme.
  • George Railway Museum.
  • Port Elizabeth tour.
  • Apple Express train visit.
  • The services of the Geoff's Trains team.

Your Package does not include:
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Flights.
  • Gratuities.

How to book.
If you have a question, ask us here.
If you know what you want to book, complete
the on line booking for here. You will receive an invoice and be asked for a US$100 non-
refundable deposit. You can pay by card via Paypal (no commission) or by bank transfer.