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

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 both steam charter trains.
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.

Saturday, 13 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 Uva Mira Mountain vineyard, Stellenbosch, with scenic views (620 metres
above sea level).
The lunch break will be in Stellenbosch, a university town featuring many well maintained historic buildings.
After lunch, visit the L'ormarins Franschhoek and La Grande Provence wine estates, with wine tasting included before heading to
Blaubergstrand Beach to photograph Cape Town and Table Mountain across Table Bay at sunset.
Overnight Cape Town. Breakfast included.

Sunday, 14 April 2019
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
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 troups 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
Start your exploration today with a visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, find out about Fynbos, the Cape Floral Region and one of 6
floral regions in the world. You may be familiar with one Fynbos plant, Rooibos (or in English, Red Bush) is a Fynbos herbal infusion. The
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful garden in Africa and one of the great botanic gardens
of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table
Mountain. More than just a garden, Kirstenbosch is part of a nature reserve. The 36 hectare garden is part of a 528 hectare estate that
contains protected mountainside supporting natural forest and fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds. The Kirstenbosch Estate
borders the Table Mountain National Park, and the Garden merges seamlessly with the natural fynbos and forest of the mountain.
Later this morning continue to Groot Constantia, South Africa’s original and most historic wine estate. Your visit will include a cellar tour and
wine tasting, as well as an opportunity to explore the interesting house and gardens.  
End your day with a trip by cable-car to the top of Table Mountain, heart of the Fynbos region. Photograph the birds, landscapes and, with
good fortune, a great sunset. (The cable car is weather dependent – it is often too cloudy or too windy to make this possible.)
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
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.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Steam charter to Mossel Bay
Join a two-day steam rail journey from the Cape Town waterfront to Mossel Bay on the Indian Ocean. Today, travel to Ceres and Robertson
behind double heading Class 19B and Class 19D 4-8-2 locomotives.
Overnight in hotels at Swellendam. Full board

Thursday, 18 April 2019
Steam to Mossel Bay
Today will be the second day of your steam train journey to Mossel Bay.
Overnight. Mossel Bay. Breakfast and lunch included.

Friday, 19 April 2019 (Easter)
This morning, continue to George either by road or by Powervan, a unique railway motor trolley service. 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 Knysna. Breakfast included.

Saturday, 20 April 2019
Enjoy free time in Knysna before continuing your journey to Port Elizabeth. On arrival, take a short orientation tour of Port Elizabeth before
checking in to your hotel.
Overnight: Port Elizabeth. Breakfast included.

Sunday, 21 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.
Following our visit to the Apple Express, there will be two options.

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

Lalibela Game Reserve
A wildlife experience to end your holiday

Option two: Transfer to a private Game Reserve.
After checking in to your lodge, enjoy 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 perfect 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
Lalibela Game Reserve
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
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
Lalibela Game Reserve
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
Prices and booking information
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
  • 5 nights Cape Town accommodation. Bed and breakfast.
  • Winelands tour including tasting
  • Cape Town city tour with harbour cruise
  • Cape peninsular tour
  • Kirstenbosch and Groot Constantia tour
  • Table Mountain cable car (weather permitting)
  • Two day steam train from Cape Town to Mossel Bay, full board
  • George Railway Museum
  • 1 night accommodation at Knysna
  • Port Elizabeth tour
  • 1 night accommodation at Port Elizabeth.
  • Apple Express train visit.
  • 4 dinners and 5 lunches
  • 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
  • Accommodation at Cape Town for two nights, bed and breakfast
  • Cape peninsular tour
  • Two day steam train from Cape Town to Mossel Bay, full board
  • George Railway Museum
  • 1 night accommodation at Knysna
  • Port Elizabeth tour
  • 1 night accommodation at Port Elizabeth.
  • 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.