The Best of the Western Cape

The South Africa Wildlife Photography & Conservation Workshop

July 15 – July 26, 2022

Duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Language spoken: English
Places available: 10
Trip highlights:

• Spend time with Charly for 12 days in the Western Cape of South Africa, one of the most scenic places in the world.
• Hone your photography skills up close & personal with the world’s most iconic species.
• Access to the conservation team at one of the most exclusive game parks in South Africa.
• Assist with an exclusive, behind-the-scenes Rhino capture.
• Photographic excursion to view Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, & Brydes Whales.
• Climb Mount Rochelle for epic vistas over the entire Western Cape winelands.
• Climb Table mountain & Lions Head for sunrise.
• Cocktails & cooking from foraged ingredients found in the South African Mountains.

Introduction

In July 2022, I will be offering a Wildlife & Landscape Photography Expedition to the Western Cape in South Africa. On this 12-day trip we will spend 6 days in Cape Town capturing the iconic Table Mountain, hiking Lions Head & Food Foraging in the mountains.  We will explore the rugged coastline of the spectacular Cape Peninsula home to Chapman’s Peak & Cape Point National Park. We will spend mornings on the beach, capturing African Penguins at sunrise in their natural environment.

We will spend 2 days in the winelands adventuring on a Hot Air Balloon & hiking in Mount Rochelle capturing diverse plant life & scenic views of the Franschhoek Valley before heading to a seaside village, Hermanus.  Every year Southern Right Whales migrate from their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica to warmer climates, reaching South Africa in June. The coastal waters team with the giant animals, mating, calving, & rearing their young. Hermanus has earned the reputation of offering the best land-based whale watching in the world. We will also venture out on a marine safari by boat.

Our last two days we will stay on an 11 000-hectare private game reserve along the Garden Route. Home to Africa’s Big Five: Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, & the Cape Leopard.  As part of ongoing efforts to prevent Rhino poaching, I am proud to share we will assist & fund the capture of a White Rhino on the reserve for micro-chipping & DNA samples. This will be an exclusive experience for our group only.


Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town

Meet the Inspired Team at Cape Town International Airport & take a private 45-minute transfer to the Noordhoek Hotel situated in the Noordhoek Farm Village. The Noordhoek valley remains one of the Cape Town’s treasured destinations. Situated at the foot of Chapman’s Peak & surrounded by Table Mountain National Park, it has a delightful village atmosphere with awesome mountain & sea views. This will be our base for the next 5 days. The afternoon will be spent settling in at Noordhoek, exploring the village & area on foot. We will spend time on Chapmans Peak catching some sunset shots before a welcome dinner with Charly & the South African team.  Overnight at the Noordhoek Boutique Hotel

Day 2 & 3: Penguins & Cape Point

For two days we will head out & explore the spectacular Cape Peninsula. The South Peninsula is home to one of the world’s most spectacular passes, Chapman’s Peak Drive, seaside villages, African Penguins & Cape Point. We will spend time at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town home to the African Penguin.  Picture it, pristine white sands & calm turquoise waters hemmed in by gigantic granite boulders. Boulders Beach is one of the Cape Peninsula’s most magnificent beaches & is protected as part of the Table Mountain National Park. We will spend the morning on the beach capturing African Penguins. We will continue our journey & explore the rugged coastline of the Cape Peninsula. We will stop at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. The nature reserve boasts a scenic terrain that is home to zebras, baboons, elands, ostriches, along with over 250 different species of birds. We will spend time walking through the reserve and reach the ocean where the stunning cliffs are pounded by crashing waves. Overnight at The Noordhoek  Boutique Hotel.

Day 4: Food foraging

Today we will discover South Africa’s edible landscape, a wildly delicious experience.  We will meet Roushanna Gray & her team at the Veld & Sea HQ. We will be greeted with a botanical cocktail/mocktail & wild flavor canapé, followed by a hands-on introduction of seasonal, local, indigenous, edible plants, seaweeds, flowers, & herbs. After getting to know some of these new wild ingredients, we will embark on an interactive cooking class incorporating wild foods & seasonal fresh produce. We will then be led on a guided walk up the mountainside for a sensory experience fynbos tea tasting, & then back to the beautiful Glasshouse for a wild flavored meal inspired by season, place, & space. Photography lesson hosted by Charly at Noordhoek Boutique Hotel.

Day 5 & 6: Table mountain, Lions Peak and Noordhoek

After breakfast each day, we will head out and explore Table Mountain, Lions Head, & Noordhoek Peak. 

We will climb the most iconic landmark of South Africa, Table Mountain & catch Lions Head for Sunrise. Towering tall at over a thousand meters over Cape Town, Table Mountain is a playground for nature lovers & adventure seekers. On reaching the top of the mountain, we will take in the amazing panoramic views across this fantastic city & beyond.  We’ll spend time exploring the mountain top & enjoy a light snack with refreshments, before we catch the cable car back down.

There are about 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain & 1470 floral species. Many of these plants & flowers are endemic to this mountain. The Cape Floral region of the national park is one of the richest floral regions in the world. Over 70% of the flowers are endemic to the Table Mountain. It is no wonder that the mountain was chosen as one of the new seven world wonders. Enjoy lunches in town and at a neighborhood markets before heading off to other Peaks for a photography adventure.

Day 5 accommodation – Overnight Noordhoek Boutique Hotel
Day 6 accommodation – Overnight Franschoek

Day 7: Hot Air Balloon & climbing Mount Rochelle

Today we rise early so we can catch the sunrise from the air! We will embark on a lighter-than-air flight in the winelands area. The terrain is a mixture of winelands & farmland. As the sun rises, the landscape & vegetation will provide fantastic photo opportunities.

The flight duration is about one hour & towards the end of the flight the pilot will select a suitable, safe landing site.  After our balloon ride, we will celebrate with a glass of bubbles & some snacks then head back to town for breakfast.

After a late breakfast we will climb Mount Rochelle. Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is part of the UNESCO-declared Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. Situated in the Franschhoek Mountains, the reserve offers spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley & diverse plant life.

Day 8 & 9: Whale & dolphin photography

Today we depart Franschoek & head to Hermanus a beautiful seaside village stretched along a narrow ribbon of land between towering mountains & a spectacular shoreline, Hermanus is surrounded by nature in her grandest style.

Every year Southern Right Whales migrate from their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica to warmer climates, reaching South Africa in June. The coastal waters team with the giant animals, mating, calving, & rearing their young. This is the only large whale that lacks a dorsal fin. We will spend two days exploring Hermanus along the cliff paths watching the spectacular display of raw power & elegant water acrobatics of the Southern Right Whales. 

On Day 9 we will head out on a marine boat safari in search of Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, & Brydes Whales.  We may also encounter Seals, Dolphins, & a variety of marine birds. Afternoon Photography workshop at The Marine Hotel.                                                                               

Accommodation: Overnight Hermanus – The Marine Hotel.

Day 10: Gondwana, a 5 star Game Reserve

Depart Hermanus & enjoy a leisurely drive to Gondwana Game Reserve, a malaria free private game reserve approximately 4 hours away from Cape Town.

Set on 11 000 hectares, Gondwana Game Reserve holds the distinction of being the only Fynbos reserve in the world with free roaming Big Five game as well as endangered species like the Cape Mountain Zebra, Black Rhinoceros, & Black Harrier among many others.  Its breath-taking beauty will soothe & delight us with its endless mountain views & green rolling hills blanketed in fynbos. 

The reserve is also home to 15 antelope species, 17 predator species and 1000 species of fynbos. On arrival we will be treated to a light lunch & enjoy some time off at Kwena Lodge. At 15h30 we will depart on our first private game drive which is conducted on open Land Rovers with expert field guides who reveal the free roaming Big 5 in a Cape Floral setting. We will be treated delicious hors d’oeuvres & sundowners in the afternoon on the drive.

After capturing our wild sunset, we will head to camp for a feast.       

Accommodation: Overnight at Kwena Lodge in the heart of the reserve.

Day 11: Rhino capture & release

As part of ongoing efforts to prevent Rhino poaching at Gondwana Game Reserve, we will assist & fund the capture of a White Rhino on the reserve.

It’s going to be an early morning with lots of action, a helicopter, a vet, & an anti-poaching team. We will have the opportunity to assist the vet & conservationists with micro-chipping & taking DNA samples of the darted White Rhino.  This will be an extremely exciting & exclusive day to our group.

The two African rhino species, Black Rhino & White Rhino, had both increased in number in recent years thanks to successful conservation efforts, especially in South Africa. The white rhino has been brought back from the brink of extinction. However, both species are again at risk due to a huge surge in poaching to meet demand for illegal rhino horn.

Countries & conservationists are stepping up their efforts & today we get to contribute! After an action-packed day, we will head back to camp for our Farewell Boma Braai.

Accommodation: Overnight Kwena Lodge.

Day 12: Farewell

Today we will have an early morning game drive to catch to the sunrise and more of the big five roaming the Gondwana plans. Enjoy a coffee & rusk stop before heading back to camp to main lodge for a hearty farewell breakfast, then a shuttle to George Airport to fly home or start your next adventure with us in South Africa

What’s included

• 11 nights accommodation on a B&B basis
• Meet & Greet at Cape International Airport 
• Private transfers throughout
• Guide & hosting services during the tour
• A welcome dinner in Noordhoek and a dinner in Franschhoek
• Food Foraging Experience
• Table Mountain Cable Car tickets
• Entrance & conservation fees to the reserves where applicable
• Boat Based Whale Watching
• Gondwana Game Reserve includes all meals & game drive activities
• Exclusive behind the scenes Rhino Capture and conservation with top conservationists

What’s not included?

• All items of a personal nature
• Gratuities
• Hot Air Balloon Ride
• All Meals & beverages not mentioned in Itinerary
• International flights & Travel Insurance
• Visas

Book your place on this expedition!

To book your place on this trip please click on the link below.

The price of the trip is USD 4995.
A deposit of USD$750 will be due upfront, followed by two installments:
The first installment of USD$1500 due on the 1st January 2022.
A final installment of of $2745, which will be due 90 days before the trip departs.

This trip will be operated in partnership with Inspired Ventures who will be the principal for the trip. The booking conditions can be found at https://www.inspiredventures.co.uk/booking-terms-and-conditions/