A trip to the Western Cape offers a wonderful chance to see penguins and whales in their natural habitat. The best spot for watching is Boulders Beach, near Simon’s Town, where African penguins waddle between granite boulders and across white sands. For whale-watching boat tours and land-based observation, head to Hermanus in Walker Bay, a protected area and natural retreat for Southern Right Whales when they calf their young. The Cederberg Mountains also attract lovers of wildlife, with the chance to glimpse Mountain zebras, dainty antelope and birds of prey scanning the ground for lunch.
For surfing, diving, boating, golfing, kayaking, walking, horse riding, birding and whale-watching, Walker Bay ticks every box. Another top pick for outdoorsy types are the striking Cederberg Mountains, spectacularly carved by wind. Join an organised tour and spot the Maltese Cross, the Wolfberg Arch and ancient San Rock paintings, hidden amid wonderful rock formations. Such engravings are found across South Africa and are thought to be the workings of indigenous tribes. Climb upwards for panoramic views, swim in crystalline rock pools, tour local tea farms, before stopping for a refreshing interlude at the country’s finest wine estate.
Don’t miss the scenic drive to the tip of the Cape Peninsula for a snapshot of the Cape of Good Hope. Explore the region’s picturesque coastal towns, such as Hermanus, boasting wonky-walled fishermen’s cottages, interesting museums, swish galleries, craft markets and smart seafood restaurants. Make note of the Hermanus Wine & Food Fair in August – one of South Africa’s best.
British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Cape Town.
From London Heathrow to Cape Town: 11 hours, 30 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.