Walk around the botanical garden can be up to 1.5 miles in length on paved paths, with small inclines/declines encountered. Drive time to the Winelands is 1 hour each direction; 35 miles.
Breakfast will be an expansive buffet at the hotel, with a variety of cereals, breads, fruits and hot breakfast items like eggs, ham and sausage. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, water, milk provided. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We are fortunate to have as our Group Leader a knowledgeable expert who will also serve as our primary lecturer for most of the program.
We will visit Kirstenbosch Gardens, one of the world's leading botanical gardens. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of its setting, against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and it was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora. On display in the gardens is a wide variety of the unique Cape Floristic Region plant life, as well as plants from all the diverse regions of southern Africa; there are over 7,000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many that are rare and threatened. In 2004, the Cape Floristic Region, including Kirstenbosch, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will walk around the garden in the company of our Group Leader and a local specialist, who will talk about the different plants seen. In the late morning, we will transfer out to the Winelands for our afternoon field trip.
We will enjoy lunch today at a wine estate near Stellenbosch. Our gourmet picnic will consist of dishes curated by the executive chef, made with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and artisanal suppliers. Lunch will include 1 glass of wine per person and water; additional beverages available for purchase.
We will spend the afternoon exploring the Cape Winelands. The wine-producing region around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek is not only the most important wine growing region in South Africa, but Stellenbosch is also one of the oldest, most beautiful and well-preserved towns in South Africa. The vineyards form a patchwork in the fertile valleys and seem to be overshadowed by dramatic mountains. There is an almost European atmosphere with beautiful Cape Dutch architecture seen everywhere. We will partake in a wine tasting and hear a lecture on the area’s architecture, history and viniculture from our Group Leader.
Dinner will be a 3-course set menu taken at a local restaurant, including starter, main dish with vegetable side, and dessert. Water provided with additional beverages available for purchase.