South African National Quilt Festival

Prices from £3,999


11 Aug 2019 - 25 Aug 2019
Duration: 14 nights
Ref: 19051
With: Mandy Shaw


Prices from £3,999
Single Supplement: £895
Deposit: £400

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Join us on this textile adventure to South Africa and the 20th South African National Quilt Festival. This tour takes you to some of the country’s most iconic sites and experiences; the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, Robben Island, wine tasting in the Cape Winelands, the Garden Route and an elephant safari. Our expert, Mandy Shaw, will be on hand throughout the tour, hosting 1 full day and 2 half day workshops. In addition to these highlights, our contact at the local quilting guild will ensure that we get to spend some time with South African quilting groups and visit specialist stores.


This biennial quilt festival is the meeting place for friends and likeminded souls. The aim of the dedicated festival committee is to host a festival for quilters by quilters. 2019 will be the 20th Festival with a theme of INTERCHANGE – threads connect. The week will be filled with exciting workshops, lectures, competitions and endless shopping opportunities! We'll spend two days at the festival - plenty of time to stroll around and admire the African quilting work, or book yourself a workshop directly with the the festival to learn some new tips & tricks.


Cape Town enjoys an incomparable setting between the sparkling Atlantic Ocean and the majestic backdrop of Table Mountain. We will visit Signal Hill and stop at Camps Bay for a drink and look at the sea and the free time at the waterfront for shopping. Visit Robben Island, now a museum, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison. We’ll discover the splendours of the Cape Peninsula and enjoy the beauty of the spectacular Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens too.


Our journey will take us to vineyard-clad valleys, right in the heart of the Western Cape Winelands. We’ll visit a wine estate and discover more about the wine-making process, from grape to glass. A wine tasting is, of course, included too. One of the oldest towns in South Africa, the streets of Stellenbosch are lined with some of the finest surviving examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture in the Cape. The historic centre is a lovely spot with its secluded lanes, cosmopolitan restaurants and cafés. The views to the mountains, vineyards and orchards are, quite simply, superb.


Located at the heart of the Garden Route, Knysna enjoys a magnificent setting between the lagoon and mountainous forests. The town offers an array of shops and boutiques and a lively waterfront. Knysna is also famous for delicious oysters and fresh seafood. Your Garden Route journey will also take you to the dramatic splendour of Storms River Mouth, located in Tsitsikamma National Park. The scenery here is quite magnificent.


Port Elizabeth, known affectionately as ‘PE’, is a bustling sea port located on the shores of the Indian Ocean. The city enjoys a relaxed atmosphere and offers sandy beaches with a mild year-round climate. Port Elizabeth is also home to the some fine art deco architecture. There are more buildings from this era here than anywhere else in South Africa. Other historical attractions include the Donkin Heritage trail which follows in the footsteps of the 1820 settlers.


No visit to this area would be complete without a game drive and we have included an exciting day visit to Addo Elephant Park. This national park is just 55 kms from Port Elizabeth. In the company of a park ranger seek out an abundance of wildlife including elephants, lions, buffalo, antelope and warthogs.


Meet Mandy Shaw at London Heathrow airport for your overnight flight to Cape Town.


We arrive in Cape Town mid-morning, meet our local guide and transfer to our hotel. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a city orientation tour. We will visit Signal Hill stop at Camps Bay for a drink and look at the sea followed by free time at the waterfront for shopping etc. Dinner is included tonight, and we’ll dine at Africa Café - South Africa’s first African restaurant.


Today is devoted to the glories of the Cape Peninsula. We’ll travel along Chapman’s Peak Drive; skirting Chapman’s Peak and following the rocky coastline of the peninsula giving breathtaking views in both directions. The drive is listed as one of the top 10 scenic drives in the world. Cape Point Nature Reserve is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. In the reserve we’ll stop at the Cape of Good Hope, the most southwesterly point on the African continent, and take the funicular to the Cape Point Lighthouse for stunning panoramic views. After lunch we’ll visit Kirstenbosch Gardens. Set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, it is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world.


This morning we’ll travel by boat to Robben Island, where a bus will take us to all the historical sites around the island including the maximum-security prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters, including Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated for years. The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.


Enjoy a morning at leisure. Perhaps visit the Watershed Craft Market or take a stroll through Bo Kaap, the historical Cape Malay quarter of the city where brightly coloured houses line the streets. This afternoon join a workshop hosted by Mandy Shaw. Details of the workshop will be sent to you before you travel.


This morning we’ll leave Cape Town and drive to the Winelands area visiting Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, three of the main wine growing regions in South Africa. The South African wine industry produces about 1,000,000,000 litres of wine each year. Paarl is the largest town in the region, renowned for its scenic beauty and its grape and fruit growing heritage. Stellenbosch has been at the centre of the South African wine industry since 1690 and today is the primary location for viticulture and viticulture research. Franschhoek is a small town where it is possible to see some fine examples of Cape Dutch Architecture. Of course, a visit to the Winelands wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a local wine farm and some wine tasting.


Today we take a relaxing drive to George via Swellendam and Oudtshoorn. Our first stop though is De Oude Drostdy, a typical Cape Dutch style home and museum and a wonderful venue for some more wine tasting. Swellendam is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and home to over 50 heritage sites, most of them buildings of Cape Dutch architecture. We’ll travel through the scenic desert landscape of Klein Karoo to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, before arriving in George, our base for the next two nights.


Enjoy a full day workshop hosted by Mandy Shaw.


Today we travel along the Garden Route to Knysna, where we enjoy a lagoon cruise and time for some retail therapy at the many shops on Knysna waterfront. This afternoon, at our hotel, join a workshop hosted by Mandy Shaw.


We continue along the Garden Route today to Port Elizabeth. En route we’ll drive through Tsitsikamma National Park; a coastal reserve known for its indigenous forests and dramatic coastline. We’ll stop at Storms River and take a walk across the suspension bridge there, giving magnificent views of the Indian Ocean and the river waters just seven metres below. Port Elizabeth is one of the major seaports in South Africa and the southernmost large city on the African continent.


We’ll discover more natural wonders today on our safari amidst the splendid surroundings of Addo Elephant Park. As well as herds of elephants the part is also home to lions, Cape buffalo, black rhino, warthogs and various species of antelope. A light lunch is included. This afternoon we transfer to Port Elizabeth airport for our short flight to Johannesburg.


Enjoy your first full day at the quilt festival, transfers and entrance tickets are included. If you wish to book any workshops, please contact the show organisers directly to reserve your place.


Enjoy a second day at the quilt festival, transfers and entrance tickets are included. Dinner is included tonight, and we’ll dine at Moyo’s restaurant for a celebration of the beauty of Africa.


After a morning at leisure we’ll transfer to Johannesburg airport for our overnight flight to London Heathrow.

DAY 15 - UK

You will arrive back in the UK this morning.


Twin room: £3999 per person
Single supplement: £895
Deposit: £400 per person


  • British Airways flights London - Cape Town – Port Elizabeth – Johannesburg – London
  • 12 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels
  • Welcome and farewell dinners
  • Lunch on Day 11
  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach and visits as detailed in the itinerary
  • Two days entrance to the South African National Quilt Festival
  • Two half day and one full day workshop with Mandy Shaw, kit included
  • Services of local English-speaking guides throughout the tour
  • Hotel and airport porterage
  • Driver and guide gratuities


Drinks and meals other than those specified, travel insurance and items of a personal nature, i.e. telephone calls, laundry etc.


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Worldwide - £75


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>

The Table Bay, Cape Town ★★★★★

The Table Bay offers the ultimate in 5-star luxury hotel accommodation. Offering direct access to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront harbour, the hotel is ideally located for visiting the city’s top tourist attractions. Facilities at the hotel include spa, gym and swimming pool. The luxury mountain-view rooms come equipped with free wifi, air conditioning, safe, coffee machine and kettle, minibar and flat screen TV and hair dryer.

Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa, Cape Town ★★★★

The 4-star Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa has a rich history dating back to the 1700's when the original Cape Dutch style farmstead was built. The 56 en suite rooms, set amidst tranquil gardens and cobbled walkways, are exquisitely furnished and boast spectacular views of the magnificent mountain landscape. The courtyard rooms offer free wifi, hairdryer, TV, minibar and fridge. Hotel facilities include spa, hair salon and 18-hole golf course.

Oubaai Golf & Spa Hotel, George ★★★★

The 4-star Oubaai Golf & Spa Hotel is in an area renowned for its pristine beaches, indigenous forests and nature reserves, on the iconic Garden Route. Hotel facilities include spa, fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool, 18-hole golf course, tennis court and squash court. The standard rooms come equipped with robes, hairdryer, coffee station, cable/satellite TV, wifi access, air conditioning and safe.

Premier Resort, The Moorings ★★★★

The 4-star Premier Resort, The Moorings can be found in a secluded spot on the banks of the Knysna lagoon with spectacular views of indigenous forest. Standard rooms come equipped with tea & coffee making facilities, free wi-fi, air conditioning, hair dryer, safe, colour TV. The hotel has a swimming pool.

Radisson Blu, Port Elizabeth ★★★★

This 4-star hotel combines comfort, convenience and culture, located just seconds away from Port Elizabeth’s blue flag beaches and only minutes away from the city centre, offering seaside relaxation and shopping opportunities. The superior rooms come equipped with free wifi, hair dryer, mini bar, tea & coffee making facilities and safe. Hotel facilities include spa and fitness centre.

Radisson Blu, Johannesburg ★★★★

This 4-star hotel is in the heart of the business district. Amenities include free wifi, sundeck and outdoor pool, spa and gym with indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Standard rooms come equipped with mini-bar, tea & coffee making facilities and safe.