Cape Town and the Garden Route
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This tour of sunny South Africa hits all the high notes. Start with a 3-night stay in iconic Cape Town. Seek out the Winelands, explore the city. Perhaps add a trip up Table Mountain or Robben Island to the list. Spot whales & sharks and stop over in southern coast hamlets like Hermanus and Mossel Bay. See the Big Five & more in Knysna and hit the trails in Tsitsikamma. Encounter the arid beauty of the Karoo and up the ante with adrenaline activities along the way. This is RSA at her best.
Please note this tour forms the first leg of our South Africa Escape 14-day tour.
Photos of the Tour
Why this Trip
- All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
- Only 10% deposit or minimum $110.00 required and no booking fees.
- Modern air-conditioned private coach.
- Experienced and passionate tour leader.
- Private game drive.
- Clean & comfortable accommodation.
Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here
Cape Town, 12:15 hrs & 14:45 hrs
Cape Town, Check in from 14:00 hrs
Cape Town, 18:00 hrs
DAY 1: Arrive in Cape Town
Wamkelekile e iKapa! Welcome to Cape Town! The Mother city is South Africa's oldest city and one of three official capital cities. For flights arriving today, an Expat Explore team member will meet and greet you at Cape Town airport. A complementary airport transfer is offered at selected times to take you to our starting hotel in the city. If you arrive early enough you'll have some free time to explore Cape Town and its many tourist attractions. This evening you will meet and greet your tour leader as well as your fellow travellers from all over the world. Enjoy a welcoming party at the hotel with an included dinner.
DAY 2: Cape Town city tour
On your first full day in the Republic of South Africa, we take you on a driving tour of Cape Town. Visit the Castle of Good Hope, the beautiful St George's cathedral, and the colourful Cape Malay quarters. Also set foot in the Company's Gardens (the oldest garden in SA!). The afternoon is then yours free to explore the city; we'll drop you off at the beautiful V&A Waterfront, the perfect base to grab a spot of lunch in the heart of the city. After lunch, why not take a cable car ride up to Table mountain, one of the official 'New 7 Wonders of Nature'?
DAY 3: Cape Town - Free day
Today you have the whole day to explore Cape Town on your own. Some of the most famous attractions include Robben Island and the Two Oceans Aquarium. You can also go wine tasting in Constantia or visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Ask your tour leader for ideas!
If you want a planned adventure, you can join us on the optional day trip to Cape Point. The area is protected as a nature reserve and about an hour's drive from Cape Town, on the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula. Discover the Cape Floral Kingdom and beautiful landscapes. Next, visit the penguins at Boulder's Beach and stop with free time for lunch in Kalk Bay. On the way back, travel along Chapman's Peak drive to see the stunning views out over the Atlantic ocean.
DAY 4: Cape Winelands - Stellenbosch - Hermanus
Today we're off to the Cape Winelands! South Africa has 100, 000+ hectares of vineyards. The wine industry is also the oldest outside of Europe. Top wine varieties include Chardonnay and Shiraz. There is also a cultivar called Pinotage, which is unique to SA. We have breakfast and then go on a drive through this beautiful area. A wine specialist leads us in a tasting of local wines and tells us more about South African varietals. Then we have a tasty traditional lunch in the vineyards.
After lunch, drive to Stellenbosch, a beautiful university town. It was settled by French Huguenots in the 1600s and has a rich history. We go on a walk to see Cape Dutch architecture, boutiques and art galleries. Before we leave, we have one more wine tasting. At the end of the day head to Hermanus, where you have the evening to yourself.
DAY 5: Shark Diving Excursion - Swellendam - Mossel Bay
This morning you can still enjoy free time in Hermanus before setting off for the Garden Route! Between June and November there are lots of whales in the water, and you can spot them from the shore! You can also join in on the optional shark cage diving experience. SA is known for Great White Sharks and you can see them up close in Gansbaai.
We stop for lunch on our way to Swellendam. This was the original trade route to the north. You can taste some real Boerekos (farmer's food) or even some Springbok (game) carpaccio. Outside of Albertinia we stop at the Cape Aloe Vera farm. You can taste aloe tea and try body products made from this special medicinal plant. We also learn more about its many uses. Then leave for Mossel Bay, a popular coastal village. On our way to the hotel we stop at Pinnacle caves. Fossils of 170 000+ years have been found at this ancient site.
DAY 6: Garden Route: Game Drive - Knysna - Garden Route
The first South African wildlife experience awaits at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. You will have the chance to see wildebeest, rhinos, giraffes, elephants and lions on a safari with the group.
Spend lunch time in Knysna, the heart of the Garden Route. Jump aboard a unique paddle-boat for an optional lunch cruise of the lagoon. Alternatively, choose to explore the harbour and eat at a local restaurant. After lunch there are some more animal encounters! You have the choice of two optional excursions - roam free with the monkeys at Monkeyland, or visit Birds of Eden, the world's largest free flight aviary and bird sanctuary.
DAY 7: Tsitsikamma National Park & Storms River - Eastern Cape
Today you can get adventurous in the Garden Route National Park. The Tsitsikamma forest is filled with rivers, gorges and mountains. There are lots of fun things to do in this beautiful place. You can go on a zipline tour through the trees or bungee-jump off the Bloukrans bridge. Or stay on the ground to go on a guided bush walk to learn more about the region's fauna and flora.
Drive to the Storms River mouth in Tsitsikamma National Park, where you can hike through the forest, take a seaside walk and cross the longest suspension bridge in South Africa. This afternoon head to the Eastern Cape coast. This area is known for great weather and long, sandy beaches.
DAY 8: Fruit Route: Route 62 - Oudtshoorn Ostrich Farm - Cango Caves Excursion
Today brings a whole new landscape as you head into a semi-desert area. The Karoo is a very unique place known as the 'land of the thirst'. The scenic Route 62 takes you through the Langkloof. Here you'll see many fruit and vegetable farms along the road and among the foothills of the epic Kouga and Tsitsikamma mountains. In Oudtshoorn, visit a working ostrich farm to take a tour and learn more about these big birds.
On the way to tonight's accommodation there is also the option to visit the Cango Caves - these dripstone caverns are over 20 million years old! This evening brings a delicious Karoo dinner at our lodge.
DAY 9: George - Cape Town
This is the last day of this wonderful tour of the Garden Route. Make your way back to Cape Town with our driver for the end of the tour.
- 8 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- Services of your Expat tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader – please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.
- 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 15 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
- Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.
Optional ExcursionsOptional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
- Shark Cage Diving
- Knysna Boat Cruise
- Bloukrans Bungee Jump
- Tree Canopy Zip-lining
- Cape Peninsula Day Trip
- Star Gazing
- Whale and Eco Trip
- Birds of Eden
- Cango Caves Heritage Tour
- Cango Caves Adventure Tour
- Helicopter Flight
- Tsitsikamma Hike
- Tsitsikamma Woodcutters Trail Drive
- Dinner with a South African family
Return customers get 10% off!
If you have traveled with us before you qualify for a 10% rebate. To claim your rebate, simply type your previous Booking Number in the "Special Notes" box at the final Payment step of the checkout.
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How we make awesome trips affordable
- No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
- As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
- We book our hotels well in advance so we get great value rates that we can pass on to you!
- Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.
Detailed Info Pack
- Tour start & end points
- Pre-departure information
- Pre-tour accommodation
For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.
Helpful Pre-Trip Info
Certain nationalities may require a visa for this tour. Please see our visas page for more information. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassies to confirm your visa requirements. We can provide support documentation upon request, please contact us for more information.
On tour costs
Please refer to the tour itinerary for full details of the activities and meals that are included in the tour cost, and those which are optional/extra. We would recommend budgeting 200-350 ZAR per day (this excludes optional excursions).
Please note, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.
- Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender.
- Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
- Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts and finishes in Cape Town. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.
This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have at least two blank pages as visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.
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- Why this Trip
- What's Included
- Departure Dates
- Pre-Trip Info
- Q & A