Cape Town And The Garden Route
Welcome to the Republic of South Africa - one of the world's most diverse countries. Expat Explore South African founders, Carl Cronje and Jakes Maritz, personally designed this tour. It was created to introduce visitors to the Republic of South Africa and its rainbow nation in a unique way. We start in Cape Town, a very popular city with lots to see and do. Then we head to the Cape Winelands, and travel along the southern coast, where if you're lucky you'll spot whales and sharks from the shore in Hermanus. We'll also stop off in Swellendam and Mosselbay. We'll enjoy an included safari in the Botlierskop game reserve, where you'll have the opportunity to see the iconic 'Big 5' animals - the lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo. We then travel to the scenic Knysna Bay. In Tsitsikamma we take to the trails before heading to the Karoo via the Eastern Cape. Next, we explore the Oudtshoorn region before travelling back to Cape Town along the famed Route 62. This fun-filled trip is a wonderful way to explore South Africa like a local.
Like all Expat Explore vacation packages, this itinerary is a guaranteed departure. We use modern, air-conditioned private transport, and include free wifi at each hotel so you can stay connected and share all your incredible photos and memories with your friends and family while on your South Africa tour!
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 $80.00 required and no booking fees.
- Luxury, modern air-conditioned coach.
- Experienced and passionate tour leader.
- Private game drive and stay at exclusive safari lodge.
- High quality accommodation.
Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here
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 at the included welcome 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. We visit the Castle of Good Hope and the beautiful St George's cathedral. Then we show you the colourful Cape Malay quarters and 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. We discover the Cape Floral Kingdom and beautiful landscapes. Next we visit the penguins at Boulder's Beach and stop with free time for lunch in Kalk Bay. On the way back we 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 we drive to Stellenbosch, a beautiful university town. It was established 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. Then we head to Hermanus, where you have the evening to yourself.
DAY 5: Shark Diving Excursion - Swellendam - Mossel Bay
Today we set off for the Garden Route! This morning you can still enjoy free time in Hermanus. 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. Next, we 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
Are you ready for your first South African wildlife experience? We are going to Botlierskop Private Game Reserve for a safari. You will have the chance to see wildebeest, rhinos, giraffes, elephants and lions!
Over lunch we’ll be 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.
Next, we 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 we're off 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 we head into a semi-desert area. The Karoo is a very unique place known as the 'land of the thirst'. We reach it via the scenic Route 62, which takes us 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. When we reach Oudtshoorn, we go to a working ostrich farm to take a tour and learn more about these big birds.
On the way to our accommodation there is also the option to visit the Cango Caves - these dripstone caverns are over 20 million years old! Tonight we enjoy 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, as we make our 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
- Tsitsikamma Craft Beer Tasting
- Tree Canopy Zip-lining
- Cape Point & Boulders Beach
- Star Gazing
- Whale Watching
- Birds of Eden
- Cango Caves Heritage Tour
- Cango Caves Adventure Tour
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 early bird 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 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.