Cape Town and the Garden Route

9 Days, 1 Country. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime! Come with us as we explore the many marvels of sunny South Africa.
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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.


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

Start in: Cape Town

Cape Town, 12:15 hrs & 14:45 hrs
Cape Town, Check in from 14:00 hrs
End in: Cape Town

Cape Town, 18:00 hrs
Duration: 9 Days
Ages: 10 - 75+
Places: 1 Country
15 Experiences

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.

Tour Accommodation

* Please note that we do use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here


What's Included

  • 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 Excursions

Optional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
  • Shark Cage Diving
  • Knysna Boat Cruise
  • Monkeyland
  • 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. 

Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator

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).

Room Sharing

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.

Meeting Point

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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Have a question?

Are children allowed on your tours?

Our tours are not suitable for children under the age of 10 years old. However, at the discretion of Expat Explore we may consider younger children on certain tours if they meet certain criteria and a request is received in writing via email for consideration. Expat Explore reserves the absolute right to accept or decline a booking at our discretion.

Are international flights included in the tour price?

No, you will need to make your own arrangements to get to the meeting destination for the first day of your tour. Make sure you keep departure times and possible delays in mind when booking flights. We recommend Skyscanner for comparing prices from the vast majority of airlines. Your tour includes an internal flight from George to Johannesburg. Please ensure you provide us with your passport details after you have made your booking so that we can arrange your flight ticket.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Before the tour starts, you will receive an email from us requesting your dietary requirements. There is always a vegetarian option, which is a meal without meat. We try as much as we can to offer you the traditional local cuisine.

Can you provide a triple room?

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 room may consist of a double bed and a single bed, or a double bed and 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.

Can you send me a quote?

The price shown on the website for your departure date on the day you book is the price you will pay. If you would like to make a group booking for 10 or more people please contact us.

Do I need a visa?

Please see our visas page and the pre-departure planning section for more information.

Do I need to change money before the tour?

Please make sure you bring with you for the start of the tour the local currency(ies) you will need for at least the first three days, as there may not be an opportunity to change currency at the very beginning of the tour. You should budget for any optional excursions you wish to do in this period (see 'Optional Excursions' tab above, these are paid in cash on tour unless stated otherwise) and non-included meals. We don’t recommend carrying large amounts of cash with you on tour; you are better off withdrawing enough cash to last you for the next 5-7 days, rather than carrying enough cash to last you for the entirety of the tour. Please refer to your pre-departure information for more information on the currencies you will require for your particular itinerary. When changing money please ensure that you are not given high denomination notes (for example €200 and €500 notes), as you will find most shops and restaurants will refuse to accept them, and your Expat Explore tour leader cannot accept them as payment for optional excursions.

Do you have on-tour luggage storage facilities?

No, we do not have these facilities. For security reasons you will be required to keep your belongings with you at all times. Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to bring.

How can I get the documents I need to apply for my visa?

Expat Explore can provide travellers requiring visas with visa support documents on a request basis. Please note that you are required to pay for your tour in full in order to receive the documents. This is an embassy/consulate requirement by law. Once you have received confirmation that your booking has been paid in full, you can request your visa support documents by emailing - please allow up to 10 working days to receive these documents.

How do I book/pay?

You can book online through our website or call our customer service team to make a booking over the phone. You must pay a deposit of the greater of 10% or 50 GBP (or equivalent if booking in a currency other than GBP) via our online payment platform to secure your place. You can pay the remaining amount up to 60 days before departure, with a debit/credit card or with a bank transfer.

How many other people will be on my tour?

It depends on how many other people book! There could be up to 51 other passengers, so you will have the opportunity to make lots of friends!

How much luggage can I bring?

Due to weight and space limitations, you are allowed to bring one main piece of luggage weighing no more than 20kg, and one small soft bag for hand luggage. On all tours, you will have to carry your own luggage (e.g. into hotels and up to your room if hotels don’t have elevators). Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to pack.

Is my deposit refundable?

Your deposit payment secures your place(s) on the tour and the price you pay. Your deposit paid at the time of booking is non-refundable. Our full Terms and Conditions can be viewed online.

Is travel insurance compulsory?

Yes, and you are responsible for arranging your own insurance. Passengers and their personal property travel with Expat Explore solely at their own risk. Please refer to our travel Terms & Conditions for more specific information. For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. To receive a quote from one of our preferred travel insurance partners, please click here

What about room sharing & single supplements?

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.

What is included in the tour price?

The tour price includes accommodation for the duration of the tour; transport by private coach; breakfasts, lunches and dinners as per your itinerary and guided walking tours and excursions as per your itinerary. On top of this, you will have a tour leader to assist you along the way with great tips and handy advice! Please refer to the ‘Included’ section of the itinerary where a full breakdown is given.

What is the average age of your groups?

We have a very wide range of ages on our tours, and do not restrict our passengers to certain age groups or limits. A positive attitude and an open mind are more important than a number!

What level of fitness do I need to participate in these tours?

All travellers are required to carry their own bags, get on and off the coach and use public transport. Our city walking tours can last up to 3 hours and certain places involve walking up and down lots of steps. We want you to enjoy your tour, so read through the itinerary thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough.

What time does each day start on tour?

Generally, we like to make an early start, so that you can spend more time at each destination. On your free days, you can have a lie in if you wish!

Where does my tour depart from?

Please see the 'Tour Start & End Points' tab at the beginning of the Help Section for more information on the start and end points, and meeting times.

Who will be my tour leader?

Our tour leaders come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and interests. They are all confident and well-travelled, with an in-depth knowledge of the destinations they are working in, and a passion for helping you make the most out of your Expat Explore tour.

Will I get confirmation of my payment?

As soon as your payment has been processed by our accounts team, we will send you a confirmation email. Please note this may take up to 5 working days, depending on your method of payment.
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