Looking to experience a taste of adventure while exploring the Garden Route over one epic long weekend? Then you’ve found your match! This adventure is filled to the brim with the best highlights the area has to offer, with special departures to coincide with select South African public holidays. Wander along the Garden Route - a piece of paradise on the southeastern coast of South Africa. Search for members of Africa's Big 5, walk through dense forests, spot African wildlife on a safari and follow the flavours of South Africa.
Adventure awaits over the next four days. Walk with three orphaned elephants as they venture to their water hole. Canoe along tranquil waters in Wilderness, keeping an eye out for the abundant birdlife. Face your fears as you hurtle off the world’s highest bridge bungy, or visit the lush forests of the Tsitsikamma area. Bundu-bash through the fynbos on a 4x4 safari with a game ranger as you set out to spot members of Africa’s Big Five. There's a lot to explore on this 4-day adventure, so let's get started!
Paddle through the staggering scenery and abundant birdlife of Wilderness.
Experience a rush like no other when you jump from one of the world’s highest bridge bungy spots!
Soak in the views of Knysna and its surrounds from atop the sandstone heads.
Zipline through dramatic scenery and over waterfalls in the Tsitsikamma forest.
Hike through the luscious Tsitsikamma forest over suspension bridges with views of a secret beach.
Get beak to beak with the world’s biggest bird at an ostrich farm.
Head deep underground to the illuminated wonder world of the Cango Caves.
Follow orphaned African elephants at Buffelsdrift on their trek to the waterhole.
Roadtrip along Route 62's semi-desert country plains with quirky pitstops along the way.
Spot some of Africa's Big Five on a 4x4 safari at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve.
Follow a field ranger as you look for wildlife on a guided bush walking safari.
Go slow at Myoli - a hidden paradise that oozes serenity.
Stop for a drink and a photo of a lifetime at the "Oddest pub in South Africa".
Indulge in the 1000 year old French-Hugenot history that seeps into every sip of Baleia Wines.
Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town.
In the anticipation of the journey to come, it’s easy to daydream and miss the ever-changing scenery on your first day’s drive from Cape Town. You’ll wind your way through mountain passes where lazy baboons line the roadside; through fertile micro-climates with rows and rows of grapevines and rolling farmlands. A stop at a local winery is a great introduction to a spectacular weekend ahead, you'll taste sensational wines and soak in the panoramic views all while getting a better idea of the history of the area.
Just a little further on you'll spot some of Africa’s wild animals from the back of an open 4x4 vehicle in a malaria-free private game reserve. Among the dense coastal renosterveldt and Cape fynbos, search for giraffe, white rhino, kudu, lion, elephant, zebra and wildebeest, to name a few. The game drive is led by an experienced game ranger sharing his knowledge of the local wildlife; including antelope species, birdlife and insects.
Just when you thought your bush experience couldn’t get any better, hop off the safari vehicle for an up close and personal encounter with nature on a short tranquil bush walk. Follow your game ranger as you track wildlife and learn about the medicinal value of the plants around you as you walk.
Go slow at Myoli, a hidden paradise that oozes serenity and enjoy a cocktail on the beach.
For those that savour a great night’s sleep, tonight’s end destination – the coastal town of Sedgefield or Wilderness – promises just that.
Pristine wild and adventure go hand in hand on this adrenaline-packed day.
With a morning spent admiring the views from the imposing Knysna Heads, towering sandstone cliffs that flank the mouth of the Knysna estuary, you'll be spoilt at the lookout points offering exquisite views.
With even more mesmerising nature scenes on offer, Tsitsikamma National Park marries lush mountain forestry with dramatic ocean views. A short, albeit steep walk to the suspension bridge is worth it, if just for the views alone, and you’ll get a thrill as you test the bridge’s swing factor. Marine life can often be seen in the water and rock hyraxes regularly sun themselves on the rocky coastline.
This gentle morning is followed by an afternoon of action for those who dare as you can choose between a bungy off the world’s highest commercial bridge bungy or a treetop ziplining adventure over forest waterfalls. But it’s not all about the adrenaline, and those that get their kicks from nature can forgo the plunge and continue on to explore the lush forests of the Tsitsikamma area.
Kick back this evening in the heart of Tsitsikamma, surrounded by nature.
Be prepared to witness some of South Africa's contrasts as this day brings dramatic landscape changes. The oasis-like town of Wilderness is surrounded by lush vegetation and dense national parks. In the midst of it all, you'll experience the tranquillity first hand with a paddle along the Kaaimans river, which provides the perfect setting to bird watch and enjoy the clean wild air.
As you leave the Indian Ocean shoreline behind and wind your way through the Langkloof Mountains to the arid lands of the Klein Karoo, you'll start to notice the landscape changing. Here, the ostrich reigns supreme. Bird-filled paddocks line the highway with colourful feather stalls and show farms around every corner as you head into Oudtshoorn. The palatial sandstone homesteads stand tall, harking back to an era when ostrich feathers were worth more than gold.
You'll then have the privilege to join an optional stroll with rescued elephants - you are in Africa after all - along the dam wall at the Buffelsdrift Private Game Reserve. Gentle giants, Jabari, Malaika and Bulelo made this their home after their parents were poached in the north of South Africa. This experience will have you following in their massive footsteps, making memories you'll never forget.
After you've stretched your legs along the dam, a visit to the Cango Ostrich Show Farm gives you a glimpse into the farming industry, allowing you to observe the world’s biggest bird beak-to-beak.
Oudtshoorn hospitality is second-to-none, and the serving sizes are generous so this evening's traditional braai will have you frothing at the mouth. Relax under the stars and savour the South African flavours as you drift off after an adventurous day.
As dawn breaks in Oudtshoorn, South Africa’s sunniest town, you'll delve deep underground into the magical Cango Caves' limestone chambers, alive with drip formation stalactites and stalagmites and remnants of Khoikhoi paintings. Opt for the easy-going Heritage Tour to test the cave’s acoustics and gain insights into the formation and dripstone evolution. Or, by contrast, the Adventure Tour allows would-be contortionists to squeeze, twist and wiggle their way through limestone chimneys on a rather more adventurous underground route.
After your morning adventure, it’s time to head back to Cape Town along the famous Route 62, modelled after America’s Route 66, but with a distinctly local flavour. You'll make an entertaining pit stop at the infamous Ronnie's "Sex Shop" - using this name to lure any passersby - which is actually an innocent roadside pub that's known as the oddest pub in South Africa and packed with quirky character. You'll soon discover that the Route 62 is much more than just burgers and beers, farm stalls or small country towns as you venture through the heart of the Klein Karoo back towards Cape Town.
End with an evening drop-off at your Cape Town accommodation.
Maximum 13 guests per vehicle or guide.
Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.
Transfers to included tour highlights.
There is no central meeting point for this tour. A transfer service will collect you from your Cape Town accommodation.
3 nights accommodation according to your Ways 2 Stay package.
3 x Breakfast, 3 Dinners included
These optional activities can be added to your journey as per rates listed in the itinerary.
Local and international flights are excluded.
You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance.
You can purchase meals + drinks on tour.
I love working with people and making them smile, it’s why I chose to work in the travel industry. To be able to help someone make their travel dreams come true really makes my day. When I’m not busy being the friendly voice on the other side of the Hotspots2c hotline, you’ll find me spending time with my daughter and my husband, exploring and, every now and then, indulging in a little art or dance.
Click terms for more details.
Full amount required to reserve or confirm a booking.
Children under 12 years are not allowed. Children between 12 and 18 years must to be accompanied by an adult.
11 official Languages Spoken
Afrikaans – English – isiNdebele – Sepedi.– Sesotho – Siswati – Xitsonga – Setswana – Tshivenda – isiXhosa
How to say hello?
Molo – Xhosa
Sawubona - Zulu
Hallo - Afrikaans
Dumela - SeSotho
Electricity – Volt & plug
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.
WiFi/Internet Access on tour
WiFi can be found at most accommodations, restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect to watch HD movies in your spare time.
When to go
South Africa is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year. Summer in South Africa is usually peak season, lasting between November – February, however Easter time (March) is often still considered peak season too. Temperatures range from 25ºC in coastal areas to high 30ºs in inland areas. Cape Town has ideal weather during this time and Durban sports warm beaches and humid air, Johannesburg experiences hot clear days and often an afternoon thunderstorm.
Shoulder season is April and May, as well as September and October. Surprisingly, the weather in Durban is often at its best during this time, and other areas simmer down from their scorching highs. Prices are lower and crowds are smaller. September and October see eruptions of flowers and blooms all around the country.
Winter is beautiful in most parts of the country. Cape Town experiences winter rain and is often a little cold and miserable, but still crisp and beautiful. Because of the warm Indian Ocean, Durban has spectacular weather in winter, often hovering around 20-25ºC with clear blue skies. Inland areas get quite chilly and the odd snowfall is not uncommon (it only lasts for a day though!). Prices are at an all time low and it is an ideal time for game viewing, as the animals are more active in the cooler weather.
Best time to go
Jun-Jul = Safari
Jan-Feb = Beach
With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays. In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.
|1 Jan||New Year's Day|
|21 Mar||Human Rights Day|
|30 Mar||Good Friday|
|2 Apr||Family Day|
|27 Apr||Freedom Day|
|1 May||Workers' Day|
|16 Jun||Youth Day|
|9 Aug||National Women's Day|
|24 Sep||Heritage Day|
|16 Dec||Day of Reconciliation|
|17 Dec||Day of Reconciliation Holiday|
|25 Dec||Christmas Day|
|26 Dec||Day of Goodwill|
Visa & Travel docs
Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival. These travellers do not need a visa to enter South Africa. A valid passport is essential with at least two empty pages. You generally will need to show return or onward travel arrangements. Children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate (showing both parents details).
Some countries do, however, need a visa. Visas are not issued upon entry, they must be attained beforehand. It is advised that you clarify this before you leave, the Department of Home Affairs office has a comprehensive list of countries that do not require visas. http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries
What to pack
We're generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head to our shores. Here's some clothing advice when in South Africa:
Health & Safety
There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter South Africa with exception of a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a yellow fever area within the last 12 months.
The only major health risk you might face in South Africa is malaria, which is confined to small areas in the north-eastern parts of the country. Small pockets of the northern parts of the Kruger National Park fall under this area but the risk here is considered extremely low and it is not always necessary to take anti-malaria tablets. Remember as a precautionary measure to check with your accommodation what is recommended.
South Africa may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of South Africa’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.
South Africa has 3 world-class airports that receive international flights every day; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Most international airlines will have flights into one or all of these airports daily.
There are numerous budget carriers that offer domestic flights between the major cities for very reasonable rates; this is the fastest and safest way to span large distances, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is a 2-hour flight.
From the airports there are numerous shuttles and taxis that you can pick up upon arrival, there are also many different car hire options at each airport and in all major cities. Uber is another reliable and affordable option.
Our currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. You can easily convert your currency to rand at a bank or Forex Bureau, the airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available throughout South Africa. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are usually accepted in hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping.