This adventure-filled Cape Town, Garden Route & Addo Backpacking Safari takes you on a scenic six-day journey to discover unforgettable forest, bush and beach marvels of South Africa. Explore the famous Garden Route and go game viewing in the malaria-free Addo Elephant National Park in the rugged Eastern Cape.
This fun tour is ideal for the free-spirited traveller, visiting the Cango Caves, dramatic coastline, beautiful beaches and majestic mountain ranges of the southern Cape. Highlights include the Whale Route, the Small Karoo, the Garden Route, Jeffrey's Bay and Addo Park.
The Cape to Garden Route & Addo Tour includes great activities, such as canoeing, hiking, game viewing and beer tasting. You also get the chance to try plenty of exciting optional activities, ranging from a treetop adventure tour and bungee jumping to shark cage diving.
During this trip you are likely to come across activities that encourage tourists to participate in lion, elephant or other wildlife interaction. This includes walking with lions, riding elephants and any other tourist operation putting travellers in close contact with animals that would normally live wild and separate from human contact.
We absolutely do not encourage or endorse this type of wildlife interaction operation. For more information on why this is not good for Africa's wild animals, please see our detailed blog post on the subject.
Our Cape Town, Garden Route & Addo Backpacking Safari starts in the vibrant city of Cape Town.
Leaving Cape Town at 8:30 am, we drive into the famous Cape Winelands, pausing in Stellenbosch at 9:30 am to collect any travellers beginning their journey here. We have a laid-back day of sightseeing ahead, ideal for getting to know your travel companions and take in the first remarkable scenes of South Africa.
From Stellenbosch we head to the coastline to travel along the renowned Cape Whale Route via the town of Gordons Bay. Following the beautiful R44 we drive over a rugged mountain pass, taking in the sweeping views over False Bay. Our first destination for the day is Hermanus, which is world-famous for its exceptional whale watching (in season). We have a picnic beside the ocean in Hermanus, keeping an eye out for whales and taking photos of the lovely coastal scenery. Then it's off to the Birkenhead Brewery where you can taste some fine, locally produced beers or wines. After our beer and wine tasting we travel to Cape Agulhas National Park, located on the southernmost point of Africa. First we stand at the lookout point, pausing on the southernmost tip of Africa where land gives way to open sea.
Then we continue to our backpackers lodge in the village of Struisbaai. Here we take a stroll along Die Plaat beach - said to be the longest of the Southern Hemisphere beaches.
Day two begins with a leisurely breakfast before we set off through the Overberg Region to the renowned Garden Route.
At first we drive inland to the Langeberg Mountains, where we visit an aloe factory in Albertinia - known as the home of the Aloe.
Next up, an exciting stop for optional adventure activities - choosing between a treetop canopy tour or quad biking. The canopy tour takes you high up into the branches where ropes, crossings and ziplines have been suspended. After our adventure stop we continue further along the much-loved Garden Route, passing rolling farmlands and fields of crops.
Today's scenic journey comes to a close on Myoli Beach, getting our toes wet and breathing in the fresh ocean breeze. We overnight in the coastal setting of Sedgefield village, where our overnight backpackers is located.
Today we travel inland over the breathtaking Outeniqua Mountain Pass and down into the Klein (Little) Karoo - an open, semi-desert region.
We make our way towards Oudtshoorn, the capital of the Small Karoo, nestled in a picturesque valley between the lofty Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains of the southern Cape.
Here we drive to the nearby highlight of Cango Caves. The famous Cango Caves system, is a world heritage site that is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Reaching Cango Caves we set off on a hour-long guided tour of the underground cave system, a labyrinth of tunnels and interconnected halls of limestone formations. Choose between a standard or adventure tour (one and a half hours) in this massive subterranean Cango Cave system, filled with ancient stalactites and stalagmites. One of South Africa's oldest tourist attractions, these extensive caves are millions of years old.
Then we have the option of visiting an ostrich farm near the town of Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is regarded as the ostrich capital of the world, hosting numerous ostrich farms. At the farm you can get a good look at these large flightless birds. This prehistoric-looking giant bird has powerful legs and is capable of reaching impressive speeds. Alternatively you can embark on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch, where you can see various rare and endangered animal species. Here you can get up close to wild animals, including hand-raised cheetahs.
Later, we head back to the pretty shores of the Southern coast and our backpackers in Sedgefield.
On the morning of day four we take the scenic coastal road to the charming seaside town of Knysna. Passing through Knysna we continue to the Crags, a lush area along the Tsitsikamma Mountains, where you can join an optional tour of the local Elephant Sanctuary or Monkey Sanctuary. Or simply take in the scenery and unwind, before we drive further east along the Garden Route.
We stop at the Bloukrans Bridge en route, where you get the chance to experience the highest commercial bungee jump in the world! Either admire the views from the highest road bridge in Africa or take the adrenaline-pumping leap into the 216m high gorge. We also drive to the nearby Tsitsikamma National Park, a stunning wilderness area along the rugged coast. Instead of bungee jumping (optional extra) you can take a walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma Forest and across the Storms River Mouth suspension bridge.
Tsitsikamma Park, declared a national park in 1964, covers 80km's along the coast of the Garden Route, incorporating marine and terrestrial ecosystems. This wilderness area is incredibly beautiful, with its rugged mountains and dramatic coastline. A variety of animals can be spotted in the park, from dolphins offshore to monkeys and small buck, along with the numerous birds found in its indigenous forests and endemic Fynbos vegetation. Unique Fynbos makes up about 30% of the national park's vegetation, hosting an array of amazing flowers, including the national flower of South Africa, the protea.
Leaving the tangled forests of Tsitsikamma and the towering Bloukrans Bridge, we drive to Jeffrey's Bay, the most famous surfing destination in South Africa. In Jeffrey's Bay, nicknamed J-Bay, we get into island mode, staying at a backpackers on the beach.
This morning you can choose between taking it easy in J-Bay and enjoying the surf, or exploring the African bushveld in search of wildlife.
Opting for game viewing, you travel eastwards and then inland to Addo Elephant National Park. We rise and shine early, arriving at Addo Park in time for a morning game drive. Addo National Park is best known for its elephant herds, being home to one of the densest elephant populations in the world. Malaria-free Addo Elephant Park is the third largest national park in South Africa, covering 145 000 hectares of wilderness, stretching to the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Mornings are an excellent time for game viewing in the bush, as this is one of the most active times of the day for wild animals. We explore Addo National Park in search of the variety of wildlife found in this game park, including the Big Seven (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark). We stop at the main lookout point where we get out of our vehicle to admire the fantastic views over the untamed wilderness. After our exciting game drive we exit the park and drive back to J-Bay.
If you choose to stay behind in Jeffrey's Bay on day five, you can sleep in and spend time on the unspoilt beaches of Jeffrey’s Bay, a world-class surfing destination. Take a surfing lesson or rent a board and wetsuit and hit the waves, trying out the impressive waves at the top surfing spot, called “supertubes”. Walk into the town to explore and browse the popular factory shops, stocking surf wear by Billabong, Rip Curl, Roxy, Quicksilver and others.
Then we continue west, back onto the Garden Route for another overnight in Sedgefield. We travel via the quaint town of Knysna, visiting the Knysna Heads if time allows. From the landmark seaside cliffs we get to look out over the placid lagoon and the ocean. We spend the night at the backpackers near Myoli Beach in Sedgefield enjoying spectacular views over the ocean.
Please note that there is a 5-day Cape Town, Garden Route & Addo Backpacking Safari option that ends in Port Elizabeth today.
Enjoy breakfast overlooking the Indian Ocean before we set off on a canoeing trip along one of the peaceful rivers in the Wilderness area. The Garden Route is dotted with natural estuaries that flow into the Indian Ocean in a series of still lagoons and meandering rivers. After our relaxing paddle we walk to a splendid waterfall in Wilderness National Park, enjoying unspoilt nature on foot.
Then we hop back into our quantum and leave the Garden Route, travelling through some of the most beautiful scenery in South Africa. This scenic drive takes us back to Cape Town, where our Garden Route Tour started, passing through the historic town of Swellendam at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains. Then we traverse Sir Lowry’s Pass taking in the panoramic views over Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula and the open Atlantic Ocean.
We arrive back in Cape Town late on Thursday afternoon, bringing our adventure-packed Cape to Garden Route & Addo Backpacking Safari to a close.
Stay at hand-picked backpacker lodges in dorm accommodation, or upgrade to a private room with, or without, an en suite bathroom. The selected backpacker establishments provide clean accommodation with bedding, and offer warm hospitality.
For more details about upgrading accommodation, see the full tour pricing.
You can offset your carbon footprint on the tour by purchasing a “green seat” for only R55!
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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