This wilderness and wildlife Garden Route adventure, begins and ends in the world-renowned city of Cape Town. Travelling east along the beautiful southern coast of South Africa this memorable journey explores the Eden-like Garden Route from start to end, visiting the natural, wildlife and scenic highlights of the malaria-free Western and Eastern Cape provinces.
Delight in the great outdoors - discovering dramatic coastlines studded with sandy beaches, hiking in indigenous forests and soaking up the breathtaking mountain scenery dotted with still lakes and estuaries! Don't miss out on Africa's wildlife - enjoying a game viewing safari adventure in the Addo Elephant National Park, home to diverse wild animals and habitats.
A fantastic and affordable way to experience mother nature at her best and encounter Africa's remarkable wildlife!
This Garden Route Wilderness & Addo Wildlife Safari starts in Cape Town, departing from the city between 6:30 and 7:30 am.
We drive southeast along the coastline of South Africa, following the Coastal Whale Route - thus named for the frequent sightings of Southern Right Whales, as well as Brydes and Humpback Whales. The Cape Whale Route is considered one of the best places in the world for land-based whale watching, including the coastal villages of Betty’s Bay, Gansbaai and Kleinmond. The whale watching season runs roughly from June to November each year.
The Cape Whale Coast is a dramatic stretch of seaside, where rocky cliffs meet rugged Fynbos covered mountains - offering stunning scenery along our drive!
Along the way we stop for lunch (own account) in the largest and best-known town along the whale coast - Hermanus. This popular town is renowned for its close-up whale encounters (land and boat based) and hosts an annual Whale Festival in late September. Hermanus is also known for the 'whale crier' who announces where and when the whales come to visit and calve.
Leaving Hermanus we continue south to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent. This is also where the two oceans - Atlantic and Indian converge, although the exact location where Agulhas and Benguela currents meet shifts between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point, at the tip of the Cape Peninsula.
Arriving at the fisherman-style cottages where we stay for the first night, we sit back and relax on our open patios, catching a beautiful sunset over the ocean. The guide prepares a two-course dinner, which is enjoyed outdoors at the cottages in the national park. Dinner is accompanied by wine, the Western Cape being famous for its excellent wines. If you prefer other drinks, these can be purchased en route.
Includes: Dinner included
On day two of our Garden Route Nature Safari we drive north through the open countryside looking out for the endangered Blue Cranes (South Africa's national bird), often spotted here. We then continue east through undulating, cultivated lands planted with fruit tree orchards and wheat fields. We travel along the famous Garden Route seeing picturesque scenes of farmlands and quaint towns flanked by the sweeping Overberg and Langeberg Mountains as we drive.
Driving further east along the nature-lover's paradise of the Garden Route we pass by pretty seaside villages like Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna. These appealing towns are set beside reed-lined estuaries, placid lakes and peaceful rivers, between Indian Ocean coastline and the towering Outeniqua Mountains.
We head to Tsitsikamma, one of the most spectacular natural highlights of the Southern Coast, located at Storms River Mouth. Tsitsikamma National Park is part of the larger Garden Route National Park, spanning parts of the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. We arrive at scenic Tsitsikamma Park in time for lunch (own account). This protected area covers a 80km stretch of pristine coastline and indigenous forests at the foot of the impressive Tsitsikamma Mountains. Tsitsikamma is best known for one of South Africa's top hiking trails - the Otter Trail, and with any luck we will spot the Cape clawless otter that the trail is named after.
Lunch is followed by check-in at our overnight cabins, near the ocean. Then there is free time to venture into the dense forests on one of the walking trails, looking out for small animals and birds, such as the brightly plumed Knysna Lourie. Walk along the rocky shores, investigating rock pools that shelter all sorts of interesting marine creatures, visit the little sandy cove or pebbled beach and take in the inspiring sea views.
The guide prepares a two-course meal served al fresco at the cabins with wine. Alternatively you can buy drinks from the shop at Storms River.
Includes: Breakfast & Dinner
An early morning hike in the forests of Tsitsikamma, makes a good start to the day. Walking through the lush forests we keep a look out for blue duiker, Knysna Louries and other forest dwellers. After our nature walk we have breakfast and get back on the road - driving further into the Eastern Cape Province to the renowned Addo Elephant National Park, home to one of the densest elephant populations in southern Africa.
Entering the malaria-free Addo Elephant Park the game viewing adventure begins as we drive to the main camp in our closed vehicle. Soon we arrive at the camp and have lunch (own cost), then check into our next overnight accommodation.
In the afternoon we embark on an afternoon game viewing drive (for guests six years and older) with one of the SANParks rangers. Over the next three hours we explore this untamed wilderness area in an open safari vehicle, designed for game viewing in the African bush. Addo Park is home to an array of wild animals, in addition to the numerous elephants, making it an excellent game viewing destination in South Africa. The diverse inhabitants of Addo Elephant Park, include lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, zebra and various antelope species.
As the afternoon fades into evening we make our way back to the camp inside the national park, looking out for the nocturnal animals that start coming out.
Your guide makes dinner, which is served out in the open at the chalets. Wine is included with the meal and additional or alternative beverages can be purchased at the shop in the park.
Includes: Breakfast & Dinner
Wake up with the birds on day four of this Wilderness & Wildlife Tour of the Garden Route, heading back out into the African bush on an early morning game drive.
Returning from our morning exploration of Addo Elephant Park we have breakfast and relax until lunch time. Take a nap or a dip in the swimming pool, visit the watering hole at camp or simply enjoy being in nature until lunch (own account). Then we return to the bush in search of Africa's wildlife on an afternoon game drive. Game drives on day four are conducted in our enclosed, air-conditioned vehicle with your tour guide.
After searching out the wondrous wild creatures great and small, from giant elephant to flightless dung beetle, we settle down at camp and tuck into dinner under the starry skies of Africa.
A two-course meal is prepared by your guide and enjoyed in nature at the chalets, accompanied by wine. As on preceding nights guests are welcome to buy drinks at the camp's shop.
Includes: Breakfast & Dinner
We are up early on day five, taking a morning game drive en route out of Addo Elephant National Park, the third largest national park in South Africa. Following the inland road to Oudtshoorn we pause in a charming village for lunch (own cost) along the way.
Our Cape Town to Cape Town, Garden Route Tour takes us along the Route 62, through expansive and less populated Klein Karoo scenery. This farming area is drier and less forested than the Garden Route although not as stark as the Great Karoo which receives less rain. We drive into the long valley formed by the Swartberg Mountains in the north and the Outeniqua Mountains in the south, making our way to Oudtshoorn.
Oudtshoorn is famous for its huge number of ostriches and the subterranean Cango Caves. In fact, Oudtshoorn is said to be the ostrich capital of the world - featuring ostrich breeding farms and an active industry in related products, from ostrich feathers, eggs and rides to meat and biltong (dried meat). Cango Caves is a massive underground system of limestone caverns and passages that can be explored on guided tours.
Sip on a glass of wine while tucking into a two-course meal prepared by your guide. Dinner is served al fresco and you are welcome to buy your own drinks.
Includes: Breakfast & Dinner
Please Note: There is the option of ending your tour today with drop-off in Port Elizabeth. For the 5-day tour rates, see the full tour pricing information.
On the final day of our Garden Route Wilderness & Wildlife Safari we enjoy a slow-paced breakfast and set off west via the agricultural area surrounding Oudtshoorn. Exploring this dairy farming and fruit growing region we travel through productive towns where brandy and cheeses are made.
We continue west, with a lunch stop (own expense) as we drive on through the captivating landscapes of South Africa. Travelling into the scenic Western Cape we reach the lovely fruit farming areas of Elgin and Grabouw, before traversing the mountains overlooking the Cape. Driving over the Hottentots Holland Mountains on Sir Lowry's Pass, we take in panoramic views of Atlantic Ocean, False Bay, the distant Cape Peninsula, Table Mountain and city of Cape Town.
Arriving in Cape Town at about 16h00 or 17h00, this wilderness and wildlife exploration of South Africa's stunning natural riches is concluded with drop-off at the international airport or the famous V&A Waterfront in the city.
Accommodation is in en-suite chalets fitted with beds and including linen, towels and soap. The accommodation establishments are located inside the National Parks, unless there is no availability, in which case a nearby alternative will be used.
This is not a private safari, - there are likely to be other travellers joining you on this tour.
The exact time of sunset game drives vary according to local conditions and availability on the day. The sunset drives are conducted by SANParks (South African National Parks) rangers in a SANParks vehicle. The sunset drives are not a private game drives and there are likely to be other safari-goers joining you. Children under six years are not permitted on SANParks open-vehicle game drives.
If you are flying out of Cape Town Airport on the last day of the safari you are requested not to book any flights departing earlier than 19h00 (including domestic flights). We recommend that you stay in Cape Town overnight, to avoid missing flights as we cannot guarantee our time of arrival in Cape Town on the final day of the tour.
There is a shorter 5-day version of this safari, running from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth (PE). On day five of this tour option, you will be dropped off at the PE airport for your onward flight.
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