South Africa

6-Day Garden Route & Addo Elephant Park Adventure

10

Join us for the road trip of a lifetime! Our 6-day group Garden Route Tour from Cape Town is the perfect way to explore South Africa's Garden Route while experiencing a good mix of nature, culture and adventure.

Highlights in 60 seconds

Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas

We depart from Cape Town early on Monday morning for Hermanus. We follow the scenic coastal road and stop at Betties Bay to view a colony of endangered African penguins. You can spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for hundreds of Southern Right Whales during the whale season (July to November) and many shops, restaurants and markets. In the afternoon we will drive on to Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Travel distance: ± 249km (±3 hours)

Note: Shark cage diving clients will be picked up very early in the morning by the diving operator, and will miss the first half of Day 1 which includes the visit to the African Penguin Colony and Hermanus

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We travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the Ostrich Capital of the World, via the spectacular Route 62, which is South Africa’s longest wine route. We will have a lovely lunch and wine tasting at a local winery, before checking into our accommodation, which is on a working game farm in the Little Karoo. As the sun goes down, we can enjoy a tour of the ostrich farm, taking in the views of the Outeniqua and Swartberg mountain ranges in the background.Travel distance: ± 330km (±4 hours)

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After breakfast, we head over the marvellous Outeniqua Mountain Pass to Wilderness National Park which we will explore by canoe. Enjoy a paddle up the Touw River through the indigenous forest, enjoying the abundance of bird life. After about 40 minutes, we leave the canoes for a 2 km hike along a boardwalk, which will take us to a lovely waterfall and rock pools. You can spend the late afternoon exploring Sedgefield, a peaceful small town with expansive views and beaches. Travel distance: ±95km (±1.5 hours)

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Today, we will head to the famous town of Knysna via the lavish Lake District of the Garden Route. We will visit the Knysna Heads viewpoint, for some magnificent views over the Knysna River estuary and the Indian Ocean. After Knysna, we will stop at Bloukrans Bridge to view the world’s highest bungee jump bridge (216 meters). There is plenty of time for the adventure seekers among you to test their courage. Midday will be spent in Tsitsikamma National Park, with its unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The Park has a wide choice of activities for all, including hiking, crossing a suspension bridge and swimming. In the afternoon, we will leave the Garden Route for Big 5 country, Addo. Travel distance: ±320km (±4.5 hours)

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We will spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. We will spend up to 2-3 hours exploring the 28, 000-hectare National reserve with the opportunity to see elephants, Cape buffalo, lions, black rhinos, warthogs, zebra, eland, kudu, hartebeest and many other animals. After an exciting morning of game viewing, we will drive back to the heart of the Garden Route where we will overnight in Wilderness or Sedgefield. Travel distance: ±415km (±5 hours)

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After breakfast, we will stop in Mossel Bay to spend some time on the spectacular beaches, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail along the cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean, and visit the famous Diaz Museum complex, commemorating the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa. The more adventurous can try a 10,000 ft tandem skydive or sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa. We will arrive back in Cape Town in the early evening. Travel distance: ±450km (±4.5 hours)

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What's Included

Included
  • Professional tour guide/driver.
  • Pick up and drop off.
  • Air-conditioned transport.
  • 5 nights’ accommodation in a backpackers (upgrade to private room or guesthouse available)
  • Dinners and breakfasts (except Day 5).
  • Entrance to the African Penguin colony at Stony Point.
  • Visit to the Southern Tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas .
  • Local wine tasting.
  • Klein Karoo ostrich farm tour.
  • Canoeing and hiking in Wilderness National Park.
  • Game viewing safari in Addo Elephant National Park.
  • Hiking in Tsitsikamma National Park.
Not Included
  • International flights.
  • Personal insurance.
  • All lunches.
  • All Meals on Day 5.
  • Shark cage diving and whale watching.
  • Bungee jumping, sky-diving, open vehicle game drive, sandboarding, ziplining and any other optional activity (see FAQs).
  • Gratuities and tips.
  • Accommodation in Cape Town before or after the trip.
Have a question?

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Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

Rated 5.0

10 verified reviews

Fabien
Fabien

(Nov 2023)

We have just completed our 6 day “Little Karoo/Garden route” trip. It was excellent: the philosophy of this agency, the values, the professionalism, the organization, the atmosphere, etc. And our guide, Wendy, is a “good mood bomb”, crazy energetic and knows her stuff inside and out. A word of advice, absolutely take this tour!

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Welten
Welten

(Sep 2023)

I did this tour in September 2023 and can highly recommend it. Everything, really everything, was professionally organized from transport over accommodations and meals to seeing the highlights of the garden route. We had Christine as our guide. She is absolutely fabulous, a wonderful person and fun to travel with. Christine gave us lots of insights on people, cultures, points and sites we visited, animals, instructed us what to wear and take for our hikes, what to look out for and all that. She always did this with a smile and a catching enthusiasm. We were 24 guests between 23 and 63 years of age, coming from different cultural backgrounds and we were all excited about her. She managed even "special" guests highly professionally and the information she provided was always just right, never too much and never too little. For sure, Christine is the guide you want for this tour!

Jordin
Jordin

(Aug 2023)

The tour was fantastic!!!! Our tour guide Christine was excellent, she has so much energy and she is so knowledgeable, giving us so much cultural and historical information. She went out of her way to make the trip really special for everyone. The accomodation and facilities we stayed at were very clean and beautiful. This tour really gives a well rounded experience with a mix of adventurous activities and beautiful scenery. I love that we visited all the main attractions I wanted to see. Some of the optional activities we're cancelled due to the weather but it didn't at all take away from how good the overall trip was. Got loads of interactions with animals which is a really special experience. The food each night was DELICIOUS!! I would absolutely recommend this to anyone and I would definitely do it again!

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Naomi
Naomi

(Aug 2023)

BEST tour I’ve been on!! LOVED this. I went solo and the tour was amazing. I went with other travelers and explored the Garden Route. Christine was my tour guide and she was amazing. I went on my birthday and they made me feel so special.

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Maria
Maria

(Aug 2023)

We've had an incredible time in Africa! Great experience and had a lot of fun! Gareth was the best guide anyone could have imagined! 🙂

FAQs

Before you go

Our tours take place in a malaria-free area, so no anti-malaria precautions are necessary. You are however advised to bring insect repellent during summer (November - March).

The following is a guideline of some important items to bring; - Comfy clothes for daily wear in the minibus and on activities (pack warmer if you are travelling over winter/June - October) - Comfortable shoes for short hikes and walks (hiking boots not neccasary) - Waterproof jacket - soft-shell or similar lightweight, warm jacket - sweater - small backpack - hat - sunglasses - sunscreen - gloves, scarf and beanie (especially if you plan on joining a game drive on an open vehicle in Addo) - warm layers including long sleeved shirts and tights (important for winter) - small backpack - flashlight or headlamp (optional but useful) - powerbank Make sure that all your belongings fit in the stipulated luggage size (see 'luggage size' FAQ)

We have space for each passenger to have one suitcase and one “carry-on”-sized piece of luggage – a laptop bag, backpack, or similar. Suitcase size is limited to the dimension of 67 cm (26 in) by 45 cm (18 in), and carry on is limited to the dimension of 48 cm (19 in) by 32 cm (13 in). There are generally not porters or staff available to assist with luggage – your luggage should be of a size and weight you can comfortably manage yourself. Hard or soft suitcases are fine. If you have more or bigger luggage than this, please contact us in advance to make alternative arrangements, as our luggage trailers are specifically designed to fit one suitcase per person, not exceeding above dimensions.

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover medical or emergency travel expenses, cancellation, curtailment, theft, or COVID-19 related issues. Earthstompers has comprehensive passenger and public liability insurance, but this does not cover the theft of guests’ personal belongings.

On your trip

We have selected accommodation locations over the years for their cleanliness, unique setting, and atmosphere. The standard accommodation on this trip is in backpackers’ lodges, in mixed-gender dorm rooms (ranging in size from 2-12 beds). All bedding and towels will be provided. There are usually options for private rooms and upgrades to guesthouse accommodation. All upgrade options are private and en suite. These options are subject to availability, please 'Message Your Guide' directly from your Skyhook dashboard after booking to enquire. Below are prices for various accommodation options; - Single room in back packers + ZAR 2,900 pp (± $165) - Double room in backpackers + ZAR 1,700 pp (± $99) - Single room in guesthouse ZAR 7,200 pp (± $405) - Double room in guesthouse ZAR 4,300 pp (± $245) These additional prices are for the entire trip, to be paid to the operator directly. Please note that heating and air conditioning is not standard in the backpackers or the guest houses (because it is generally not necessary in South Africa). Please ask for a fan or for extra blankets if you need them! Dinners for all clients, including those staying at the guest house, usually take place at the backpackers. Backpackers and guest house clients travel together in the same tour vehicle. On Day 2 & 4 of tour, both backpackers and guest house clients overnight in the same location – a working game farm near Oudtshoorn (Day 2) and a working citrus farm near Addo (Day 4). Although we frequently utilize the same accommodation every week, we cannot guarantee that we will stay at a specific location as it depends on availability and group size.

The optional activities are not included in your tour because these are activities that not everybody would like to do! Optional activities are a great way to add more adventure to your experience. Our tours are designed so that it is not necessary to do the optional activities to have a good time – there are always plenty of things to see & do. Included Day 1: Visiting the penguin colony at Betty's Bay /Visit to the southernmost tip of Africa Day 2: Local wine tasting /Klein Karoo ostrich farm tour Day 3: Entrance to Wilderness National Park /Canoeing Day 4: Entrance to Tsitsikamma National Park Day 5: Game drive in Addo Elephant National Park Optional Activities: Day 1 - Shark cage diving (ZAR3,230) OR - Whale watching boat trip (in season, July – November, ZAR1,220) - Cycle (or e-bike) to the Southern Tip of Africa, ZAR280 *Shark cage diving clients will be picked up in Cape Town early Monday morning by the shark company. Shark diving clients will only meet up with the group after lunch on the first day and will miss out on the first half of Day 1. Day 4 - 216m Bloukrans bungee jump (ZAR1,490) Day 5 - 2-hour open vehicle game drive with Addo field guide (ZAR 460) Day 6 - 10,000-foot tandem skydive (ZAR 3,150 plus extra ZAR 980 for video) - Sandboarding the longest dune in South Africa (R500) - Ocean Zipline, ZAR 800 These activities can be paid in cash or credit card directly to the adventure operator. Shark diving and whale watching must be booked the week before the tour departs, as they take place on the first day of the tour. Prices are subject to increases as per providers.

The Garden Route has a Mediterranean climate, which is pleasant to visit all year round. It gets rainfall throughout the year, mostly at night (you can imagine why it’s called the Garden Route!) Temperatures in winter range between 6-21 degrees C, and summer temperatures range between 17-30 degrees C. This tour also goes into the Eastern Cape and the Little Karoo, where temperatures can get as high as 40 C in summer. Despite its reputation for enjoying plenty of sunshine, South Africa can also get cold. The Western Cape and coastal areas can be particularly chilly and wet over winter (late May- early October) and strong winds are not uncommon, year round. Make sure you pack enough warm clothing.

We will pick you up from your location in Cape Town central (central business district, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Observatory, Rondebosch), or at Cape Town International Airport. Please let us know your pickup address by filling in the trip form on your Skyhook dashboard. If you are staying outside of our above pickup range, we ask that you meet up with the tour bus on Monday morning as follows: • Pickup at Bootlegger Coffee Company, 185 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre (closest meeting point for Bloubergstrand or Milnerton) • Pickup at Vida e Café, 41 Main Rd, Rondebosch (closest meeting point for Hout Bay, Muizenberg or Constantia) • Pickup at Woolworths Waterstone Village, Corner of R 44 &, Main Road, Somerset West (closest meeting point for Stellenbosch) Pick-up time is generally between 6:00 – 7:30 am. We will confirm the specific time and address of your pickup, as well as your guide’s details the weekend before your tour departs. Please allow 15 minutes grace before or after your designated pickup time, as Monday morning Cape Town traffic can be unpredictable! Note: Should you miss your pick-up, contact us and we will arrange for you to meet up with the group at an additional charge. Unfortunately, we cannot be held liable for your travel delays. Your guide will wait for up to 15 minutes after your arranged pick-up time, but after that, the tour will depart out of fairness to the rest of the guests.

We are “foodies”, and good food is an important part of our tour. Breakfasts are included every day except Day 5, and typically include fruit, muesli, eggs, toast, yogurt, and cereals. Dinners are also included every day except Day 5, and are traditional South African meals, such as potjie (stew) and braai (barbeque). Please advise us of any special dietary requirements in advance. We are able to cater for vegetarian and vegan diets, but not strict vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free or halal diets. Lunch and drinks are on guests’ own account. Dinners for all clients, including those staying at the guest house, usually take place at the backpackers.

We will drop you off at the end of tour at the same locations as pick up. Tours typically return between 5:00 – 8:00 pm on Saturday evening. Please contact us before booking outward flights on Saturday evening, to make sure the flight timing can work.

Wi-Fi is generally available at most accommodation locations in the common areas (not necessarily in the bedrooms). If you require data or phone service, we recommend that you pick up a local SIM in South Africa. SIMs are widely available from providers like Vodacom, MTN, or Cell C, and airtime or data packages are reasonably priced.

Other FAQs

South Africa is currently suffering from frequent power cuts, called “loadshedding”. It’s best to prepare for this by bringing a small battery/power bank, to be able to charge your phone whilst the power is off. A torch/flashlight or headlamp can also come in handy. Loadshedding is a source of major frustration for the citizens and businesses of South Africa, so please be patient if you encounter inconveniences related to the power cuts.

This is an active tour. It is best suited towards those who like to be on the move, and can comfortably walk, carry luggage, get in and out of the vehicle frequently, etc. The group is a mix between backpackers and guest house clients, and ages can range from 18 to 65 (and up). Our average age is 33. Our groups range between 4-12 people, with most guests hailing from Europe, America, Canada, and Australia. The group tour is perfect for the solo traveller, small groups of friends, or couples, as you will have the opportunity to travel with a diverse group of people from all over the world. Bring a positive, interactive, and easy-going spirit to tour, to make it a good experience for all. Our tours run on a tight schedule. Please do your best to be on time, all the time.

Anyone from the age of 18 is welcome to join this tour. Teens between the ages of 14-18 may join the tour if accompanied by an adult. Please enquire about private tours for children aged 13 and under.

These group transport is a 13-seater minibus. We only take 12 guests. See the daily itinerary for specific driving distances.

The local operator reserves the right to change itinerary, accommodation, and transport along the way should circumstances dictate. The outdoor activities are weather dependent, which could force changes in the itinerary. The guide will try his or her best to arrange events according to prevailing weather conditions.

Your head guide is Cindy

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Earthstompers Adventures, based in Somerset West.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Cindy