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Cape Town

Cape Town and the Garden Route - Premium Adventure

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12 days
from
$8,379 NZD
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Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
AJP
Ways to Travel:
Premium Adventures, Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–14
Ages:
16+

Dramatic coastal scenery, world-class wine and premium accommodation along South Africa’s famous Garden Route.

Boasting some of Africa’s most majestic scenery, the journey between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town is arguably one of the finest coastal routes in the world. Pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs and gorges, fairy-tale forests and lively seaside towns adorn this shoreline, making it a must-see region. Starting at the secluded Amakhala Safari Lodge, game drives in the vast reserve will be complemented with time to relax in your own private plunge pool. Along the way we sample local wines and cuisine in Stellenbosch, look-out for Southern Right whales as they come close to shore (in season) and enjoy nature walks to discover South Africa’s abundant flora and fauna. Our adventure ends at the stylish Ocean View House, the perfect place to relax and take in Cape Town’s striking setting.

Highlights

  • Two nights and four game drives at Amakhala Safari Lodge - each lodge with its own private plunge pool.
  • Walks at Tsitsikamma National Park and the World Heritage Site of De Hoop Nature Reserve.
  • A day of wine tasting with food pairings at two wineries in Stellenbosch.
  • Encounter African penguins amongst the granite rocks of Boulders Beach.
  • Epic views from the summit of Table Mountain.
  • Two nights at the stunning Ocean View House in the upmarket Camps Bay suburb of Cape Town.

Key information

  • 9 nights premium hotels and lodges, 2 nights standard suites
  • Travel by private minibus
  • No long drives
  • Countries visited: South Africa

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • Tips for local staff
  • Named tour leader, chosen for their experience and great customer feedback
  • All transport and listed activities

What's not included

  • Tip for the tour leader
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

We work hard to create trips which improves life for the people and places we visit and looks after the planet we explore. To read more about sustainable travel ethos and practice, click here, and to find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation click here.

People

 How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels, vineyards and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • In Cape Town there is the option to visit a local ‘Shebeen’, which originally meant an illegal drinking den, and now refers to a legal tavern as part of township tour. Our visit here really gives an insight into the life of many South Africans that a lot of tourists don’t get to experience. Small local businesses really benefit from this type of tour as we pay for a home cooked, typically South African meal. Travellers are also able to buy souvenirs here which further supports this establishment.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We do a number of wildlife-oriented activities, such as game drives in Amakhala Game Reserve and exploring the waterfalls and forests of Tsitskamma National Park.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.
  • Our local partners support the Save Our Sausage Trees initiative in Botswana, which aims to address the issue of depleting forests in the area. The Mokoro is a canoe used by the people of the Okavango Delta and it is crafted traditionally out of a single mature Kigelia Africana tree (or sausage tree). Although increased tourism has had some obvious benefits to the area, this has also brought a higher demand for Mokoro boats and therefore more trees are being cut down. As a wooden Mokoro only lasts about 5 years, there are hundreds of these trees being felled per year and not enough to sustain this. We have consulted with the Okovango community, and we have agreed to pay half the price of a fibreglass Mokoro if a poler wants to purchase the other half, in order to save the trees.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • By favouring smaller, locally run hotels and guest houses we have a much smaller impact on the surrounding environments.
  • We encourage guests to try local specialities such as ostrich sausages, traditional ‘Pap’ (maize & water) and snoek fishcakes. As these foods are all sourced locally it means there will be a reduction in food miles.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

Extra steps you could take to minimise your impact when travelling.

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Port Elizabeth; transfer to Amakhala Game Reserve.

    Welcome to South Africa! We meet any clients who have made their own way to Port Elizabeth at the airport and together we’ll take a one hour drive to Amakhala, a private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. The crew at Amakhala will be waiting to welcome you and help you settle into this spectacular safari lodge. In the late afternoon we embark on our first game drive for a chance to see the spectacular wildlife and topography of Amakhala. During this game drive we stop for a cheese and wine sundowner, a quintessential safari experience to round off your first day in Southern Africa.

    Premium accommodation: Amakhala Safari Lodge, Amakhala Game Reserve (4 star)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Morning and afternoon game drives in Amakhala Game Reserve.

    Amakhala Game Reserve is spread across 18,000 acres; hosting five of South Africa's seven biomes and a large diversity of wildlife. Sightings here may feature lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant and leopard, as well as giraffe, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest and many species of antelope. Using open-air 4WD safari vehicles, we begin our day with an early morning game drive to search for wildlife at the time of day when the reserve is most active. There will be some time to relax and enjoy the lodge’s incredible facilities over lunch as well as visit the spa or take a dip in your private plunge pool overlooking the bush. Later we head into the reserve again for an afternoon game drive, searching for species that we may not have encountered yet. Another wine and cheese sundowner will feature on this afternoon’s game drive. Weather permitting, in the evening we will enjoy a traditional braai (South African barbeque) under the southern hemisphere night sky.

    Premium accommodation: Amakhala Safari Lodge, Amakhala Game Reserve (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Morning game drive at Amakhala Game Reserve; forest walk in Tsitsikamma National Park.

    Our day begins with a final game drive in Amakala before we head west to the official start of the Garden Route – Storms River in Tsitsikamma National Park. Getting its name from a local word meaning ‘place of abundant water’ and encompassing land and sea, Tsitsikamma National Park is a diverse wilderness of lush forest, epic canyons and magnificent coastal views. In the park we enjoy a walk in the forest and along the boardwalks and suspension bridges. This is a great opportunity to encounter some of the park’s abundant birdlife, with sea, forest and scrubland species all present. Our accommodation is located a short transfer away in the relaxed seaside town of Plettenberg Bay, where there are some great restaurants close to our lodge for tonight’s dinner.

    Premium accommodation: Christiana Lodge, Plettenberg Bay (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Walk in Robberg Nature Reserve; free afternoon in Plettenberg Bay.

    Today is about enjoying the Plettenberg Bay area. A short drive away is Robberg Nature Reserve, a peninsula of rugged cliffs, secluded beaches and scenic hiking trails that we have the morning to explore. As a World Heritage Site and National Monument, this is one of the most iconic experiences on the Garden Route and home to seals, dassies (Rock hyrax) and abundant bird life. The rest of the day is free to relax at our beautiful lodge, enjoy local cuisine at the bay’s many excellent restaurants or explore the nearby white sand beach.

    Premium accommodation: Christiana Lodge, Plettenberg Bay (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to De Hoop Nature Reserve with stops at the Knysna Heads and Mossel Bay.

    Continuing along the Garden Route, we visit one of its most picturesque points, the Knysna Heads – a pair of sandstone cliffs that form a channel separating the calm waters of Knysna Lagoon from the turbulent Indian Ocean. Our next stop is for lunch at Mossel Bay, a quaint coastal town home to The Post Office Tree, a famous landmark where seafarers left letters to be taken home by Portuguese sailors. We end today’s journey at De Hoop Nature Reserve and will arrive at our secluded accommodation within the reserve this afternoon, leaving some time to discover this amazing setting before dinner.

    Standard accommodation: De Hoop Collection, De Hoop Nature Reserve (3 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Full day in De Hoop Nature Reserve.

    De Hoop Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site and home to 86 species of mammal, more than 260 species of bird and the world's smallest and most threatened plant kingdom, the Cape Floral Kingdom. The reserve stretches some 34,000 hectares and includes 5km of marine reserve, one of the largest in Africa. This is one of the best locations in South Africa to see the migrating Southern Right whale from shore (from late August to November) and is far less busy than nearby Hermanus. We have the day to discover this unspoilt environment and enjoy some of the many optional activities on offer such as a guided eco-boat tour on the vlei, an interpretative marine walk, birdwatching and mountain biking. In the afternoon we walk along the beach boardwalk to a lookout point that is a great place for whale watching in season.

    Standard accommodation: De Hoop Collection, De Hoop Nature Reserve (3 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Continue to Stellenbosch via Cape Agulhas and Hermanus.

    A short transfer takes us to Cape Agulhas, a rocky headland that is officially the southernmost tip of the African continent. We continue to Hermanus, the whale watching capital of South Africa. A breeding ground for the Southern Right whale between late August and November, these giants travel from Antarctica to calve in Hermanus’ sheltered waters. After lunch we take a walk from the harbour and along the cliff’s edge, hopefully spotting these magnificent animals as they come close to shore. Heading inland, our destination for the day is the elegant and historic town of Stellenbosch, at the heart of South Africa’s famed winelands.

    Premium accommodation: Cultivar Guest Lodge, Stellenbosch (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Wine tasting with food pairings at two Stellenbosch wineries.

    Located in the Western Cape, Stellenbosch has rich, fertile soil and a temperate climate, which are the perfect conditions for winemaking. Our day will feature two of Stellenbosch’s best wine estates. We begin at the Waterford Estate where we will pair the region’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz with a series of dark and milk chocolates. Next is the Middelvlei Estate to pair their Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinotage with mouth-watering Boerebraai tapas. In the afternoon we return to our accommodation, to unwind in the lodge’s pool or gardens and take in the wonderful views of the Stellenbosch mountains and surrounding vineyards.

    Premium accommodation: Cultivar Guest Lodge, Stellenbosch (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Drive to Simon's Town; wander amongst African penguins at Boulders Beach.

    After a relaxing start to the day, we make our way down to Simon's Town in time for lunch at a restaurant located next to Boulders Beach. At the beach is a colony of approximately 2,000-3,000 African penguins, a protected species that is sadly endangered. The granite boulders offer shelter from the elements and the beach falls under a protected area that is part of the Table Mountain National Park, making this a safe haven for the colony. This is the only place in the world where you can get close to African penguins in this way, and it makes for a heart-warming experience. After some time to enjoy the colony and the surrounding dunes and boardwalks we have a short drive to our centrally located hotel next to the harbour.

    Premium accommodation: Quayside Hotel, Simon’s Town (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    Walk in Cape Point Nature Reserve; discover Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden; drive to Camps Bay.

    We start early today and drive to Cape Point Nature Reserve for a two hour walk along this ruggedly beautiful coastline. Starting with the Old Lighthouse, a short climb is rewarded with panoramic views of False Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Our route follows the boardwalk along the coast, past hidden beaches and jagged cliff faces before reaching the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula. The nature reserve is home to eland, bontebok, grysbok, springbok, wildebeest, baboon and ostrich, and we may be lucky enough to see a few of these species. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is our next stop. After lunch, we have the afternoon to discover the abundant bird and plant life of this highly acclaimed botanical garden, as well as appreciate its full grandeur from the tree canopy walkway. Our day ends in Camps Bay, an affluent suburb of Cape Town located between the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain National Park.

    Premium accommodation: Ocean View House, Cape Town (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Cable car to the summit of Table Mountain; free time to enjoy Cape Town.

    Cape Town’s skyline is one of most recognisable in the world thanks to the iconic Table Mountain towering over the city. The views from the top of this 1065m mountain are spectacular. Fortunately, there is a cable car to take us there, saving us a hike up the mountain’s steep slopes. Looking out from the summit is the best way to appreciate Cape Town’s striking setting and from here it is possible to see Lion's Head, Robben Island, and the city centre. The rest of the day is free to stroll along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, join a township tour or learn about Nelson Mandela’s incarceration on a visit to Robben Island.

    Premium accommodation: Ocean View House, Cape Town (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    End Cape Town.

    Depending on flight times there may be additional time to explore Cape Town or simply unwind in the beautiful grounds of our hotel. Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

South Africa

British passport holders and most European and Commonwealth Passport holders do not require a visa to travel to South Africa. Please note that all travellers to South Africa who do require a visa are required to have a minimum of 2 blank consecutive pages in their passport i.e. a left hand page and a right hand page to enable an entry visa to be issued.

Please note that new regulations from the 1 June 2015 mean that any child under 18 travelling to South Africa needs to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate with the names of both parents.

If a child under 18 is only travelling with a single parent, they will also have to have an affidavit, no less than 3 months old, from the absent parent confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.

Vaccinations

South Africa

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential if travelling in the greater Kruger area and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. The rest of South Africa, including the Garden Route, has a low risk of Malaria.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners included.

The food you'll encounter on this trip is very similar to the kind of food you'll be used to at home. There may be the opportunity to try some more unusual meats such as ostrich, kudu or eland. 

Vegetarians and vegans can be well catered for on this holiday - please do inform us before departure of any special dietary requests so that our local team can be well prepared.

The water provided on this trip is safe and clean drinking water, normally coming from bore-holes. It is not bottled water, however. If you would rather have bottled water then this will be at your expense, though we would encourage you to make use of the safe drinking water provided as this helps diminish plastic consumption.

Weather

Summer months are from October to April and the average daytime temperature is 25ºC to 30ºC. The average night time temperature is 10ºC to 20ºC. The winter months are from May to September and average temperatures are about 10ºC colder at this time of year. In general, however, the Cape Town climate is quite mild. The summer months are typically dry and warm, but the South Easterly wind can blow up to 70km/h at least a few times a month. This helps to cool things off, but can be a little unpleasant if one is walking in exposed areas. Most of the rainfall is in the winter but it is frontal rain, which comes off the Atlantic. Therefore it can rain solidly for 2 days, and in between there will be warm sunny days! Due to the ocean's proximity to the mountains and the winds, it is fairly common to experience tabletop clouds on the higher mountains. Our programme is flexible enough to accommodate any major changes in weather, and yet still make it enjoyable.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Is this trip for you?

We have graded this trip as leisurely as we base ourselves in premium accommodation and there are no strenuous activities. This is primarily a vehicle-based trip, although there are a few opportunities to go on walks in the Tsitsikamma National Park and in Cape Point Nature Reserve. All walking is optional. At Cape Point Nature Reserve we walk along good paths to the lighthouse and along the boardwalk. Both walks will take about two hours. The Tsitsikamma walk to the Storms River mouth is along a boardwalk and is about 1 hour long. There are many optional walks in the park that are a little longer and more strenuous. Travelling from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town rather than doing a round trip allows us to visit more places at a more leisurely pace with less driving and no need to back-track.

Legal Note: all group members joining this tour will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the start of the holiday. This indemnity form is a requirement of the South African Tourism Service Association which our local supplier is a member of. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Premium Hotels

Ocean View House
Ocean View House

Unwind at the end of each day in our expertly curated, handpicked accommodation on this Premium Adventure. Each property has been chosen for its excellent location, its comfort and style, and its unique characteristics. 

On nights 5 & 6 we use standard 3 star accommodation, which is clean, simple and in a wonderful location.

 

Amakhala Safari Lodge (4 star), Amakhala Game Reserve. 2 nights.

Amakhala

  • 11 premium suites complete with private plunge pools and separate lounge areas.
  • Located in a valley of indigenous bush at the northern boundary of Amakhala Game Reserve.
  • The view from the safari suites and lounge area is of a waterhole where antelope and zebra come to quench their thirst.

Amakhala

 

Christiana Lodge (4 star), Plettenberg Bay. 2 nights.

Christiana Lodge

  • Located a short walk away from the Robberg Beach.
  • Private balconies with views of the nearby nature area.
  • Spacious lounge and dining area, plus a swimming pool.

 

Cultivar Guest Lodge (4 star), Stellenbosch. 2 nights.

Cultivar

  • Guest lodge with 16 elegant rooms.
  • Spectacular views over the Stellenbosch mountains.
  • Facilities include a swimming pool, roof terrace and a spacious garden.

 

Quayside Hotel (4 star), Simon’s Town. 1 night.

Quayside Hotel

  • Centrally located next to the harbour.
  • Rooms either look out over False Bay or the Simon’s Kloof Mountains.

 

Ocean View House (4 star), Cape Town. 2 nights.

Ocean View House

  • Located in upmarket Camps Bay; famous for its bars, restaurants and white sand beach.
  • Epic views of the Atlantic Ocean and 12 Apostle Mountains.
  • Stylish rooms with private balconies or terraces.

The accommodation shown has been booked and agreed in advance, however we may need to make changes to a property of similar or higher standard after you have booked. While we will endeavour to inform you of any changes in advance which could, on rare occasions, be at late notice.

Amakhala
Amakhala
Cultivar
Cultivar
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

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Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 0800 643 997, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

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Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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