AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Cape Town & The Garden Route

Cape Town & The Garden Route

Cape Town & The Garden Route Overview

Cape Town & The Garden Route from South Africa is an exhilarating holiday in Cape Town (South Africa), Hermanus (South Africa), Outdshoorn (South Africa), The Garden Route (South Africa), The Winelands (South Africa), Tsitsikamma National Park (South Africa). Available from 18 Mar 2019 to 30 Nov 2020 this 10 day trip costs from £1,849.00, which includes flights.

This 13 day holiday combines some of South Africa’s most iconic destinations, from classic Cape Town and the whalewatching hub of Hermanus, to the lush Garden Route town of Knysna and the contrasting semi-arid Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. End with a night in the spectacular Winelands. Cape Town & The Garden Route

Itinerary

Day 1 (Thursday) - Fly overnight from the UK to South Africa
Meal included on the international flight

Fly overnight from the UK to Cape Town. Sitting on a peninsula below the imposing Table Mountain, Cape Town brings together the cultures, cuisines and landscapes of South Africa into one amazing city. From the pristine coastlines and verdant nature reserves to the traditional fishing communities and cosmopolitan centre, there is plenty to explore.

Day 2 (Friday) - Arrival in Cape Town
Meal included on the international flight.

After arriving in Cape Town, you are met at the airport and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to get to know the city. Perhaps enjoy a leisurely afternoon browsing the shops and restaurants on the waterfront or relax on Clifton Beach. There is also Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, home to an impressive collection of indigenous plants, including fynbos heather and proteas (the national flower) scattered amongst pleasant pathways and secluded spots. Lion’s Head is Table Mountain’s smaller brother, and forms part of the dramatic backdrop to the city. Upon walking to the top of the distinctive shaped mountain slope resembling a crouching lion you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the city.

Day 3 (Saturday) - Take the optional Iconic Cape Town excursion, or enjoy a free day in Cape Town
Breakfast at the hotel.

Spend the day getting to know Cape Town. See the best of this fascinating city on our optional half-day Iconic Cape Town excursion, which lets you discover the spirit of the Mother City, experience her vibrant cultures and history and enjoy botanical scenery. Highlights include a cable car ride up Table Mountain and visits to various other sites. Explore the market of Greenmarket Square where you can haggle with local vendors for beautiful wares, marvel at the colourful houses and cobbled streets of the Cape Malay Quarter, walk through the peaceful Company Gardens and visit the Castle of Good Hope, Grand Parade and District Six Museum.

Day 4 (Sunday) - Take the optional Peninsula & Penguins excursion, or enjoy a free day in Cape Town
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the Peninsula & Penguins excursion.

Spend a further day taking in the delights of Cape Town, or venture out to see the highlights and appreciate the surrounding natural beauty on our optional full-day Peninsula & Penguins excursion. Travel along the Atlantic seaboard with its gorgeous beaches and rugged mountains to Cape Point. Along the way take a boat ride to Seal Island, a small land mass located 5.7 km off the northern beaches of False Bay. The island is so named because of the 64,000 Cape Fur Seals that occupy it. If open (weather dependent), continue on Chapman’s Peak Drive, renowned for being one of the most stunning roads in the world. Upon reaching Cape Point, you can take the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the old lighthouse and admire the panoramic views from the tip of the peninsula. After a delicious seafood lunch in a restaurant, return to Cape Town via the False Boy coast, stopping to visit Boulders Beach which is renowned for being home to a colony of African penguins.

Day 5 (Monday) - Take the optional Robben Island excursion, or enjoy a free day in Cape Town
Breakfast at the hotel.

Take the optional half-day Robben Island excursion which involves a ferry ride across Table Bay to visit the infamous Maximum-Security Prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, and Murray’s Bay Harbour attractions including the Muslim shrine. During the visit, you will be told moving stories by a former prisoner who will be your guide. Get private access to Mandela’s cell and see others where countless convicts were incarcerated, and learn about how the island became internationally known for its institutional brutality during the apartheid years. Alternatively, spend a further day taking in the sights and sounds of Cape Town.

Day 6 (Wednesday) - Drive Cape Town to Hermanus and take a boat excursion to see the wildlife
Breakfast at the hotel.

Today you drive for around 90 minutes from Cape Town to Hermanus. The road is known as the Whale Route and features dramatic coastlines and fynbos (a unique kind of vegetation in the Eastern and Western Cape), rivalling Chapman’s Peak in terms of scenery. After approximately 120 kilometres of beautiful Cape countryside you arrive in Hermanus, where the fisherman’s village charm still lingers. The popular town is situated between the mountains and the sea and has gained worldwide recognition for its whale watching opportunities. Hermanus serves as a relaxed introduction and pleasant stop en route to the Garden Route. In the afternoon take a 2-hour boat trip to spot whales, or other marine life, depending on the time of year (between June and November, female southern rights congregate in the bay to calve). Look out for Humpback and Bryde’s whales, dolphins, seals, penguins and marine birds as you enjoy light refreshments on-board. After your boat trip have some free time to explore Hermanus before being transferred to your hotel, located in a beautiful spot out of town.

Day 7 (Thursday) - Begin your journey on the Garden Route from Hermanus to Knysna
Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive for around six or seven hours from Hermanus to Knysna, stopping for lunch en-route (not included). The Garden Route is so named due to the abundance of lush greenery along the route, particularly the indigenous forests which stretch from the seaside to the foothills of the mountains. Upon arrival in Knysna in the late afternoon, you have the rest of the evening to relax. Knysna is one of the Southern Cape Coast's most beautiful destinations, situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful lagoon, with a relaxed vibe and it makes a great base for visiting the nearby nature reserves.

Day 8 (Friday) - Take the optional full day Tsitsikamma National Park excursion or enjoy a free day in Knysna
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the Tsitsikamma National Park excursion.

Today, take the optional full day Tsitsikamma National Park excursion, where you admire the beautiful scenery around Storms River from the suspension bridge, giving you a great taste of the area. Start early for a 1.5-hour drive along the dramatic coast to the mouth of Storms River, then walk down gentle pathways to the suspension bridge. There are lots of steps, but the route is fairly easy and not strenuous. Originally built in 1969 and spanning 77 metres, the suspension bridge serves as a lookout point over the stormy seas and precipitous cliffs. Spend some time admiring the views then walk back up and enjoy a buffet lunch in a local restaurant, before driving back to Knysna via Bloukrans Bridge where you can take photos of the more adrenalin-inclined people bungee jumping off the bridge which claims to be the world’s highest at 216 metres. Alternatively, spend the day at leisure exploring Knysna. The town has a village feel even though its population is close to 100 000, and its setting on the coast makes it feel like a holiday town – no matter the time of year. There are numerous walking trails and a lookout point on the Eastern Head, with spectacular views of the lagoon. The Knysna Quays is the name of the waterfront, which has excellent shopping opportunities, as well as several restaurants overlooking the yacht club. For the more adventurous, activities including sailing and zip lining can be organised locally.

Day 9 (Saturday) - Take the optional Featherbed Eco Experience excursion in the morning, then drive from Knysna to Oudtshoorn
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the Featherbed Eco Experience excursion.

In the morning, discover one of South Africa’s Natural Heritage Sites on the optional half-day Featherbed Eco Experience excursion, comprising of a boat trip across the lagoon, lunch and a guided visit of the reserve. Established in 1985 to protect local wildlife, the Featherbed Nature Reserve is spread over 150 hectares on the western head of Knysna. Wildlife here includes the Cape Mountain tortoise, African black oystercatcher, blue duiker and blue crane. After the drive, there is an optional 2.2-kilometre guided downhill walk through coastal forest and fynbos into ancient sea caves, once used by the Khoikhoi. Finish with a buffet lunch at an outdoor restaurant under a canopy of milkwood trees, then take the ferry back to Knysna. In the afternoon, drive for two hours (around 120km) from Knysna to Oudtshoorn via the Outeniqua Pass and George. Outeniqua is said to have derived from a Khoisan tribe that once lived in these mountains and means "they who bear honey". Rock paintings from the Khoisan people can still be found in the area. The drive through the Outeniqua Mountains is spectacular, with numerous rivers, streams and waterfalls starting in the area around Oudtshoorn. Notice the vegetation change from the luscious greenery of the Garden Route to the rugged, arid appearance in the Karoo. Known as the ostrich capital of the world and forming part of the Klein Karoo, Oudtshoorn is situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountains.

Day 10 (Sunday) - Take the optional Meerkat Magic excursion and Cango Caves & Ostrich Safari excursion
Breakfast at the hotel, lunch is included on the Cango Caves & Ostrich Safari excursion.

Today, you can choose to spend the day at leisure exploring the sights of Oudtshoorn, or take one or both of the optional excursions. Start before sunrise for the optional Meerkat Magic excursion where families of meerkats entertain as they wake up and pop out of their burrows. Return to your hotel for breakfast. If you take the optional Cango Caves and Ostrich Safari excursion, you drive from your hotel to the Cango Caves, a stunning feat of nature, sculpted through the ages by calcium carbonate to form some of the biggest stalagmite formations in the world. Take a short tour then continue to a nearby ostrich farm. Oudtshoorn is South Africa’s ostrich capital, with 400 farms surrounding the town. The tour starts in the breeding camp with a nest of ostrich eggs, which you can stand on to test their strength. You will also visit the eggs in the incubator rooms and see them hatching, then enjoy a tractor-trailer ride around the farm and meet the curious birds as they approach you, whilst learning about the breeding and rearing process. Have lunch at the restaurant on the farm, with the chance to try ostrich meat and other local delicacies, then drive back to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 11 (Monday) - Drive from Oudtshoorn to Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands
Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive for around 6-6.5 hours to the Cape Winelands, stopping for lunch en-route (not included). The journey takes you on smooth roads through a range of landscapes including farmland, lush valleys, vineyards and picturesque mountain scenery. Lying in the shadow of a continuous belt of Cape Fold Mountains, the Winelands are a series of valleys scattered with historic towns, little hamlets and Cape Dutch farmsteads that provide well-regarded South African wines to the world. These mountains create a scenic backdrop for endless vines, but they are also one of the reasons wines do so well here. Their geological compositions provide unique soil conditions that directly affect the character of wine. Once arrived, the evening is free to relax and explore the university town which is full of interesting museums, bars and restaurants. Stellenbosch is an elegant, historical town situated about 40 kilometres to the east of Cape Town. Surrounded by wine estates, the town is characterised by stately Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture along its oak-lined streets.

Day 12 (Tuesday) - Take the optional Wine Tasting excursion then fly overnight to the UK
Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to Cape Town airport for your return overnight flight to the UK. If time permits before your flight, or if you choose to spend an extra night in Stellenbosch, you can spend some time exploring the historic town and surrounding vineyards.

Day 13 (Wednesday) - Arrival in the UK

Your flight arrives in the UK.


Date of Departure & Approximate Holiday Prices

Prices are in £ per person
January, 2020 - £1949
February, 2020 - £1949
March, 2020 - £1949
April, 2020 - £1849
July, 2020 - £2099
October, 2020 - £2049
November, 2020 - £1999

Single Supplement - £400
Full Excursion Package from £299, please visit our website or contact us for more details

Please visit our website or contact us for more details.



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