Garden Route tour in South Africa
Description of Garden Route tour in South Africa
This Garden Route tour takes you to some of South Africa’s wildest and most beautiful sites, as you follow the coast from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. You’ll visit Addo National Park, where lions and huge herds of elephants roam, wander past waterfalls, rivers and fairy tale forests in Tsitsikamma National Park, taste some of the world’s best wines in the vineyards around Stellenbosch and watch penguins play in the surf near Cape Town.
Walking is a big part of this tour and a particular highlights is hiking the Alexandria Trail. Over two days, you’ll walk 26 km past sand dunes, sea-shore and indigenous forest, with a night spent sleeping in a simple hut. You’ll also hit (shorter) walking trails in Storm’s River, Swellendam and the De Hoop Nature Reserve and the Cape Peninsula, including a trail up the world famous Table Mountain.
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PlanetAccommodation & Meals:
For most parts of the trip, we spend the nights in tourist class hotels, owned and staffed locally. In a couple locations (Alexandria Trail and Tsitsikamma), the accommodation is run by SANParks, the South African National Park organisation and our stay will contribute to the maintenance of the national parks. Meals are normally had in local establishments who tend to use local produce, including some of South Africa’s succulent meats and world renowned wines. We also have the opportunity to visit local wineries. By spreading our business to many local establishments, we are making a positive impact by sustaining a demand for local employment.
As this is a walking holiday we visit a number of national parks and protected areas where fees are paid to assist in the conservation of these areas. These include Addo National Park, Tsitsikamma National Park, Table Mountain National Park, Featherbed Nature Reserve, Marloth Nature Reserve, De Hoop Reserve and Cape Peninsula National Park. Our guides will advise clients about not straying off paths and about how to deal with local wildlife.
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleLocal Crafts and Culture:
During the trip, we will visit some of the country’s famous wineries and get a taste of some of the different varieties of produce in the region. We will stop by a number of places where clients have the opportunity to purchase local crafts. There is also the chance to have an optional township tour in Cape Town which gives an insight into how people live in these neighbourhoods.
A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. By supporting and employing these people we are helping to ensure that their wildlife areas, scenic beauty and historical significance generate value for the community and are therefore appreciated and protected from development and exploitation.