Cape Town and the Garden Route tour
Optional single supplement £350.
Minimum age 16.
Description of Cape Town and the Garden Route tour
This two week small group tour takes you on a spectacular South African journey along its famous Garden Route to Cape Town. A garden that is filled with natural and cultural highlights, wildlife and wild coasts, wine and a wonderful South African welcome, staying in charming and small, locally owned guesthouses along the way.
After settling in to Port Elizabeth, our first trip to Addo Elephant National Park is one of the finest introductions to South Africa’s incredible wildlife. Just a stone’s throw from the city you can take a game drive to see not only elephants but all of the Big Five. Another great national park exists further west, this time the coastal Tsitsikamma NP where the rugged bays, forests that line them and waterfalls that tumble down through them are worthy of national protection.
As well as the spectacular sandstone cliffs at Knysna Heads, other coastal crowning glories on this Garden Route holiday include Mossel Bay and Hermanus, both famously beautiful beach bliss but also for great for wildlife watching, with whales visible from land here during the migratory season August until November, and sometimes earlier if you are lucky. It is also one of South Africa’s most famous regions for wineries, and tastings of the Garden Route’s most famous produce are a must on this itinerary.
Cape Town is the last port of call on this holiday, with two full days to explore its culture, history and contemporary cool spots too. Sometimes referred to as the Mother City, she proffers an eclectic mix of places to see from the brightly coloured Cape Malay houses to the much more grim reality of Robben Island, now a fascinating museum. There is plenty of beach life too of course where you can watch the sun set over the ocean. And you can take your pick of those, with Cape Point being the end of the peninsula that separates the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic.
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1 Reviews of Cape Town and the Garden Route tour
Reviewed on 04 Nov 2019 by Sheila Cooper
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The whole tour included different locations that were equally memorable with exciting moments.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Do all the optional excursions. Be prepared for all weathers!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
It benefitted local people and supported conservation. We stayed in some local guest houses and visited local restaurants. We visited the Township that supports the local school.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Justin, our guide , was passionate about his country and very informative of the history, present state of South Africa and flora and fauna. With his humour and friendliness he was an excellent guide in all ways.
We do a number of wildlife oriented activities, such as game drives in Addo Elephant National Park, exploring the waterfalls and forests of Tsitskamma National Park and visiting an ostrich form in Oudtshoorn. In including these places on our tours, we are contributing to the employment of local staff here, the upkeep of facilities for people and animals and also promoting a responsible treatment of wildlife, as opposed to the alternatives like poaching and hunting.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
There is the fantastic opportunity to go on a township tour in Port Elizabeth at the beginning of the trip- or in Cape Town at the end. We can visit a local ‘Shebeen’, which originally meant an illegal drinking den, and now refers to a legal tavern. 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 and travellers are often tempted to buy souvenirs here.
Accommodation & Meals:
We stay in small, locally run hotels and guest houses, chalets and one night on a guest farm. By spreading our business to many local establishments, we are making a positive impact by sustaining a demand for local employment. The guest farm in particular is a great example. The Stellenbosch region produces some of the best wine in the world and we have the chance to sample local produce and stay the night here. This kind of enterprise provides jobs for locals working in the vineyards, the hotel and it also encourages the production of regionally specific wine. This trip includes all breakfasts and where meals are not provided, your guides will be able to point out the best local cafes and restaurants. We recommend ostrich sausages, traditional ‘Pap’ (maize & water) and snoek fishcakes.
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 on the wildlife, environment and culture 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.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, 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.