6 Day South African Coastal Experience Guided Tour
DAY 1. Cape Town – Route 62 – Oudtshoorn (Cape Town to Durban Tour)
Depart from Cape Town and drive eastwards via the beautiful Du Toit’s Kloof Mountains and the Breede Valley Wine region, heartland of South Africa’s Brandy producers as well as via the Robertson and Montague wine regions. We visit one of the many Wine Estates in these areas for a wine tasting.
We continue via Route 62 through the Little Karoo with its many unique mountain ranges and vegetation to Oudtshoorn, visiting an Ostrich Show Farm for some exceptional experiences with these strange birds!
Overnight in Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here. Overnight La Plume Lodge.
DAY 2. Cango Caves – Garden Route – Knysna
We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites.
An optional visit to the Cango wildlife ranch can be done. The Ranch encompasses over 90 different species of animals. They provide guided tours which are fundamental in educating the public, giving each species a voice, and highlighting animal and environmental issues.
We travel past Oudtshoorn, over the Outeniqua Mountains via George and Wilderness along the Wilderness National Park lakes area. We skirt around the lakes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the Lakelands and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities for unusual locally made art and craft, etc. Overnight in Knysna. Overnight Augusta Bay Lodge.
DAY 3. Garden Route – Tsitsikamma National Park – Port Elizabeth
You explore Knysna and travel further via Plettenberg Bay to visit the Birds of Eden. This unique two-hectare dome (the world’s largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. It is currently home to over 3,500 birds from over 220 species, with the main focus being African birds. Continue to The Bloukrans Bridge, 216 meters (709 feet) above the Bloukrans River. The Bloukrans Bungee is the world’s highest commercial bungee bridge and the highest commercial natural bungee jump in the world.
You visit the Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for ‘The place of much water’) stretches over one hundred kilometers of wild and rocky coastline. It is characterized by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Take a walk/hike to the suspension bridge stretching over the mouth of the Storms River. After that, the final part of our journey takes us past a few coastal holiday villages to Port Elizabeth, also called the ‘Friendly City’. Overnight Fifth Avenue Beach House.
NOTE: Some extreme sports activities and weather dependent excursion options exist along with the routing of this tour. We have included the nature highlights in the tour – however, please discuss any of these options with your guide. (Some are only available on private and personalized tours)
DAY 4. Addo Elephant National Park – East London – Wild Coast
Our first stop is at the Addo Elephant Park where we have an excellent chance to encounter these giants of the bush. The park also provides sanctuary to lion, black rhino, buffalo, a variety of antelope, and many birds. Next stop Grahamstown, the small cathedral city, also considered the art capital of South Africa and is steeped in history. We travel to East London, the only river port in South Africa. It is also the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938. We travel to Chintsa Bay north of East London overnight in our lodge nestled in the middle of the beautiful Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast, surrounded by rolling hills, lush tropical beach forests and overlooking the warm Indian Ocean. Overnight Crawford Beach Lodge.
DAY 5. Wild Coast
Breakfast is served overlooking the shimmering Indian Ocean. We depart from this paradise and our journey takes us inland into the former homeland of Transkei. We traverse over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads, and through valleys and clear streams to Umtata, capital of the former homeland, where we visit the Mandela Museum. From here we travel via Port St Johns, and Lusikisiki, past the tea plantations to our overnight stop, along the rugged Wild Coast. Overnight Mbotyi Lodge.
DAY 6. Oribi Gorge – Durban
After a sumptuous breakfast, travel further north and enter the province of KwaZulu Natal in the south. Hug the coastline and travel through lush sub-tropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. We visit the Oribi Gorge to experience some spectacular scenic panoramic views. Why not be a daredevil and take a leap (not included) into the gorge with the Wild Gorge swing, an awesome experience that leaves you breathless yet exhilarated. Situated at the top of Lehr’s Falls, it is the highest swing in the world. Hurl yourself (or simply step) off the edge of the waterfall to swing into the gaping depths of the gorge – 165m (55 Storeys) Unbelievable! After that adventure, arrive in Durban, the subtropical Holiday Mecca of South Africa, in the late afternoon.