6-Day Wild Coast and Garden Route Tour
On this tour we explore firstly the subtropical south coast of KwaZulu Natal situated along the eastern seaboard of South Africa, secondly the rugged Wild Coast and lastly the scenic Garden Route. The tour ends in Cape Town, situated in the southwestern corner of South Africa!
DAY_1. Durban – South Coast – Wild Coast
The drive from Durban takes us through lush subtropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. We visit the scenic Oribi Gorge and afterwards some beautiful little beaches. On arrival at our hotel, we have some time to walk to the beach or just relax and take in the scenic surroundings. Overnight at Estuary Hotel or similar. Dinner included today.
DAY_2. Wild Coast
After a sumptuous breakfast, depart from our hotel, turning inland and enter the Eastern Cape Province, the former homeland of Transkei. Traverse over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads, through valleys and clear streams to Umtata, the capital of the former homeland around mid-day. After a visit to the Nelson Mandela museum we travel further south and turn towards the ocean again. Arrive at our lodge nestled in the beautiful village of Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast, surrounded by rolling hills and lush tropical forests. Overnight Crawfords Beach Lodge or similar.
DAY_3. Wild Coast – Addo Elephant National Park – Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth)
After having breakfast overlooking the shimmering Indian Ocean, we depart, and this morning’s journey takes us to East London for a visit. The city is the only true river port in South Africa and the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938. Afterwards, we travel further along the coast and enjoy the lush vegetation and rugged coastline. We visit Grahamstown, a small cathedral city and considered the art capital of South Africa. At the Addo Elephant game reserve, we have an excellent chance of encountering these giants of the bush amongst other wildlife. Our destination for the day is the holiday city of Gqeberha, formerly called Port Elizabeth. Overnight Fifth Avenue Beach House or similar.
Day_4. Garden Route – Knysna
We depart from Gqeberha and travel to the Storms River for a view of the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge, towering some one hundred and thirty- nine meters above the river. We continue further down a steep, but scenic road before we reach our next stop, the Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for the place of much water). The park stretches over one hundred kilometres of wild and rocky coastline, characterized by massive cliffs and narrow, isolated beaches. Here you can do a relaxing walk with excellent views to the suspension bridge stretching across the mouth of the Storms River.
The next stop is at Bloukrans Bridge, 216 meters (709 feet) above the Bloukrans River. Here, a bungee jump off the bridge is considered the world’s highest commercial bungee jump bridge and the highest natural bungee jump in the world! Most of us can only awe at those brave souls taking the plunge! Further along, we visit Birds of Eden, currently home to over 3,500 birds consisting of over 220 species. From here, we travel past Plettenberg Bay to Knysna situated on the edge of a lagoon, with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the ‘Heads’. This area falls within a national park proclaimed to conserve the many lakes and indigenous forests displaying extraordinary natural beauty. Knysna offers shopping opportunities for sometimes, unusual locally made art and craft. Overnight at Parkes Manor Lodge or similar.
Day_5. Garden Route – Knysna – Oudtshoorn
Today, we travel further along the lakelands in the Wilderness National Park via the scenic Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn. Stop at 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.
Before we arrive at our hotel, an optional visit to the Cango Wildlife Ranch is possible. The Ranch encompasses over 90 different animal species. Guided tours are provided and are fundamental in educating the public, giving each species a voice; highlighting animal and environmental issues. It is however also subject to available time.
Overnight at La Plume Boutique Guest Lodge or similar.
Day_6. Oudtshoorn – R62 – Cape Town
We have reached the final day of the South Africa Explorer tour. Firstly, we visit an ostrich show farm in the Oudtshoorn region. Oudtshoorn is regarded as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world, home to the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world. At the farm we have some unique experiences with these strange birds.
Then, we travel via Route 62 further through the Little Karoo with its many unique mountain ranges to the Cape Wine regions. The Montague, Robertson and the Breede Valley Wine areas are also considered the heartland of South Africa’s Brandy production. We visit one of the many Wine Estates for interesting facts, but more importantly, some wine tasting! Afterwards, our tour to Cape Town is concluded with a drive over the Du Toitskloof Pass and Paarl, arriving late afternoon in the ‘Mother City”.
THE FOLLOWING TOURS MAY ALSO INTEREST YOU:
6-Day Coastal Explorer Including the Garden Route and Wild Coast (Code: SCCP) – Cape Town to Durban
4-Day Garden Route starting with an early morning flight from Durban to Port Elizabeth.(Code: SCCE) – Port Elizabeth to Cape Town