Garden Route and Wild Coast Tour
This excursion covers both the Garden Route and the Wild Coast areas, so named because of its rugged beauty. Afterwards, you experience the lush sub-tropical vegetation of South Africa’s East Coast, sometimes called the garden province. Here you visit the scenic Oribi Gorge before travelling to the holiday city of Durban.
DAY 1. Cape Town – Route 62 – Oudtshoorn (Garden Route and Wild Coast)
Your 6-Day tour incorporates firstly; the scenic Garden Route and secondly Wild Coast departs from Cape Town. After driving eastwards via the beautiful Du Toit’s Kloof Mountains and the Breede Valley Wine region, we find the heartland of South Africa’s Brandy producers and the Robertson and Montague wine regions. We visit one of the Wine Estates in this area for wine tasting.
Afterwards, 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!
Oudtshoorn is called the “Feather capital” of the world as over ninety per cent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here. We overnight at the La Plume Lodge.
DAY 2. Cango Caves – Garden Route – Knysna (Garden Route and Wild Coast)
Today we visit the Cango Caves, one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites.
After this adventure, 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 traverse past Oudtshoorn and over the Outeniqua Mountains via George and Wilderness along the Wilderness National Park lakes area. We skirt around the lakes to Knysna on the Knysna Lagoon’s edge with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the Lakelands’ extraordinary natural beauty and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna offers shopping opportunities for unusual, locally made art and craft, etc. We overnight at Augusta Bay Lodge, in Knysna.
DAY 3. Garden Route – Tsitsikamma National Park – Port Elizabeth
We explore Knysna and travel to Plettenberg Bay, where we visit the Birds of Eden. This unique two-hectare dome (the worlds largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. It is currently home to over 3,500 birds from over 220 species, above all, 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’) that stretches for over one hundred kilometres 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 today’s 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 this excursion. We included nature highlights, and you can 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
Firstly, we visit the Addo Elephant Park. Here we have an excellent chance to encounter these giants of the bush amongst much other wildlife. The park provides sanctuary to lions, black rhinos, buffalos and a variety of antelope. It is also well known for many different bird species.
Afterwards, travel to Grahamstown, the small cathedral city, considered the art capital of South Africa. Above all, the city is known for its colourful history. From here travel to East London, the only river port in South Africa. It is here that they found the prehistoric coelacanth in 1938. We travel to Chintsa Bay north of East London and 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 whilst overlooking the shimmering Indian Ocean, and afterwards, we commence with the day’s travel. Our journey takes us inland into the former homeland of Transkei. Travel over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads and through valleys and clear streams to Umtata, the former homeland’s capital, where we visit the Mandela Museum. From here we travel via Port St Johns, and Lusikisiki, past the tea plantations to our overnight stop, Mbotyi Lodge.
DAY 6. Oribi Gorge – Durban
On the last day of your tour, you travel further north and enter the KwaZulu Natal province. Hugging the coastline, travel through lush sub-tropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard.
Visit the Oribi Gorge to experience some spectacular scenic panoramic views, as well as the Wild Gorge Swing, the highest swing in the world starting at the top of Lehr’s Falls. This is an awesome experience that leaves you breathless yet exhilarated. Why not be a daredevil and leap (optional) into the gorge. Hurl yourself (or simply step) off the edge of the waterfall to swing into the gaping depths of the gorge – 165m (55 Storeys) – unbelievable! Or merely take amazing pictures of those crazy enough to do so.
After this adrenalin-inducing adventure, arrive in Durban, the subtropical Holiday city of South Africa, in the late afternoon.
OTHER TOURS THAT MAY INTEREST YOU:
6-Day Coastal Explorer Guided tour (Code: SCDP) – Durban to Cape Town
4-Day Garden Route Tour (Code: SCCD) – Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, and add a flight to Durban if you want to go to Durban
8-Days Wildlife and Scenic (Garden) Tour – Code, SC- 01C