Large penguins boulders beach

Value Garden Route & Eastern Cape Safari

Self drive Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari holiday. This follows a similar itinerary to our Classic Garden Route & Safari holiday but with a very keen eye on costs using good value character small lodges and guesthouses.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional €1,078 per person economy class from London

People love what we do
Tourdust is rated 5.0 out of 5 stars


…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

Missing Matthew McSweeney. See all Reviews

Itinerary

Overview

  • Self-Drive Cape Town, Garden Route & Safari Holiday
  • Good value small 3* and 4* lodges and guesthouses
  • Explore Cape Town independently, visit Table Mountain, Cape Point and see the Penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Cookup your own 'Braii', walk and mountain bike in the Coastal wilds of De Hoop
  • Explore the beaches and beautiful landscapes of Plettenberg Bay & Tsitsikamma
  • Big 5 safari on a private Eastern Cape Game Reserve

Day-by-day

Itinerary in Brief


DAY 1: Arrive Cape Town
DAY 2: Cape Town
DAY 3: Cape Town
DAY 4: Cape Town
DAY 5: Drive to De Hoop Coastal Reserve 3hrs drive
DAY 6: De Hoop Coastal Reserve
DAY 7: De Hoop Coastal Reserve
DAY 8: Plettenberg Bay
DAY 9: Plettenberg Bay
DAY 1: Plettenberg Bay
DAY 11: Plettenberg Bay
DAY 12: Safari in Amakhala Private Reserve
DAY 13: Safari in Amakhala Private Reserve
DAY 14: Depart

Detailed Itinerary


DAY 1: ARRIVE CAPE TOWN
On your arrival day, we recommend taking it easy, heading down to the V&A Waterfront to soak up the atmosphere. The Victoria and Albert Waterfront is the historic heart of Cape Town, buzzing with cafes, restaurants, street performances and stunning views of the working harbour and Table Mountain. Alternatively we can arrange a bicycle tour of Cape Town city or perhaps a local cookery tour to get a taste of the diverse cuisine in the Cape region.
Accommodation: Welgelgen Guest House
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 2: CAPE TOWN
Today is at your leisure. We recommend planning a visit to Table Mountain early in your visit as it can be weather dependent. The easiest and cheapest way to explore Table Mountain is to use the Cableway. Bookings aren't necessary and there is easy parking at the cableway station. At the top there are some lovely well marked trails and you will find just a 5 minute walk will open up new views and get you away from the crowds with some lovely scenery and fynbos. We can also organise guided hikes, ranging from a short 1-2 hour walk from the top of the Cableway to a more challenging trek climbing the Mountain via Skeleton Gorge or from the Twelve Apostles (around 6hours) and taking the Cableway down.
Accommodation: Welgelgen Guest House
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 3: CAPE TOWN
We recommend spending a day taking the coastal route to the trendy Camps Bay area before reaching the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive through Hout Bay, Simon Town and Kalk Bay. Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach, Cape Point Nature Reserve and Cape of Good Hope. Some options depending on the time available and your interests would be wine tasting in the Constantia Valley, or a short walk through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. We can offer this as a private guided tour with an expert local guide and the option of cycling on part of the route. This needs to be booked in advance, please ask for a quote.
Accommodation: Welgelgen Guest House
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 4: CAPE TOWN
It is all too easy to travel through the Cape region in comfortable lodges and not have any sense of how the majority of the country lives. On the basis that exposure breeds understanding and awareness, we think it is a good thing to learn about this magnificent countries turbulent past and present and fascinating culture. Generally speaking, most visitors consider two activities; visiting Robben Island or visiting a township. Where Robben Island gives insight into the political struggles of the past, a visit to a township gives insight into the economic realities of the present. We work with a fantastic project with a gentle bike tour through the township of Masiphumelele. Please give us a call to discuss the options.
Accommodation: Welgelgen Guest House
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 5: DRIVE TO DE HOOP COASTAL RESERVE 3HRS DRIVE
De Hoop Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area is one of CapeNature’s flagship nature reserves, probably most commonly known for its enormous Southern Right Whale migratory calving population (season October - March). Few other reserves offer as complete an outdoor experience as De Hoop – sea, sand dunes, the vlei, a floral sensation of rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains.
Accommodation: De Hoop Village
Meals Included: Self Catering (café & restaurant available)

DAY 6: DE HOOP COASTAL RESERVE
There are a variety of experiences to enjoy at De Hoop. Birders observe wading birds on the shores of the vlei while the Potberg Mountains are home to a colony of endangered Cape vultures. Hikers and cyclists (bike hire available) have close-up encounters with bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland, baboons and ostrich. Activities are diverse and guests choose between various day walks through the rich fynbos plains or along the deserted coastline, or mountain biking along the many gravel roads or scenic game drives. Lazing on the beach and snorkeling in the many turquoise rock pools is another lovely activity.
Accommodation: De Hoop Village
Meals Included: Self Catering (café & restaurant available)

DAY 7: DE HOOP COASTAL RESERVE
Another day to explore the trails of De Hoop
Accommodation: De Hoop Village
Meals Included: Self Catering (café & restaurant available)

DAY 8: PLETTENBERG BAY
Drive 3 hours into the Garden route
Accommodation: Fynbos Ridge
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 9: PLETTENBERG BAY
The Garden Route covers a large stretch of coast between the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth. Where once visitors headed without thinking for Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, it makes more sense nowadays to base yourself at one of the superior inland lodges and use it as a base to explore from. It is worth noting that as with the Cape in general, beaches are not your regular sun-bather & cocktail variety, think beach-combing, rock pools and surf. The area is the perfect base for exploring Tsitsikamma National Park and heading to one of the superb visitor attractions such as the Storms River Canopy Tour, Monkeyland or Knysna Elephant Park. En-route we recommend a wonderful stop at Wilderness National Park, picking up a picnic and hiring a canoe from Eden Adventures. It is a gentle hour of easy paddling upstream through meandering reed beds until you can go no further, from that point there is a boardwalk through the forest to a Touw River Waterfalls. It is a very gentle river and no prior experience is required.
Accommodation: Fynbos Ridge
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 10: PLETTENBERG BAY
Tsitsikamma National Park is the indisputable gem of the Garden Route, a beautiful 80km stretch of wild coast and lush forest. A great way to experience the Park is on Storms River waterfall trail a 2-3 hour scramble along the Coast from the Storms River Rest Camp along the first section of the world famous Otter Trail. Like all the best family walks, the rocky boulder strewn path creates enough of a challenge to keep children interested. The views of the Ocean are magnificent and sightings of dolphins playing in the surf are fairly common on this stretch of Coast. The target of the walk is a waterfall crashing into a swimmable tidal pool. Also in the Storms River area is the highly renowned and award winning Storms River Canopy Tour in the magnificent Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest. One of the best Canopy tours in the world, platforms are built around giant yellow-wood trees that are up to 700 years old. You glide slowly between the platforms suspended from steel cables. The local guides are a wealth of knowledge on the forest ecosystem and the tour is a pioneering example of local community involvement. For those with a taste for adventure but without out a head for heights, the 2 hours Storms River kayak & lilt adventure is also highly recommended. Starting in the open ocean, you paddle into the opening of the Storms River and upstream through the magnificent gorge surrounded by towering cliffs, at the low water point, kayaks are exchanged for lilos and you gently make your way further up-stream and float back. There is only time for two of the three options in the day, but there is nothing stopping you returning the next day for more.
Accommodation: Fynbos Ridge
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 11: PLETTENBERG BAY
Knysna is a lovely little town situated on a large lagoon with access to sheltered lagoon beaches. In addition to enjoying the beaches and numerous good restaurants, you can also cruise the lagoon on a ferry, explore the indigenous forests by foot or mountain bike and there are some superb wildlife sanctuaries to visit.
Accommodation: Fynbos Ridge
Meals Included: Breakfast Included

DAY 12: SAFARI IN AMAKHALA PRIVATE RESERVE
Set off early for a long drive East to Amakhala Private Reserve to make sure you arrive in time for an afternoon game drive. Amakhala is a beautifully situated malaria free private reserve of around 7500 Ha neighbouring Shamwari East of Addo National Park. There are 11 small camps and lodges on the reserve in total and a well-balanced wildlife population boasting all of the big five. Your stay here is fully inclusive of game drives and all meals. After settling into your camp, head out on a late afternoon game drive and sundowner.
Accommodation: Amakhala Woodbury Tented Camp
Meals Included: All Inclusive

DAY 13: SAFARI IN AMAKHALA PRIVATE RESERVE
This morning will be a very early start. Heading off in an open game-viewing vehicle, you will traverse over 18,000 acres weaving through 5 of the country’s 7 biomes. The wilderness of Amakhala Game Reserve preserves a complex and diverse ecosystem, providing habitat for over 60 mammal species. The Bushman’s River winds its way through the reserve providing its life source of water to the myriad of wildlife and birdlife. The majestic lion, herds of elephant, buffalo and giraffe, cheetah and endangered white and black rhino make up the big game component. There are also substantial herds of plains game species including zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, Oryx and eland. After a couple of hours in the reserve return to Camp for a relaxed brunch and downtime before heading out again in the mid afternoon for a last game drive and sun-downer.
Accommodation: Amakhala Woodbury Tented Camp
Meals Included: All Inclusive

DAY 14: DEPART
Early morning game drive and breakfast at the lodge. It is a short drive to the Port Elizabeth Airport to drop off your hire car and begin your journey back home

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Stylish boutique hotel
- Unpretentious
- Plunge Pool
- Neighbourhood Location

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 2

- Comfortable cottages
- Pristine wilderness
- Diverse wildlife
- Great Value

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 2

- Peaceful property in idyllic surroundings
- Excellent ‘Garden Route’ location
- Variety of accommodation options
- Numerous activities on site and locally

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Well located for exploring Amakhala Game Reserve
- Game drives, boat tours, horseback rides and walks all available
- Raised tents with private decks

Details

Getting there

There are direct flights into Cape Town from the UK and US. Then fly back from Port Elizabeth via Johannesburg. Prices from the UK are usually in the region of £1000 during peak and school holiday periods, out of peak periods, fares can be as little as £700 per person.

Price includes

Includes rental car with comprehensive insurance and unlimited mileage, all accommodation with meals as specified.
Many services and accommodation in South Africa are subject to seasonal variations in price. Prices for this itinerary are expected to be fairly consistent year-round for all periods excluding Christmas / New Year. Rates will vary depending on the availability of room types. Please get in touch for a tailor-made quote.

When is best?

Broadly speaking, the Southern, Eastern and Western Cape of South Africa enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate in reverse order to that found in the Northern Hemisphere. Whilst the regions spring and autumn are our favourite times to visit (Sep, Oct, March, April & May), visits during their winter (June – August) are not to be ruled out.

Spring (September to October) is a lovely time to visit, temperatures are around 15 -25 Celsius, it is usually relatively dry (with only moderate chances of rain) and the Fynbos flowers are blooming. October Half Term is one of the best times of year for a family to visit the Cape. The weather is improving but not too hot and there is a good chance of seeing the spectacular whales of the Coast of Hermanus and around (the whale season runs July – October).

Summer (November to February is generally dry and hot with day time temperatures of 25-35 Celsius and plenty of sunshine (10.5hrs a day on average). The Christmas Holidays may offer the best weather but are generally best avoided as the area gets over-run with domestic tourists and prices are vastly inflated. February Half Term is the most popular time of the year for British families to visit South Africa, with the advantage of great weather without the peak crowds of Christmas / New Year.

Autumn (March - May) is also one of the best times of year to visit the region. If you can put up with cooler overnight temperatures, you’ll find the country much quieter with very pleasant warm days in the gentle autumn sunshine. Easter Holidays and May Half Term are therefore perfect times to visit South Africa.

Winter (June – September) is the least favourable time of year to visit from the perspective of the weather. However the appeal of seeing the Southern Right Whales, low season rates and generally mild sunny days grants a certain logic to visiting the Cape during the UK summer holidays. The big drawback is the strong chance of blustery wet conditions around Cape Town and the winelands. The Garden Route and Eastern Cape is very dry during winter, but expect very cool overnight temperatures, you will need to pack some warm clothes, especially if you are going on early morning game drives.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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Flights are typically an additional €1,018 per person economy class from London

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