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Classic Garden Route & Eastern Cape Safari

Self drive Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari holiday. Includes private guided tours in Cape Town, superb character accommodations and a big five safari experience.

Tailor-made Classic 12 days

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

Flights are typically an additional €1,018 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
  • See the Penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Private Guided Tours show you the very best of Cape Town and the Winelands alive
  • See Meerkat and Ostrich in Oudtshoorn
  • Explore the beaches and beautiful landscapes of the Garden Route
  • Experience a big 5 safari on a private game reserve
  • High quality 4* & 5* Lodging throughout
  • This itinerary works brilliantly for families of all ages

Begin your holiday with four nights in the heart of Cape Town in the luxurious, serviced Lawhill Apartments. During you stay, we will arrange some of our trademark Cape Town experiences, included a private guided tour of the Franschhoek, Stellenbosch or Paarl winelands and a day tour of the Cape Peninsula.

Driving inland over the Outeniqua Mountain Range from the Garden Route, you enter the vastly different landscape of the Klein Karoo. Nestled between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains, Oudtshoorn lies in a fertile valley famous for its ostrich farms and sunny climate. Enjoy two nights in this arid region with offers many activities in the area and Buffelsdrift itself offers an elephant experience, nature drive and a Meerkat experience for those over 8 years.

From Oudtshoorn it is a short drive to the classic garden route area around Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. This is a perfect place to stay for some good wild beaches, superb visitor attractions and walks amidst the wild beauty of Tsitsikamma National Park and Robberg area. We prefer to avoid the over developed towns, favouring the Crags area between Plettenberg Bay and Tsitsikamma, which has some charming wineries and restaurants. The Crags area is home to another independent gem, Hunters Country House with magnificent gardens and indigenous forest and helpful staff on hand to help you make the most of your days exploring.

Your final stop, Pumba Private Reserve is a beautifully situated malaria free private reserve in the Addo / Eastern Cape area. Set in a primeval landscape, Pumba has a well-balanced wildlife population boasting the big five and substantial herds of plains game, including the unique white lion project. Staying in the beautiful Bush or Water Lodges, you’ll enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in open topped 4WDs with expert wildlife guides.

This is a private self-drive itinerary using our pick of the best value character places in the Western Cape and Garden Route and many of the experiences we feel define the region. This is a starting point for a tailor-made itinerary, so please get in touch to get a bespoke quote and itinerary.

Day-by-day

BRIEF ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrive Cape Town
Day 2: Cape Town – Cape Peninsula tour
Day 3: Cape Town – Cape Winelands tour
Day 4: Cape Town
Day 5: Drive to Oudtshoorn
Day 6: Oudtshoorn - Elephant & Meerkat Experiences
Day 7: Travel to Garden Route
Day 8: Garden Route
Day 9: Garden Route
Day 10: Drive to Safari Reserve
Day 11: On Safari
Day 12: Depart Port Elizabeth

DETAILED ITINERARY
DAY 1: ARRIVE AND EXPLORE THE V&A WATERFRONT
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.
Meals Included: None included
Accommodation: Lawhill Luxury Apartments in the V&A waterfront
Transport: Private road transfer from the Cape Town Airport. +/- 30 minutes.

DAY 2: CAPE TOWN – CAPE PENINSULA TOUR
Depart after breakfast 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, visit of quaint Kalk Bay Town, short walk through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or take the cable car up Table Mountain. This is a private guided tour. If you prefer to explore independently, please let us know and we will quote accordingly.
Accommodation: Lawhill Luxury Apartments in the V&A waterfront
Transport: Private guided full day Cape Peninsula tour with collection from Cape Town

DAY 4: CAPE TOWN - WINELANDS TOUR
Today will be spent visiting vineyards and artisanal producers in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or Paarl with your guide, Pamela, a passionate foodie and local resident. You will get to taste some fine wines and delicious food in incredibly beautiful surroundings. Pamela knows the vineyards inside out and tailor-makes your day out based on your interests on particular wines and foods. Pam is driving so you can just sit back and enjoy yourself.
Accommodation: Lawhill Luxury Apartments in the V&A waterfront
Tour: Private guided full day Cape winelands tour with collection from Cape Town

DAY 3: DAY AT LEISURE
Today is at your leisure to explore Cape Town. We can pre arrange a number of interesting tours from a hike up Table Mountain, visit of Robben Island or Township tour or a foodie tour exploring the cuisine of this diverse country
Accommodation: Lawhill Luxury Apartments in the V&A waterfront
Transport: Today your hire car will be delivered to your hotel.

DAY 5: DRIVE TO OUDTSHOORN
Today you leave Cape Town behind, heading East on the N2 Highway. As soon as you leave the city limits, the scenery changes with massive horizons falling into stunning mountain ranges. The Fynbos, mountains & wild coast. Driving inland over the Outeniqua Mountain Range from the Garden Route, you enter the vastly different landscape of the Klein Karoo. Nestled between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains, this is a fertile valley famous for its ostrich farms and phenomenally benign climate with more sunshine than anywhere else in the country. Aside from being a convenient stopping point, it is well worth a visit for the contrast the scenery provides and the ostrich farms.
Meals Included: Dinner and one scheduled lodge activity
Accommodation: Buffelsdrift Lodge
Transport: Self Drive +/- 4 hours driving

DAY 6: OUDTSHOORN ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE
This morning after breakfast take the opportunity to enjoy the elephant interaction followed by a game drive and sundowner on the stunning property.
Meals Included: Dinner, breakfast and one scheduled lodge activity
Accommodation: Buffelsdrift Lodge
Transport: Self Drive

DAY 8: GARDEN ROUTE
This morning there is the opportunity for an optional meerkat tour before breakfast, and then go onto the Cango Caves or visit an Ostrich farm which this area is renowned for.
The journey from Oudtshoorn to Crags region takes around 2 hours. 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.
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.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hunters Country House
Transport: Self Drive +/- 2 hours driving

DAY 9: GARDEN ROUTE / TSITSIKAMMA
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. 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 yellowwood 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 & lilo 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.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hunters Country House
Transport: Self Drive.

DAY 10: GARDEN ROUTE
Explore the Garden Route, the nearby visitor attractions of Monkeyland and Knysna Elephant Park are highly rated, but you might just want to take it easy, heading to one of the beaches in the area or enjoying the swimming pool and a gentle walking trail from your accommodation
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hunters Country House
Transport: Self Drive

DAY 11: DRIVE TO SAFARI RESERVE
Set off early for a long drive East to Pumba Private Reserve. Pumba is a beautifully situated malaria free private reserve East of Addo National Park. Your stay here is fully inclusive of game drives and all meals. Aim to arrive for lunch. After settling into your camp, head out on a late afternoon game drive and sundowner.
Meals Included: Lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Pumba Bush Lodge
Transport: Self Drive 4 hrs driving and scheduled shared game drive in open 4x4 vehicles.

DAY 12: ON SAFARI
This morning will be a very early start. Heading off in an open game-viewing vehicle, you will traverse through 5 of the country’s 7 biomes. The wilderness of Pumba Game Reserve preserves a complex and diverse ecosystem, providing habitat for over 60 mammal species. 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.
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Pumba Bush Lodge
Transport : Scheduled shared game drives in open 4x4 vehicles.

DAY 13: DEPART PORT ELIZABETH
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
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: End of Services
Transport: Scheduled shared game drive in open 4x4 vehicles. Self Drive. +/- 1 hour

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

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Location central Cape Town
- Lots of activities nearby
- Family suites
- Rooms with views

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Beautiful location
- Hippos in the dam
- Super activities
- Good value bush safari

Hunters Country House

Plettenberg Bay

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Beautiful Gardens
- Family Friendly Accommodation
- Central Garden Route Location
- Fab for families.

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Family friendly
- Glass-enclosed chalets
- Located in Pumba Private Game Reserve

Details

Getting there

Flying into Cape Town and out of Port Elizabeth, South African Airlines usually has the best fares from £550-£1250, this does involve stopping in Johannesburg both ways, but it makes sense, given you have to stop there anyway on the flight from Port Elizabeth. BA offers the same route, albeit usually a little more expensive but with the option of a direct flight to Cape Town on the way out (the return from PE is via Johannesburg)

Flight prices on this route are always cheaper booked in advance, particularly when flying during holidays. If you are booking anything less than a month prior to departure expect to pay through Virgin and BA tend to offer flight sales around September and October, which are worth looking out for.

There are a number of good value options via Europe and the Middle East which are worth considering if you do not mind the stop overs. These work exceptionally well for those travelling from regional airports, please ask for details.

Please let us know your preferred departure airport and we would be pleased to quote for a flight inclusive ATOL protected package.

Price includes

Inclusive of rental car with comprehensive insurance and unlimited mileage, all accommodation with meals as specified, tours in Cape Town as mentioned and safari activities as mentioned.

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. 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 and March is the most popular time of the year for British traveller 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.

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

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'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

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