DAY 1 South Coast – Wild Coast (Durban – Cape Town)
The drive from Durban along the South Coast takes you through lush subtropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. You visit the scenic Oribi Gorge and some beautiful little beaches. You turn inland and enter the Eastern Cape Province, the former homeland of Transkei, and traverse over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads, through valleys and clear streams. You travel via tiny hamlets on the rugged Wild Coast and check into our hotel on the edge of the sea. Overnight Mbotyi Lodge.
DAY 2 Wild Coast
You travel to Umtata, the capital of the former homeland. After a visit to the Nelson Mandela museum You travel further south to and towards the beach again. You travel to our lodge nestled in the middle of the beautiful Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast, surrounded by rolling hills, lush tropical beach forests and overlooks the warm Indian Ocean. Overnight Crawford Beach Lodge.
DAY 3 Addo Elephant National Park – Port Elizabeth
After breakfast overlooking the simmering Indian Ocean you depart and this morning’s journey takes us to East London, the only river port in South Africa, and the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938. Then travel along the coast and you enjoy the lush vegetation and rugged coastline. You visit Port Alfred, an outstanding holiday village situated on the Kowie river mouth and travel to Grahamstown. The small cathedral city is considered the art capital of South Africa and is steeped in history. At the Addo National Elephant Park game reserve You have an excellent chance of an encounter with these giants of the bush amongst other animals. This afternoon you reach Port Elizabeth, the fifth biggest city in the country, set on the shores of the Algoa Bay and also called the “Friendly City”. Overnight Fifth Avenue Beach House.
Day 4 Garden Route – Knysna
You depart from Port Elizabeth, also called the ‘Friendly City’ along the N2 national route to the Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer bridge across the valley towering some one hundred and thirty- nine metres above the river. .
Your next stop is at Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for the place of much water) stretching over one hundred kilometres of wild and rocky coastline characterized by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches, and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. In the park you can do a relaxing walk/hike to the suspension bridge stretching over the mouth of the Storms River. You now travel to The Bloukrans Bridge, 216 meters (709 feet) above the Bloukrans River. The Bloukrans Bungee is the world’s highest commercial bungee bridge and is the highest commercial natural bungee jump in the world!
You visit 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. Travelling past Plettenberg Bay 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 Lakeland and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc.
Overnight Augusta Bay Lodge in Knysna.
Day 5 Garden Route – Oudtshoorn
We travel along the lake areas and the Wilderness National Park which leads us to the scenic Outeniqua Pass and to Oudsthoorn, also known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world, as by far the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world are found here. 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 of over 90 different animal species. They provide guided tours which are fundamental in educating the public, giving each species a voice, and highlighting animal and environmental issues.
Overnight La Plume Lodge.
Day 6 Oudtshoorn – Route 62 – Cape Town
After an early start we visit an ostrich show farm for some unique experiences with these strange birds.
We travel via Route 62 through the Little Karoo with its many unique mountain ranges and vegetation to the Wine regions of Montague, Robertson and the Breede Valley Wine – heartland of South Africa’s Brandy producers. We visit one of the many Wine Estates in these areas for a wine tasting. Our route to Cape Town takes us over the Du Toitskloof Pass and Paarl where we arrive late afternoon.
NOTE: Many extreme sport activities and weather dependent excursion options exist along 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)
Other tours you may be interested in: South African Explorer, Other Durban – Cape Town tours – 4 days (fly from Durban to Port Elizabeth and continue with the Garden Route tour); Durban – Cape Town – 3 days (fly from Durban to Port Elizabeth, continue with the Garden Route tour)