On the 10 Day Cape Town and Garden Route Combo you will see the BEST of the Western Cape in just under two weeks. First explore Cape Town and its many attractions and then head up the Garden Route to jump the highest bungy or face the fearsome Great White sharks. This is the best way to experience a bit of everything this wonderful province has to offer.
You are collected from the airport and taken to the 5 star SaltyCrax Backpackers. You will be shown around and given a map of the area. You have the day at your own leisure so you can explore the beach, shops, bars and restaurants.
In the evening we have a traditional South African BBQ, called a braai, at the hostel. Accommodation is provided in a dorm room.
Start the day with breakfast at SaltyCrax Backpackers.
Your friendly SaltyCrax staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town city centre.
You have two options to choose from:
Do a walking tour visiting historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Learn about life under apartheid in South Africa at the Parliament Buildings and the District Six Museum. Shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall.
The hop on hop off bus pass:
Board this topless bus that takes you to all the sites you need to see, such as Camps Bay, the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain… all from the comfort of your seat!
Today you will embark on a tour of the Western Cape. You will travel to Hout Bay where you can absorb true “rainbow nation” energy in this coastal town with colourful fishing boats anchored in a lively harbour. Here you have the choice to take a trip to Duiker Island, home to thousands of Cape Fur seals (optional extra) before taking a drive down Chapman’s Peak. This spectacular winding coastal road cuts into the mountain and wraps around the Peninsula giving you the most amazing views on your way to Cape Point in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Here you can wander along stone paths towards the historic lighthouse where wild waves crash into the tip of Africa’s most southwestern point or roam among the Cape’s fynbos landscape. Then it is back on the road to the university town of Stellenbosch in the winelands where you will spend the night.
After breakfast, a community leader will guide you on a walk through the vibrant Kayamandi Township where you will mingle with the locals and learn about the “The Struggle” and Xhosa culture. This is followed by a wine & cheese and port & chocolate tastings at various wine estates in the area. Lunch will be taken in the gorgeous French-style village of Franschhoek where top-class restaurants and quaint shops abound. From here you take the road less travelled to the official meeting place of the Indian and Atlantic oceans and the southernmost tip of Africa, at Cape Agulhas. You will spend the night in Cape Agulhas.
This morning, the brave at heart will rise early to go cage diving with the Great White Sharks. This is an optional extra but is an adrenaline rush that will never be forgotten. If you don’t feel like taking your chances with sharks, you could have a “whale” of a time instead in the laid-back town of Hermanus, known as the most exciting land-based whale watching spot in the world – especially from June to November. Next on the menu is Betty’s Bay, a seaside village that is home to a colony of more than 5000 African penguins. Then it is back to Cape Town via the picturesque coastal route, Clarence Drive. The road winds between the ocean and rugged mountains along the wild beauty of the Kogelberg Biosphere. You will spend the night in vibrant central Cape Town.
It’s a beautiful drive as we head towards the Garden Route and an area known as Wilderness. Here you’ll find 18km of beaches cooled by sea spray with five lakes, five rivers and two estuaries. Wilderness is one of nature’s jewels and is a protected National Park. Canoe on the Wilderness lagoon and watch the bird life while we glide over the water in our pure nature encounter. After this, we head to the sleepy hollow town of Sedgefield and spend the night at Myoli beach, an undiscovered paradise and your accommodation is situated right on the beach. Take your first swim in the Indian Ocean, enjoy some sundowners and reminisce around the fire.
Our first stop of the day is the holiday town of Knysna. We take a quick drive to the Knysna Heads, where below, the sea crashes into two massive sandstone cliffs – a great photo opportunity. Next is the ultimate adventure activity on this tour – the world’s highest bungee bridge jump at 216m’s high. This optional extra is must do for anyone who wants that rush of adrenalin. Next, we calm things down a bit and travel to the tranquil Tsitsikamma National Park where you can explore the marine reserve with its unique combination of dramatic coastal and forest landscapes. Walk along forest trails to a suspension bridge and find a quiet spot from where to absorb this beauty. Next up is another highlight of the day, the optional Waterfall Zipline. Made up of eight cable slides, of which the longest is 211m, zigzag across the river gorge, as high as 50m above the water in some places. If you don’t want the zipline experience, then you can go for a walk in the forest. Lastly, we make our way to the seaside town of Jeffreys Bay – the surfer’s paradise – where we spend the first of two nights.
Today you will be able to visit the Big 5 Addo Elephant National Park, which was proclaimed in 1931 to provide a safe haven for the few wild elephants that survived government-sponsored culling in the early 20th century. Today the elephants number in their hundreds, thanks to the efforts of the National Parks Board and a unique vegetation type – subtropical thicket, or valley bushveld. It is this thick, impenetrable vegetation that has not only provided protection for the elephants and buffalo in the area, but also provided a rich food source, supporting what is now the densest population of wild elephants on the planet. Our tour concentrates on finding and viewing elephants.
You’ll enjoy a two-hour game drive in the tour vehicle and there is also an additional optional two-hour safari in a 4×4 vehicle with a ranger at your own expense where you can search for the big 5 in their natural habitat.
After this you can go for a surf or just chill out in Jeffrey’s Bay. The backpackers hire out surfboards and wetsuits for a fee. We will stop at the Billabong, Rip Curl and Quicksilver factory shops for excellent deals before staying a second night in Jeffery’s Bay.
Today we head inland towards the Klein Karoo. Once we arrive in the country town of Oudtshoorn we take a quick tour of an ostrich farm and learn more about the world’s largest bird. Make sure your friends take a picture of you hugging and kissing the world’s most friendly female ostrich, Betsie. From here, we visit the Cango Caves – an illuminated wonderland of subterranean magic and mystery, with passageways and chambers meandering far below. The tour will explore the narrow passages and vast halls filled with colourful ancient stalactites and stalagmites. We spend the night in Oudtshoorn.
We start the morning with an unforgettable experience. An expert guide will teach you about the orphaned elephants, where you interact with these huge and lovable creatures. Feel the texture of their rough skin; scratch behind their ears, and even get a gentle trunk hug too. From here you will be taken to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, a sanctuary to some of the world’s most endangered animals and contribute to conservation of over 60 species, including: white lion, cheetah, Nile crocodile, hippo’s, meerkat, birds and other wild animals. To end off this memorable trip, we make our way back to Cape Town along South Africa’s famous country road, the Route 62. Capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, rugged Karoo plains, vineyards and orchards and we’ll make an unusual stop at a famous country pub in the middle of nowhere.
We will then head back to SaltyCrax to watch the sun go down over the ocean and share your stories with the guests.