The Cape Town and Garden Route Combo is 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.
Highlights: Cape Town walking or bus tour • Table Mountain • Cape Point • Winelands • Sandboarding • Surfing • Big 5 game drive • Cango Caves • Ostrich Farm • Canoeing • World’s highest bungy • Zip-line tour • Shark cage diving • Lion walk
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 and cheese and port and 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 which 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 on the famous Long Street in Cape Town centre or you can return to SaltyCrax in Table View.
18km of beaches cooled by sea spray, five lakes, five rivers and two estuaries, Wilderness is one of nature’s jewels in the crown and a protected National Park. Canoe on the Wilderness lagoon and watch the bird life while gliding over the water in a pure encounter with nature.
Afterwards the really breave ones can go on an optional lion walk (Own expense). Walk alongside Africa’s most majestic predator and interact with young lions on foot. There won’t even be leashes or collars, but you will be supervised by expert handlers. The walk takes approximately one hour to complete – depending on how fast the lions are prepared to stroll.
We will then travel to, Myoli Beach, an undiscovered beach paradise, perfect for swim or surf in the warmer Indian ocean.
Enjoy the view at the holiday town of Knysna which is the next stop. We will go to the Heads, where the sea crashes into two massive sandstone cliffs.
One of your highlights today is the Waterfall Zipline. The eight cable slides, of which the longest is 211m, zigzag across the river gorge, as high as 50m above the water in some places. (optional extra at R350).
From here you will venture to the 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.
For the very daring, we visit the Bloukrans Bungee Jump – the world’s highest – for anyone who wishes to do this optional extra.
Today you will be able to visit the Addo Elephant National Park (3-hour bus ride) which was proclaimed in 1931 to provide a safe haven for the few wild elephants who 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.
There is also an optional two-hour safari in a 4×4 vehicle with a ranger at your own expense.
After this you can go for a surf or just chill out in Jeffrey’s Bay. The backpackers hire out surf boards and wetsuits for a fee. We will stop at the Billabong, Rip Curl and Quicksilver factory shops for excellent deals before stopping in Storms River for the night.
Along South Africa’s famous country road, the Route 62, you’ll capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, rugged Karoo plains, vineyards and orchards. We will also stop for a drink at a famous country pub. We tour an ostrich farm, where the more daring among us can ride the ostriches (within weight limits). The rest of us get to stand on their eggs. Make sure your friends take a picture of you hugging and kissing the world’s most friendly female ostrich, Betsie. From here you are taken to the Cango Caves. These caves are 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 colorful ancient stalactites.
You will spend the night in the town of Oudtshoorn.
Along South Africa’s famous country road, the Route 62, you’ll capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, rugged Karoo plains, vineyards and orchards. We will stop at 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, Bengal tiger, Nile crocodile, hippo’s meerkat, birds and other wild animals. Here you’ll get the opportunity of a personal ‘Natural Encounter’ to touch cheetahs, hug Bengal tiger cubs, wrap yourself in a python and even dive with Nile crocodiles! (all optional activities – with extra costs).
We will then head back to SaltyCrax to watch the sun go down over the ocean and share your stories with the guests.
DAY 11 – 24:
The week is spent on your Standard English Course. Lessons are held from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 12:40pm.
Activitiy / tour days may be taken over weekends in between the language course, before or after.