If you’re looking to see more of the incredible countryside without venturing outside of the Western Cape then this experience is tailor-made for you. The Garden Route offers travelers contrasting landscapes from mountain passes and untouched beaches to paragliding over lagoons and jumping the world's highest bungee natural jump, this is one trip you need to be on to complete your visit to SA. The 2nd half of the tour ventures into the gems of the Klein Karoo. Africa’s largest cave system, family owned wineries, craft breweries and tasty culinary experiences are rife in this region of scenic semi-desert. 4 Days. 4 Regions, over 1200 kilometers of pure road trip joy! For the traveler looking to experience a little bit of everything that the Western Cape has to offer. Good times await!
This experience is for everyone and anyone. There are foodie experiences, high adrenaline options, beautiful walks in nature, scenic ocean and sunset views. A trip to the Garden Route is a must when in the Western Cape.
We head east after departing Cape Town and our first stop is SA’s most loved farmstall for a quick breakfast stop (locals love a good farm stall). Established in the sixties, Peregrine has been serving generations of travelers seeking honest homemade fare and warm country hospitality. Situated in the beautiful and fertile Elgin Valley, Peregrine offers an abundance of locally sourced artisanal goods and wholesome, responsibly farmed, fresh produce.
Our journey then takes us to one of the Cape’s most sought after Game Reserve's, The Garden Route Game Lodge. Enjoy a relaxed safari in an open Landrover with your experienced safari guide who will do their best to bring sightings of lion, elephant, white rhino, buffalo and cheetah. The reserve is also home to giraffe, zebra and numerous antelope species. Safari drives will take between 2 and 3 hours depending on how much time is spent at each sighting. Lunch will be on the deck overlooking the reserve before your safari.
Our accommodation will be in the quaint seaside town of either Herold’s Bay or Wilderness. Depending on the size of the group and availability; rooms will be in a hotel, boutique hotel, shared beach house or a guesthouse setting.
The sunsets in this region are epic and to accompany the end of day 1 guests will get to enjoy a gin sundowner provided by Pesky Hobbit Craft Gin, our sister company. A celebration of local botanicals infused into a classic London Dry Gin, a project that was born in the hard lockdown levels of 2020. *Weather permitting. Your Tour Companion will prepare a traditional South African Braai (BBQ) coupled with tasty side dishes. The Braai is a celebration of local cuisine cooked on the open fire with a focus on ethically sourced meats from the region. Having a braai is perhaps our favourite thing to do as South Africans, the sharing of food and good times together is high u on our priority list (Vegetarian + vegan options available).
DAY 2 -THE HEART OF THE GARDEN ROUTE (OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES)
Day 2 enters the heart of the Garden Route region between the town’s of Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay. Guests have the option of 2 different combinations as listed below. We have paired the activities in the way we would do them. Should the group be small enough and/or the weather allows we may be able to change the combinations. See below:
Option 1: Kingfisher Trail Canoeing + Paragliding
The Garden Route National Park is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and spans across most of the region. We’ll join the team from Eden Adventures to take on the awesome Half-Collared Kingfisher Waterfall Trail. The experience starts off with an easy 1 hour canoe trip up the always calm Touws River. As the river starts to narrow we’ll leave our canoes on the river bank and join the hiking trail through the lush indigenous forest. The trail is well maintained and accessible for all levels of fitness. The waterfall is situated an hour down the trail, be sure to pack a bathing suit or shorts as well as some snacks and drinks as we’ll spend some time in the natural rock pools before heading back the same way. For the thrill seeker, guests are able to paraglide over the forests and lagoons of the Wilderness or Sedgefield with our friends from Dolphin Paragliding. With over 20 years of experience in this area, using the best gear you’ll get to enjoy a tandem flight over some of the best scenery of the trip. Launch site will depend on where the best winds are for the day. Landing takes place on the beach or a safe open field depending on the launch site. *Weather permitting*.
Option 2: World's Highest Natural Bungee Jump + Whale Watching
For a 6 month period (July - December) the southern coastline of South Africa provides a safe haven for Southern Right and Humpback Whales to calve and mate. This seasonal migration from Antarctica takes place as a result of these beautiful mammals requiring warmer waters to introduce their calves into. We team up with our friends at Ocean Odyssey Experiences to get you closer than ever before while showing off their acrobatic skills and nurturing their young. Approaching a whale requires incredible skill and understanding of the behavior of these gentle giants. Their skippers are well aware of the strict guidelines set in place by the permit and respect that they are in the whale’s domain. *Weather permitting*. Fancy the world famous Bloukrans Bridge Bungee Jump? The 216 metre jump is the highest bridge bungee in the world and takes place from the top of the bridge's arch. To get out to the jump point the team from Face Adrenaline send you out on a zipline from the bank to the arch. From there, it’s time for your bungy jump accompanied by only the best South Africa house music to get you amped up! The final part of the experience is short but exhilarating return on the skywalk situated on the underside of the bridge. A must for any adrenaline junkies.
A late lunch/early evening dinner experience with a view of the Keurbooms lagoon, beer, wine or gin in hand, it's the perfect way to end a phenomenal day. Enrico and his family operate the legendary Ristorante Enrico’s. This gem of an Italian family has been fishing in the region for 3 decades and has created the most loved local restaurant featuring an array of impressive Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Be sure to ask about the BOMBA as a starter! (An alternate location may be chosen depending on the time of the Whale Watching Experience).
Overnight in comfortable rooms at the Brenton Haven Hotel, glamping in a forest setting with Africamps or a shared house in Plettenberg Bay or Knysna.
DAY 3 - THE ICONIC KAROO REGION, CANGO CAVES, WINES & WAGYU
After a busy day 2 we’ll have a slow start to day 3 as we head inland over the Outeniqua Mountains. The landscape undergoes a dramatic transition as we head up the pass toward the Karoo region (semi-desert) for part 2 of our tour. When touring with 3 or 6 PAX we’ll use the old gravel road up the epic pass which is especially fun when using our high-rise SUV’s.
Once in the Karoo we’ll visit our nation’s oldest tourist attraction. The Cango Caves is one of the 7 wonders of Southern Africa and have frequently been described as one of the great Natural Wonders of The World. An expert led tour into the 7 extraordinary chambers of the caves awaits. A series of dripstone caves with the most fascinating stalactites and stalactite formations make up a route that is known to be over 20 million years old.
Following your time at the Caves we’ll head for an early check-in into cottages, a boutique hotel, desert glamping or farmhouse accommodation at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains. *We only check in early on this day to allow guests to fully appreciate the dinner experience on this day by allowing for more time at it’s location.
Our setting for an early dinner is an experience very close to our hearts. Friends of ours have restored a 150-year-old Cape Dutch Barn to house a unique wagyu specialty restaurant & deli. They’re serious about their farm-to-table philosophy and owners Martin and Manina often have a subtle Asian twist to complement their Japanese beef. The Wagyu centered menu is constantly changing to reflect seasonal availability of other produce available on the farm. For a taste-provoking experience, visit the Marbled Wagyu for a vibrant take on sustainable dining. The Marbled Wagyu Restaurant is one of only a handful of restaurants in the Southern hemisphere where you can experience real pasture-raised Wagyu; their signature trade. The farm also boasts their very own boutique wines derived from the vineyards you’ll be looking over during sunset. *The chefs at The Marbled Wagyu are able to create equally memorable dishes for vegetarians, vegans or pescatarian guests too. This is a truly special place and one that remotes of the past have highlighted as their favourite culinary experience in SA.
DAY 4 - THE FAMOUS ROUTE 62
Our final day starts with a warm and hearty breakfast before we make the 3 hour journey to the famous little town of Barrydale. A firm favorite of visitors from all around the globe. Diesel and Creme provides the perfect desert like diner experience with a South African twist. Ask for a milkshake, if you dare.
We start the journey back toward Cape Town at this point. Farm Stalls and Mountain Passes await as we marvel at the beauty of open road and Karoo scenery. Our final stop of the day is at a privately owned secret brewery in the mountains of Robertson where you'll be treated to a tour of the beer making process from some pioneers of the SA craft beer industry. The Saggy Stone Brewery is also home to a traditional style pub and grub type outdoor restaurant which is known for its generous portions and homey atmosphere. (This can be substituted for a wine experience up in the same mountain range coupled with an Alfresco style lunch if the group prefers). Our tour then comes to an end as we make the 2 hour journey back to the Mother City :)
Transportation - Round Trip - Pick-up and drop-off from accommodation in a Luxury SUV or 7 Person Touring Vehicle
Food - Snack pack on day one with South African favourites
Local Guide - Private Guide + Expert Step-On Guides
Accommodation - 3 Nights Accommodation in 4* Establishments (Glamping is also graded 4*)
Food - Breakfast - Included on all days - continental or warm
1 x safari experience at Garden Route Game Lodge (2-3hr)
Braai (BBQ) Dinner Experience
Sundowner Drink at end of Day 1 (Pesky Hobbit Craft Gin, Wine or Beer)
Cango Caves Heritage Tour
Craft Beer or Wine Tasting Experience on Final Day and on-board water on all days
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Extra Food - Additional food and beverages & Meals not mentioned above
Optional Extras -
Paragliding over the Wilderness or Sedgefield Lagoon ($65 - $70 USD)
Canoeing & Kingfisher Waterfall Hike ($30 - $35 USD)
Bungee Jump at Bloukrans ($95 -$100 USD)
Bungee Bridge Walk ($15 USD)
Close Encounter Whale Watching OR Sunset Cruise ($75-$80 USD)
Branded Travelers Cap ($22 USD)
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Special clothing required - Warm weather Swimming attire and sun cream for the summer months and kayaking
If the tour consists of 2-6 PAX we’ll run the tour in X 2 SUV's or 1 X Touring Van
If the tour consists of 7-12 PAX we'll run the tour in 2 X Touring Vans "
Single rooms available on request (additional cost dependent on accommodation)
Warmer clothes for the winter months
Comfortable walking shoes (Hiking boots not necessary)
Your host(s) will be Blaine Smith or Ryan Louw, local South African tourist guides. Blaine has lived in 6 of South Africa’s 9 different provinces and currently ventures all over the country on various expeditions. Ryan chose to make the Western Cape his home after a stint up north, you won’t find a bigger patriot for his country anywhere else! We left the corporate world to celebrate South African people, landscapes and products in that order. We’d love for you to join us! You’ll be in the best of South African hands.
MINIMUM TO OPERATE
DEADLINE TO BOOK
30 days prior to the start of the experience
READ THE REVIEWS
Yeah, it's pricey, but this was a fantastic trip. It beyond most RY experiences. I don't know where to begin. The accomodations were luxurious, the guide quickly became a friend, the experiences were fantastic, we joked and laughed our way from a mini safari to feeding elephants, exploring a cave, and tastings are micro-vineyards. The price is high, but justified. Keep in mind that some things, like the bungie jump, cost extra (which I personally didn't do because I'm terrified of heights, but watching was still cool). Overall, the guide company is fantastic and if you can swing it, this is a wonderful way to get a blast of a weekend adventuring into South Africa. I recommend it
Signing up for the Garden Route tour has been the best decision I have made on Remote Year, and the best trip I have ever gone on in my life (and I have traveled quite a bit). The first day we went whale watching, saw some elephants and lions and stayed at this INSANELY BEAUTIFUL beach house with the beach all to ourselves. Blaine, our guide, cooked us dinner which was so cozy and special, but it also demonstrated his commitment to providing a personalized and memorable experience. He was more than accommodating, making each day more special than the next. We had another incredible sunset safari. We got to feed elephants. We learned that the largest natural bungee jump was near where we were, and he made it happen for my friend in the group when it wasn't part of the itinerary. We blended wine. We got to do a waygu tasting. Should I go on? I’m truly perplexed by the beauty that is the garden route and I can confidently say that I wouldn’t have been able to see nearly as much as I have been able to without Blaine and this tour.
Had an awesome long weekend driving along the Garden Route. Our guide Ryan was personable, fun and knowledgeable about everything along the way - ask about sad facts if you dare. Even though the weather didn’t fully cooperate we still made the best of every activity. Feeding elephants at the sanctuary and the game drive were some of our favorites. Ryan was also super flexible for anything we wanted to do and gave many options depending on our interests. Accommodations were amazing, comfortable with scenic views. Our last night glamping with a braai, card game hijinks, seeing random wildlife in camp, and stargazing will remain a favorite night in Cape Town and a highlight on Remote Year.
Great 4 day road trip with views of almost all terrain imaginable giving us a full tasting of South Africa beyond Cape Town. Spectacular stops throughout including wild game park in Safari to see all Big 5 and many more, elephant sanctuary, wine tasting in the hidden valley of the Karoo. Brai at dusk after refreshing swim at the colonial ranch house. Sunset drinks and snacks on the bluff overlooking wild seas below. Unlimited photo ops in the wilderness and quaint towns. Favourites were the De Kombus Winery with gourmet lunch in a reclaimed barn, the fresh seafood at the warf area of Neymar and random stop at Ronnie’s sex shop on route back to CT. Above all the tour companion made the trip most memorable with interesting conversation and attention to detail to take care and customize the daily stops to our preferences.
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