GARDEN ROUTE EXPLORER | Overlanding Africa | Budget Safari

7 Day Garden Route Explorer Comfort (South)


+ Single Supplement ZAR 1060

+ Optional Activity Package ZAR 720

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Tour Style Accommodated
Countries Visited South Africa
Starts Port Elizabeth
Ends Cape Town
Group Size Max 20
Age Range 16 – 65 Years and older

The Garden Route Explorer tour departs from Port Elizabeth and travels through Stellenbosch, Oudtshoorn, Knysna and the Addo Elephant National Park.



Tour Overview

Departing from Port Elizabeth
Ends in
Cape Town

On this tour we explore the area thoroughly and enjoy the many nature reserves and activities encountered en-route. The tour is designed for active participants who wish to make the most of the time available. We depart from Port Elizabeth and travel through Stellenbosch Wine country, Oudtshoorn, Knysna and visit the Addo Elephant National Park. Your adventure trip ends in Cape Town. There are low cost airlines flying to Port Elizabeth from Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban. Activity Package The Activity Package allows you to pre-purchase popular acitivites, reducing the amount of money you need to take on tour. It is not compulsory.


  • Meals 6 Breakfast   4 Lunch   4 Dinner
  • Travel leader or local tour guide
  • Transportation
  • All accommodation
  • All sightseeing excursions as per itinerary


  • International Airfares
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Visa costs
  • Border taxes
  • Passports
  • Vaccinations
  • Personal taxes (including departure and border taxes)
  • Optional Activities and Activity Package
  • Gratuities
  • Sleeping bag if needed
  • Restaurant meals (other than those listed)
  • All drinks - Alcohol, Soft Drinks
  • Bottled water
  • Laundry
  • Other items of a personal nature
  • Snacks
  • Souvenirs

SKU: ACS0480


Day 1

Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

Your tour begins travelling to the Greater Addo Region. This park is the third biggest park in South Africa, giving you the opportunity to spot the ‘Big Seven’ (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark). Spend time driving through the park in search of the many animals living here. Accommodation this evening is on a private game lodge just outside of the park.

Accommodation: Permanent Tents: Kudu Ridge Lodge
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Port Elizabeth to Addo ±40 km
Included Highlight: Morning game drive in Addo NP in the truck, Walk with your guide through the ranch
Optional Activity: Addo Elephant National Park Game Drive

Day 2 - 3

Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa

Following a game drive in the early morning, we leave the elephants to take a quick stop at the airport of Port Elizabeth. We then arrive in the afternoon at Tsitsikamma where we Garden Route awaits us. The name means ‘place of abundant water’, which it most certainly lives up to. It contains many indigenous forests and a gorgeous coastline. This region is home to the well-known Otter Trail hike of which the first couple of hours are included within your Activity Package. Making a brief stop in Jeffreys Bay where we enjoy the famous waves of this town and a surfing museum. The next day is free to tour the small village of Storms River as well as optional activities such as blackwater tubing, bungee jumping and the treetop canopy tours on offer. For those wanting to partake in an adrenaline activity, there is an optional hike along the Waterfall trail, known for its rocky coastline and icy Waterfall at the end of this adventure.

Tsitsikamma National Park is situated between the ocean and the Tsitsikamma Mountains, located along the Garden Route – one of the most striking coastlines of the world. The Park spreads over 80 kilometres along the coast between Nature’s Valley and Storm’s River mouth, and includes a variety of different ecosystems (indigenous forests, commercial plantations, Fynbos and inter-tidal areas). It also boasts spectacular scenery and walks. It was the very first Marine National Park to be declared in Africa and is currently the third most regularly visited of all twenty of South Africa’s national parks. The forest contains over 30 species of native trees, several of which tower above the forest canopy – the highest being approximately 36 metres tall, whilst others date back to more than 1,000 years ago.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Tsitsikamma Village Inn or Tsitsikamma Cottages
Facilities En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Addo National Park to Tsitsikamma ±210 km
Included Highlight: Morning game drive in Addo in Nomad truck, stop in the surfing town of Jeffreys Bay, Tsitsikamma National Park entrance
Optional Activity: Treetop Canopy Tours

Day 4

Heart of the Garden Route, South Africa

Today we travel a brief distance to Plettenberg Bay where, in the afternoon you can choose to either stay at the resort to unwind near the poolside or to partake in a short outing to explore nearby Knysna. Enjoy a dinner out this evening after the day’s adventures.

Though we reside in Plettenberg Bay tonight, the highlight of today is the Knysna Lagoon – a prime location for water sport or for relaxing and marvelling at the stunning splendour of The Heads. Voted South Africa’s favourite holiday town, Knysna is situated in the lagoon basin. It is guarded by The Heads – two looming sandstone precipices adjacent to a deep channel though which the water currents flow. At the Eastern Head, you will find fantastic views as well as a charming restaurant, whilst at the Western head you will find a privately owned nature reserve called Featherbed Bay.

The Knysna Lagoon is one the limited areas in the world that supports an oyster hatchery, making the town famous for its fresh oysters. Knysna is also well-known for its tasty beer that is locally manufactured at Mitchell’s Brewery. Wealthy in history, the museums of Knysna are certainly worth paying a visit to: the Milwood House Museum and the Angling Museum in the Old Gaol. There are various other attractions that range from lush rainforests, the close-by Buffalo Valley game Reserve, Featherbed Nature Reserve and Noetzie Beach to a broad assortment of restaurants and craft markets. The forest contains one of the biggest and abundant regions of indigenous trees remaining in South Africa and is, in certain areas, impenetrable. Knysna was initially established by George Rex in the 19th century as a port for the timber trade. As a consequence of logging, the forest was almost completely obliterated, but managed to escape destruction due to the conservation policies put in place in the 1880’s. The big herds of elephant that once wandered through the forests were not so fortunate. They all diminished except for one lonely female that remains there today. he gorgeous and elusive Knysna Loeries can still be spotted in this region, though, as well as a massive assortment of other birdlife and a few small antelope.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Dunes Resort OR Fairy Knowe Hotel
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Tsitsikamma to Plettenberg Bay ±70 km
Included Highlight: Morning Visit to Natures Valley and Afternoon at Leisure on Keurbooms Beach
Optional Activity: Bungee Jumping, Birds of Eden, Monkey Town, Dinner out

Day 5

Oudtshoorn, South Africa

Spend time this morning participating in the extra activities available before leaving to journey through the spectacular Outeniqua Mountains toward Oudtshoorn, where we pay a visit to the well-known Cango Caves. These caves are comprised of incredible halls and magnificent limestone formations. A local guide will come along and will be more than happy to teach you all about the system of the caves which stretches out for more than 4 kilometres.

Known as the Ostrich Capital of the World, Oudtshoorn named after Baron Pieter vod Rheede von Oudtshoorn, who died whilst making his way to the Cape in order to become Governor in 1773. Established in 1847, the town is located 300 metres above sea level, with the Swartberg Mountain range to the north and the Outeniqua range to the south. The home of Cornelius Jacob Langenhoven, Arbeidsgenot, was constructed here. Langhoven was in fact the author of the former South African National anthem “Die Stem”, part of which is still featured in the current National anthem. Ostrich feathers where must-have fashion items for the upper class just prior to World War I. The grand ‘feather boom’ started in 1870 with more than 750,000 domesticated ostriches being kept in the Little Karoo region, thus allowing an export of approximately 450,000 kgs of feathers per annum. World War I came soon after this boom, leaving austerity to become a way of showing support for War efforts. Numerous famers declared bankruptcy during this time but in later year, the ostrich farming industry was revived due to demand for ostrich leather, biltong, eggs and feathers. Currently, there are approximately 90,000 ostriches contained in the Little Karoo.

A popular belief is that the Cango Caves were initially explored by a local famer named Jacobus van Zy (after whom the first chamber, Zyl’s Hall, was named.). However, researches have not been able to reveal anyone by that name who was present in the Cango region in the 1770’s. In any case, it is now widely known that the Caves had been known to man since the Early Stone Age. During the 19th century, the Cango Caves entrance was 5 Rix Dollars, today’s equivalent of R500 (ZAR), but that did not discourage destructive tourists who or carving their named into the Cave walls an callously chipped away at portions of the fragile stalactites and stalagmites to take home as souvenirs. This resulted in Lord Charles Somerset, governor of the Cape Colony, publishing the very first Cave Regulation in 1820. The first law was constructed to protect the environmental resource of South Africa. It prohibited the collection of souvenirs, created fines for anyone found damaging the Caves formation and initiated an entrance fee that was to be paid to the District Officer who was made responsible for implementing these rules. Most of the important discoveries within the Caves were made by its very first full-time guie, Johnnie van Wassenaar, who was employed for 43 until he retired in 1934. He discovered many side chambers and introduced thousands of people to Cango 1, which is the only portion of the Caves that the public may visit. It is clear today that the Caves were known to man long before the Europeans initially landed in the Cape. Evidence of this is in recent findings of numerous tools discovered in the heart of the Cave’s mouth, thus proving that humans had lived and taken shelter here for at least 80,000 years.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Kleinplaas Resort
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Plettenberg Bay to Oudtshoorn  ±150 km
Activity Package: Cango Caves Heritage Tour
Optional Activity: Ocean Safari, Township Tour, Sea Kayaking and Whale Watching (in Season)

Day 6

Oudtshoorn – Paarl, South Africa

We begin the day making our way to the Ostrich Farm where we will be guided on a tour learning all about the world’s largest birds. Journeying through the Klein Karoo, we follow onto Route 62. Making our way through the rural towns, we have the opportunity to sample the variety of treats and bakes along the way. One of the highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a very interesting pub. Due to this being our final night, we will all attempt to head out to a gorgeous local restaurant for a delectable dinner.

Established in 1679, Stellenbosch was named after Simon van der Stel, the Governor of the Cape Colony at the time and it means ‘(van der) Stel’s forest’. The initial settlers of this bountiful area were encouraged to plant oak trees that resulted in the spectacular oak lined streets of Stellenbosch we can see today. This also led to the town being known as Eikestad (‘village of oaks’). Stellenbosch is located on the banks of the Eerste River (‘first river’), named so due to it being the first river reached and followed by van der Stel when Jan van Riebeeck sent him on a journey from Cape town over the Cape Flats in order to explore the region now known as Stellenbosch. Skilled in hydraulic engineering, the Dutch created a network of channels that would direct the water from the Eerste River, through Stellenbosch, along Van Riebeeck Street and eventually to Mill Street, where a mill was constructed. Shortly after the arrival of the first settlers, grapes were planted in the fruitful valleys surrounding Stellenbosch and thus, it soon became the main port of the wine industry of South Africa. One of the very first schools was set up in Stellenbosch in 1683 and, in the year 1866, the Dutch Reformed Church founded a gym, now known as the Stellenbosch Gymnasium. Renamed as Stellenbosch College in 1881, the Gymnasium eventually reached university ranking in 1918 and was thereafter called the Stellenbosch University, Today, over 26,000 students attend Stellenbosch University as it is presently recognised as one of the top four research universities in South Africa.

Accommodation: Two Per Room: Le bac Estate
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Oudtshoorn to Paarl  ±370 km
Included Highlight: Ostrich farm visit, stop at Ronnie’s sex shop
Optional Activity: Dinner Out

Day 7

Paarl – Cape Town, South Africa

Being one of the most scenic places in South Africa, We make our way to Cape Town today. Offering a wide variety of attractions and highlights, we start day with the cultural tour of Cape Town. Exploring the town of Stellenbosch and  some of Cape Town’s finest wines, your tour comes to an end today.

Cosmopolitan Cape Town is the second most populated city in South Africa. It is an eclectic area containing a wide assortment of people from all over the world as well as a remarkable mix of Asian, European and African traditions. Situated on the Table Bay shores, Cape Town was initially established by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for the Ditch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India and the Far East. Upon Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival on the 6th of April 1652, the city was set up as the very first permanent European settlement of South Africa. Cape Town swiftly outgrew its initial purpose as the first European outpost at the at the Castle of Good Hope, and quickly developed into the economic and cultural centre of the Cape Colony. Up until the Witwaterstrand Gold Rush and the progressive improvement of Johannesburg, Cape Town was known as South Africa’s biggest city. It still remains one of the most well-loved tourist destinations of South Africa. The city is renowned for its gorgeous harbour, the iconic Table Mountain, and its natural location in the Cape floral kingdom. It encompasses vivid cultural and climate contrasts within the different regions that the city is comprised of, and is linked by fast freeways that enable you to travel from the wine farms of lush Constantia Valley to the sun kissed beached, the vibrant city centre or a shanty township, all in a mere twenty minutes or so.

Accommodation: Own arrangements/post-tour accommodation can be booked through us.
Route: Paarl to Cape Town  ±75 km
Activity Package: Cape Town Cultural Tour, Cheese and Wine Tasting
Included Highlight: Self-Guided Walk through Stellenbosch
Optional Activity: Lunch



The Activity Package (optional on this trip) includes the following:

  • Cape Town cultural township tour ZAR540
  • Cheese and wine tasting ZAR50
  • Cango Caves basic tour ZAR130

Other Activities

  • Greater Addo Elephant National Park Sundowner Drive
  • Tsitsikamma National Park Treetop Canopy Tours
  • Heart of the Garden Route Bungee Jumping, Birds of Eden, Monkey Town, Dinner out
  • Somerset West Dinner Out



Tour datesEnquire



+ Single Supplement ZAR 1060

+ Optional Activity Package ZAR 720

View next year's price


+ Single Supplement ZAR 1060

+ Activity Package (Optional) ZAR 720

Small Group Departures ZAR 15650

View next year's price

Currency conversions estimated

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