Our group adventure tour is a safe and affordable way to explore the Western Cape, Little Karoo, Whale Route, Addo Elephant National Park, and Route 62. The tour has a good mix of nature, culture and adventure, so you can experience the best the Garden Route has to offer.
*This tour starts in Cape Town/Stellenbosch every Monday, and ends in Port Elizabeth on Friday.*
CAPE TOWN – HERMANUS – CAPE AGULHAS
We depart from Cape Town/Stellenbosch early on Monday morning for Hermanus. (Shark cage diving clients will be picked up very early in the morning by the diving operator, and will miss the first half of Day 1 which includes the visit to the African Penguin Colony and Hermanus). We follow
the scenic coastal road, stopping at Betties Bay to view a colony of endangered African penguins. You can spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for hundreds of Southern Right Whales during the whale season (July to November) and many shops, restaurants and markets. In the afternoon we will drive on to Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa, where we visit a viewpoint known as the “real” place where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.
Overnight: Cape Agulhas/Struisbaai
CAPE AGULHAS – OUDTSHOORN
We travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the Ostrich Capital of the World, via the spectacular Route 62, which is South Africa’s longest wine route. We will have a lovely lunch and wine tasting at a local winery, before experiencing the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided adventure tour.
OUDTSHOORN – KNYSNA – SEDGEFIELD
After breakfast we head over the marvelous Outeniqua Mountain pass where we will explore Wilderness National Park with some canoes. Enjoy a paddle up the Touw River through indigenous forest, enjoying the abundance of bird life.
After about 40 minutes, the canoes will be left for a 2km hike along a boardwalk, which will take us to a lovely waterfall and rock pools. After the canoeing, we will head to the famous town of Knysna via the lavish Lake District of the Garden Route. This up-market little town is filled with curios, restaurants and a waterfront, where you will be able to relax and do some shopping. After Knysna we will head to the Knysna Heads viewpoint for some magnificent views over Knysna River estuary and the Indian Ocean. Late afternoon you can spend exploring Sedgefield with its expansive views and beaches.
SEDGEFIELD- TSITSIKAMMA - ADDO
After breakfast, off to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route we will stop at Bloukrans Bridge to view the world’s highest bungee jump bridge (216 meters). There is plenty of time for the adventure seekers among you to test their courage. The late morning will be spent in Tsitsikamma National Park with its unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The park has a wide choice of activities for all, including hiking, crossing a suspension bridge and swimming. Early afternoon we will leave the Garden Route for Big 5 country, Addo.
Overnight: Avoca River Cabins, Addo area
ADDO – PORT ELIZABETH
We will spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. We will spend up to 2-3 hours exploring the 28,000-hectare National reserve with approximately 600 elephant and some Cape buffalo, lion, black rhino, warthog, zebra, eland, kudu, hartebeest and many more animals. After an exciting morning of game viewing, we will drive to Port Elizabeth, where the tour will end at approximately 1-2pm.**
**Safari extension: For an additional safari experience, guests can add a safari at a private game reserve in the Eastern Cape, located approximately an hour away from where the Earthstompers 5 Day Garden Route tour ends. Please inquire for rates & options.
|Route:||Addo – Port Elizabeth: +/- 40 km +/- 30 minutes|
|Highlights:||Entrance and 2-3-hour drive with tour vehicle through Addo Elephant National Park|
|Activities:||2-hour open vehicle game drive with Addo field guide, R420 pp|
Extra Info / Disclaimer
PICK UP AND DROP OFF
We will pick you up on Monday at the location of your choice in Cape Town central (central business district, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Observatory, Rondebosch), the airport, or Stellenbosch, Strand and Somerset West. Unfortunately, we cannot pick up in areas further from the city, such as Hout Bay, Muizenberg, Constantia, Bloubergstrand, Milnerton. Please contact us if you need to arrange a central meeting point outside of our pick up areas – we would be glad to help you arrange a taxi.
Pick up time is generally between 6:00 – 8:00 am in Cape Town, and around 7:30 in Stellenbosch. We will get in touch with you the weekend before your tour to arrange a specific pick up time. Please allow 15 minutes before or after your designated pickup time, as Monday morning traffic can be unpredictable!
Should a flight delay cause you to miss your pick up, contact us and we will arrange for you to meet up with the group at an additional charge. Unfortunately, we cannot be held liable for travel delays. Your guide will wait for up to 15 minutes after your arranged pick up time, but after that will depart out of fairness to the rest of the guests.
We will drop you off at the end of tour in Port Elizabeth at approximately 13:00-14:00 on Friday. Please contact us for advice before booking outward flights from Port Elizabeth on Friday afternoon.
We will arrange all accommodation along the way, at locations we have selected over the years for their cleanliness, unique setting, and atmosphere. Guests have a choice of backpackers’ lodges, in which mixed dorm rooms (ranging in size from 4-12 beds), private rooms, and private en suite rooms are available; or guest houses, in which all rooms are private en suite. Single, double, and twin rooms are available at both the backpackers and guest houses. All bedding and towels will be provided. Please note that heating and air conditioning is not standard in the backpackers or the guest houses (because it is generally not necessary in South Africa). Please ask for a fan or for extra blankets if you need them!
Backpackers have more of a social vibe, and are better for younger clients looking for a bit of atmosphere. They usually have a bar or bonfire area. Although backpackers offer a budget price, the standard of backpackers in South Africa is generally very high. Guest houses are a more private, quieter, luxurious experience. About 80% of our guests choose to stay in the backpackers and 20% in the guest houses.
Backpackers and guest house clients travel together in the same tour vehicle. On Day 4 of tour, both backpackers and guest house clients stay in the same location – a working citrus farm near Addo. This is a unique location, which isn’t really a backpacker or guest house, but we feel is a special experience worth having.
Although we frequently utilize the same accommodation every week, we cannot guarantee that we will stay at a specific location each week, due to availability and group size.
Wi-Fi is generally available at most accommodation locations in the common areas (not necessarily in the bedrooms). ITINERARY
The company reserves the right to change itinerary, accommodation, and transport along the way should circumstances dictate. Many of these outdoor activities are weather dependent, which could force changes in the itinerary. The guide will try his or her best to arrange events according to prevailing weather conditions.
We have space for each passenger to have one suitcase and one “carry-on”-sized piece of luggage – a laptop bag, backpack, or similar. Suitcase size is limited to the dimension of 67cm (26in) by 45cm (18in), and carry on is limited to the dimension of 48cm (19in) by 32cm (13in). There are generally not porters or staff available to assist with luggage – your luggage should be of a size and weight you can comfortably manage yourself. Hard or soft suitcases are fine. If you have more or bigger luggage than this, please contact us in advance to make alternative arrangements, as our luggage trailers are specifically designed to fit one suitcase per person, not exceeding above dimensions.
The vehicles that we will be touring in are fully air-conditioned and can comfortably seat 8 adults including driver/guide or 14 adults including driver/guide. The seats in our 14-seater vans are comparable in size to an airplane seat – if you are uncomfortable in that set up, please inquire about a private tour, so we can arrange a different vehicle. All vehicles have valid operating licenses to convey paying customers.
This is an active tour. It is best suited towards those who like to be on the move, and can comfortably walk, carry luggage, get in and out of the vehicle frequently, etc. The group is almost always a mix between backpackers and guest house clients, and ages can range from 18 to… we don’t set an upper age limit, but generally about 65. We can accept guests as young as 14 on group tours, as long as they are traveling with a parent or legal guardian. Our average age is 33. Our groups range between 4-12 people, with most guests hailing from Europe, America, Canada, and Australia. The group tour is perfect for the solo traveller, small groups of friends, or couples, as you will have the opportunity to travel with a diverse group of people from all over the world.
We are “foodies”, and good food is an important part of our tour. Breakfasts are included every day except Day 5, and typically include fruit, muesli, eggs, toast, yogurt, and cereals. Dinners are also included every day except Day 5, and are traditional South African meals, such as potjie (stew) and braai (barbeque). Please advise us of any special dietary requirements in advance. We are able to cater for vegetarian and vegan diets, but not strict gluten-free, lactose-free or halal diets. Lunch and drinks are on guests’ own account. Dinners for all clients, including those staying at the guest house, usually take place at the backpackers.
All tours are conducted in English. We ask that while you are in the group, you make an effort to speak English, so that everyone can be included in the conversation.
Attitude is important – “one rotten apple can spoil the bunch”. We ask that you bring a positive, interactive, and easy-going spirit to tour, to make it a good experience for all.
Our tours run on a tight schedule. Please do your best to be on time, all the time.
All guides are well-trained, experienced and South African born. We use CATHSSETA registered and qualified guides with professional drivers' licenses. Earthstompers makes use of only the best guides that will make sure you get a fun, relaxing, informative and safe trip.
Our tours take place in a malaria-free area, so no anti-malaria precautions are necessary. You are however advised to bring insect repellent during summer.
Most guests come away with incredible photos of their week, and share those photos among the group. We like to use tour photos in social media and promotional materials. If you do not wish for your photo or image to be used in this way, please let us know in advance.
Please wear clothes that you are comfortable in. This tour includes several hikes and walks, so comfortable shoes are essential. No special hiking boots are needed. A small backpack would be useful on the hike. A rain jacket is a good idea, as well as a sweater or jacket for the cool evenings by the sea. Bring a hat; the African sun can be intense! If you plan on participating in the early morning Addo game drive, bring a hat & gloves – the open game-viewing vehicle can be quite chilly in winter.
The Garden Route has a Mediterranean climate, which is pleasant to visit all year round. It gets rainfall throughout the year, mostly at night (you can imagine why it’s called the Garden Route!) Temperatures in winter range between 6-21 degrees C, and summer temperatures range between 17-30 degrees C. This tour also goes into the Eastern Cape and the Little Karoo, where temperatures can get as high as 40 C in summer.
The following cancelation fees will apply should you wish to cancel your tour. Please note we will charge a cash-handling fee of 5% if you should cancel more than 7 days before departure to cover our bank charges.
7+ days: 5% of the total booking
6-3 days: 50% of the total of the booking
2 days or less & No-show: 100% of the total of the booking
It is strongly recommended that you hold comprehensive travel insurance to safeguard you against possible unforeseen emergency and theft. ALL our tour operators and outside suppliers has comprehensive passenger and public liability insurance, but this does not cover the theft of guests’ personal belongings.
EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY
Ubuntu Adventures, or its employees and agents shall not be responsible for and shall be exempt from any liability in respect of loss, damage, injury, accident, delay or inconvenience to any person or their luggage or other personal property under any circumstances whatsoever whilst on tour.
The optional activities are not included in your tour because these are activities that not everybody would like to do! Optional activities are a great way to add more adventure to your experience. Our tours are designed so that it is not necessary to do the optional activities to have a good time – there are always plenty of things to see & do.
These activities can be paid in cash or credit card directly to the adventure operator. Shark diving and whale watching must be booked the week before the tour departs, as they take place on the first day of tour.
*Shark cage diving clients will be picked up in Cape Town early Monday morning by the shark company. Shark diving clients will only meet up with the rest of the tour group after lunch on the first day and will miss out on the first half of day 1.
Please note that we have done our best to provide accurate pricing, but these prices are subject to change!