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. 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 8:30 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 at in Port Elizabeth at approximately 1-2pm. Please contact us before booking outward flights.
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 guesthouses, in which all rooms are private en suite. Single, double, and twin rooms are available at both the backpackers and guesthouses. All bedding and towels will be provided. Please note that heating and air conditioning is not standard in the backpackers or the guesthouses (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. Guesthouses are a more private, quieter, luxurious experience. About 80% of our guests choose to stay in the backpackers and 20% in the guesthouses. Backpackers and guesthouse clients travel together in the same tour vehicle. On Day 4 of tour, both backpackers and guesthouse clients stay in the same location – a working citrus farm near Addo. This is a unique location, which isn’t really a backpacker or guesthouse, 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).
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 enquire about a private tour, so we can arrange a different vehicle. All vehicles have valid operating licences 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 guesthouse 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 diets, but not strict gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan or halal diets. Lunch and drinks are on guests’ own account. Dinners for all clients, including those staying at the guesthouse, 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. By law we are required to 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 for the hike would be useful. 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 cancellation fees will apply should you wish to cancel your tour. Please note we will charge a cash-handling fee of 15% if you should cancel more than 30 days before departure to cover our bank charges.
30 days – 15 days: 25% of the total of the booking
14 days – 8 days: 50% of the total of the booking
7 days or less: 100% of the total of the booking
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. Earthstompers has comprehensive passenger and public liability insurance, but this does not cover the theft of guests’ personal belongings.
Exclusion of liability
Earthstompers, 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.