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5 Day Garden Route and Addo Adventure

Join us for the road trip of a lifetime. Earthstompers Adventures operates a 5-Day, one-way tour from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth departing every Monday and ending every Friday. The trip includes the Southernmost point in Africa (Cape Agulhas), the Garden Route, Addo Elephant Park, and more. The tour has a good mix of nature, culture and adventure, so you can experience the best the Garden Route has to offer. Prices from R 5200. 

Tour includes: Addo Elephant National Park

• Qualified guide
• Pick up and drop off
• Air-conditioned transport
• 4 nights accommodation (backpacker or guesthouse options)
• Dinners and breakfasts (except Day 5)
• Local wine and craft beer tasting
• Cango Caves adventure tour
• Canoeing and hiking in Wilderness National Park
• Game viewing safari in Addo Elephant National Park
• Hiking in Tsitsikamma National Park

 

5-Day tour prices, per person:

Accommodation choices  2014 rates   2015 rates 
 Backpacker dorm  R5200  R5500
 Backpacker twin/double  R5720  R6100
 Backpacker twin/double en-suite                   R6000  R6400
 Backpacker single   R6275  R6700
 Backpacker single en-suite   R6550  R7000
 Guesthouse upgrade twin/double  R7100  R7600
 Guesthouse upgrade single  R7600  R8100

 

Itinerary:

Day 1: 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). 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.

Included meals: Dinner
Included activities: Penguins at Betties Bay
Optional activities: Shark cage diving, R1500; Whale watching boat trip (in season, July - November), R790
Overnight: Cape Agulhas/Struisbaai


Day 2: Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn
We travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the Ostrich Capital of the World, via the scenic and spectacular Route 62, which is South Africa’s longest wine route. You will be able to experience the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided adventure tour, followed by a sampling of the local wine & craft beer.

Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
Included activities: Craft beer & local wine tasting; Cango Caves adventure tour
Optional activities: Ostrich show farm, R65
Overnight: Oudtshoorn


Day 3: Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield
After breakfast we head over the spectacular Outeniqua Mountain pass where we will explore Wilderness National Park with some canoes. Enjoy an easy paddle up the Touw River through indigenous forest, enjoying the abundance of birdlife. 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 spectacular 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 have lunch and do some shopping. After Knysna we will head to the Knysna Heads viewpoint for some spectacular views over Knysna River estuary and the Indian Ocean. Late afternoon you can spend exploring Sedgefield with its spectacular views and beaches.

Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
Included activities: Canoeing and hiking in Wilderness National Park
Optional activities: None
Overnight: Sedgefield


Day 4: 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 afternoon 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 long and short hikes, crossing a suspension bridge and swimming. Late afternoon we will leave the Garden Route for Big 5 country, Addo.

Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
Included activities: Entrance to Tsitsikamma National Park
Optional activities: 216 M Bloukrans bungee jump, R790; Treetop canopy tour, R495; 3 hour black water tubing, R450
Overnight: Addo area


Day 5: Addo – Wilderness
We will spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. We will spend up to 3-4 hours exploring the 28,000 hectare National reserve with over 450 elephant and some Cape buffalo, lion, black rhino, warthog, zebra, eland, koedoe, 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 1:00-2:00pm.

Included meals: None
Included activities: Entrance and 3-4 hour drive with tour vehicle through Addo Elephant National Park
Optional activities: 2-hour open vehicle game drive with Addo field guide, R260


Tour notes, terms & conditions:

Pick up and drop off: We will pick you up on Monday at the accommodation location of your choice in Cape Town central, the airport, or Stellenbosch.  Pick-ups outside of these areas must be arranged separately.  Pick up time is generally between 7:00 – 9:00 am in Cape Town, and around 9:30 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 an 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 on Friday afternoon.

Accommodation: 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 dorm rooms, 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. 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.

Luggage: We have space for each passenger to have one suitcase/backpack and one “carry-on”-sized piece of luggage – a laptop bag, backpack, or similar.  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. Hard or soft suitcases are fine. If you have more luggage than this, please contact us in advance to make alternative arrangements.

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.

Vehicles: 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. We have a CD and MP3 player, you are welcome to bring your own music, and if it is not too terrible we can play it!  All vehicles have valid operating licences to convey paying customers.

Tour style: 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 55. 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.

Meals: 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. Lunch and drinks are on guests’ own account. Dinners for all clients, including those staying at the guesthouse, usually take place at the backpackers.

General etiquette: 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. 

Internet access: Wi-Fi is generally available at most accommodation locations.

Photography: 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.

Attire: 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 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.

Malaria: 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.

Weather: 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.

Guides: 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 licences. Earthstompers makes use of only the best guides that will make sure you get a fun, relaxing, informative and safe trip.

Cancellation policy: The following cancelation 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

Insurance: It is strongly recommended that you hold comprehensive travel insurance to safeguard you against possible unforeseen emergency. Earthstompers has passenger and public liability insurance.

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.

Optional activities: 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. Your guide will book these activities the day that the tour departs. Shark diving and whale watching must be booked the week before the tour departs, as they take place on the first day of tour.

Although we offer tours of the Ostrich Farm as an optional activity, we strongly discourage guests from riding the animals. 

Day Optional activity Price
 Monday  Shark cage diving - 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 Earthstompers tour group after lunch on the first day and will miss out on the first half of day 1.  R1500
 Whale watching boat trip (in-season, July - November)  R790
 Tuesday  Ostrich show farm  R 65
 Thursday  Bungee jumping (216m)  R790
 Tree-top canopy tour  R495
 3-hour Tsitsikamma black water tubing  R450
 Friday  2-hour additional Addo game drive (open vehicle, early morning)  R260

Please note that we have done our best to provide accurate pricing for the optional activities, but these prices are subject to change!

 

Additional information

They Will Not Survive Without You
South African Youth travel Confederation
Backpacking South Africa
Carbon Footprint