We will pick you up on Monday morning at the location of your choice in Cape Town central (central business district, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Observatory, Rondebosch), or at Cape Town International Airport. Please let us know your pickup address.
If you are staying outside of our above pickup range, we ask that you meet up with the tour bus on Monday morning as follows:
- Pickup at Bootlegger Coffee Company, 185 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre (closest meeting point for Bloubergstrand or Milnerton)
- Pickup at Vida e Café, 41 Main Rd, Rondebosch (closest meeting point for Hout Bay, Muizenberg or Constantia)
- Pickup at Woolworths Waterstone Village, Corner of R 44 &, Main Road, Somerset West (closest meeting point for Stellenbosch)
Pick up time is generally between 6:00 – 7:30 am in Cape Town and around 8:00 am in Somerset West. We will confirm the specific time and address of your pickup, as well as your guide’s details the weekend before your tour departs. Please allow 15 minutes grace before or after your designated pickup time, as Monday morning Cape Town traffic can be unpredictable!
Should 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 your travel delays. Your guide will wait for up to 15 minutes after your arranged pick-up time, but after that the tour will depart out of fairness to the rest of the guests.
5-day guests: We will drop you off at the end of tour in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) at approximately 13:00-14:00 on Friday. Please contact us before booking outward flights on Friday from Gqeberha, to make sure the flight timing can work
6-day guests: We will drop you off at the end of tour at the same locations as pick up. Tours typically return between 5:00 – 8:00 pm on Saturday evening. Please contact us before booking outward flights on Saturday evening, to make sure the flight timing can work.
The vehicles that we will be touring in are fully air-conditioned and can comfortably seat 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 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 vegan, 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.
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 67 cm (26 in) by 45 cm (18 in), and carry on is limited to the dimension of 48 cm (19 in) by 32 cm (13 in). 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.
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-gender dorm rooms (ranging in size from 2-12 beds) 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 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 2 & 4 of tour, both backpackers and guest house clients overnight in the same location – a working game farm near Oudtshoorn (Day 2) and a working citrus farm near Addo (Day 4). Backpackers have more basic rooms on the farms, whereas guest house clients have more luxurious rooms.
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.
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.
Wi-Fi is generally available at most accommodation locations in the common areas (not necessarily in the bedrooms). If you require data or phone service, we recommend that you pick up a local SIM in South Africa. SIMs are widely available from providers like Vodacom, MTN, or Cell C, and airtime or data packages are reasonably priced.
South Africa is currently suffering from frequent power cuts, called “loadshedding”. It’s best to prepare for this by bringing a small battery/power bank, to be able to charge your phone whilst the power is off. A torch/flashlight or headlamp can also come in handy. Loadshedding is a source of major frustration for the citizens and businesses of South Africa, so please be patient if you encounter inconveniences related to the power cuts.
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.
Most guests come away with incredible photos of their week, and share those photos among the group. We like to use real 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.
All guides are well-trained, experienced, and 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.
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.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover medical or emergency travel expenses, cancellation, curtailment, theft, or COVID-19 related issues. Earthstompers has comprehensive passenger and public liability insurance, but this does not cover the theft of guests’ personal belongings, nor does it cover any expenses that may arise from COVID-19 issues.
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 company reserves the right to change itinerary, accommodation, and transport along the way should circumstances dictate. The 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.
PAYMENT & CANCELLATION POLICY
Full payment is due 30 days before your tour departs. If you need to change your tour date, we offer one free date change on every booking, as long as you let us know more than 7 days before your tour is scheduled to depart.
All Earthstompers tours are priced in South African Rand (R or ZAR). In case of a refund, any amount will be refunded in South African Rand, which then gets converted to your local currency by your bank or credit card company. Please note that due to currency fluctuations, the refund amount in your local currency might be higher or lower than the amount originally paid. In the case where a tour is paid for in a foreign currency, such as Euros or US Dollars, you will be informed of the amount received in Rand, and any refunds will be calculated based on the Rand amount received.
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 bank charges.
- 7+ days before departure: 5% of the total booking
- 6-3 days before departure: 50% of the total booking
- 2 days or less before departure & No-show: 100% of the total booking
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. You will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the beginning of your 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 Earthstompers tour group after lunch on the first day and will miss out on the first half of day 1.