Tour notes, terms & conditions:
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, Stellenbosch or Somerset West/Strand. 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 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 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.
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/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.
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.
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. 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, but not gluten-free, lactose-free diets, 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 licences. 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.
Flexible payment and cancellation policies
We understand that travellers may be nervous to book travel now, fearing Coronavirus cancellations or interruptions. We have therefore adapted our policies to offer a more flexible payment procedure, free date change and a much more lenient cancellation policy.
- Book now and pay later: We will no longer require full payment when you book. Full payment is due 30 days before your tour departs.
- One free date change: Unsure about your travel time, or need to change your plans? No problem. We will offer one free date change on every booking.
- Flexible cancellation policy (group and day tours): The following cancellation fees will apply should you wish to cancel your tour.
- Cancellation 30 days – 7 days before departure: 95% refund
- Cancellation 6 days – 3 days before departure: 50% refund
- Cancellation 2 days or less before departure, or no-show: no refund
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.
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.
|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.||R2880|
|Whale watching boat trip (in-season, July – November)||R 950|
|Thursday||Bungee jumping (216m) *includes a zipline to the bridge||R1400|
|Zipline Adventure||R 695|
|Friday||2-hour additional Addo game drive (open vehicle, early morning)||R 420|
Please note that we have done our best to provide accurate pricing, but these prices are subject to change!