8. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 5-Day Safari
Experience the best of South Africa's Western Cape and look for wildlife in spectacular national parks, such as Addo Elephant National Park. Take part in a host of available optional activities, including a bungee jump off the world's highest bungee bridge and a tandem sky dive from 10,000 feet. Choose from a range of accommodation options and sleeping arrangements, including shared dormitories and bathrooms to save you money!
Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas (D)
Depart Cape Town/Stellenbosch early on Monday morning and head for Hermanus. Please note that shark cage diving clients will be picked up very early in the morning by the diving operator and will miss the first half of this day’s itinerary. Follow the scenic coastal road, stopping at Betties Bay to view a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for the hundreds of Southern right whales during whale season (July to November) as well as its many shops, restaurants and markets. Drive to Cape Agulhas in the afternoon to discover the southernmost tip of Africa. Visit a viewpoint known as the “real” place, and see where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Stay the night in Cape Agulhas/Struisbaai.
• Included activities: Penguins at Betties Bay
• Optional activities: Shark cage dive; whale-watching boat trip (in season, July – November).
Day 2: Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn (B, D)
Travel along scenic Route 62 on route to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the “Ostrich Capital of the World,” and experience South Africa’s longest wine route. Discover the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided adventure tour, and then sample the local wine. Spend the night in Oudtshoorn.
• Included activities: Local wine tasting; Cango Caves adventure tour
Day 3: Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield (B, D)
Head over the spectacular Outeniqua Mountain Pass after breakfast, and explore the Wilderness National Park. Canoe up the Touw River through indigenous forest, enjoying the abundance of birdlife along the way. After about 40 minutes, swap your canoes for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk to a lovely waterfall and rock pools. Next, go to the famous town of Knysna via the spectacular Lake District of the Garden Route. Explore the upmarket town, filled with curios, restaurants and a picturesque waterfront, where you can have lunch and do some shopping in your free time. Continue to the Knysna Heads viewpoint for some spectacular views over the Knysna River estuary and Indian Ocean. Spend the late afternoon exploring Sedgefield and its beaches, and enjoy the spectacular views before you retire for the night.
• Included activities: Canoeing and hiking in Wilderness National Park
Day 4: Sedgefield – Tsitsikamma – Addo (B, D)
Enjoy breakfast, and then depart for the Tsitsikamma National Park. Stop at Bloukrans Bridge to see the world’s highest bungee jump bridge along the way. There will be plenty of time for adventure seekers to test their courage should they choose. Spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, and discover its unique combination of indigenous forest and Indian Ocean coastline. Benefit from a wide choice of activities in the park, including long and short hikes, crossing a suspension bridge or swimming. Leave the Garden Route in the late afternoon, and head for “Big 5” country at Addo Elephant National Park. Stay the night at the Avoca River Cabins in the Addo area.
• Included activities: Entrance to Tsitsikamma National Park
• Optional activities: 216-meter bungee jump at Bloukrans; treetop canopy tour
Day 5: Addo Elephant National Park – Port Elizabeth
Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park for up to 2-3 hours. Look for indigenous animals in the 28,000-hectare national reserve, including approximately 600 elephants along with Cape buffalo, lions, black rhinos, warthogs, zebras, eland, kudu, hartebeest and many more. After an exciting morning of game viewing, drive to Port Elizabeth for a drop off at the location of your choice between 13:00 and 14:00.
• Included activities: Entrance and 2-3 hour drive through Addo Elephant National Park by tour vehicle
• Optional activities: 2-hour open vehicle game drive with an Addo Elephant National Park field guide