9. From Cape Town/Stellenbosch: 3 Day Garden Route and Safari
Day 1: Oudtshoorn
(Distance traveled: about 400 km)
Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town and Stellenbosch areas.
Set off along the famous Route 62, where you'll capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, vast Karoo plains, vineyards and orchards. Pop in at one of the many farm stalls along the way, stocked with locally crafted delights before arriving in Oudtshoorn, ostrich capital of the world.
Delve deep underground to the magical Cango Caves’ limestone chambers, alive with drip formation stalactites and stalagmites and remnants of Khoikhoi paintings. Opt for the easy-going guided Heritage Tour to test the cave’s acoustics and gain insights about the dripstone evolution. By contrast, the Adventure Tour allows would-be contortionists to squeeze, twist and wiggle their way through limestone chimneys on a rather more daring underground route.
You’ll spend the evening in Oudtshoorn at leisure. Either head to town to enjoy a top restaurant meal or join locals for an optional outdoor braai (similar to bbq) including South African favourites, such as ostrich kebabs, boerewors or potbrood.
Overnight in Oudtshoorn - Choose between Budget Backpacker or ensuite Guest house packages to stay at: Backpackers Paradise or 3-Star Yamkela guest house B&B or 4-Star Buffelsdrift Lodge and 4-Star Surval Botigue Olive Farm.
Day 2: Wilderness, Sedgefield
(Distance traveled: about 450 km)
As the dawn breaks in the dusty Klein Karoo, opt for a close encounter with Mother Nature and join rangers on an optional Elephant Bush Walk. Gentle giants, Jabari, Malaika and Bulelo made Buffelsdrift their home after their parents were poached in the north of South Africa. Join these three rescued elephants, as they walk to the nearby waterhole. Following in their footsteps and make memories you'll never forget.
Then, take to the water for a leisurely afternoon paddle along the reed-lined banks of the Touws River, deep in Wilderness National Park. Indigenous forest and campgrounds line the river. It’s not until you stop paddling and let the gentle current guide you, that the abundance of birdlife becomes apparent.
The adventure continues as you reach Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest commercial bridge bungy jump. The bungy bridge itself is fairly unassuming as you drive over it, but it’s pretty clear from the squeals and screams that this isn’t your average photo stop. Seemingly normal people hurtle face first down the 216 m drop only to spring back up on an elastic cord like a yoyo. This region is a playground for the outdoors and those who'd prefer to keep their feet on solid ground will visit the nearby forest in the Tsitsikamma area. Spend the evening soaking in the slow town way of life in Sedgefield. If you decide to stay overnight in the nearby Wilderness or Knysna areas, check out the rustic beach restaurant and feel the white sand between your toes as you sip on cocktails, or venture into town for a more intimate dinner.
Overnight in Sedgefield - choose between: Afrovibe Backpackers, 3-Star Purple Heron guest house, 3-star Dune Beach House, 4-Star Dover On Sea guest house, or 4-star Beach Villa. If an overnight stay at Sedgefield is not possible, accommodation will be arranged in the Wilderness or Knysna areas.
Day 3: Garden Route
(Distance traveled: about 400 km)
Start the day in the heart of the African bush. On your first stop of the day, spot some of Africa’s wild animals from the back of an open 4x4 vehicle in the malaria-free Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. Search for giraffe, white rhino, kudu, lion, elephant, zebra, and wildebeest, just to name a few. The game drive is led by an experienced game ranger, sharing his knowledge of the local wildlife; including antelope species, birdlife, and insects.
When your guide finds the perfect spot, you'll hop off your safari vehicle for an even closer connection to nature on a tranquil bush walk. Follow your game ranger as you look for wildlife through the coastal renosterveldt and Cape fynbos, keep an eye out for animal tracks, and learn about the medicinal value of the plants as you walk.
End off the day with a journey through the landscape rolling farmlands as you pass through the heart of the Garden Route on your way back to Cape Town and Stellenbosch.