Clouds over Stellenbosch Mountains

Cape Town & the Garden Route

12 days
Traveller ratings
4.9 / 5 from 9 reviews >
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Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
Group size:

Journey along one of the most dramatic coastlines in the world.

This journey brings us from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town following the famous Garden Route. Along the way we take in fantastic wildlife, beautiful beaches, rainforests, deep canyons, rolling hills, endless vineyards, quaint towns, vibrant cities, and one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. This trip takes in the best of one of South Africa’s greatest regions, packing in surprising diversity. In season (August-November) this is also the best place on Earth to watch whales right from the shoreline.


  • Wildlife from elephants and lions to penguins and whales (in season)
  • Culture from quaint towns to cosmopolitan Cape Town and nearby wineries
  • Scenery along the one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world
  • Diverse nature from the forests of Tsitsikamma to the drylands of the Little Karoo.

Key information

  • 9 nights hotels and guest houses and 2 nights chalets.
  • Travel by private minibus
  • No long drives

What's included

  • All breakfasts,
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Start Port Elizabeth; transfer to Sundays River Valley.

    The group flight generally arrives early afternoon. Land only passengers can meet the rest of the group at the airport; upon arrival we will transfer about 1hr to the the Sundays River Valley and the lovely Avoca Guest Farm. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax amidst this bucolic setting.
    Avoca Guest Farm or similar

  • Day 2

    Game drives in Addo N.P.

    This morning we head to Addo Elephant National Park. The third largest national park in South Africa, Addo is home to some 550 elephants (up from a mere 16 when the park was initially set up) as well as Black rhino, leopards, lions, buffalos, hyenas, zebras, various antelopes and dung-beetles.

    We will enjoy game drives (in our own vehicle) in the park and have the option of a 2nd game drive as well (at extra cost).
    Avoca Guest Farm or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Storms River; explore Tsitsikamma.

    Today we start heading west to the official start of the Garden Route at Storms River and Tsitsikamma National Park. Stretching along the coast, the park gets its name from a local word meaning ‘place of abundant water.’ The park is made up of rocky coastlines, fairy-tale forests, waterfalls and rivers. We have the opportunity to hike in the forest and along suspension bridges. The area is also a great place for bird-enthusiasts with a variety of sea, forest and fynbos (scrubland) species present.
    Storms River Mouth Rest Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Free day to relax, walk or explore the region.

    We spend the day at Tsitsikamma where a number of hikes are available as well as other activities (though some may be dependent on the weather conditions such as canoeing).
    Storms River Mouth Rest Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning visit Knysna Heads; afternoon to Oudtshoorn.

    We start our day with a visit to the Knysna Heads, two tall sandstone cliffs which form a channel through which the turbulent Indian Ocean enters the calmer Knysna Lagoon. We have a bit more time to relax in town before leaving for Oudtshoorn after lunch.

    As we head inland and over a pass the landscape changes drastically and we enter the Little Karoo, a much dryer and hotter region. Oudtshoorn itself became famous thanks to the trade in Ostrich feathers and is still, today, the ostrich capital of the world.

    Our Guest House is situated out of town in the tranquil rural Karoo village of De Rust.
    House Martin Guest Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Cango Caves and ostrich farm.

    Today we spend all day in and around Oudtshoorn. We start by visiting the Cango Caves, an extensive complex of caverns with stalactites and stalagmites. After lunch we visit a local ostrich farm where we learn more about these wondrous birds and may even see some ostrich racing. (the order in which we do these activities may be reversed).
    House Martin Guest Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Hermanus via Mossel Bay.

    Returning towards the coast we make a stop at Mossel Bay and the Dias museum complex celebrating the influence of early Portuguese sailors on S. Africa and the location of the Post Office Tree (an old milkwood tree which was used to leave messages for passing ships since 1500). We then continue to Hermanus, famed as the whale capital of the world.
    Windsor Hotel Apartments or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day; whale watching in season.

    Today is a free day to relax and enjoy Hermanus. From late August to November Southern Right whales are easily spotted from shore as they frolic in Walker Bay. A whale crier sounds his kelp horn when he spots whales off the coast. Those who want can also do a boat-based whale watching trip.

    There are also a number of other activities available from hikes to river cruises and lagoon-kayaking which are available year-round.

    Please note that during the Christmas departure we will be staying in Pringle Bay, on the eastern end of False Bay. Pringle Bay is a lovely seaside village with local art and crafts shops and markets and cafes. Nearby are Betty Bay with its penguin colony, the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens and the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Those who want will be taken to Hermanus (about 1hr away) to see the quaint town.
    Windosr Hotel Apartments or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    To wine region; afternoon wine tour and on to Cape Town.

    Our next destination is South Africa’s famed wine region. The wine industry, which dates back to the 17th Century and was heavily influenced by French Huguenots, produces some of the best wines in the world. We will have the opportunity to taste some of these wines before continuing to Cape Town, the Mother City.
    Sweetest Guest House or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 10-11

    Two days exploring Cape Town, Table Mountain, the Cape Peninsula and Simonstown penguins.

    We spend the next two days in and around Cape Town, Africa's most exciting city. Our activities in Cape Town will, to some extent, be dictated by the weather as visits to the top of Table Mountain, which has its own micro-climate, are determined by cloud cover and wind. Because of this, often, temperamental weather, it is best not to pre-book the cable car but to just buy tickets on the spot (not included) Those who are staying longer in Cape Town post-tour may opt to visit Table Mountain later if the weather looks as though it may be better then.

    There is also the option of visiting Robben Island on one of the days, however we recommend you pre-book Robben Island with us before the trip (but pay the tour leader locally).

    On one of the days we head down the Cape Peninsula. We follow the Atlantic Seaboard past the areas of Camps Bay, Llandudno and Hout Bay to the Cape Point via Chapman's Peak drive, if it is open. The highlight of the day is our visit to the famous Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which covers an area of 7680 hectares. The reserve is home to eland, bontebok, grysbok, springbok, wildebeest, baboon and ostrich. Rugged cliffs, unspoilt beaches, shipwrecks and beautiful flora are the main features of the reserve. We will go on a walk through the reserve for approximately two hours. We first take a walk to the old lighthouse for the panoramic views, before following the pathway to the new lighthouse which offer spectacular cliff views. We then follow the downhill path to the Cape of Good Hope and the iconic board showing the most Southern Western point of the African continent where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Once we leave the park we stop at the former Royal Navy base at Simonstown and take time to visit the resident penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
    Sweetest Guest House or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    End Cape Town.

    Our final day of the trip we have the option of doing a township tour, strolling along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront or exploring various other parts of Cape Town. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport this afternoon for their flight home, those on a land-only basis the tour officially ends today.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info


South Africa

British passport holders and most European and Commonwealth Passport holders do not require a visa to travel to South Africa. Please note that all travellers to South Africa who do require a visa are required to have a minimum of 2 blank consecutive pages in their passport i.e. a left hand page and a right hand page to enable an entry visa to be issued.

Please note that new regulations from the 1 June 2015 mean that any child under 18 travelling to South Africa needs to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate with the names of both parents.

If a child under 18 is only travelling with a single parent, they will also have to have an affidavit, no less than 3 months old, from the absent parent confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.


South Africa

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential if travelling in the greater Kruger area and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. The rest of South Africa, including the Garden Route, has a low risk of Malaria.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included

The food you'll encounter on this trip is very similar to the kind of food you'll be used to at home. There may be the opportunity to try some more unusual meats such as ostrich, kudu or eland. There are also some options for vegetarians.


Summer months are from October to April and the average daytime temperature is 25ºC to 30ºC. The average night time temperature is 10ºC to 20ºC. The winter months are from May to September and average temperatures are about 10ºC colder at this time of year. In general, however, the Cape Town climate is quite mild. The summer months are typically dry and warm, but the South Easterly wind can blow up to 70km/h at least a few times a month. This helps to cool things off, but can be a little unpleasant if one is walking in exposed areas. Most of the rainfall is in the winter but it is frontal rain, which comes off the Atlantic. Therefore it can rain solidly for 2 days, and in between there will be warm sunny days! Due to the ocean's proximity to the mountains and the winds, it is fairly common to experience tabletop clouds on the higher mountains. Our programme is flexible enough to accommodate any major changes in weather, and yet still make it enjoyable.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Is this trip for you?

We have graded this trip as leisurely/moderate as we base ourselves in comfortable accommodation and there are no strenuous activities. This is primarily a vehicle-based trip, although there are a few opportunities to go on walks in the Tsitsikamma National Park and in Cape Point Nature Reserve. All walking is optional. At Cape Point Nature Reserve we walk along good paths to the lighthouse and along the boardwalk. Both walks will take about two hours. The Tsitsikamma walk to the Storms River mouth is along a boardwalk and is about 1 hour long. There are many optional walks in the park that are a little longer and more strenuous. Travelling from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town rather than doing a round trip allows us to visit more places at a more leisurely pace with less driving and no need to back-track.


Hotels, Guesthouses & Camping

9 nights hotels and guest houses and 2 nights chalets. Most properties are privately owned, clean, comfortable establishments, all with en suite rooms. The properties are clean, comfortable establishments, all with en suite rooms. They are also located in areas selected for their charm whether it is amidst orchards, by the crashing sea, in the quaint village of De Rust or right in the centre of Cape Town. Single supplement available

Expert Blog Entries

African sunset

From the volcanic slopes of Kilimanjaro to the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains, Exodus has cultivated an ar

  • Reviewed April 2017
    David Stafford

    Cape Town and the Garden Route

    We loved this holiday from start to finish.It was a great introduction to Africa with a range of scenery, landscapes and activities. We were glad we budgeted for the optional extras, kayaking, zip wire and shark cage diving. All amazing experiences. The accommodation was good with some excellent breakfasts. Restaurant food was varied with ample portions. We are vegetarian and had no problem finding interesting meals. Saw a great variety of birds and animals in and out of the Game Parks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Robben Island was well worth visiting and so was Langa township. Very thought provoking experiences. Loved walking round the top of Table mountain and walking along the coast at the Cape of Good Hope.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin is the perfect guide. Friendly, likeable and professional. Nothing was too much trouble for him. We learned such a lot from him and it's obvious he loves his country. His knowledge of plants animals and birds is amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There's a lot of moving about so don't overpack. I kept mislaying things so keep stuff in labelled bags.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Catharine Skinner

    South Africa's Garden Route

    The Garden Route is a diverse trip with so many highlights. It gives a great taster of what Africa has to offer. It's wonderful to enjoy the wildlife in Addo and stay in the beautiful setting in the lemon orchards. Cape Town is fantastic with lots to do and the scenery is stunning. Table Mountain is not to be missed and Robben Island gives a great cultural contrast.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waking up everyday to beautiful experiences, but the "blanket" of cloud on table mountain is breathtaking!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin was so passionate about South Africa and positive everyday. He looked after everyone on the trip so well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to stay an extra night or two in Cape Town if you can it's great and do not miss the botanical gardens.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Simon Calrow

    Take Me Back to South Africa!

    A fantastic holiday from start to finish, our families first trip to Africa.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many great moments to the trip. The first nights stay at Avco, the game reserve at Abbo, The BBQ at De Rust. The view from our room at Hermanus, followed by the canoeing and the best breakfast I have ever had.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin was a brilliant leader. He took us to loads of interesting places, always in control and so knowledgeable. He was assisted by "gnasher" who also make a great leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! It is a great place to go. Our only tip would be to take a torch which was needed occasionally. Go on a diet before you go the food is fabulous.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would love to go again, two weeks was not enough in such an epic country.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Carolynne Ridley

    Cape Town and Garden Route

    What a fantastic trip. Lots to see, scenery, views, birds & animals. The food and weather were excellent too. Accommodation was comfortable, minibus occasionally was a bit bumpy but we were busy taking in all the sights to notice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We entered the Addo Elephant Park and almost straight away an elephant appeared out from the bushes which we all found amazing. We also enjoyed the optional game Park trip in an open vehicle as you are able to go off the beaten track and get much closer to the animals

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin our group leader was excellent, nothing was too much trouble, he make out trip stress free.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just the usual. Take comfortable shoes and clothing as there is the opportunity to do walking and also you do spend a bit of time in the minibus.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to share some of the accommodation i.e. Kitchen and lounge, but you do have your own bedroom and on suite.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Carol Gledhill

    Cape Town and Garden Route trip February 2017

    An excellent trip. The majority of the inclusive trips were well thought out and planned.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots,too many to mention as I'm lazy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Well informed on all aspects. Nothing was too much trouble for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to share apartments with another couple in two of the places. Although for me personally it wasn't a problem .You do have your own bedroom and en-suite

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I thought I was going on a trip for solo people.Not sure if I'd misread the info. Luckily there was one other person alone so we teamed up a little. I would have felt a little uncomfortable if I'd been totally the only singleton But everyone on my tour was great company and I was invited to join other couples The tour bus could have been a bit better.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Sally Read

    Fantastic holiday

    This is a great introduction to South Africa. The trips are varied with optional activities available. The scenery is stunning and the minibus is comfortable and air conditioned. We tried the zip lining which was well worth experiencing. The restaurants were excellent and we ate far too much, regretting it a bit now! Our accommodation was very comfortable and most had fantastic views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to pick one moment as I loved it all. Seeing the animals in Addo NP, visiting Robben Island and listening to an ex political prisoner describing his experiences, and being on Table Mountain were all unforgettable moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin was a brilliant guide who worked hard to ensure everyone had a wonderful holiday. He was knowledgeable, good fun and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that the weather can can be very changeable. We had rain, wind, hail, lightening and hot sun. Some activities may have to be cancelled due to reasons beyond the control of Exodus. We were glad that we stayed an extra day in Cape Town and toured the town on the open top bus.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it! Thank you to Justin and all our group for enabling us to have such a fantastic time!!
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Mike Barrell

    South Africa Garden Route Leisurely

    The trip was absolutely excellent. The pace whilst leisurely, was exciting and offered real variety in scenery and activity. The accommodation was first class with again a variety of venues, the highlight being the House Martin Guest Lodge in De Rust. The owners were incredibly welcoming and the food was exceptional. The safaris were well managed and offered opportunities to see up close a wide variety of animals.The visit to Mossel Bay and Hermanus was a terrific experience, the ocean views and the shark diving will always be a vivid memory. Cape Town and Table Mountain lived up to their iconic status. The trip organisation and guiding was first class.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational element was the sheer variety and grandeur of the landscape and ocean particularly in Tsitsikamma.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin Barr was outstanding as a guide. Totally in control even when one of the group was hurt in a fall. He was always available, nothing was too much trouble. His knowledge of South Africa, its wildlife and geography was very impressive. He kept the group together, picked excellent restaurants, and handled any complaints (they were very few) very professionally. Having had many guides over the years he was an exceptional example of best practice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely go shark diving its a real adrenalin rush. Take the bus tour around Cape town, there isn't a great deal of spare time but its very good value and well worth making the effort. Avoid the duplex room in Sweet Lemon.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The whole experience was fantastic, the scenery was amazing and the wild life fantastic.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Anne Bell

    A really lovely trip

    I enjoyed this holiday so much. The itinerary was very well balanced with a host of different activities and experiences. It was good to spend at least two nights in each location and have time to appreciate where we were staying. We have been on quite a few Exodus trips before, but this was one of the best. Some of the accommodation was very good indeed, notably the Martin House guest lodge in De Rust and the apartments in Hermanus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very difficult to choose. I would say the wildlife we saw in the Eastern Cape is hard to beat, but I found the trip to Robben Island, where we were guided round by a former political prisoner so interesting and very moving.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Justin Binns was excellent. His knowledge of the local wildlife, plants, birds, but also culture, history, (plus food and wine) was so good. He engaged really well with the group and made the holiday so enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of sunscreen and a sunhat! None of the walks in the trip notes are compulsory, but those at Tsitsikamma are in a lovely setting. For some of them you will need trainers at least. I also recommend the cliff top walk to Grotto Beach from Hermanus, which is easy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You may need to go on a diet on return. The food everywhere we went was superb and portions are large.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Barbara Murphy

    Cape Town and the Garden Route


    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing an elephant and her calf in the wild. Watching sharks circling the boat In Mossel Bay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We could not have asked for a better group leader. Justin was knowledgeable, cheerful, patient and with a great sense of humour. He made everyday of our holiday such an enjoyable experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, and invest in a good sun hat if you go during the summer season.'j

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Maybe an extra free day in Cape Town would have been enjoyable.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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