• Adventure, Wildlife

Garden Route – 7 Day Cape, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Storms River, Addo Elephant Game Reserve

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • English


Featuring picturesque coastlines, rugged mountains, towering indigenous forests, serene lakes, and meandering rivers, this region stands as a striking display of contrasts, truly embodying its name, “the Garden Route.” The Garden Route spans from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest, Storms River, and Addo Elephant Game Reserve along the southern coast. Throughout this journey, a plethora of adventure activities awaits, ranging from thrilling Great White shark cage diving to exhilarating skydiving and bungee jumping experiences (the world’s highest at 216 meters!). For nature enthusiasts, there are guided walks in the forests alongside majestic elephants, providing ample opportunities for awe-inspiring photographs. This tour is a paradise for photographers, capturing scenes that are nothing short of a dream. However, even for those seeking a more serene experience, the sheer beauty of the scenery and the richness of wildlife guarantee memories that will last a lifetime.


We set off from Cape Town/Stellenbosch around 9:30 am, embarking on a picturesque journey. Our first stop is the enchanting Sir Lowry’s Mountain Pass, where we pause at the summit to capture the breathtaking views of the valley below. Continuing on the N2 route, we pass through quaint villages that once served as bustling frontier towns, where traders and the Khoisan people engaged in vibrant exchanges of goods. Upon reaching Swellendam, a historical outpost of Dutch civilization, we venture inland through the majestic Langeberg Mountains via the Tradouw Pass, linking the coastal region with the arid Karoo, aptly named the “Place of Thirst.” The scenery transforms from charming villages and rolling wheat fields to semi-desert landscapes as we journey through the Little Karoo, eventually arriving in Oudtshoorn late in the afternoon. Oudtshoorn, renowned as the Ostrich capital of the world, also boasts the famous Cango Caves, adorned with dramatic Stalactites and Stalagmites that are bound to leave a lasting impression. Route: Cape Town-Caledon-Swellendam-Barrydale-Calitsdorp-Oudtshoorn Notable Passes and Stops: Hottentot-Holland Mountain Pass Houw Hoek Mountain Pass Swellendam Tradouw Mountain Pass Barrydale Huisrivier Pass Accommodation: Berluda farmhouse and cottages (4-star), providing a comfortable and welcoming retreat amidst the captivating surroundings.

Wake up to the serene sounds of a bustling farm and the crisp, invigorating air of the Karoo! Following a wholesome breakfast, our day kicks off with a visit to the renowned Cango Caves, where we embark on a guided tour lasting over an hour to marvel at the underground marvels. Our adventure continues with a guided tour at the Cango Ostrich show farm, offering fascinating insights into these remarkable birds. Departing Oudtshoorn, we make our way to the coast, pausing for a delightful lunch in a charming farm setting along the route. Post-lunch, our journey takes us through the picturesque Outeniqua Mountain pass, leading us down to the enchanting town of Knysna. Knysna is celebrated for its tidal lagoon, natural forests, and is famously known as South Africa’s ‘oyster capital.’ Upon arrival and check-in at your guesthouse, we venture to the Waterfront. Here, after a brief exploration, we board a ferry for an optional sunset cruise on the lagoon. Route: Oudtshoorn-Outeniqua Pass-George-Wilderness-Sedgefield-Knysna Notable Stops and Activities: Cango Caves Cango Ostrich Show Farm Outeniqua Pass Wilderness Knysna Accommodation: Protea Hotel (4-star) or a similar comfortable lodging option, ensuring a pleasant and relaxing stay. Meals Included: Breakfast Included Activities: Guided tours of Cango Caves and Ostrich Show Farm. Optional sunset cruise in the Lagoon from the Waterfront.

This morning, our destination is the Knysna Featherbed Reserve, a privately-owned and registered Nature Reserve, as well as a South African Heritage Site. Nestled on the Western Head of Knysna, this pristine paradise can only be accessed by ferry. The reserve is a sanctuary for rare wildlife, including the diminutive Blue Duiker, one of the world’s smallest antelope species, the exquisite Knysna Loerie, and the endangered Knysna Sea Horse. The excursion encompasses the following: Round-trip ferry journey on the Knysna Lagoon to the Western Head. A 4×4 vehicle and trailer ride up the headland, stopping at breathtaking viewpoints. A knowledgeable guide offering insights into the area’s history, diverse fauna, and flora. An optional guided 2.2km walk through coastal forests and fynbos, leading to ancient sea caves. Lunch at The Forest Restaurant, nestled on the Lagoon’s edge beneath a canopy of Milkwood trees. Recommended Items to Bring: Sunscreen Hat and sunglasses Comfortable walking shoes Camera Jacket After a sumptuous lunch, our journey continues to Storms River and the Tsitsikamma forest. Our initial stop is the “Garden of Eden,” a splendid showcase of the once-dominant Forest Fauna and Flora of the region. Along a boardwalk amidst ancient Yellowwood and Blackwood trees, we stroll through a landscape that was once the habitat of Elephants. We spend the night at Storms River. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, we offer Half Day Hiking Tours or Mountain Biking Cycle tours through the forests as an alternative to the Knysna Featherbed Tour option. Accommodation Options: The Fernery Lodge and Chalets (4-star) Tsitsikamma Lodge and Spa or a similar 3-star accommodation. Meals Included: Breakfast Included Activities: Knysna Featherbed Reserve experience Garden of Eden exploration

Today, we embark on an exploration of the renowned ‘Garden Route.’ Our first stop is Birds of Eden, a distinctive four-acre dome stretching across a gorge, constituting the world’s largest aviary. This extraordinary sanctuary houses more than 300 birds, encompassing over 220 diverse species. Following this, we proceed to Monkeyland, the world’s inaugural free-roaming primate sanctuary. Here, you can observe over 500 primates in their natural habitat, walking among them on a guided tour. The sanctuary boasts a 128-meter canopy walk, the longest in Africa. Continuing our journey, we head to the picturesque Tsitsikamma Coastal Park, making a stop at the Bloukrans Bridge to witness the world’s highest bungy jump, standing at an astounding 216 meters! Our exploration also includes a visit to the forest’s oldest inhabitant, the ancient Outeniqua Yellowwood Tree, estimated to be over 800 years old and predating Europe’s dark ages. Our route takes us to Addo, where we arrive late in the afternoon at our accommodation located just outside the Addo Elephant Park Reserve. Route: Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve-Addo Reserve Natures Valley Big Tree Bloukraans Bridge (Bungi Jump) Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve Storms River Mouth Optional Activities: Bungi Jump Tree Top Canopy Tour Elephant Sanctuary Canoe Ride Accommodation: Hopefield Country House or a similar 4-star lodging option, ensuring a comfortable and pleasant stay. Meals Included: Breakfast Included Activities: Birds of Eden, Monkeyland, Big Tree, Storms River Nature Reserve

We embark on a captivating journey to the renowned Addo Elephant Park, where guests are led on a guided tour through the park to witness its magnificent inhabitants. Following a delightful lunch, guests are transferred to Schotia Safaris, where they partake in the exhilarating Tooth and Claw Safari conducted in open vehicles. This afternoon and evening experience often becomes a highlight of your Addo visit, as it coincides with the time of day when animals are most active, especially the nocturnal hunters like lions. Schotia is also home to a variety of wildlife including white rhino, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, jackal, and crocodile. The safari is followed by a traditional meal served under the stars in a charming thatched open-air Lapa. As the evening concludes, guests are comfortably transported back to their accommodation. Meals Included: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Included Activity: Schotia Safari Accommodation: Hopefield Country House or a similar 4-star accommodation, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing stay.

This morning, we embark on an exhilarating game drive through the Addo Elephant Park, navigating the wilderness in an open Safari vehicle. Following this captivating wildlife experience, we journey back along the scenic Garden Route, with an option to drop you off at the Port Elizabeth Airport if you need to catch a connecting flight to Johannesburg. In the afternoon, we explore the mesmerizing National Park, where the enchanting indigenous forest meets the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. A highlight of the day is a walk to the suspension bridge at Storms River mouth, offering spectacular views of this natural wonder. Accommodation: Tsitsikamma Lodge and Spa Meals Included: Breakfast Included Activity: Storms River Nature Reserve

Following an early departure, we travel back along the picturesque Garden Route, reaching Cape Town in the afternoon. (Alternatively, there is an option to fly back to Cape Town.) Meals Included: Breakfast Included Activity: Bartholomew Diaz Museum

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is recommended to book optional activities in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your spot and ensure availability. This allows for a smoother and more organized experience during your tour.

Addo Elephant Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards, zebras, and various antelope species. Bird enthusiasts can also enjoy spotting numerous bird species within the park.

Yes, the Garden Route is family-friendly and offers a range of activities suitable for children, including wildlife encounters, scenic drives, and nature walks. Many accommodations and attractions cater to families, ensuring an enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

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