Kruger & the Garden Route Map
Day 1 Cape Town
Arrival transfer included. Welcome meeting in the evening.
If you arrive a few days earlier in Cape Town enjoy this vibrant city with optional activities such as a visit to the Castle of Good Hope, the Aquarium at the V & A Waterfront, Table Mountain and Robben Island. The more adventurous should go for cage diving and have a close encounter with great white sharks.
Cape Town's name originated from the term Cape of Good Hope when Bartholomew Diaz and other seafarers looked forward to the sight of Table Mountain, like an inn that promised hospitality and prosperity. The city is steeped in a rich history and is a cultural melting pot with its diverse and vibrant character being derived from Khoxisan and other African tribes from the north, and Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers. Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa, with over 3 million inhabitants, and is the provincial capital of the Western Cape. It is also the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located.
For shopping, dining and entertainment the V&A Waterfront is a hotspot for foreigners and locals alike. Still a working harbor, the Waterfront is an example of creative architecture and restoration and has become South Africa's most visited tourist attraction. The Waterfront offers over 250 shops from designer boutiques to craft stalls, a host of restaurants and coffee shops.
If you still have time, visit Red-Hill pre-school, one of our Planeterra project. Planeterra - the G Adventures Foundation is our non-profit organization that was developed to give back to the people and places we visit on our tours. Planeterra supports local community projects, non-profit organizations and international charities that focus on the areas of health, education, community development, environmental conservation and employment skills training.
Day 2 Hermanus (B)
Approximate distance: 150km
Estimate Travel Time: 2 hrs
Enjoy shore-based whale-watching during Jun-Oct, go on an optional boat cruise, or a hike or just linger in this picturesque coastal town.
Our next stop is the picturesque coastal town Hermanus, world famous for its whales. Hermanus, also described as the Riviera of the South, offers the best shore-based whale watching in the world. Nature lovers from all over the world visit Hermanus to view these magnificent creatures from the cliffs.
Look out for whales on the cliff paths or on an optional boat cruise, swim in the Indian Ocean, go canoeing, diving, surfing or those who need the adrenalin rush there are the thrills of hang gliding and powerboat racing.
Day 3 Oudtshoorn (B,D)
Approximate distance: 500 km
Estimated travel time: 5-6 hrs
We take a scenic drive to travel via the wine route 62 into the area known as Klein Karoo (“Little Karoo”), where we make the quiet town of Oudtshoorn our base. Tonight you will enjoy a traditional south african meal.
Visit an Ostrich farm upon arrival and visit the Cango Caves the next morning before we continue traveling to Plettenberg.
Oudtshoorn is notably the ostrich capital of the world. Here ostriches are found in great numbers and the region produces the world’s best feathers, leather products and meat. Amidst the 400 ostrich farms surrounding the town, three have distinguished themselves worthy enough to be named show farms.
The Cango Caves are sculptured by nature through the ages, and is filled with mysterious and breathtaking limestone formations in a wide variety of natural colours. They lie in the Swartberg Mountain Range in a limestone belt measuring 1.5km in width and almost 16km in length. This part of the continent was once below the ocean. As the continent rose, the Little Karoo found itself above the water level. The caves started to form some 20 million years ago, when the water level dropped to such an extent that the ground water could start to seep into the limestone. As the water seeped into the ground it absorbed carbon dioxide from the decaying plant and animal matter in the soil and this made it fairly acidic. As it seeped into the limestone, cavities were created that filled with water. Rivers also formed on the surface and cut deeply enough into the limestone to allow them to reach the level of the water pockets. This caused the water to flow out about 4 million years ago. The cave was then, for the first time, exposed to air and the speleothems (cave formations) began to form. The portion of the caves that are accessible to the public extends for 1.2km, with a further 4.1km being kept closed for conservation.
Days 4-6 Plettenberg Bay (3B,1D)
Approximate Distance: 250 km
Estimate Travel Time: 2 1/2 Hours
Enjoy this popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa on our way to Plettenberg Bay, our next stop. The Garden Route stretches from the Tsisikamma National Park to Mossel Bay. Just linger in this picturesque coastal town of Plettenberg Bay, go on an optional boat cruise or hike, or simply hang out and relax on the beach. For the more adventurous, optional activities include abseiling, sea kayaking, mountain biking, bungee jumping, you will definitely find something to keep the adrenaline pumping.
Originally christened “Bahaia Formosa” (Beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, the beautiful sweeping golden beaches characterize Plettenberg Bay, set on a rocky peninsula, with intriguing lagoons and towering forests nearby.
Day 5 we will visit the Tsizikamma National Park where you have the opportunity to go on self guided hikes.
Day 7 Johannesburg (B,D)
Plettenberg Bay to Port Elizabeth 237km’s (3-4 hours drive)
Flight Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg: approx 2hrs.
Take in more beauty of the world famous Garden Route. Flight from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg. Airport transfer from Johannesburg airport to Johannesburg Hotel. Attend a pre-departure meeting for the second portion of your trip tonight.
Please note: As this is a combination trip (Garden Route and Kruger portion), some of your tour members may depart in Port Elizabeth and you may be joined by some new travelling companions on Day 7. As such, the CEO's and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments.
Day 8-9 Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (2B,1L,2D)
Estimate Driving Times: 7 hrs (including lunch)
Please note that today is a transfer shuttle bus service only and not a tour or safari and will also transfer other passengers than G Adventures bookings. Your CEO will say good-bye to you and will help you check in for the shuttle transfer. Your CEO will pick you up again on Day 10. There is no CEO needed for the next 2 days as you will be taken care of the game ranger and lodge manager.
The driver will stop en-route for a leisure break and lunch (at own expense). We will use a Toyota Quantum (14 seats) with trailer. The transfer shuttle service will drop you of just outside the Timbavati Gate where you are met by a representative of the lodge.
For the next two days enjoy morning and evening game drives in our open safari vehicle in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, adjoining the Kruger National Park, searching for elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo - Africa's famed Big 5. Nocturnal animals, including the big cats are regular sightings at night. Keep an eye out for white lions which the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is known for, as it is one of very few places in the world which hosts those species.
This is how your next two days will be:
Early morning wake up call (around 5am), coffee/tea & rusks on the deck before the morning open vehicle game drive (approx 3 hours) starts. Return to the Lodge for brunch followed by some leisure time. Enjoy the pool or the lodge’s wooden deck overlooking the river, read a book or take an afternoon nap. Around 14:30pm enjoy High Tea (light lunch and cakes) before you hop on your late afternoon/ evening open safari vehicle game drive.
Return, freshen up and meet for pre-dinner drinks and enjoy dinner.
In 1993 the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Timbavati Reserve were removed to encourage natural species migration. Today the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (TPNR) comprises 53,392 hectares of private land adjoining the Kruger National Park (KNP). Currently, there are over 40 mammal species in the Timbavati including the Big Five as well as 360 species of bird life.
While relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking views from the lodge’s wooden deck overlooking the river, we listen to the sounds of Africa and search for shooting stars piercing through the night sky before we overnight in our luxury accommodation at the Simbavati River Lodge, meaning ‘lions that come down from the stars’.
Day 10 Kruger National Park (B,L,D)
Approximate Distance: 220 km
Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (including lunch stop and game viewing in own vehicle)
Hop on your last early morning game drive in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Enjoy more game driving inside Kruger National Park in our own vehicle. Search for more lion, elephant, rhino and many other animals in one of Africa’s most well-known wildlife areas on our transfer through Kruger National Park in our own vehicle, making our way south towards our camp Nkambeni. Enjoy an optional late afternoon game drive in an open vehicle where you will have a chance to search out some more incredible wildlife.
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivaled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 types of trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man's interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries - from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela - is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park's natural assets.
Day 11 Graskop (B)
Explore world famous sites like Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and God's Window along the Panorama Route.
Look out the window to view a wonderful landscape complete with mountains, panoramic passes, valleys and waterfalls. Enroute, we visit Dullstroom, one of the foremost fly fishing areas in South Africa, the Mac Mac Falls and Pilgrims Rest. Pilgrim's Rest is situated on the magnificent Panorama Route on the eastern Escarpment region of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The area is richly imbued with a diversity of natural, cultural and historic gems. The uniqueness of this historic village is vividly evident in its museums and historic sites. It offers the visitor a fascinating window into the past and captures the spirit of a bygone era and its people in their quest for gold.
The entire town of Pilgrim's Rest was declared a National Monument in 1986 as a living memory of the early gold rush days in South Africa during the late 1800s / early 1900s.
En route we stop by to view the 65 m high Mac Mac Falls in the Mac Mac River which is a declared as a National Monument. This waterfall was originally a single stream, but gold miners blasted it with dynamite to divert the river in an attempt to work the rich gold-bearing reef over which it plunges.
Day 12 Johannesburg (B)
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hours
Approximate Distance: 425km
After an early breakfast we return to Johannesburg. Along the way we stop for lunch (at own expense). Tour ends in Johannesburg in the late afternoon.
*If you are departing Johannesburg today we highly recommend that you do not book your departing flight until 8pm or later.
Johannesburg, also known as eGoli, is the most populous city in South Africa. The city is affectionately known as "Jo'burg", "Jozi" and "JHB" by South Africans.
Johannesburg is the site of a large-scale gold and diamond trade due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills. Johannesburg is also served by Johannesburg International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Africa and a gateway for international air travel to and from the rest of southern Africa.