Garden Route tours and Garden Route holidays - Oudtshoorn is the ostrich farming capital.

Grand South Africa - Accommodated Tour

FROM £2,295
International flights quoted separately
Travel through South Africa on this overland tour, staying in rest camps and chalets along the way. See the wildlife of Kruger National Park and travel through Swaziland, Zululand, Durban, Drakenberg Mountains, Lesotho & the beautiful Garden Route to Cape Town. Cheaper camping option also available. Group size 4 to 18. Activity package included.
Overland Tour South Africa Cape Town Durban Kruger Park Safari Johannesburg
Panorama Route
Kruger National Park
Drakensberg Mountains
Garden Route
Cape Town
Panorama Route
Kruger National Park
Drakensberg Mountains
Garden Route
Cape Town
Day 1
You will be met at Johannesburg Airport and transferred to your overland base in this thriving city.
Check in and relax under warm blue South African skies.
Day 2
This morning you will be collected from your Johannesburg hotel and taken to the departure point for your group adventure tour travelling in a rugged 4x4 overland truck.
We leave at 08.00 and travel 5-hours through the farmlands and mountains of beautiful Mpumalanga province to the world famous Kruger National Park.
Our truck gives us a height advantage over other vehicles, which means better photographs and game viewing opportunities in this vast 2-million hectare game sanctuary that is the size of Wales. Hopefully we will see antelope, zebra, wildebeest or maybe even giraffe before we reach our accommodation. Then check in and relax in the atmosphere that only the African bushveld can provide, with dinner and local dancing around the campfire.
Regardless of lodge meal plans, all your meals are included whilst on tour and will be prepared & served from the overland vehicle - except for specified optional dinners in cities. Alcohol is not included. Accommodation varies and includes lodges, hotels, hostels, chalets, permanent tented camps and traditional huts. Bedding is provided, but you do need to bring your own towel. Truck lockers are 30 x 80cm, so please use soft bags that will fit (but there is no weight restriction).
Average group size is 14 people (with minimum of 4 and maximum of 20). On accommodated tours the average age is 40+, with a range from 18 to 55 years although this does vary by tour. If over 65 years, you need a doctors letter that you are sufficiently fit for overland travel. Teens aged 16 to 18 years are on request and must travel with an adult.
Day 3
Today is devoted to game viewing in the Kruger National Park. Rise at dawn to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day, with a full day of thrilling wildlife viewing in an open-top 4x4 vehicle with a ranger.
This vast 2-million hectare game sanctuary is the size of Wales, offering magnificent game viewing opportunities and the highest concentration of lions in the whole of Africa. Hope to see several of the Big Five - Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino - as well as many other animals.
With nearly 150 different species of mammals and over 100 species of reptiles in the Kruger National Park, you can hope to see cheetah, zebra, giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, wild dogs and many other interesting animals. With over 500 different bird species including eagles, kingfishers, vultures and storks, outstanding bird watching is also guaranteed.
In the later afternoon there is another opportunity for an optional sundowner drive (pay locally). After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
Day 4
After an optional early morning walk, we travel the short distance to the Panorama Route.
Strung along the escarpment that divides the central plateau and low lying bushveld of the Kruger, the sights of the Panorama Route offer us a day of scenic delights.
We will visit the highlights of Bourke's Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God's Window before returning to camp in the late afternoon.
Day 5
We re-enter the Kruger National Park this morning for more game viewing from our overland truck, travelling southwards through the park.
We exit the park in the afternoon and travel for 5-hours, crossiing the border into the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland, a landlocked country bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. Here we visit a local market and enjoy the colourful Swazi culture and spectacular scenery, before continuing to our wildlife reserve.
Day 6
Enjoy a morning hiking amongst the game which roams the plains
(optional game drive, visit to the Chiefs traditional village or mountain biking - payable locally
We leave Swaziland and re-enter South Africa, travelling 5-hours to the small town of St Lucia, which forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetlands.
This area has been declared a World Heritage site because of its unique biodiversity and importance to marine conservation. With over 500 different bird species, it also offers outstanding bird watching.
In the afternoon enjoy a Zulu cultural experience, including energetic Zulu dancing and sampling the local beer. You will also be taught how to greet and count in the Zulu language, and learn about family traditions.
Day 7
This morning we drive to the famous Hluhluwe National Park that saved the rhino from extinction, for a game drive.
One of South Africa’s most beautiful game parks, Hluhluwe is home to all the Big 5 - Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino - as well as the subcontinent’s largest population of endangered rhino. Hope to see giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, cheetah and many other  interesting animals.
In the afternoon we return to St Lucia and enjoy a sunset cruise on the estuary, where you may see hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife.
Day 8
Today we leave St Lucia and drive 4-hours to the bustling city of Durban, South Africa’s largest port and a well-known surfing destination.
This afternoon is free to spend time on the beaches of the golden mile or make an optional visit to the world class aquarium at Ushaka Marine World (payable locally) followed by an optional dinner out, where you can sample authentic Indian cuisine - as Durban is home to the largest population of Indians outside Asia.
Day 9
We leave behind the beautiful beaches of Durban today and travel 5-hours inland to the spectacular uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains, recognised as a World Heritage site for its vast collection of San Bushmen rock art paintings.
Known locally as the Barrier of Spears the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains form the backbone of Southern Africa, running all the way down from the Great Rift Valley. Here you can explore the mountain paths and take in the breathtaking views offered in the Royal Natal National Park.
Day 10
We set out this morning for a days hiking to explore the beautiful mountains of the Drakensberg.  Along the way we have the opportunity to view examples of San rock art with a local guide.
(There are several options to cater for all levels of fitness)
Day 11
A full day on the road today enjoying dramatic views, as we travel 8-10 hours across the Drakensberg Mountains into the landlocked mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
En-route we visit a Vulture restaurant where we hope to view these fascinating birds and pass through the magnificent cliffs of the Golden Gate National park.
Lesotho is the home of the Basuto people and one of the highest countries in the world, at over 1,000 m above sea level.
Day 12
This morning, enjoy walking and hiking in the magnificent mountains of Lesotho with a visit to a village to gain insight into the local community.
There is also the option of Pony Trekking into the remote hills, accompanied by local guides. (Own account)
Day 13
Today we descend the mountains of Lesotho.and drive across the semi arid Great Karoo in the heartland of rural South Africa, which is in stark contrast to the mountains we have left behind.
We cross the mighty Orange River as we journey through this vast countryside before arriving in the small Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet.
This evening there is an optional sundowner excursion to the Valley of Desolation, offering a panoramic view over the town and the wide open plains stretching below.
Day 14
This morning enjoy a walking tour of historic Graaff-Reinet, the 'Gem of the Karoo' and the fourth oldest town in South Africa.
Afterwards we set off across the open plains of the Great Karoo to Addo Elephant Park.
Day 15
Famed for its elephants, Addo Elephant Park is the third largest of South Africa's national parks.
Here you can view these magnificent animals which once roamed free in this area and were saved from extinction by this national park, which has also preserved the rare Cape buffalo and the flying dung beetle. Addo is home to all the Big Five - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino - as well as many other interesting species.
In the morning our guide will lead us on a bush walk with the opportunity to see little things so often missed from a vehicle.  This afternoon we return in our vehicle for another exploration of the park.
In the early evening there is an optional night drive(payable locally).
Day 16
This morning we game drive through Addo before heading west to the Tsitsikamma Forest.
En-route we make a brief visit to jeffreys Bay, most famous for it's waves, this little town is also home to a small surfing museum.
Meaning "place of abundant water", Tsitsikamma is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets with exceptional hiking trails through indigenous forests and superb coastal scenery. On arrival relax and explore the scenic beauty of the forest.
Day 17
This morning we set off to explore on foot, the rugged coastline of this marine reserve.  We follow the Waterfall Trail, a spectacular winding path that follows the rocky coastline, which is the first section of the world renowned Otter Trail Hike.
This is not an easy hike so those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River mouth
Many optional adventure activities are available in Tsitsikamma - the adventure capital of South Africa - including black water tubing down the Storms River, an exciting zip wire tree-top canopy tour.
Day 18
Today we travel 1-hour from Tsitsikamma Forest to beautiful Plettenberg Bay.
In the afternoon you can participate in optional activities such as a visit to Monkeyland & Birds of Eden, and enjoy an optional dinner out in Knysna.
Day 19
This morning is free to to explore or join one of the optional activities on offer in the resort town of Plettenberg Bay.  
In the afternoon,we travel 2-hours along the beautiful Garden Route and through the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains to Oudtshoorn.
On arrival in Oudtshoorn we visit the world-renowned Cango Caves – a vast series of underground halls and caverns formed over 20 million years ago in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. The caves, which extend for over 3 miles, contain spectacular stalagmites and stalactites and offer relatively easy access.
Day 20
This morning we visit an Ostrich Farm to view these huge flightless birds in their natural surroundings.
We then enjoy a scenic 5-hour drive along spectacular Route 62 to Paarl, stopping along the way at a farm stall.  These small farm stalls offer a selection of homemade treats and bakes and are an important cog in the economies of rural towns.  One of the more quirky highlights today is a stop at Ronnie's Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all but a rather interesting country pub.
Our day ends with an optional dinner out.
Day 21
This morning we visit a Stellenbosch wine estate to taste some of South Africa’s finest wines.
We continue 1-hour to Cape Town, where on a clear day you can enjoy magnificent views of Table Mountain. Your tour ends with drop off at your hotel.
Day 22
Today is free for independent sightseeing in Cape Town.
We recommend you purchase a day pass onboard the convenient Hop-Off Bus, which stops at all Cape Town’s key sights and beaches. The "Red Route" bus stops at the Table Mountain base station, where you can buy a ticket to ascend by cable car and enjoy one of the world’s most famous views. Continue to Camps Bay beach and the many attractions of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Day 23
Today we recommend an optional full day tour to the beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, where you may see baboons, ostrich and perhaps even dolphins or whales in season (July/November).
Your tour travels through Hout Bay and along spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive to the Cape Point peninsula, returning via Simons Town, Fish Hoek, Constantia and Kirstenbosch Gardens. This is a scenic tour of the whole Cape Peninsula, with the optional opportunity of visiting the penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
Day 24
At leisure to relax and explore the "Mother City" of Cape Town.
Many optional activities are available in this beautiful city. You can visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned (advance booking essential in season) and explore the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
You can visit world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens or simply relax on golden Camps Bay beach – the choice is yours.
Day 25
Transfer to Cape Town Airport for your flight home.
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