GARDEN ROUTE & EASTERN CAPE Day Tours

The forever landscape to the east of Cape Town, reaching all the way to the Wild Coast and deep inland, is an amazing treasury of all kinds of good things and places. Our exquisite Garden Route runs south from the friendly city of Port Elizabeth, to the quaintly artistic village of Knysna –few finer places from which to explore this green coastal belt of the Cape West Coast.

FEATHERBED TOUR


HALF DAY TOUR
Departs Daily at 09h15
Returns at ±14h00
The Featherbed Nature Reserve was extensively damaged during the recent fire disaster in Knysna. As such, the Featherbed Eco Tour will be amended to a lagoon cruise on board the John Benn accompanied by lunch. This will be a temporary arrangement until the Featherbed Nature Reserve has been repaired and re-opened to the public.
Lunch included.

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Knysna lagoon cruise
  • Lunch

PORT ELIZABETH CITY TOUR


HALF DAY TOUR
Departs Daily at 08h30
Returns at ±12h00
The history of Port Elizabeth is bound up with that of the arrival of the 1820 British Settlers, and the remnants of that pivotal time still lingers. We'll explore the many memorable sights of the City, and enjoy its superb examples of exquisite Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Travel along the beachfront, past the harbour and into the old town with a visit to Settler's Park and St George's Park, proud home of Eastern Province cricket. This informative city tour includes insight into the lives of the early Settlers. We will visit Ford Frederick, the newly restored Campanile, as well as Art Galleries, Memorials and Sports Fields.  One of the main attractions is the well-known Donkin memorial hosting the largest South African flag in the country. There you will have the opportunity to see the mosaic masterpiece of Route 67. Thereafter visit the Mohair Centre in Walmer, where you will enjoy some refreshments and afterwards you will have the opportunity to purchase some luxurious wares. 

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Port Elizabeth city exploration
  • Settler’s Park
  • St George’s Park
  • Newly restored Campanile
  • Mohair Centre

REAL CITY TOUR (TOWNSHIP TOUR)


SHORT TOUR
Departs Daily at 10h00
Returns at ±13h30
This is real life in South Africa!  Our expert guides explain the complex history surrounding Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, giving guests a unique opportunity to see the city through different eyes and meet the ordinary people ‘face to face’. This informative city tour includes insight into the lives of the early Settlers and explores the harsh legacies of ‘Apartheid’ that have shaped South African history.  At some level the country still remains surprisingly divided and this journey into the past, present and future aims to narrow that divide and clarify misconceptions.  Particular emphasis is on Port Elizabeth’s African history, examining its time of transformation and new development.  We explore the arrival of the first Settlers, the Donkin Reserve and their influence.  We focus on 7 of the oldest townships in Port Elizabeth, including New Brighton, Kwazakhele, and Zwide, the combined population of which is over 400 000 people.

Stop at Charles Duna Primary School, where guests enjoy a traditional roosterkoek/vetkoek and refreshments.  The schools forms part of the 10 Community Schools who benefit from the work of the Calabash Trust and volunteers.  They have a sports field, permaculture garden as well as a stocked library which is evidence of the Trust’s and volunteers’ hard work and donations.  Note:  the tour only stops here during school term and school hours.  On other days guests will visit a local Shebeen and enjoy a beverage.

The tour covers a distance of around 70 kilometres and exposes the diversity of people from all walks of life, not only those in the desperately poor areas, but also the middle class and elite suburbs within a thriving community – interspersed with monuments to remember the struggle, as well as colourful and high activity trading markets.  Experience people living together in a community with a beating heart – and displaying the real ‘spirit of South Africa’.

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Township orientation
  • Informal trading area
  • Township school
  • Local craft market

SHEBEEN TOUR


SHORT TOUR
Departs Daily on request at 16h00 from Port Elizabeth city accommodation
Returns at ±20h00
Experience the lifestyle, current and historical, of most South Africans. Spend time in a township, experience the diversity of the area, and learn about the origins and transformation of these enclaves. Walk through the informal settlement, and we assure you, you’ll be warmed by the hospitality. The tour has also factored in a visit to a small local craft centre where community artists display their wares. Share a drink with the local community in a tavern in New Brighton township, and listen first-hand to real stories of life here from those who live it daily. Enjoy an unforgettable dinner at this traditional local bar, known as a shebeen - it’s an opportunity to meet and mingle with those who were on the wrong side of apartheid, and to hear how life has changed dramatically for them. It’s a day you won’t forget.

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Township informal settlement walk
  • Local craft centre
  • Beverage in a tavern - New Brighton township
  • Dinner at a shebeen

OUDTSHOORN TOUR


HALF DAY TOUR
Departs Daily at 08h30
Returns at ±17h30
We begin our day with a spectacular drive over the Outenique Mountain Pass into the feather capital of the world, Oudtshoorn, where you’ll get up close and personal with ostriches on a Karoo ostrich farm.  You’ll have the opportunity to go right into the Cango Caves with its magnificent dripstone formations of stalactites and stalagmites.  We’ll visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch to marvel at crocodiles, snakes and numerous big and beautiful cats of the wild variety.  As we said, a day of wild contrasts in Oudtshoorn, but likely to produce a feather in your cap!

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Outenique Mountain Pass
  • Oudtshoorn
  • Karoo ostrich farm
  • Cango Caves
  • Cango Wildlife Ranch

ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK TOUR


HALF DAY TOUR
Departs Port Elizabeth at 08h00 on request
Returns at ±17h00
Addo Elephant National Park has, arguably, the best elephant viewing in South Africa, and with a full day at your disposal, you’ll have the leisure time for close encounters with these gentle giants. In addition, the Addo wildlife population includes rhino, antelope, buffalo and the king of the jungle, not to mention a bird list to excite the most blasé twitcher. From bee eaters to buffalo, this is a full day of what Africa does best. Wildlife, wonderfully.  Note: The tour includes the entrance fee, a refreshment and lunch.

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Close encounters with elephant
  • Game viewing

KNYSNA & PLETTENBERG BAY TOUR


FULL DAY TOUR
Departs Daily at 09h00
Returns at ±17h00
Come enjoy the glorious scenery from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay, and we’ll show you the stunning birds, bees and monkeys. We show you the famed cliff formations of the Knysna ‘Heads’, and we take you to the Garden of Eden, followed by a tour to the Birds of Eden, the largest free flight walk-through aviary in the world.  A  short hop away is Monkeyland, sanctuary and home to numerous monkey species from around the world. It’s fascinating. And rest assured, as we move from Knysna to Plett as it’s known locally, we’ll all be keeping our eyes peeled for schools of dolphins which frequent this coastline. It’s a wonderfully graceful sight, and a fitting cherry on the top of a delightful day.

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Knysna ‘Heads’
  • Garden of Eden
  • Birds of Eden
  • Monkeyland sanctuary

TSITSIKAMMA TOUR


FULL DAY TOUR
Departs Daily at 09h00
Returns at ±16h30
If you’re a lover of nature, or simply a lover of beauty, our Tsitsikamma full day tour offers some of the area’s most beautiful, scenic attractions on a platter for you.  We stroll through the famed Tsitsikamma Forest towards the legendary thousand-year-old Outenique yellowwood tree, before breathing in the sensational coastal views of the adjacent Tsitsikamma Coastal Nature Reserve.  What finer place to enjoy a tasty lunch than the nearby Storms River Mouth Restaurant.  For the young and the restless among us, we’ll all be there to cheer you on as you test your nerves at the world highest bungi jump – 216 metres.  We’ve planned a visit to Monkeyland, sanctuary and home to numerous rare species of monkeys from around the world.  Our day closes with a visit to one of South Africa’s most popular – and elite – holiday destinations, Plettenberg Bay.  With its sensational beaches and great cosmopolitan lifestyle, you’ll see why it’s such a sought-after destination!

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Tsitsikamma Forest
  • Thousand-year-old Outenique yellowwood tree
  • Tsitsikamma Coastal Nature Reserve
  • Lunch (own account)
  • Bungi jump (optional activity – own account)
  • Monkeyland sanctuary
  • Plettenberg Bay

DIVING WITH SEALS


SHORT TOUR
Departs Daily at 10h00, 12h00 and 14h00 from Central Beach, Plettenberg Bay
Swim with seals in Plettenberg Bay. We depart from central beach, where you step aboard ‘Robberg Express’ for an exciting beach launch. From there we make our way towards Robberg Nature Reserve, a Marine Protected Area, home to approximately 6000 Cape Fur Seals. Here you hop into the water, accompanied by a qualified dive master, to enjoy 30 minutes of amazing animal interaction among bundles of playful inquisitive fur seals. The ultimate wild animal encounter in their natural environment, without having to alter their behaviour.

Children over 6 years of age permitted
Activity requires adult guardian to accompany children

YOUR EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS: