You are welcomed at the airport and transported to the 5-star Saltycrax Backpackers in Blouberg. The hostel is within walking distance from all bars, restaurants, the beach, shops and transport terminals. Blouberg is famous for kitesurfing, water sports and its amazing views of Table Mountain. For the rest of your day you can go down to the famous Kite Beach to capture some great views of Table Mountain, sip a cocktail, get lunch or take a stroll on the beach. At night a traditional South African meal is prepared for you. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with new people from around the world. You will spend the night at Saltycrax.
After helping yourself to breakfast, your friendly Saltycrax Staff member will give you a brief lesson on using Cape Town’s public transport and will accompany you by bus to the Cape Town city center. They will provide you with a bus card and enough credit for your whole journey. Once you get to the city centre, you have two options to choose from:
Do a walking tour visiting historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Learn about life under apartheid in South Africa at the Parliament Buildings and the District Six Museum. Shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall.
Hop On Hop Off Bus Bass
Board this topless bus that takes you to all the sites you need to see, such as Camps Bay, the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain… all from the comfort of your seat!
After one of the above activities you can take a bus or walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Sit back and sip a cocktail, enjoy some fresh fish and watch the ships in the busy working harbour or walk around taking in the shops, markets and musicians on the sidewalks. Alternatively you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, or visit the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison during the apartheid era (at own expense).
In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View where you can join the staff, other guests and the locals at one of the restaurants or bars along the beachfront in Table View - all within rolling distance from the hostel where you will be staying the night.
Today you will embark on your roadtrip of the Western Cape. Cape Town fades into the distance as you crest the hill toward the Atlantic seaboard. You’ll pass some pretty iconic white sandy beaches, with the likes of Camps Bay and Clifton flowing by as you head onwards toward Chapman’s Peak. 114 perfect curves await you along this scenic route, famed for its panoramic vistas. The morning drive sets the standard for the day, so keep your eyes peeled for the Cape Mountain zebra, ostriches, the elusive eland and sugarbirds. Once you’ve had your fix of the great outdoors, you’ll head to the delightful Kalk Bay, filled with local talent, vintage bric-a-brac and pristine views. In the blink of an eye - on the road to Stellenbosch - the backdrop flattens and turns the tell-tale green of wine country, rich with fine wines, farm stalls and homemade goodies. Stellenbosch, with its distinctive Cape Dutch architecture and rich history, delivers ‘quaint’ in spades and is the perfect spot for an historic journey. Saunter through the historic oak-lined streets, making stops along the way to taste local flavours such as "droëwors" and rusks, and learn about the charming history of over 300 years. Settle in for the night in this vibrant town, free to spend your evening at leisure.
After breakfast, a community leader will guide you on a walk through the vibrant Kayamandi Township where you will mingle with the locals and learn about the "The Struggle" and Xhosa culture. This is followed by a wine and cheese and port and chocolate tastings at various wine estates in the area. Lunch will be taken in the gorgeous French-style village of Franschhoek where top-class restaurants and quaint shops abound. From the rolling fields and unending vineyards of the Winelands, you'll head to the southernmost point of Africa and the very spot where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans collide. Watch the sky burst into colour as the sun kisses the sea and spend a relaxing night at the tip of Africa - Cape Agulhas.
Wake up to the sound of the ocean in Cape Agulhas and take a moment to breathe in the fresh sea air. You’ll then start the short journey to the coastal haven of Hermanus where winding ocean cliff paths await and are sure to enthral. Meander along coastal paths lined with indigenous fynbos, lulled by the crashing sounds of ocean waves against the adjacent rocky shoreline. Nature lovers will be thrilled by the rich birdlife and the chance to see local marine life frolicking about. Hermanus is also one of the best land-based whale watching locations the world, so you can look forward to trying to spot a few southern right whales during whale season from June to November. The hike will take around an hour, after which you’ll have a choice of how to spend the rest of your morning. You could hop on an optional whale cruise in search of some cavorting whales (during whale season), or choose to stretch those sea legs with an optional guided sea kayaking experience. The thriving African penguin colony at Betty’s Bay adds the final nature wow, then it is back to Cape Town via the picturesque coastal route, Clarence Drive. Flap a wave goodbye as you head on along one of South Africa’s most scenic coastal routes - Clarence Drive - to reach Cape Town by late afternoon.
Today you’ll wind your way through mountain passes where lazy baboons line the roadside; through fertile micro-climates with rows and rows of grapevines and rolling farmlands. A morning rest stop in Riviersonderend allows those with change in their pockets to indulge in some South African treats. The abundance of aloe lining the roadside heralds your arrival in Albertinia and provides plenty of Instagram opportunities with bigger-than-big succulents. By stark contrast the oasis-like towns of Wilderness and George are surrounded by lush national parks and an afternoon canoe paddle provides the perfect setting to bird watch and enjoy the clean wild air. For those that savour a great night’s sleep, tonight’s end destination - the coastal towns of Sedgefield or Knysna promises just that.
Pristine wild and adventure go hand in hand on this adrenaline-packed day. The morning is spent admiring the views from the imposing Knysna Heads -where the sea crashes into two massive sandstone cliffs.Admire the ocean and river views atop Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest commercial bridge bungy jump, or ziplining over a gushing river gorge in the Tsitsikamma forest (optional extras). As you head to the coastal belt, paradise-like towns such as Plettenberg Bay show why it and the Tsitsikamma National Park are favourites with holidaying locals. The short but steep walk to Tsitsikamma’s suspension bridge is worth it for the views alone and you’ll likely get a thrill as fellow explorers test its swing factor. The large white caps (or seahorses as the locals call the wave crests) of Jeffreys Bay mark your departure from the official Garden Route and your arrival into South Africa’s quintessential ‘Surf City’ where you will spend the night.
A pre-dawn wake-up call might seem hard to take at first, but trust me, it’s worth getting an early start for your Addo game drive to see even more wildlife as the bush awakes. Your guide will use their experience to pinpoint the whereabouts of the park’s big game animals while deftly navigating the maze of dusty dirt roads in search of most of the Big Five. The early morning start means free time in the afternoon and J’Bay’s surf village - with its discount outlets - is perfect for shopaholics. But, if you’ve always fancied learning to surf, then this town or the sand slopes beyond it are the places to put your goofy foot forward and go for it, or try sand boarding or horse riding along the sandy shores of a secluded beach near Jeffreys bay (optional extras).
South Africa delivers on its contrasts with landscape and lifestyle as you leave the Indian Ocean shoreline behind and wind your way through the Langkloof Mountains to the arid lands of the Klein Karoo. Here, the ostrich reigns supreme. Bird-filled paddocks line the highway with colourful feather stalls and show farms around every corner as you head into Oudtshoorn. A visit to the Cango Ostrich Show Farm gives you a glimpse into the farming industry, allowing you to observe the world’s biggest bird beak-to-beak. Now it's time to delve deep underground into the magical Cango Caves' limestone chambers, alive with drip formation stalactites and stalagmites and remnants of Khoikhoi paintings. Opt either for the easy-going Heritage Tour or, by contrast, the Adventure Tour. Subject to availability, return to the wild for a 4x4 game drive with a knowledgeable game ranger at Buffelsdrift Private Game Reserve for a possible sighting of resident rhino and giraffe (optional extra). Oudtshoorn hospitality is second-to-none and here's where we spend the night.
It's time to head back to Cape Town along the famous Route 62, modelled after America’s Route 66, but with a distinctly local flavour. Along this famous country road, you'll capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, rugged Karoo plains, vineyards and orchards. You'll be spoilt for choice. From the give way road signs warning that nimble-footed antelope might leap in front of your car at any moment to the entrepreneurship shown by local store owners in tiny towns like Barrydale, there is always something to charm travellers into stopping. To all the vino lovers, don’t despair; Route 62 is reputed to be the longest wine route in the world and meanders through fertile wine-growing areas like Worcester and Robertson. Oenophiles will be in their element with a wine pit stop to sample Port-style wines en route. Arrive back in Cape Town and return to the place the journey began, Saltycrax Backpackers, where you can enjoy a last dinner and share your memories with us, before departing this breathtakingly beautiful country we call home the next morning.
Enjoy a last breakfast before checking out and heading on to your next adventure.
Welcome & farewell dinner
10 nights accommodation
MyCiTi bus pass
Guided walking Tour or Hop On Hop Off bus tour
All transfers by road
Cape of Good Hope entry fee
Stellenbosch historic walk
Guided township tour
Wine & cheese tasting
Canoeing in Wilderness National Park
Entrance to Tsitsikamma National Park
Addo Elephant National Park game drive in tour van
Ostrich farm tour
Cango Caves tour