Contiki | Sea, Safari, South Africa | 2024

The Garden Route and its varied beauty. Hippo-spotting on one of Africa’s largest lakes.

Camping under the stars at Kruger National Park as hyenas call in the distance. There’s South Africa… and then there’s SOUTH AFRICA. On this jaw-droppingly awesome adventure, you’ll meet the locals, discover the history and sample the Cape’s finest wines in 14 days – with beach life, city life and safari life all high on the agenda.

Tour Operator: Contiki
  • Pricing

      • Start Date
      • End Date
      • Price
      • 8 Jul 24
      • 21 Jul 24
      • $3,707
      • 5 Aug 24
      • 18 Aug 24
      • $4,289
      • 19 Aug 24
      • 1 Sep 24
      • $3,707
      • 2 Sep 24
      • 15 Sep 24
      • $4,095
      • 16 Sep 24
      • 29 Sep 24
      • $3,707
      • 30 Sep 24
      • 13 Oct 24
      • $4,289
      • 14 Oct 24
      • 27 Oct 24
      • $3,707
      • 28 Oct 24
      • 10 Nov 24
      • $3,707
      • 25 Nov 24
      • 8 Dec 24
      • $3,707
      • 9 Dec 24
      • 22 Dec 24
      • $3,707
      • 23 Dec 24
      • 5 Jan 25
      • $3,707
    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply.Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 - Cape Town to Oudtshoorn via Cango Caves

    Hello Africa… and hello Cape Town. Ready to get going? It’s off to the Karoo desert via the famous ‘Route 62’. Today's scenic drive goes through mountain passes, vineyards and epic desert scenery along the way.An included guided tour of Africa's LARGEST show cave system. The Cango Caves are replete with cavernous halls, limestone formations, cave paintings and artefacts (which indicate they were in use throughout the Middle Ages)! How's that for a pitstop?Welcome to the Klein Karoo! This evening we'll check into Oudtshoorn with our first adventure on offer. You can choose to take a scenic bike ride or drive down the UNESCO Swartberg Mountain Pass. And finish off with a Karoo braai dinner on a local farm with produce straight from the farm around you


    Day 2 - Oudtshoorn to Gqeberha via Addo Elephant National Park

    Good morning! Let's continue heading East towards one of South Africa's most loved National Parks: Addo Elephant. (Anyone guess which animal this place is famous for?) That’s right, it’s elephant time. After lunch, we’ll set out in search of Africa's largest land mammal here at the Addo National Park, home to over 600 of these tusk-tastic creatures. (Keep your eyes peeled for lions, buffalo, and antelope too though!) We'll retreat here for the night but fear not, more safari adventures await in the morning. Stuck for something to do this evening? Let us introduce you to the karaoke bar just around the corner. (Cue your fave Lion King jams.)


    Day 3 - Gqeberha and Private Game Reserves

    Ready for the second chance at wildlife spotting? We thought so. Today is all about wildlife, both on land and in the ocean. We’ll start with a morning tour of the SANCCOB Penguin Rehabilitation Centre, who give sick and injured penguins the care they deserve and help them to return to the wild. Later this morning, we’ll set out on the first of today’s two private game drives. The Eastern Cape’s game reserves are some of South Africa’s best spots for seeing the Big 5, home to valleys, plains, rivers and much more. So today, we have two optional game drives in two different Private Game Reserves. (IKR?) Yes, yes that is three game drives in 36 hours giving you the best chance of spotting the Big 5. Lucky you, right? Tonight we’ll head back to the city where a free evening awaits. Karaoke round two? We won’t stop ya.


    Day 4 - Gqeberha to Knysna via Jeffreys Bay and Tsitsikamma National Park

    Beach time. Desert? Tick. Caves? Tick. Safari? Tick. Now it’s time to make our way along the famous Garden Route to our next destination, Knysna – with a few sensational stop-offs on the way. Known as one of the best surf spots in the world, it’d be wrong not to start our day with some chill time on J-Bay… which is exactly what we’ll do. Welcome to our next pitstop, known for the infinitely Instagramable Storms River Bridge – which we’ll take a picturesque hike to so you can get all the legendary snaps you need. After that, you’ll have the chance to up the adrenaline, with a spot of kayaking up the mouth of Storms River. And then we pull into the beautiful coastal town of Knysna, ready to explore all the sights and activities the Garden Route is known for. (We've got two nights here too!)


    Day 5 - Knysna and Plettenberg Bay

    Rise and shine, team. Today starts with an included breakfast, overlooking the Knysna lagoon, and then we’re off again once more. It’s ocean time… Join our optional marine safari and set out in search of whales, dolphins, seals and more spectacular sea life. Afterwards, we’ll spend the rest of the day relaxing on Plettenberg's main beach, catching those rays and helping ourselves to some splendid seafood. This evening, we’ll embark on a Township visit here in Knysna, where you’ll meet the locals and have the chance to make a positive impact for the children who live here. Afterwards, we'll tuck into a group dinner on the Knysna lagoon, followed by a night on the town.


    Day 6 - Knysna to Cape Town via Hermanus

    Make sure you call dibs on a window seat. As we drive back to Cape Town, you’ll watch the magnificence of the Garden Route unfold as we pass coastal towns, forests, gorges and some jaw-dropping ocean views. Marine mania… We’ll have lunch and some free time here in the coastal town of Hermanus, which is one of the world’s best areas for spotting whales – between July and November at least – so have your binoculars at the ready.  And here we are, back in the city where it all began. Tonight, you can opt for a MasterChef-style cooking class and enjoy the food, music and drinks.


    Day 7 - Cape Town to Johannesburg via Stellenbosch

    Fine wine, all in good time. Today we’ll add a touch of class to proceedings with a trip to Stellenbosch – the Cape’s famous wine region. After some free time to explore (and shop till you drop) we’ll set out to discover Stellenbosh’s awesome wine farms, sampling the very finest of the Cape’s fine wines. With spectacular views, and a traditional South African braai for lunch, this really is one tasty excursion indeed.  We'll then make our way to Cape Town and board our flight to the next destination - the biggest city in South Africa! Touching down, we’ll head straight to our hotel for the evening. The second half of our South African adventure awaits us in the morning...


    Day 8 - Johannesburg to Durban

    A day of history. Here in the City of Gold, we’ll take a drive through the heart of South Africa to the coastal city of Durban. Along the way, we’ll stop off for a sobering exploration of the nation’s troubled history, with a visit to the site of Nelson Mandela’s capture during the apartheid era. We’ll then take a trip to the museum – yes, you’ll confront the history, but you’ll leave feeling hopeful as you learn how apartheid was finally brought to an end. Tonight’s accom is conveniently located next to plenty of shops and restaurants… So you can go right ahead and treat yourself.


    Day 9 - Durban to St Lucia

    You have a free morning here at one of the finest coastal spots in South Africa. Sleep in, take a walk and shop the strip or head down to the beach to simply sit back and soak up those rays like the sun junkie you are. Afterwards, we’ll make our way to St Lucia. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife by day and hippos by night here in St Lucia (we’re right by the UNESCO World Heritage listed iSimanagaliso Wetlands Park after all). On a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience this afternoon, we’ll visit a local Zulu village, learning all about the Zulu people and their traditions with a chance to meet some of the locals.


    Day 10 - St Lucia

    Beach or bush? Why decide when you can do both? This morning we’ll head out to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, so watch out for elephants, buffalo, rhinos, antelope… plus whales (coz we’re right on the coast, baby). We’ll stop off at Cape Vidal for some snorkelling and all-round beach vibes (weather permitting, obvs). You’ll then have some free time to explore St Lucia or kick back at the hotel. This evening, we’ll embark on a Sunset Hippo Boat cruise on Lake St Lucia (Africa’s largest estuary – home to over 800 hippos and 1200 crocodiles). Afterwards, we’ll round things off with a traditional South African braai dinner. Yup, this day’s as action-packed as it is awesome.


    Day 11 - St Lucia to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary via Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve

    It's an early start today – we’re heading inland to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and we aim to be there by sunrise. The Big Five. A half-day game drive at the reserve instrumental for bringing the White Rhino back from the brink of extinction. Even a picnic lunch. Today’s excursion is a biggie indeed. With our wildlife bucket lists sufficiently checked, it’s time to set off for a brand new country. Passports at the ready folks – here in Eswatini, we’ll meet some of the locals and learn about their culture and language on a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. You've learnt from locals. Now its time to sleep like them too. Tonight you will stay at Mlilwane's Main Lodge - unique beehive thatched huts with ensuite bathrooms (and hotel room amenities for a bit of comfort).


    Day 12 - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary to Kruger National Park

    Ah, to wake up in nature. We'll kick off the day with a hearty breakfast and then join the Trip Manager for a morning safari walk. Don't forget to sign up for a guided Mountain bike ride through the wilderness. There is no Big 5 here so feel free and safe to explore as you choose. Keep an eye out to spot some antelopes and warthogs! Next up, it’s the big one. The world famous one. Here in Kruger, we’ll stay at an exclusive safari campsite – located right in the middle of the park. (Struggling to picture it? Think glamping canvas tents with mattresses, linen and stretchers, a roaring bonfire burning all the while.) This is a true Once in a Lifetime experience, where you’ll fall asleep to the nocturnal calls of hyenas, jackals and lions.


    Day 13 - Kruger National Park

    Today we're up bright and early for our first taste of the fresh morning air. We'll start with a sunrise safari – just in time to catch Africa’s elusive predators finishing off their nocturnal hunt. At midday, you’ll have the chance to relax back at the camp: you can visit the local shop, take a dip in the pool or visit the nearby restaurant where you can look out over the Sabie River and watch as the animals come to quench their thirst (yup, it's preddy special.) This afternoon, it’s back to the safari vehicles for a sunset game drive and another chance to see the Big Five and more. Tonight back at camp, we’ll tuck into a traditional South African braai or BBQ, complete with local sides and desserts.


    Day 14 - Kruger National Park to Johannesburg

    Our final day. But is there time for one (or two) last morning game drive? You bet there is. You can choose to head out for a sunrise game drive to spot the nocturnal cats (or just choose to sleep in, like the rest of the animals). Then, we'll head out on our last game drive in Kruger as we make our way out of the park. It's our last chance to spot some spellbinding safari animals IRL. Have we saved the best for last? Let's hope so! And now, with heavy hearts (and even heavier camera rolls) we’ll make our way back to either the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport (Vic Falls anyone?) or Johannesburg International Airport. It’s been a thrill… we’ve seen wildlife, we’ve made friends for life. The only question is: where next?


*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Food fund and airfares may be additional. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
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