Some fine walks amongst superb scenery!
Explore the finest coastal trails, forests and gorges in South Africa
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 46850
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
From shifting sand dunes to woodlands and coastline, South Africa’s Garden Route offers a wild beauty best explored on foot. Whales can often be spotted from the rugged shoreline of Hermanus. Keep an eye out to sea just in case one breaches.
We begin in Addo National Park, and spot some of the world’s most thrilling animals from the parks open safari vehicles. We walk amongst lush scenery in Tsitsikamma National Park, before the rocky coastline of Plettenberg Bay. From the cool sea breeze to the warm, earthy-red trails of De Rust and Oudtshoorn, with a visit to the Cango Caves. Oudtshoorn is the self styled ostrich farming capital of the world. We amble amongst rolling hills and vineyards on the Wine Trail in Stellenbosch, and finally in Cape Town, we explore the city both from below and above (Table Mountain), with a visit to Boulders Beach and Cape Peninsula.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We depart the UK for our overnight flight to Port Elizabeth via Johannesburg with British Airways.
On arrival in Port Elizabeth, we transfer (55 mile,s 1.5hrs) directly to our accommodation at the Zuurberg Mountain village. The rest of the day is free for you to relax after the overnight flight. Or, along with your Ramblers Walking Holidays leader we can take a walk, on a well-marked trail, directly from the lodge, this will take around two hours.
After breakfast we embark on a full day game drive in Addo Elephant National Park. We will do so in an open game drive vehicle. The park was initially set up to protect the few remaining elephants in the area which it did with great success as the populations grew considerably over the years. Today it is Africa’s third largest National Park and, as well as elephants, is home to lions, black rhino, meerkats and the ubiquitous dung beetle. Part way through the drive we will find a nice and safe stop for a picnic lunch.
We have an early start to the day and head out before breakfast for a two hour game walk in Addo Elephant National Park, we will be in the best of hands with a local safari guide. After we return to the lodge for breakfast and check out, before travelling (155 miles, 4 hours) to Tsitsikamma National Park.
Stretching out along the coast, Tsitsikamma National Park gets its name from a local word meaning ‘place of abundant water.’ The park is made up of rocky coastlines, fairy-tale forests, waterfalls and rivers and is a great place for bird enthusiasts with a variety of sea, forest and fynbos (scrubland) species present. On arrival and after we have checked in to our accommodation, we will begin the first of our short walks here at the Storms River Mouth trail, which takes us, as the name implies, to the mouth of the Storms River where there are suspension bridges. This 1.2 mile trail is relatively leisurely, taking us along boardwalks a good part of the way. You can expect some beautiful views along the way.
We have another early start and breakfast. After this we walk the Waterfall Trail. This trail, rocky in parts, takes us to where the Tweeriviere River Falls 50m into a pool before cascading into the sea. We return the same way. This trail is good under foot. After, we drive (62 miles, 1 hour) to Plettenberg Bay, where we spend the next two nights. The rest of the afternoon is free to walk on the beach or have a swim.
When Portuguese explorers first sailed past Plettenberg Bay they named it ‘Bahia Fromosa’ (Beautiful Bay) for a good reason. With three beaches, estuaries and lagoons, the town has become a popular holiday destination for South Africans and overseas visitors alike. After breakfast we take a short transfer to enjoy the Robberg Island walk. This walk is above the advertised grade for this holiday, the full trail is about 5.5 miles long, we may shorten this walk at the group’s request, or split the group and offer both the full and a shortened version. This walk takes us around the Island with fantastic views and a chance to see the large flocks of Cape Gannets and Cormorants. Dinner will be at your own expense this evening and there are many dining options available to suit all tastes and budgets.
We begin our day with a visit to the Knysna Heads, two tall sandstone cliffs which form a channel through which the turbulent Indian Ocean enters the calmer Knysna Lagoon. After, we have some free time to discover Knysna town before leaving for Oudtshoorn. As we head inland and over a pass the landscape changes drastically and we enter the Little Karoo, a much dryer and hotter region. Oudtshoorn itself became famous thanks to Ostrich farming and is still, today, the ostrich capital of the world. If you ever fancied an ostrich feather duster this is the place to get one. Our Guest House is situated out of town in the tranquil rural Karoo village of De Rust. On the way we take a short walk in the Outeniqua Nature Reserve. We will do part of the Pass to Pass day walk with stunning views over the Outeniqua mountains. This is a there and back walk of around 4 miles and will take us around two hours.
Today we spend all day in and around Oudtshoorn. We begin by visiting the Cango Caves, an extensive complex of caverns with stalactites and stalagmites. Later we visit Oudtshoorn, with an opportunity to stop in town for lunch. In the late afternoon we visit the Meiringspoort waterfall in the Swartberg Mountains, which has some of the best examples of the Cape fold mountains. On route to Meiringspoort we will take a short walk (less than a mile, 1 hour) to a local Bushmen painting site located on a private farm.
Today we drive through the Little Karoo, passing through scenic passes, including the Houserivier and Tradouw Passes. The journey will give us a great idea of the Karoo, one of the seven floral kingdoms of the world. Our journey continues to Hermanus (248 miles, 7 hours), and we stop en-route for pictures and a lunch break in Swellendam with some time to walk through the third oldest town in South Africa. We arrive at Hermanus in the late afternoon, and after checking into our hotel, we can take a stroll along the coast.
Today we enjoy a free day in Hermanus to enjoy either boat based or land based whale watching activity, in season. There is an optional trip to Fernkloof Nature Reserve available, the reserve has an extensive network of trails to choose from.
We leave Hermanus and take a scenic drive towards Stellenbosch, in the heart of the winelands, where we will spend the night. En route we will be rewarded with some wonderful views as we pass the Threewaterkloof dam to the top of the Franschoek pass. Here we walk a 3-mile section of the winelands trails, with stunning views over the winelands all the way to Cape Town. After, we travel to Franschoek and the Dieudonne wine estate for an opportunity to have a late lunch (not included). A wine tasting session is included. Later we continue to Stellenbosch, stopping for further wine tasting at an estate in town.
We travel a short distance to our final destination the “Mother City” of Cape Town. We waste no time and travel straight to Table Mountain and get the cable car to the top. Here we can enjoy the circular 3 mile walk along all the viewpoints from the station via Echo Valley via the Aqueduct as we make our way back. The remainder of the day is free to discover the city independently or with our Ramblers Walking Holidays leader. You may want to take this opportunity to book a trip to Robben Island: www.robben-island.org.za/tours we recommend that you book in advance, this tour is very weather dependent, so if the trip cannot go ahead then you will have another opportunity on Day 14.
We head out to the Cape Peninsula today, we travel by bus via Chapmans Peak Drive and Hout Bay. Our final destination is the Cape Point Lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope, here we will walk two different and contrasting walks, taking us around 5 miles, 4 hours in total. This is the south-westerly most point in Africa and is the place where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans dramatically come crashing into one another.
After visiting the area around Cape Point, we drive to Simonstown where we visit the Boulders Penguin colony before making our way back to Cape Town.
Today you have a full day to further explore the city, you may wish to stroll around the V&A Waterfront, visit some of the museums; including the District Six Museum, visit the Kirstenbosch Gardens, take a trip out to Camps Bay or visit Robben Island. Our local guide and or leader can give you some suggestions. We will all meet up as a group in the evening to enjoy our final meal in a local restaurant.
Your morning is free for some last minute shopping or sightseeing, before, we travel to the airport in time for our flight back to the UK
Arrive at London Heathrow.
Departure dates for your selected tour
3rd Oct 2022 - 18th Oct 2022 (15 Nights)
14th Nov 2022 - 29th Nov 2022 (15 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
Situated high up on the Zuurberg Pass, this exclusive mountain top hotel enjoys prime location. Set in 160 hectares of indigenous vegetation with breath-taking views of the Addo Elephant National Park. Our accommodation is in the individual cottages, enjoying both spectacular mountain and valley views. Each cottage boasts two private patios on the east and west side, under-floor heating in the bathroom, a freestanding bath and both an indoor and outdoor hot and cold showers. Other facilities include a telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioners, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. The hotel has a large, cosy lounge area with a log fire, an outdoor pool, tennis courts, pool table and there are various hiking paths, bird watching and horse trails.
Our accommodation is located inside the Garden Route National Park and contains a series of wooden chalets on stilts. The chalets are equipped with twin bed with ensuite facilities, a separate lounge area, TV, and a kitchen.
Located in the heart of the Garden Route, and within walking distance to unspoilt Keurbooms Beach and Plettenberg Bay. The Dunes Resort facilities include two swimming pools, a beach, a bar and restaurant. Rooms are equipped with air conditioning, tea & coffee making facilities and safe.
Within sight of the Swartberg Mountains, located in the village centre of De Rust, The HouseMartin Guest Lodge features an outdoor swimming pool, garden and free Wi-Fi access. The colourful air-conditioned rooms offer a patio, electric blankets, and a private bathroom with a shower.
Perched on the edge of Hermanus’s breath-taking Walker Bay with panoramic ocean view vistas, the Windsor Hotel is only a short walk to the centre of Hermanus town. The hotel has various lounges and outdoor seating areas to relax and enjoy the views from. Rooms are equipped with either king size or twin beds, TV, safe, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, a fan and a heater.
Located in a tranquil wine estate, surrounded by the majestic Stellenbosch Mountains, the Cultivar Guest Lodge facilities include two swimming pools, barbecue facilities, a lounge, bar and coffee house. Rooms are tastefully decorated and feature coffee machine, kettle, safe, hairdyer, air conditioning and bathroom toiletries.
Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel is situated in the beautiful City of Cape Town nestling in the shadow of Table Mountain. The Hotel offers stylish, serene accommodation with spectacular views over the Dutch East India Company Gardens, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. There are 56 en-suite, air-conditioned rooms with open-air balconies offering mountain or city views. The hotel facilities include an outdoor plunge pool, an à la carte restaurant, where we would usually eat on the first evening, a sidewalk café and a bar, perfect for those evening sundowners. Rooms are equipped with air conditioning / heating, TV, telephone, tea and coffee making facilities and WIFI internet throughout.
This is a grade 4 walking holiday where we can expect walks between 6-10 miles on half and full days. On our half day walks we will be walking up to 3 hours whereas on our full days we can expect up to 6 hours of walking.
This holiday entails some energetic days whereas some days will be spent leisurely walking around areas of special or historical interest. On other days we shall be walking on regular trails, some of which may be undulating and uneven in places. The terrain in this part of the world can be difficult under foot as many of the paths can be formed of loose stones and can be rocky. Our walks along the coast may involve a section of walking over large boulders.
This holiday entails some energetic days, but with a daily walking time rarely exceeding 5 hours. Some days will be spent leisurely walking around areas of special or historical interest. On other days we shall be walking on regular trails some of which may be undulating and uneven in places. Please note: on some days, in particularly hot weather, it may be necessary to shorten the walks, or start them earlier.
The terrain in this part of the world can be difficult underfoot as many of the paths may be formed of loose stones and can be rocky, therefore walking poles are recommended. One or two of the walks may involve a section of walking over large boulders; this is on coastal walks only.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in South Africa
The currency used in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff & to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Flights are from London Heathrow, via Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth and a direct return from Cape Town to London Heathrow, with British Airways
Travel within South Africa will be by road. For the transfers between centres, we will have our own private, air conditioned coach.
Airport Transfer times:
Port Elizabeth Airport to Addo National Park - 1 hour 10 minutes
Cape Town to Cape Town Airport - 30 minutes
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Passport Information for South Africa
For entry into South Africa, a passport is required and must be valid for at least 6 months after your planned departure. Your passport should have at least two blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa. A visa is not required by holders of British passports bearing the inscription 'British Citizen' for holidays less than 90 days. Holders of non-British passports should check with the South African Embassy or their nearest consulate regarding requirements.
Breakfasts, one lunch and nine dinners are included in the holiday charge and will be taken in the hotels or in local restaurants in some centres. Where dinners are not included, there are plenty of local options to suit all tastes and budgets. Where lunches are not included, you should allow approximately £5 for a reasonable packed lunch and £8-7 for a more substantial lunch in a restaurant.
The hotel(s) listed within this document are examples of standard only. Whilst we strive to deliver the hotel(s) listed within this Holiday Information Sheet, there will be times throughout the year when they change. If this occurs, we will advise you as such. From time to time hotels will change near to departure and you will not be advised until after arriving into the destination. We always aim to provide a replacement of similar standard and location, although we cannot guarantee similar facilities such as pool or bar.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in South Africa
In South Africa the electricity is supplied at 220-240V A/C. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a three-pin plug with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for South Africa
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to South Africa.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
Diphtheria and Hepatitis A immunisations are recommended.
You might also like to consider immunisation against Hepatitis B, Rabies, Tetanus, Cholera and Typhoid.
There is low to no risk of Malaria in South Africa, apart from the Kruger National Park where the risk is high.
There is a risk of schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. Please seek advice from your doctor or travel clinic.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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