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South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

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The breathtaking diversity of South Africa’s landscapes, wildlife, and people is revealed on expertly crafted bike routes, cultural events, and scenic drives.

  • Duration: 11 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 7 - 31|
  • Biking: 1 - 3 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
4.9 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
Bike
Bike Included
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$5,645

Bike Vacation Only

$4,395

(per person, double occupancy)

South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

Embark on the ultimate bike tour through South Africa! Accompanied by expert Trip Leaders, you’ll explore the astonishing diversity of this land and its people, from its post-apartheid townships to a little pocket of France. Breathtaking scenery spreads out before you all along the way, as you traverse a semi-arid landscape, cycle a whimsical landscape of sandstone mountains, glimpse penguins and ostriches, and trace a coastline that is a surfer’s paradise. Cultural encounters including a wine tasting and dinner in a private home enrich your experience of this complex and compelling nation.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills. The VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who would like assistance. This tour is good for beginner to experienced cyclists.

  • Duration: 11 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 7 - 31|
  • Biking: 1 - 3 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Bus Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Behold majestic views as you ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain.
  • Experience post-apartheid South Africa on an enlightening township tour.
  • Immerse yourself in South Africa’s wine culture during a private tasting.
  • Tour an ostrich farm and delight in this remarkable bird.
  • Witness a diverse landscape of forests, cliffs, and coast on a drive along the famous Garden Route.
  • Become part of the family as you enjoy dinner in a local home.
  • Spin along dramatic coastlines and through forest, semi-desert, horse farms, and wine estates.

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Jan77º/63º

Feb78º/63º

Mar76º/60º

Apr72º/56º

Oct69º/54º

Nov72º/58º

Dec75º/61º

Average
Precipitation:

Jan0.6 in

Feb0.6 in

Mar0.8 in

Apr1.6 in

Oct0.1 in

Nov0 in

Dec0.7 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
Two nights in-flight Check
9 nights in 4-star hotels and guesthouses Check Check
23 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Step-Through Hybrid/Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over Hybrid/Comfort Bicycle

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Tue, Jan 14 to Fri, Jan 24 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Depart from home for South Africa. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Please note: Passports for travelers to South Africa should contain at least two completely blank (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages (as many as four) typically found at the back of U.S. passports. While South African statutes require only one completely blank visa page, this rule has been applied inconsistently by South African immigration officials. In addition, any trips to neighboring countries would necessitate another blank page upon return. Travelers lacking adequate blank pages in their passport may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at their own expense.

Upon arrival in South Africa at the Johannesburg airport, claim your luggage, then clear customs. A VBT representative will meet you outside the customs area in the international arrivals terminal and direct you to the adjacent domestic terminal, where you will need to check in with your luggage for your connecting flight to Cape Town. Please utilize the carts for transporting your luggage. Upon arrival in Cape Town, a VBT representative will meet you outside the luggage claim area for your transfer by minibus (approximately 30 minutes) to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Cape Town at leisure.

If you are going to be delayed for more than 15 minutes at the Lost & Found desk due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

All guests arrive in Cape Town today. Your Trip Leaders, who will be wearing VBT staff garments, will be available in the hotel in the early evening for informal introductions.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Non-biking day: Explore Cape Town

Hotel: More Quarters

After breakfast, shuttle to the Table Mountain Cableway, where you’ll visit the top of Table Mountain—Cape Town’s iconic, flat-topped mountain—and admire magnificent views of the Cape Peninsula. Once back down the cableway, continue to Tafelberg Road, perched high above the city. After a safety briefing, orientation, and bike-fitting session with your Trip Leaders, you’ll embark on a warm-up ride along the base of Table Mountain. The ride offers some rolling terrain. As you pedal, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Table Bay and the Cape Town “City Bowl.”

This afternoon, you’ll enjoy a closer look at South Africa’s fascinating flora during a short-included visit to the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Nestled in the foothills of Table Mountain, the garden showcases the staggering diversity of South Africa’s indigenous plants, many of which can be found nowhere else on Earth. Marvel at the endless varieties of fynbos on display, a distinct floral kingdom of hardy flowering shrubs found almost exclusively in the Western Cape, including the pointy-pedaled King Protea, South Africa’s national flower. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds.

You’ll also visit the townships this afternoon for a walking tour in Langa, one of Cape Town’s oldest townships. Here you will learn, from a local guide, about some of the challenges that many South Africans face in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as about the Xhosa culture. This fascinating window into life in the townships is quite eye-opening. As you’ll see, the vibrant streets are full of life and color.

Tonight, gather for a welcome reception, where you’ll learn more about what it’s like to eat local food and experience true African vibes.

Hotel: More Quarters
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Warm-Up: 11 km (6.8 miles)

What to Expect: Your ride starts on Tafelberg Road, just past the lower Cableway Station, and heads toward Devil’s Peak. From there, you’ll loop back to the Cableway and down to the Kloof Nek car park. Pedal over undulating terrain, with a few climbs, on quiet contour roads under Table Mountain offering great city views.

This morning, you’ll shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) to Simonstown, where you’ll be treated to sweeping views of False Bay. Then, visit the African Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach, a unique conservation effort in an urban area.

Afterward, shuttle to the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park, where you’ll drive along rolling roads blanketed by pristine fynbos. Your ride takes you out of the National Park to the small community of Scarborough. Here relax and refuel with a hearty lunch at The Whole Earth Café.

In the afternoon, cycle farther to enjoy the wild Atlantic coastline of Scarborough and Misty Cliffs. This stunning section of coast features azure oceans, big waves, surfers, and kite boarders. Transfer back to our hotel in the late afternoon to relax

This evening is free for you to try one of the local restaurants in Cape Town. Your leaders will help with recommendations.

Hotel: More Quarters
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cape Point to Scarborough: 19 km (12 miles)
Cape Point to Kommetjie: 28 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Pedal over gentle terrain with a few climbs on the southern Cape Peninsula. Your ride starts just inside the Reserve, from where you ride all the way to lunch in Scarborough. After lunch, start with a section along the coast before a steady climb and steeper incline to Kommetjie.

Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands lies today’s destination, the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. After breakfast, transfer (approximately 1 hour) to Franschhoek, long known as the “French Corner,” with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which they emigrated. Founded in 1688 by French Huguenot refugees, the town’s farms soon became known for producing stellar wines, a reputation that continues to this day. You’ll discover why as you cycle through the wine valley, admiring the town’s arresting French flair and lush, fertile landscapes. Your ride takes you to a private estate for a wine tasting and lunch.

After lunch, there is the option to cycle farther in the valley, be tempted to pop into some of the many boutique shops and art galleries, or enjoy the facilities at your home for the evening, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa.

Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

Hotel: Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Franschhoek Valley: 22 km (13.7 miles)
Frankschhoek Valley Loop: 34 km (21.1 miles)

What to Expect: Your morning route starts from the Boschendal Estate and heads into Franschhoek. Cycle past beautiful wine estates and horse farms with the Groot Drakenstein Mountains as your backdrop. Cross the Berg River and pass wine estates such as L’Ormarins and La Motte. Cycle through the historical town of Franschhoek where Bastille Day is still celebrated. Follow more of Franschhoek’s valley roads on the afternoon option.

After breakfast, board the bus and journey inland to Oudtshoorn (approximately 5-6 hours). En route, stop to browse some village shops in Barrydale and enjoy a hearty lunch in Ladismith. You’ll be traveling along scenic Route 62 through the Little Karoo, a sprawling, semi-arid region known for its wildflower-filled valleys and majestic sandstone mountains.

Later this afternoon, arrive at your accommodations near Oudtshoorn, a charming, Victorian-flavored town nestled in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. Once you’re settled, set off on a short leg-stretching ride exploring this beautiful area and its ostrich farms. Afterwards join Bartel, the owner, on a tour of his ostrich farm, learning all about these fascinating birds.

Dinner is at the lodge this evening.

Hotel: La Plume
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Oudtshoorn: 19 km (11.8 miles)
Oudtshoorn Plus: 32 km (19.9 miles)

What to Expect: The ride options will take you past ostrich farms, old farmhouses, barns, and scenery typical of the Little Karoo. This ride also offers the chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Karoo, a semi-desert region. The longer option offers an additional loop from the hotel.

This morning, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) to the village of De Rust, where you will start and end your ride through picturesque Meiringspoort. This is a stunning ride, set in a riverbed flanked by the twisting sandstone formations of the Cape Fold Mountains. It is home to the klipspringer, black eagle, and grey rhebuck. In the “Poort,” you have many opportunities to admire the Cape Fold Mountain formations as you pedal through the gorge. Turn back at Klaarstroom: the hamlet with all-in-one “Boerediens” (farmers’ service), which includes a post office, gas station, and shop.

Upon your return to De Rust, enjoy a hearty lunch. Then head back to our lodge and relax on the lovely grounds.

For dinner tonight, you’ll enjoy a traditional South African braai, or barbeque, at your lodge.

Hotel: La Plume
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
De Rust to Klaarstroom: 24 km (14.5 miles)
De Rust Loop: 47 km (29 miles)

What to Expect: Start cycling from De Rust village through Meiringspoort and out the other side to Klaarstroom on the N12. Today’s ride is mostly flat and includes an optional stroll up to the Meiringspoort waterfall and even a swim in the mermaid pool. Those wishing a longer ride can turn back and do it all again, cruising back to the village of De Rust for lunch.

This morning, you’ll transfer to the scenic coastal town of Knysna, (approximately 2 hours). The drive bridges the divide between the semi-arid landscape of the Little Karoo and the lush, costal Garden Route. You’ll leave Oudtshoorn and transfer down the Outeniqua Pass, through George, and along the celebrated Garden Route, a truly spectacular stretch of coastline bordering the Indian Ocean. As you pass through the towns of Wilderness, Sedgefield, and Knysna, you’ll encounter a diverse landscape ranging from densely forested hills to craggy cliffs and secluded coves.

Your ride today starts at a viewpoint overlooking the bay and explores the town of Knysna. Begin on the outskirts and follow a bike path along the Knysna Lagoon into and through town, onto These Island, and finish at the mouth of the lagoon, Knysna’s East Head. You’ll enjoy lunch here.

After lunch, you can either shuttle to the hotel or ride back along the lagoon. Check in and settle into your new accommodations.

Dinner is on your own tonight. You might want to try the local pub, or shuttle into Knysna and explore its waterfront.

Hotel: Belvidere Manor
Alternate Hotel: Premier Resort the Moorings
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Knysna Lagoon: 23 km (14.3 miles)
Krysna Lagoon Plus: 39 km (23 miles)

What to Expect: From the viewpoint above Belvidere, ride along almost the entire inner edge of the lagoon, right past the Knysna Waterfront and on to the East Head of the lagoon, where it meets the ocean. This ride takes in the heart of Knysna itself, plus some spectacular scenery of this quite unique lagoon, surrounded by steep mountains. After the initial downhill, the ride is flat. Those who desire a longer ride can continue back to the hotel after lunch.

After breakfast, you’ll shuttle (approximately 30 minutes) to Rheenendal, just outside of Knysna. Begin your ride here, cycling through rolling farmland and indigenous rainforest, past the historic scene of an old goldmine, and finishing up with a very scenic downhill cruise into Buffels Bay, taking in the views of the Goukamma River estuary and the Indian Ocean.

After a seaside picnic lunch at Buffels Bay, and maybe a dip in the Indian Ocean, you’ll shuttle (approximately 30 minutes) back to the lodge in Knysna for a relaxing afternoon overlooking the lagoon from the awesome gardens of your hotel.

If you wish to do more cycling, you may ride back from Buffels Bay to the railway station you passed on your way in.

This evening, you’ll learn more about what it’s like to live in South Africa when you join a local family in their home for a memorable home-cooked dinner.

Hotel: Belvidere Manor
Alternate Hotel: Premier Resort the Moorings
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Rheenendal to Buffels Bay: 25 km (15.5 miles)
Rheenendal to Train Station: 34 km (20 miles)
What to Expect: Today’s ride starts from a small rural town called Rheenendal. The shuttle bus will drive you to the top of the ride, so you are able to see the route before mounting your bike. The ride takes you through undulating farmlands past a few interesting craft businesses, such as the Porcupine crafts, which make hand-printed fabrics. A few hills might make this ride a bit challenging, but the reward comes on the second half of ride, after you have crossed the N2 highway. The ride down to the coast is mostly downhill with a few gentle climbs. Spectacular views of the river mouth and the ocean await you as you sweep down the hill to Buffels Bay. The afternoon ride takes you back along the way you came to the railway station.

After breakfast, shuttle (approximately 60 minutes) to Crags to start your ride. Pedal along quiet roads this morning, riding the old road through Nature’s Valley Pass and Bloukrans Pass, amid lush indigenous Afro-Montane forest. Experience the peace and quiet of these stunning forest-lined passes, and listen for the call of the knysna loerie (the “Bird of Eden”). Celebrate your final ride with lunch in Tsitsikamma National Park overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Shuttle back to your accommodation (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes), with some late-afternoon free time. Perhaps you’ll go for a swim or dig into that book as you laze on your shaded patio.

Celebrate your South African sojourn tonight during a festive farewell dinner at your lodge.

Hotel: Belvidere Manor
Alternate Hotel: Premier Resort the Moorings
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass with Shuttle: 33 km (20 miles)
Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass: 52 km (32 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s epic ride drops down through beautiful indigenous afro-montane forests past the scenic holiday village of Nature’s Valley. Cyclists ready for a big climb can continue to cycle after crossing the Groot River. The rest can board the vehicle to shuttle up the hill, then continue cycling on to the Bloukrans Pass. Here, you may take a long descent into the river valley and another long climb out again, if you wish. Please note that the Bloukrans road has been officially closed to motor traffic for a while, so that cyclists can enjoy the pristine beauty of the forests with no traffic. As there is no backup vehicle on this section, cyclists need to commit to the full climb out before heading down. Also, be aware that, due to flood and erosion damage, there are some potholes.

Those who shuttle around Bloukrans can rejoin the ride at the other side of the Bloukrans Pass. From here, enjoy open undulating roads past Coldstream, a small forestry village, and then go on to the Tsitsikamma coast, where the ride ends.

After breakfast, transfer by minibus (approximately 1 hour) to the airport in George for your flight home.

Please note: Your flight between George and Johannesburg may not be reflected in your air itinerary. Your Trip Leaders will have the details for this flight and will assist with checking you in.

Meals: Breakfast

Your flights arrive home this morning.

Wed, Jan 15 to Fri, Jan 24 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Upon arrival in Cape Town, you will need to make your own arrangements for transportation from the airport to our hotel. A metered taxi will cost approximately R400 (USD $38) and will take about 30 minutes to cover 13 miles. Please contact the hotel to advise the staff of any travel delays or changes, and they will pass your message to your VBT Trip Leaders. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Cape Town at leisure.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Non-biking day: Explore Cape Town

Hotel: More Quarters

After breakfast, shuttle to the Table Mountain Cableway, where you’ll visit the top of Table Mountain—Cape Town’s iconic, flat-topped mountain—and admire magnificent views of the Cape Peninsula. Once back down the cableway, continue to Tafelberg Road, perched high above the city. After a safety briefing, orientation, and bike-fitting session with your Trip Leaders, you’ll embark on a warm-up ride along the base of Table Mountain. The ride offers some rolling terrain. As you pedal, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Table Bay and the Cape Town “City Bowl.”

This afternoon, you’ll enjoy a closer look at South Africa’s fascinating flora during a short-included visit to the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Nestled in the foothills of Table Mountain, the garden showcases the staggering diversity of South Africa’s indigenous plants, many of which can be found nowhere else on Earth. Marvel at the endless varieties of fynbos on display, a distinct floral kingdom of hardy flowering shrubs found almost exclusively in the Western Cape, including the pointy-pedaled King Protea, South Africa’s national flower. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds.

You’ll also visit the townships this afternoon for a walking tour in Langa, one of Cape Town’s oldest townships. Here you will learn, from a local guide, about some of the challenges that many South Africans face in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as about the Xhosa culture. This fascinating window into life in the townships is quite eye-opening. As you’ll see, the vibrant streets are full of life and color.

Tonight, gather for a welcome reception, where you’ll learn more about what it’s like to eat local food and experience true African vibes.

Hotel: More Quarters
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Warm-Up: 11 km (6.8 miles)

What to Expect: Your ride starts on Tafelberg Road, just past the lower Cableway Station, and heads toward Devil’s Peak. From there, you’ll loop back to the Cableway and down to the Kloof Nek car park. Pedal over undulating terrain, with a few climbs, on quiet contour roads under Table Mountain offering great city views.

This morning, you’ll shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) to Simonstown, where you’ll be treated to sweeping views of False Bay. Then, visit the African Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach, a unique conservation effort in an urban area.

Afterward, shuttle to the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park, where you’ll drive along rolling roads blanketed by pristine fynbos. Your ride takes you out of the National Park to the small community of Scarborough. Here relax and refuel with a hearty lunch at The Whole Earth Café.

In the afternoon, cycle farther to enjoy the wild Atlantic coastline of Scarborough and Misty Cliffs. This stunning section of coast features azure oceans, big waves, surfers, and kite boarders. Transfer back to our hotel in the late afternoon to relax

This evening is free for you to try one of the local restaurants in Cape Town. Your leaders will help with recommendations.

Hotel: More Quarters
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cape Point to Scarborough: 19 km (12 miles)
Cape Point to Kommetjie: 28 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Pedal over gentle terrain with a few climbs on the southern Cape Peninsula. Your ride starts just inside the Reserve, from where you ride all the way to lunch in Scarborough. After lunch, start with a section along the coast before a steady climb and steeper incline to Kommetjie.

Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands lies today’s destination, the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. After breakfast, transfer (approximately 1 hour) to Franschhoek, long known as the “French Corner,” with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which they emigrated. Founded in 1688 by French Huguenot refugees, the town’s farms soon became known for producing stellar wines, a reputation that continues to this day. You’ll discover why as you cycle through the wine valley, admiring the town’s arresting French flair and lush, fertile landscapes. Your ride takes you to a private estate for a wine tasting and lunch.

After lunch, there is the option to cycle farther in the valley, be tempted to pop into some of the many boutique shops and art galleries, or enjoy the facilities at your home for the evening, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa.

Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

Hotel: Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Franschhoek Valley: 22 km (13.7 miles)
Frankschhoek Valley Loop: 34 km (21.1 miles)

What to Expect: Your morning route starts from the Boschendal Estate and heads into Franschhoek. Cycle past beautiful wine estates and horse farms with the Groot Drakenstein Mountains as your backdrop. Cross the Berg River and pass wine estates such as L’Ormarins and La Motte. Cycle through the historical town of Franschhoek where Bastille Day is still celebrated. Follow more of Franschhoek’s valley roads on the afternoon option.

After breakfast, board the bus and journey inland to Oudtshoorn (approximately 5-6 hours). En route, stop to browse some village shops in Barrydale and enjoy a hearty lunch in Ladismith. You’ll be traveling along scenic Route 62 through the Little Karoo, a sprawling, semi-arid region known for its wildflower-filled valleys and majestic sandstone mountains.

Later this afternoon, arrive at your accommodations near Oudtshoorn, a charming, Victorian-flavored town nestled in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. Once you’re settled, set off on a short leg-stretching ride exploring this beautiful area and its ostrich farms. Afterwards join Bartel, the owner, on a tour of his ostrich farm, learning all about these fascinating birds.

Dinner is at the lodge this evening.

Hotel: La Plume
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Oudtshoorn: 19 km (11.8 miles)
Oudtshoorn Plus: 32 km (19.9 miles)

What to Expect: The ride options will take you past ostrich farms, old farmhouses, barns, and scenery typical of the Little Karoo. This ride also offers the chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Karoo, a semi-desert region. The longer option offers an additional loop from the hotel.

This morning, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) to the village of De Rust, where you will start and end your ride through picturesque Meiringspoort. This is a stunning ride, set in a riverbed flanked by the twisting sandstone formations of the Cape Fold Mountains. It is home to the klipspringer, black eagle, and grey rhebuck. In the “Poort,” you have many opportunities to admire the Cape Fold Mountain formations as you pedal through the gorge. Turn back at Klaarstroom: the hamlet with all-in-one “Boerediens” (farmers’ service), which includes a post office, gas station, and shop.

Upon your return to De Rust, enjoy a hearty lunch. Then head back to our lodge and relax on the lovely grounds.

For dinner tonight, you’ll enjoy a traditional South African braai, or barbeque, at your lodge.

Hotel: La Plume
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
De Rust to Klaarstroom: 24 km (14.5 miles)
De Rust Loop: 47 km (29 miles)

What to Expect: Start cycling from De Rust village through Meiringspoort and out the other side to Klaarstroom on the N12. Today’s ride is mostly flat and includes an optional stroll up to the Meiringspoort waterfall and even a swim in the mermaid pool. Those wishing a longer ride can turn back and do it all again, cruising back to the village of De Rust for lunch.

This morning, you’ll transfer to the scenic coastal town of Knysna, (approximately 2 hours). The drive bridges the divide between the semi-arid landscape of the Little Karoo and the lush, costal Garden Route. You’ll leave Oudtshoorn and transfer down the Outeniqua Pass, through George, and along the celebrated Garden Route, a truly spectacular stretch of coastline bordering the Indian Ocean. As you pass through the towns of Wilderness, Sedgefield, and Knysna, you’ll encounter a diverse landscape ranging from densely forested hills to craggy cliffs and secluded coves.

Your ride today starts at a viewpoint overlooking the bay and explores the town of Knysna. Begin on the outskirts and follow a bike path along the Knysna Lagoon into and through town, onto These Island, and finish at the mouth of the lagoon, Knysna’s East Head. You’ll enjoy lunch here.

After lunch, you can either shuttle to the hotel or ride back along the lagoon. Check in and settle into your new accommodations.

Dinner is on your own tonight. You might want to try the local pub, or shuttle into Knysna and explore its waterfront.

Hotel: Belvidere Manor
Alternate Hotel: Premier Resort the Moorings
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Knysna Lagoon: 23 km (14.3 miles)
Krysna Lagoon Plus: 39 km (23 miles)

What to Expect: From the viewpoint above Belvidere, ride along almost the entire inner edge of the lagoon, right past the Knysna Waterfront and on to the East Head of the lagoon, where it meets the ocean. This ride takes in the heart of Knysna itself, plus some spectacular scenery of this quite unique lagoon, surrounded by steep mountains. After the initial downhill, the ride is flat. Those who desire a longer ride can continue back to the hotel after lunch.

After breakfast, you’ll shuttle (approximately 30 minutes) to Rheenendal, just outside of Knysna. Begin your ride here, cycling through rolling farmland and indigenous rainforest, past the historic scene of an old goldmine, and finishing up with a very scenic downhill cruise into Buffels Bay, taking in the views of the Goukamma River estuary and the Indian Ocean.

After a seaside picnic lunch at Buffels Bay, and maybe a dip in the Indian Ocean, you’ll shuttle (approximately 30 minutes) back to the lodge in Knysna for a relaxing afternoon overlooking the lagoon from the awesome gardens of your hotel.

If you wish to do more cycling, you may ride back from Buffels Bay to the railway station you passed on your way in.

This evening, you’ll learn more about what it’s like to live in South Africa when you join a local family in their home for a memorable home-cooked dinner.

Hotel: Belvidere Manor
Alternate Hotel: Premier Resort the Moorings
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Rheenendal to Buffels Bay: 25 km (15.5 miles)
Rheenendal to Train Station: 34 km (20 miles)
What to Expect: Today’s ride starts from a small rural town called Rheenendal. The shuttle bus will drive you to the top of the ride, so you are able to see the route before mounting your bike. The ride takes you through undulating farmlands past a few interesting craft businesses, such as the Porcupine crafts, which make hand-printed fabrics. A few hills might make this ride a bit challenging, but the reward comes on the second half of ride, after you have crossed the N2 highway. The ride down to the coast is mostly downhill with a few gentle climbs. Spectacular views of the river mouth and the ocean await you as you sweep down the hill to Buffels Bay. The afternoon ride takes you back along the way you came to the railway station.

After breakfast, shuttle (approximately 60 minutes) to Crags to start your ride. Pedal along quiet roads this morning, riding the old road through Nature’s Valley Pass and Bloukrans Pass, amid lush indigenous Afro-Montane forest. Experience the peace and quiet of these stunning forest-lined passes, and listen for the call of the knysna loerie (the “Bird of Eden”). Celebrate your final ride with lunch in Tsitsikamma National Park overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Shuttle back to your accommodation (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes), with some late-afternoon free time. Perhaps you’ll go for a swim or dig into that book as you laze on your shaded patio.

Celebrate your South African sojourn tonight during a festive farewell dinner at your lodge.

Hotel: Belvidere Manor
Alternate Hotel: Premier Resort the Moorings
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass with Shuttle: 33 km (20 miles)
Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass: 52 km (32 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s epic ride drops down through beautiful indigenous afro-montane forests past the scenic holiday village of Nature’s Valley. Cyclists ready for a big climb can continue to cycle after crossing the Groot River. The rest can board the vehicle to shuttle up the hill, then continue cycling on to the Bloukrans Pass. Here, you may take a long descent into the river valley and another long climb out again, if you wish. Please note that the Bloukrans road has been officially closed to motor traffic for a while, so that cyclists can enjoy the pristine beauty of the forests with no traffic. As there is no backup vehicle on this section, cyclists need to commit to the full climb out before heading down. Also, be aware that, due to flood and erosion damage, there are some potholes.

Those who shuttle around Bloukrans can rejoin the ride at the other side of the Bloukrans Pass. From here, enjoy open undulating roads past Coldstream, a small forestry village, and then go on to the Tsitsikamma coast, where the ride ends.

After breakfast, transfer by minibus (approximately 1 hour) to the airport in George for your flight home.

Please note: VBT recommends scheduling your departing flight for 2:00 p.m. or later; if your flight leaves earlier than 2:00 p.m., you must make your own arrangements (at your own expense) to transfer to the airport from the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

Pre-Trip Extension - Private Reserve Safari

3 Nights From $1845 per person, double occupancy

  • 1 night with breakfast in Johannesburg at the Premier Hotel O.R. Tambo International Airport Hotel
  • 2 nights on a Private Game Reserve at the Kapama River Lodge+
  • Flights between Johannesburg and Hoedspruit and between Hoedspruit and Cape Town
  • 4 game drives, including park entrance fees and all meals, at the Private Game Reserve
  • Airport transfers in Johannesburg and the Private Game Reserve

Depart from home for South Africa. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Please note: Passports for travelers to South Africa should contain at least two completely blank (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages (as many as four) typically found at the back of U.S. passports. While South African statutes require only one completely blank visa page, this rule has been applied inconsistently by South African immigration officials. In addition, any trips to neighboring countries would necessitate another blank page upon return. Travelers lacking adequate blank pages in their passport may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at their own expense.

Upon arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, claim your luggage, then clear customs. A VBT representative will meet you outside the customs area in the international arrivals terminal and help you transfer by minibus (approximately 10 minutes) to your hotel. They will also give you information about tomorrow’s transfer time. The remainder of the day is yours to check-in and relax.

If you are going to be delayed for more than 15 minutes at the Lost & Found desk due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

Hotel: Premier Hotel O.R. Tambo International Airport

After breakfast, a VBT representative assists with your transfer to the Johannesburg airport. Once there, catch your one-hour flight to Hoedspruit Airport (HDS). On arrival, transfer by van to the lodge (approximately 1 hour). Check in and relax in your comfortable room with a view of the wilderness. In the late afternoon, enjoy high tea, then head out on your first game drive, accompanied by a ranger and a tracker. You’ll return to the lodge in time to freshen up before dinner.

Please note: This is an independent extension; there is no VBT Trip Leader. The lodge maintains a full staff, including professional safari guides, all of whom are at your service during your stay.

Hotel: Kapama River Lodge, at the Kapama Private Game Reserve
Alternate Hotel: aha Makalali Main Lodge, at the Makalali Private Game Reserve
Meals: Breakfast, High tea, Dinner

Enjoy a full day on the grounds of the game reserve. The lodge offers both an early-morning and late-afternoon game drive, the latter of which extends into a night drive with a stop for sundowners, so you can watch the sun set over the African horizon. Blessed with a diverse array of animal species, the off-road game drives provide a unique safari experience that allows you to get tantalizingly close to Africa’s wildlife. You have some time at leisure to relax, take a dip in the swimming pool, or treat yourself at the spa. Or you may wish to partake in some of the activities offered by the lodge, such as a bush walk, a hot-air balloon ride (please note that this does coincide with the game drives), or a visit to a nearby animal facility. Breakfast, lunch, high tea, and dinner are at the lodge today.

Hotel: Kapama River Lodge, at the Kapama Private Game Reserve
Alternative Hotel: aha Makalali Main Lodge, at the Makalali Private Game Reserve
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, High tea, Dinner

Airplane

Air Package Only

Post-Trip Extension - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

3 Nights From $1345 per person, double occupancy

  • 1 night with breakfast in Johannesburg at the Premier Hotel O.R. Tambo International Airport Hotel
  • Two nights in Victoria Falls at the Ilala Lodge, within walking distance of the falls
  • Flights between George and Victoria Falls and between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg
  • 3 breakfasts
  • Airport transfers in Johannesburg and Victoria Falls

Fly from George to Johannesburg, where you will spend the night at our airport-area hotel. Upon your arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, a VBT representative meets you and helps you transfer to your nearby hotel. Check in and relax. The representative will advise you at what time you will be picked up for the airport tomorrow.

Hotel: Premier Hotel O.R. Tambo International Airport
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, a VBT representative assists with your transfer to the Johannesburg airport. Once there, catch your flight (1 hour and 45 minutes) to Victoria Falls airport. On arrival, transfer by van to the lodge (approximately 25 minutes), check in and relax.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be required to purchase a visa in US cash once you arrive at Victoria Falls Airport. Please consult your VBT Handbook Travel Documents section for contact information to help you get the most accurate information regarding this cost. Please ensure you have sufficient cash to cover this expense. If you are planning to visit Zambia, it is advisable to purchase a joint visa at the airport. You will be asked by airport staff upon arrival if you wish to take this option.

You’ll want to take a walk down to the falls for a look (about a 10-minute walk from the hotel and a US $30 entrance fee). Then, you’ll have time to plan your visit or get started on one of the many activities available, which can be reserved upon arrival at the hotel.

Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did David Livingstone in the 1860s. The falls and the surrounding area have been declared National Parks and a UNESCO World Heritage site, thus preserving the area from excessive commercialization. The falls are spectacular throughout the year. February onward, after the rainy season, has the heaviest flow of water and volume of spray.

A number of activities are available to you. The “Flight of Angels” helicopter flight provides a wonderful vista of the falls, the upstream river, and its many islands. For the more adventurous, there is micro lighting with stunning views of the falls. Canoeing on the Upper Zambezi is a very popular gentle adventure, with the possibility of seeing wildlife such as hippos, elephants, and giraffe. A sunset Zambezi cruise and a vintage train excursion are also available, along with several different guided tours. You can also stroll to the nearby Elephant Walk local market or enjoy afternoon tea. There is so much to do here. Whatever you choose, enjoy!

This is an independent extension; there is no Trip Leader. We will provide you with a destination information booklet, which will include recommendations on the many activities available for you in Victoria Falls.

Hotel: Ilala Lodge
Meals: Breakfast

You have another day to explore or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of this unique place.

Hotel: Ilala Lodge
Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a final breakfast on the hotel’s terrace accompanied by the sound of the falls, perhaps while watching the warthogs. Transfer to the Victoria Falls airport for your flight home via Johannesburg.

We recommend that you check the time of your transfer in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you are extending your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Your flights arrive home this morning.

Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 42 out of 42 (100%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.9 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

11 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: $645

Departing From Washington Dulles, VA (IAD)

Bike Vacation Only

10 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: $645

Sold Out

Tue, Oct 8 - Fri, Oct 18

From
$5,845

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From
$4,395

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Tue, Dec 3 - Fri, Dec 13

From
$5,745

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Wed, Dec 4 - Fri, Dec 13

From
$4,595

Reserve Online

Bike Vacation + Air Package

11 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: $645

Departing From Washington Dulles, VA (IAD)

Bike Vacation Only

10 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: $645

Tue, Jan 14 - Fri, Jan 24

From
$5,645

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Wed, Jan 15 - Fri, Jan 24

From
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Tue, Feb 4 - Fri, Feb 14

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Wed, Feb 5 - Fri, Feb 14

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Tue, Feb 11 - Fri, Feb 21

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Wed, Feb 12 - Fri, Feb 21

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Tue, Mar 3 - Fri, Mar 13

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Wed, Mar 4 - Fri, Mar 13

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Tue, Mar 24 - Fri, Apr 3

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Wed, Mar 25 - Fri, Apr 3

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Tue, Oct 6 - Fri, Oct 16

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Wed, Oct 7 - Fri, Oct 16

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Tue, Oct 20 - Fri, Oct 30

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

Please note: Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

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