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South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

Experience the full complexity and diversity of an astonishing country on our bike tour through South Africa. You’ll touch its controversial history on a township tour—as well as its contemporary culture on visits to an ostrich farm, a wine estate, and a local home. Venture to the top of Table Mountain by cable car. Ogle at dramatic landscapes of sandstone mountains, flower-filled valleys, semi-arid plains, and a teeming lagoon on carefully crafted cycling routes. Journey along the Garden Route, admiring the forests, cliffs, and coastline that have made it famous. Visit a penguin colony. Explore a little pocket of France in the middle of its celebrated wine country. And end each exhilarating day in charming accommodations that reflect the true character of each amazing destination.

Tour Highlights

  • Float to the top of Table Mountain by cable car, and marvel at the dazzling views.
  • Join a guided tour of a local township, for an up-close view of post-apartheid South Africa.
  • Sample South African wine and learn about local wine culture during a private tasting.
  • Encounter local wildlife, including a visit to an African penguin colony and tour of an ostrich farm.
  • Contrast the many facets of South Africa’s landscape, from wild coastline and lush vineyards to semi-arid plains and the world-famous Garden Route.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills. The VBT support vehicle is always available for those who would like assistance, with the exception of a short section on days 1 and 9. This tour is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists.

  • Daily Mileage: 7 - 31 miles|
  • Biking: 1 - 3 hours|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

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

Air Package

Tour Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Airport car service for arrival and departure 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

Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike) (South Africa only)

Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike) (South Africa only)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Support Vehicle

Luggage Transportation

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Tue, Jan 10 to Fri, Jan 20 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

Upon arrival in South Africa at the Johannesburg airport, claim your luggage, then clear customs. Make your way 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 holding a VBT sign will meet you outside the luggage claim area for your transportation by minibus (approximately 30 minutes) to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Cape Town at leisure, using VBT’s city information as your guide. There will be an informal welcome reception at the hotel this evening with your tour leaders and fellow travel companions.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, shuttle to the Table Mountain Cableway, where you’ll be lifted to 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you’ll shuttle (approximately 75 minutes) via the stunning scenery of Chapman’s Peak Drive 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 a local café.

In the afternoon, cycle farther to enjoy the wild Atlantic coastline of Scarborough and Kommetjie. This stunning section of coast features azure oceans, big waves, surfers, and kite boarders. Travel 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 and hotel reception team will help with recommendations and reservations.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Cape Point to Scarborough — 12 km (8 miles)

Afternoon Scarborough to Kommetjie — 8 km (5 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 12 — 20 km (8 — 13 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands lies today’s destination, the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. After breakfast, travel (approximately one hour)  to Stellenbosch, for a stroll around this historic town. Then cycle 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, check into your hotel and enjoy the facilities at your home for the evening, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa.

Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Franschhoek Valley — 22 km (14 miles)

What to Expect:

Your morning route starts from the Boschendal Estate and heads into Franschhoek. Cycle past beautiful wine estates such as L’Ormarins and La Motte. and horse farms with the Groot Drakenstein Mountains as your backdrop. Cycle through the historical town of Franschhoek where Bastille Day is still celebrated.

Cumulative Distance Range: 22 km (14 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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.

Dinner is at the lodge this evening.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon Oudtshoorn Loop — 32 km (19 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 32 km (19 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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. This afternoon, your host will give a talk on the origins of ostrich farming and afterwards a tour to learn all about these fascinating birds.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning De Rust to Klaarstroom — 24 km (14 miles) | Klaarstoom to De Rust — 24 km (14 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 — 48 km (14 — 28 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you’ll travel 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 travel 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 lagoon and explores the town of Knysna. Begin on the outskirts and follow a bike path along the Knysna Lagoon into and through town, onto Thesen and Leisure Islands, 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.

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.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Knysna to The Heads — 24 km (15 miles)

Afternoon The Heads to Knysna — 16 km (10 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 40 km (10 — 25 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 undulating ride 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.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Rheenendal to Buffels Bay — 25 km (15 miles)

Afternoon Buffels Bay to Knysna — 16 km (10 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride starts from a small rural town called Rheenendal. The support vehicle 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 41 km (10 — 25 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, shuttle (approximately 60 minutes) to Crags to start your ride. Pedal along quiet roads this morning, riding the old road  down into Nature’s Valley Pass, then up the Groot River Pass and  onto 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 accommodations (approximately one hour 40 minutes), freshen up and get ready for a festive farewell dinner at your lodge tonight to celebrate the end of your South African odyssey.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass — 52 km (32 miles) | Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass with Shuttle — 33 km (20 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s epic ride drops down through beautiful indigenous afro-montane forests past the scenic resort 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 33 — 52 km (20 — 32 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After an included breakfast, travel by minibus (approximately one hour) to the airport in George for your departing flight. Your flights may arrive at your final destination in North America the following day.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Cycling South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route 1

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Wed, Jan 11 to Fri, Jan 20 - 2023

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, using VBT’s city information as your guide. There will be an informal welcome reception at the hotel this evening with your tour leaders and fellow travel companions.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, shuttle to the Table Mountain Cableway, where you’ll be lifted to 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you’ll shuttle (approximately 75 minutes) via the stunning scenery of Chapman’s Peak Drive 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 a local café.

In the afternoon, cycle farther to enjoy the wild Atlantic coastline of Scarborough and Kommetjie. This stunning section of coast features azure oceans, big waves, surfers, and kite boarders. Travel 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 and hotel reception team will help with recommendations and reservations.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Cape Point to Scarborough — 12 km (8 miles)

Afternoon Scarborough to Kommetjie — 8 km (5 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 12 — 20 km (8 — 13 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands lies today’s destination, the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. After breakfast, travel (approximately one hour)  to Stellenbosch, for a stroll around this historic town. Then cycle 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, check into your hotel and enjoy the facilities at your home for the evening, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa.

Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Franschhoek Valley — 22 km (14 miles)

What to Expect:

Your morning route starts from the Boschendal Estate and heads into Franschhoek. Cycle past beautiful wine estates such as L’Ormarins and La Motte. and horse farms with the Groot Drakenstein Mountains as your backdrop. Cycle through the historical town of Franschhoek where Bastille Day is still celebrated.

Cumulative Distance Range: 22 km (14 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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.

Dinner is at the lodge this evening.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon Oudtshoorn Loop — 32 km (19 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 32 km (19 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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. This afternoon, your host will give a talk on the origins of ostrich farming and afterwards a tour to learn all about these fascinating birds.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning De Rust to Klaarstroom — 24 km (14 miles) | Klaarstoom to De Rust — 24 km (14 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 — 48 km (14 — 28 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you’ll travel 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 travel 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 lagoon and explores the town of Knysna. Begin on the outskirts and follow a bike path along the Knysna Lagoon into and through town, onto Thesen and Leisure Islands, 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.

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.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Knysna to The Heads — 24 km (15 miles)

Afternoon The Heads to Knysna — 16 km (10 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 40 km (10 — 25 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 undulating ride 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.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Rheenendal to Buffels Bay — 25 km (15 miles)

Afternoon Buffels Bay to Knysna — 16 km (10 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s ride starts from a small rural town called Rheenendal. The support vehicle 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 — 41 km (10 — 25 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, shuttle (approximately 60 minutes) to Crags to start your ride. Pedal along quiet roads this morning, riding the old road  down into Nature’s Valley Pass, then up the Groot River Pass and  onto 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 accommodations (approximately one hour 40 minutes), freshen up and get ready for a festive farewell dinner at your lodge tonight to celebrate the end of your South African odyssey.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass — 52 km (32 miles) | Nature’s Valley to Bloukrans Pass with Shuttle — 33 km (20 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s epic ride drops down through beautiful indigenous afro-montane forests past the scenic resort 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 33 — 52 km (20 — 32 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After an included breakfast, travel by minibus (approximately one hour) to the airport in George for your departing flight. Your flights may arrive at your final destination in North America the following day.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Cycling South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route 1

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (Please Note: Days are based on the Air Package Itinerary. Accommodations may vary depending on departure date. )

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023

2023 Pre-Trip Extension - Kapama Private Game Reserve

3 Nights From $2095 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $595

  • 1 night 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 transportation in Johannesburg and the Private Game Reserve
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

Start off your first day in Johannesburg right by having a representative holding a VBT sign greet you at the airport. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your Johannesburg hotel. From here, you may discover this charming city at your leisure. Please connect with the hotel concierge or your local driver for the best ways to explore the city.

After breakfast, a VBT representative assists with your transportation to the Johannesburg airport. Once there, catch your one-hour flight to Hoedspruit Airport (HDS). On arrival, travel 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast, 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. The reserve is blessed with a diverse array of animal species, and 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. All meals are at the lodge today.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you have an opportunity for one last game drive followed by breakfast before transportation is provided to the airport. Upon arrival in Cape Town, a VBT representative will meet you and assist with your transportation to the hotel. After check in the rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure—perhaps explore the city, rest up in the hotel, or select a local restaurant for lunch and/or dinner. We provide detailed city information to help you plan your day.

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023

2023 Post-Trip Extension - Victoria Falls

3 Nights From $1545 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $345

  • 1 night in Johannesburg at the Premier Hotel O.R. Tambo International Airport Hotel
  • 2 nights in Victoria Falls at the Ilala Lodge, within walking distance of the falls
  • Flight from George to Johannesburg
  • Roundtrip airfare between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls
  • Airport transportation in Johannesburg and Victoria Falls
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

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 travel to your nearby hotel. Check in and relax.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a final included breakfast on the hotel’s terrace accompanied by the sound of the falls, perhaps while watching the warthogs. Complimentary transportation to the Victoria Falls airport will be provided (an approximately 20 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight via Johannesburg.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Reviews
58 out of 62 (94%)
4.8 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

This trip will exceed your expectations on every level, the beauty of the countries, the animals you will see in the wild, the accommodations, the knowledge you will gain about South Africa from your trip leaders and the kindness and courtesy of the people you encounter.

Pesty, Pittsburgh

Cycling South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

Our VBT Crew, Henk, Faizel, Ganief and Henry were the absolute best...knowledgable, fun, organized and very proud of their country! Our bike routes gave us a fabulous overview of the overwhelming beauty of South Africa. Thank you VBT, it was a trip of a lifetime.

Barb C, Denver, CO, United States

Cycling South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

Dates & Prices

Departing Airport :

Departing airport

Select Year :

Air Package

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

Single Supplement: From $595

Limited Spaces Left

Tue, Jan 10 - Fri, Jan 20, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,995

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Tue, Mar 21 - Fri, Mar 31, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$6,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Tue, Oct 3 - Fri, Oct 13, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$6,395

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Tue, Oct 17 - Fri, Oct 27, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$6,395

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Private Group

Tue, Oct 31 - Fri, Nov 10, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$6,195

Per person, double occupancy

Limited Spaces Left

Tue, Nov 14 - Fri, Nov 24, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$6,195

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Tue, Nov 28 - Fri, Dec 8, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,995

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Tue, Dec 12 - Fri, Dec 22, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$6,195

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Tue, Dec 26 - Fri, Jan 5, 2024

Air included Air Included

From
$6,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Select Year :

Tour Only

10 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $595

Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Jan 11 - Fri, Jan 20, 2023

From
$4,495

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Wed, Mar 22 - Fri, Mar 31, 2023

From
$4,695

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Oct 4 - Fri, Oct 13, 2023

From
$4,495

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Wed, Oct 18 - Fri, Oct 27, 2023

From
$4,495

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online
Private Group

Wed, Nov 1 - Fri, Nov 10, 2023

From
$4,695

Per person, double occupancy

Limited Spaces Left

Wed, Nov 15 - Fri, Nov 24, 2023

From
$4,695

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Wed, Nov 29 - Fri, Dec 8, 2023

From
$4,495

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Wed, Dec 13 - Fri, Dec 22, 2023

From
$4,595

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

Wed, Dec 27 - Fri, Jan 5, 2024

From
$4,595

Per person, double occupancy

Reserve Online

For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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