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South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

On this cycling tour of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, VBT stands alone. Our thoughtfully designed itinerary takes you through South Africa’s gorgeous southern coastline from the Cape of Good Hope to Tsitsikamma National Park. Along the way, VBT’s expert local trip leaders will introduce you to the country’s culture and history from different perspectives—including a tour of Cape Town’s lively neighborhoods, dinner with a local family in the deep forests of Knysna, and a two-night stay at a delightful family-run working ostrich farm. You’ll cycle the rugged coastlines of two oceans, spin through indigenous rainforests, discover an African penguin colony, and pedal past the wildflower fields of Little Karoo. Relaxing on the veranda with a superlative South African wine, you’ll wonder why you didn’t come here sooner.

Tour Highlights

  • Float to the top of Table Mountain by cable car, and marvel at the dazzling views.
  • Savor a traditional South African braai (barbecue). 
  • 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.

Positive Impact

VBT is proud to support Ujubee with a donation on behalf of each guest on this tour. Ujubee is committed to raising awareness of the importance of safeguarding all species of bees in the wild. Toward that end, Ujubee created a network of bee conservation projects, including Simon’s Town Bee Garden in the Cape Point Nature Reserve, to facilitate a knowledge exchange, share best practices, and create collaborative initiatives for bee conservation globally. Everyone benefits when there is a healthy population of bees!

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills. The majority of the rides are on paved roads alongside vehicular traffic. Our VBT support vehicle is available throughout the trip. 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
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

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Airport car service for arrival and departure

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Two nights in-flight

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9 nights in 4-star hotels and guesthouses

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23 meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

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8 nights in 4-star hotels and guesthouses

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22 meals: 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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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)

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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, Oct 8 to Fri, Oct 18, 2024

Show Itinerary:

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready for an unforgettable trip.

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.

Your day begins at 8:00 a.m. at our Cape Town hotel. Your trip leaders will meet you in the lobby wearing VBT staff garments. 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’s Twelve Apostles. As you pedal, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean as you ride to Camps Bay.

Your ride ends at the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, South Africa’s oldest working harbor and now a lively promenade with an array of shops and restaurants. Leaving the waterfront behind, a shuttle to the Bo-Kaap area will introduce you to Cape Town’s historical Muslim section with its quaint, colorful houses. Continue to explore the city on foot. Points of interest include Greenmarket Square, St. George Cathedral and the former Dutch East India Company’s Garden. The garden, a green oasis in the middle of town, was founded in  the city’s early trading days. Afterward, enjoy lunch on the grounds.

Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Today's Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up ride at Camps Bay — 16 km (10 miles)

What to Expect:

Your warm-up spin gives you the opportunity to get used to the bike that will be your stalwart companion for the rest of the trip. Admire the beauty of Table Mountain and Camps Bay as you ride. The ride offers some easy slight downhill and flat terrain.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16 km (10 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you’ll shuttle (approximately one hour and 15 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 trip 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. Stop in the center of Franschhoek to visit the Village Market, a weekly event where local vendors gather to sell handmade crafts and food. Your ride continues 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 — 26 km (16 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 past 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: 26 km (16 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, board the bus and journey inland to Oudtshoorn (approximately 5-6 hours including rest stops). 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 (a highway reminiscent of Route 66) 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 — 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 one hour) 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, a hamlet with all-in-one “Boerediens” (farmers’ service), including a post office, gas station, and shop. En route back, take a short hike to the Meiringspoort Waterfall. You may even venture to take a quick dip in the clear and cool pool below.

Upon your return to De Rust, enjoy a hearty lunch. Then head back to your lodge and relax on the lovely grounds. This afternoon, your host will give a talk on the origins of ostrich farming and afterward 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 on the return includes an optional stroll up to the Meiringspoort waterfall and even a swim in the mermaid pool. Finishback in 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 two 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 brick 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 vegan dinner.

Today's Ride Choices

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

Afternoon: The Heads to Knysna — 10 km (6 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: 24 – 34 km (16 – 21 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.

Following a seaside lunch at Buffels Bay, and maybe a dip in the Indian Ocean, trace your way back again along the Buffels Bay coast and the Goukamma River. Shuttle (approximately 30 minutes) back to the lodge in Knysna for a relaxing afternoon overlooking the lagoon from the awesome gardens of your hotel.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 — 10 km (6 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: 24 – 33 km (15 – 21 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 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.

After lunch, join your leader for a hike through the rain forest to an awe-inspiring suspension bridge gaping the Storms River mouth.  Or conversely, spend your time relaxing on the beach or taking a dip in the ocean.

Shuttle back to your accommodations (approximately one hour 40 minutes) and enjoy time to freshen up. Tonight, you’ll celebrate your South African odyssey during a festive farewell dinner at your lodge.

Today's Ride Choices

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

Afternoon: The Mouth Trail — 2 km (1.5 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. After lunch, choose between an optional rainforest hike or relaxing at the beach.

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

South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Thu, Oct 10 to Fri, Oct 18, 2024

Show Itinerary:

Your day begins at 8:00 a.m. at our Cape Town hotel. Please come dressed for cycling. Your trip leaders will meet you in the lobby wearing VBT staff garments. 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 scenic coast of the Atlantic Ocean. .

Your ride ends at the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, South Africa’s oldest working harbor and now a lively promenade with an array of shops and restaurants. Leaving the waterfront behind, a shuttle to the Bo-Kaap area will introduce you to Cape Town’s historical Muslim section with its quaint, colorful houses. Continue to explore the city on foot. Points of interest include Greenmarket Square, St. George Cathedral and the former Dutch East India Company’s Garden. The garden, a green oasis in the middle of town, was founded in the city’s early trading days. Afterward, enjoy lunch on the grounds.

Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Today's Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up ride Cape Town — 18 km (11 miles)

What to Expect:

Your warm-up spin gives you the opportunity to get used to the bike that will be your stalwart companion for the rest of the trip. Starting at the Pietro Ferraro viewpoint, roll out on flat terrain, hugging the coast, along the shoulder of a shared-use road. The traffic eventually dwindles and the route soon joins a bike path and gently ascends. Pausing at one of the many scenic overlooks, admire views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic.

Cumulative Distance Range: 18 km (11 miles)

Included Meals: Lunch, Dinner

This morning, you’ll shuttle (approximately one hour and 15 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 trip 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. Stop in the center of Franschhoek to visit the Village Market, a weekly event where local vendors gather to sell handmade crafts and food. Your ride continues 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 — 26 km (16 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 past 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: 26 km (16 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, board the bus and journey inland to Oudtshoorn (approximately 5-6 hours including rest stops). 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 (a highway reminiscent of Route 66) 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 — 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 one hour) 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, a hamlet with all-in-one “Boerediens” (farmers’ service), including a post office, gas station, and shop. En route back, take a short hike to the Meiringspoort Waterfall. You may even venture to take a quick dip in the clear and cool pool below.

Upon your return to De Rust, enjoy a hearty lunch. Then head back to your lodge and relax on the lovely grounds. This afternoon, your host will give a talk on the origins of ostrich farming and afterward 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 on the return includes an optional stroll up to the Meiringspoort waterfall and even a swim in the mermaid pool. Finishback in 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 two 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 brick 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 vegan dinner.

Today's Ride Choices

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

Afternoon: The Heads to Knysna — 10 km (6 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: 24 – 34 km (16 – 21 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.

Following a seaside lunch at Buffels Bay, and maybe a dip in the Indian Ocean, trace your way back again along the Buffels Bay coast and the Goukamma River. Shuttle (approximately 30 minutes) back to the lodge in Knysna for a relaxing afternoon overlooking the lagoon from the awesome gardens of your hotel.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 — 10 km (6 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: 24 – 33 km (15 – 21 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 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.

After lunch, join your leader for a hike through the rain forest to an awe-inspiring suspension bridge gaping the Storms River mouth.  Or conversely, spend your time relaxing on the beach or taking a dip in the ocean.

Shuttle back to your accommodations (approximately one hour 40 minutes) and enjoy time to freshen up. Tonight, you’ll celebrate your South African odyssey during a festive farewell dinner at your lodge.

Today's Ride Choices

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

Afternoon: The Mouth Trail — 2 km (1.5 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. After lunch, choose between an optional rainforest hike or relaxing at the beach.

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

South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route

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

2024 2025

2024 Pre-Trip Extension - Greater Kruger Private Game Reserve

3 Nights From $2045 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $595

  • 1 night in Johannesburg at the City Lodge Hotel OR Tambo International Airport
  • 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 at the Private Game Reserve
  • Airport transportation at the Private Game Reserve
  • Daily breakfast, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • Beverages including all soft drinks, juice and select beer, wine and spirits at the Private Game Reserve

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready 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. They will escort you on a short walk to your Johannesburg hotel, located within the airport. From here, you may discover this charming city at your leisure.

After breakfast, return on your own to the domestic terminal in the Johannesburg airport. Once there, catch your one-hour flight to Hoedspruit Airport (HDS). On arrival, start your safari right away with a jeep shuttle to your lodge. Following your arrival at the lodge, enjoy lunch, 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, Lunch, 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 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, or take a dip in the swimming pool. Your city documents will note additional activities that your lodge has to offer. 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. Lunch is included on your flight today, (approximate flight time is two hours and 45 minutes) but if you prefer you can purchase a meal at the Hoedspruit Airport prior to boarding. Upon arrival in Cape Town in the late afternoon, a VBT representative will meet you and assist with your transportation to the hotel (approximately 30 minutes). 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 dinner. We provide detailed city information to help you plan your day.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Kapama River Lodge

The largest luxury game lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park area, the Kapama River Lodge epitomizes four-star safari accommodation. The majestic northern Drakensberg Mountains form the backdrop to its setting along a bend of the seasonal Kapama River, right within the expansive Kapama Private Game Reserve. The suites are positioned to ensure privacy and feature stylish furnishings designed to recall a game lodge of old Africa. En-suite bathrooms feature lavish amenities that are replenished daily, and you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views from private patios. Beverage stations for early-morning coffee and minibars for sundowners are standard in all rooms. A spa offering unique African treatments is also available. Hotel rooms are air conditioned, and WiFi is offered throughout the hotel.|WiFi|Air Conditioning|

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Airplane

Air Package Only

2024 2025

2025 Pre-Trip Extension - Greater Kruger Private Game Reserve

3 Nights From $2045 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $595

  • 1 night in Johannesburg at the City Lodge Hotel OR Tambo International Airport
  • 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 at the Private Game Reserve
  • Airport transportation at the Private Game Reserve
  • Daily breakfast, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • Beverages including all soft drinks, juice and select beer, wine and spirits at the Private Game Reserve

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready 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. They will escort you on a short walk to your Johannesburg hotel, located within the airport. From here, you may discover this charming city at your leisure.

After breakfast, return on your own to the domestic terminal in the Johannesburg airport. Once there, catch your one-hour flight to Hoedspruit Airport (HDS). On arrival, travel by van to the lodge (approximately one hour). Following your arrival at the lodge, enjoy lunch, 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, Lunch, 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, or take a dip in the swimming pool. Your city documents will note additional activities that your lodge has to offer. 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. Lunch is on your own today – you can grab a meal at the Hoedspruit Airport or onboard your flight (approximate flight time is two hours and 45 minutes). Upon arrival in Cape Town in the late afternoon, a VBT representative will meet you and assist with your transportation to the hotel (approximately 30 minutes). 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 dinner. We provide detailed city information to help you plan your day.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Kapama River Lodge

The largest luxury game lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park area, the Kapama River Lodge epitomizes four-star safari accommodation. The majestic northern Drakensberg Mountains form the backdrop to its setting along a bend of the seasonal Kapama River, right within the expansive Kapama Private Game Reserve. The suites are positioned to ensure privacy and feature stylish furnishings designed to recall a game lodge of old Africa. En-suite bathrooms feature lavish amenities that are replenished daily, and you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views from private patios. Beverage stations for early-morning coffee and minibars for sundowners are standard in all rooms. A spa offering unique African treatments is also available. Hotel rooms are air conditioned, and WiFi is offered throughout the hotel.|WiFi|Air Conditioning|

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Airplane

Air Package Only

2024 2025

2024 Post-Trip Extension - Victoria Falls

3 Nights From $1395 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $345

  • 1 night in Johannesburg at the City Lodge Hotel OR Tambo International Airport
  • 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 at Victoria Falls
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information
1 Begin Post-Trip Extension

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, walk to your hotel for the night, located within the airport. Check in and relax.

Included Meals: Breakfast

2 Travel to Victoria Falls / Continue your Post-Trip Extension

After breakfast, return on your own to the domestic terminal in the Johannesburg airport. It will take about 10-15 minutes to walk from your hotel. Once there, catch your flight (one hour and 45 minutes) to Victoria Falls airport. On arrival, travel by van to the lodge (approximately 25 minutes), check in, and relax.

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.

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 (at your own cost).

Included Meals: Breakfast

3 Continue your Post-Trip Extension

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

Departure Airplane

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

Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge offers distinguished accommodation in a gracious and secluded ambiance.

The hotel is ideally situated, close to both Victoria Falls and the town center. The National Park borders the front of property, and wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background.The hotel rooms are air conditioned and there is WiFi throughout.

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Airplane

Air Package Only

2024 2025

2025 Post-Trip Extension - Victoria Falls

3 Nights From $1395 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $345

  • 1 night in Johannesburg at the City Lodge Hotel OR Tambo International Airport
  • 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 at Victoria Falls
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information
1 Begin Post-Trip Extension

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, walk to your hotel for the night, located within the airport. Check in and relax.

Included Meals: Breakfast

2 Travel to Victoria Falls / Continue your Post-Trip Extension

After breakfast, return on your own to the domestic terminal in the Johannesburg airport. It will take about 10-15 minutes to walk from your hotel. Once there, catch your flight (one hour and 45 minutes) to Victoria Falls airport. On arrival, travel by van to the lodge (approximately 25 minutes), check in, and relax.

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.

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 (at your own cost).

Included Meals: Breakfast

3 Continue your Post-Trip Extension

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

Departure Airplane

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

Ilala Lodge

Ilala Lodge offers distinguished accommodation in a gracious and secluded ambiance.

The hotel is ideally situated, close to both Victoria Falls and the town center. The National Park borders the front of property, and wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background.The hotel rooms are air conditioned and there is WiFi throughout.

Wi-Fi In Room
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Reviews
83 out of 84 (98%)
4.8 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to South Africa including the pre-trip to Kruger, a highlight for sure. We had plenty of cycling, great food, wonderful accommodations and great support from the VBT guides and drivers.

KTMM,

Gorgeous country

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

A trip of a lifetime

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