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South Africa Garden Route

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South Africa Garden Route

Venture on a week long journey along the twists and turns of the South Africa Garden Route. Pass through steep gorges and beautiful lagoons, around spectacular mountain ranges and dramatic coastlines.

Prices from US$895

This passage in South Western South Africa is called the Garden Route, not because it’s the ideal place to plant some seeds or prune roses, but because the verdant green landscape in the area is in stark contrast to most of South Africa’s arid environment. This trip offers you the chance to travel from vibrant Port Elizabeth to the stunning city of Cape Town, taking in anything and everything in between.

Travel through this beautiful area: take all the twists and turns through steep gorges and past beautiful lagoons, around spectacular mountain ranges and past dramatic coastlines. Visit Jefferson’s Bay, one of the world’s top surfing spots, or watch the horizon in hope of spotting some of the local whales and dolphins. Soak up the ambiance in bustling Port Elizabeth or the quaint town of Knysna and lose yourself in the grandeur of the national parks, taking in all of nature’s majesty. 

The area is home to a mix of coastal and mountain fynbos, a special shrubland found only in this corner of South Africa, and wetlands attracting over 250 species of birds including colourful kingfishers. Alternatively, how about heading to watch some ostrich races in Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world! There are many excellent hiking routes to explore and unspoilt beaches to enjoy. All in all a fantastic tour for anyone wanting to expereince as much of South Africa as possible in a short stay.


  • Travel through beautiful scenery
  • Try out your surfing skills
  • Make new friends and return with tons of photos and brilliant memories


Location South Africa
Activities Sight seeing
Relaxing on the beach
Explore some of South Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities
Transport Airport pick up on arrival
Accommodation Hostels


Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation 
Travel & medical advice 
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier T-shirt
In-country Airport pickup 
In-country transport
In-country emergency support
24 hour international HQ backup




A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


This week long tour will start in Port Elizabeth and finish in Cape Town. Travelling along South Africa’s famous Garden Route, you and your fellow travel companions will get to see some of the most scenic coastline and pristine white sand beaches in the whole of South Africa. Travelling through steep gorges and past beautiful lagoons, around the spectacular mountain ranges of Langeberg and Riviersonderend and of course marvelling at the impressive Table Mountain. You will get the opportunity to hike through ancient forests and wetlands and visit some of the best on shore whale and dolphin watching sites in the world.

You will start your journey in the bustling city of Port Elizabeth, a hub of laid back social living with a university campus and plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants and a casino to keep you entertained and a perfect place to get to know your fellow travellers. It is South Africa’s second oldest city and has a beautiful harbour and Blue Flag beaches perfect for relaxing. 

You will then move on to one of South Africa’s most famous surf hot spots, the laid back Jefferson’s Bay, where you will get the opportunity to ride the waves with the best of them. If you’re a surf addict, there are plenty of trendy shops, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained.

Next it’s back to nature at the awesome Tsitiskamma National Park which covers a vast area of ancient forest that extends down to the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean. You can trek through the ancient trees to beautiful waterfalls and for those seeking an adrenaline rush, there are a range of extra activities that you can get involved in such as white water rafting!

The quaint town of Knysna is another highlight of the trip, famous for its pictuesque lagoon and quays. Go for a swim or snorkel in these pristine waters or simply soak up the atmosphere in one of the many stylish beachfront cafes.

Onto Oudtshoorn! This inland town offers a unique cultural experience and is the ostrich farming capital of the world. If you’re lucky you may even get the chance to see the famous ostrich races. Your group can then choose between seeing some more of South Africa’s wildlife at a crocodile ranch and exploring the famous limestone staligtites and staligmites at Cango Caves.

Last but not least, immerse yourself in everything that Cape Town has to offer. As the home of the national parliament and one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations the city has a strong multicultural buzz. There is plenty to keep you busy; stroll along beautiful beaches or around the picturesque harbour and learn more about the Rainbow Nation's turbulent history at museums dedicated to the plight of Nelson Mandela and the dark days of apartheid. Experience all of this set against the dramatic back drop of Table Mountain, arguably one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. 

This trip can also be upgraded with an option to take part in some truly amazing wildlife conservation volunteering before your Garden Route tour.  Based in a private game reserve outside Port Elizabeth this volunteering placement offers close encounters with Africa’s Big Five. Examples of the type of work you could be involved in include: monitoring lions and their cubs, feeding and cleaning the elephants in the on site elephant sanctuary, fence patrols and vegetation rehabilitation and the eradication of invasive plant species. Any volunteers joining in the month of February may even have the opportunity to get involved in assisting in the annual game capture.


You will fly into Port Elizabeth airport which is a short flight from Cape Town international airport. Upon arrival in Port Elizabeth you will be met by a friendly local staff member and transferred to your accommodation. Once you have had time to rest the local staff will give you a local orientation. Your in-country coordinator will introduce you to your travel companions and help you acclimatise and you'll feel at home in no time in this stunningly vibrant country.


As you will be on the move taking in the highlights of the Garden Route your accommodation will change regularly and you will be staying in a number of hostels in dormitory style rooms.  

If you opt to include some volunteering before your trip you will be staying on an exclusive game reserve of 6,000 hectares, living in one of two newly built, clean and comfortable, single sex, 16 bed dormitories. The reserve offers a fantastic array of leisure facilities including TV, tennis court, barbecue and kitchen area with internet access. 


The Garden Route tour works on a bed and breakfast basis offering you the chance to sample the fusion of food that is South African cuisine. As lunch and dinner are self catered a popular way to finish the day is with an authentic braai (BBQ). For the more adventurous why not try springbok or some of the high quality local oysters, famous around the world, all washed down with a glass of South African wine?

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

See so much!  | 19 Nov 2019
The garden route tour was an amazing experience and a fantastic way to see so much of what South ...

Read more

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!  | 17 Nov 2019
The Garden Route, some of the most beautiful coastline that the Africa and the world have to offe...

Read more


If you have the inclination and the energy to pack in even more, there are loads of extra activities to try before or after your trip. The Garden Route has plenty to offer the adventurous person. With fun activities including hiking, surfing, swimming and snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, mountain biking, flying, hang-gliding, paragliding, ballooning or sky diving! 

If culture is your thing then perhaps you might like to visit Grahamstown, Africa's festival capital. The national Arts Festival takes place here with over 50,000 people flocking to the city for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment and more than 500 shows on offer from opera, cabaret, drama and jazz to stand up comedy and folk music. Check the festival dates to make sure they coincide with your itinerary. You and your new friends could also go on safari in search of Africa’s Big Five in the world famous Kruger National Park.


6 days US$895



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4 weeks+.



Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier T-shirt


  • Airport pickup
  • In-country transport
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Driver/guide
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24 hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Port Elizabeth (PLZ)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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