Cape Town, the Garden Route & Safari including Istanbul extension

Cape Town, the Garden Route & Safari including Istanbul extension

Cape Town, the Garden Route & Safari including Istanbul extensionSouth Africa
Fully GuidedFully Guided
1616 Nights
B&B (+1)
Transport: Flights & TransfersFlights & Transfers

    Your Guided Group Holiday To South Africa

    Discover the ‘Rainbow nation’ with us, experience unique cultures, majestic scenery and wildlife on this guided holiday to South Africa. Our tour begins in Cape Town, where we’ll have the opportunity to see some of the city’s most famous landmarks including the Table Mountain and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Next, we’ll explore Cape Peninsula, take in the beautiful views of the coast and encounter African Penguins on Boulders Beach. Then we’ll uncover the Garden Route; staying in colourful towns as we travel, experience  magnificent coastal views, mountains and lagoons and get a taste of rural South Africa.  Our final stop is Kariega Game Reserve, a family-owned and operated private safari reserve located in South Africa's Eastern Cape. Situated on the Garden Route, the reserve is the perfect place to search for the ‘Big Five’ game animals. Then to round off the end of this fantastic South Africa holiday, there will also be a three night stay in Istanbul, where our local guide will show you some of the top sights of the city.  

    Tour Map

    Trip Itinerary

    Activity Level 4

    Activity Level: Busy

    What does this level mean?


    Travel to Cape Town South Africa


    Depart for Cape Town

    Depart for Cape Town, South Africa and discover the iconic Garden Route and one of the many highlights of the trip, a Big Five game safari!

    Arrive in Cape Town


    We have Arrived in Cape Town

    On arrival in Cape Town, we meet our local representative in arrivals the airport. Let's begin our holiday with a trip to Table Mountain, (weather permitting) for a cable car ride taking in the spectacular views of the city, stretching to False Bay, including Robben Island and the Devil’s Peak on a clear day. After our excursion to Table Mountain, we make our way to our hotel with a short orientation tour en-route.

    At Leisure

    We have arrived at our hotel, the rest of our day is free to relax and become familiar with our surroundings. Our guide will be happy to tell you of places of interest for your free time. We spend the next three nights in Cape Town.

    Uncover Stellenbosch and enjoy a Local Winery


    Guided tour of the Winelands Countryside

    Today we explore the picturesque Winelands countryside. Let's uncover the charming town of Stellenbosch, on a short walking tour, of the town.

    We discover more as we drive through rolling hills, covered in splendid wine producing vines, which South Africa is famous for. Along the way we stop and sample some of the local wines before lunch (included) at a local winery. After we enjoy a brief panoramic tour of Franschhoek before returning back to Cape Town.

    The rest of our evening is at leisure.


    Guided Cape Peninsula Excursion


    Full Day Guided Excursion Including Boulders Beach and Cape Point

    On today’s guided Cape Peninsula excursion, you'll be treated to some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world! Soak up the scenery as we drive along the coast route, overlooking the rocky peninsula taking in the picturesque scenery of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans along the way. We make a stop to visit Cape Point, Boulders Beach for an up close and personal encounter with African Penguins and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, where the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias first established trading routes between Africa and Asia in the fifteenth century. As we make our way back to our hotel we have the opportunity of visiting Kirstenbosch Gardens. Lunch is included today.

    Discover Robben Island before Transferring to Arniston


    Visit Robben Island Where Nelson Mandela Was Imprisoned

    Weather permitting; today we catch the boat from the Victoria & Alfred waterfront out to Robben Island. Located almost 7km off the coast in Table Bay, the island is internationally known as the location where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Today the island is a UNESCO world heritage site and a living museum, welcoming thousands of visitors every year. We have a guided tour of the island and museum. Afterwards catch the boat back and transfer onwards to our next destination. Please note: your next destination can vary according to your chosen date of departure.

    Transfer from Cape Town to Arniston

    We say farewell to Cape Town and transfer onwards to the tranquil small fishing village of Arniston for the next two nights of our stay, depending on your chosen date of travel. This quaint village is an attraction for artists and photographers, known for its prettiness, rolling sand dunes, blue sea and rugged cliffs. The transfer will take approximately three hours (210km).

    Or Transfer to Hermanus (Depending on your chosen date of travel)

    On certain chosen dates, your itinerary will include two nights in Hermanus.

    Hermanus is also a popular destination on the Garden Route; from it's beaches, cliff path walks, tourist shops, cafes, and seasonal whale watching.


    Arniston & Cape Agulhas Excursion


    Guided Tour of Arniston & Cape Agulhas

    Today you will have a short panoramic orientation tour of Arniston, to further become familiar with your surroundings. After you will visit Cape Agulhas, included is a stop at the lighthouse, which is situated at the southernmost tip of Africa. The rest of your day is at leisure to further discover this charming little village of Arniston, your guide will advise on places of interest to visit.

    Or Hermanus (Depending on your chosen date)

    Hermanus 2 nights: Today we have a short orientation tour of Hermanus and a visit to Cape Agulhas. The rest of your day is at leisure, your guide will be happy to tell you of further places of interest to visit at your own pace.

    Transfer by Coach to Knysna


    Soak up the Scenic Drive to Knysna

    After breakfast we transfer by coach from Arniston or Hermanus (depending on your chosen date) along the N2 via Mossel Bay to Knysna. Soak up some of the most scenic landscape in the world along the Garden Route, the journey will take approximately four and a half hours drive to the coastal town of Knysna (364km). This town lies on the Knysna lagoon, the mouth of which is guarded by two promontories known as ‘The Heads’ and is famed, due to the number of sailors who lost their lives sailing through this dangerous stretch. We spend the next two nights in Knysna.

    Experience the Featherbed Nature Reserve on a Guided Tour


    Full Day Visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve

    Let's see more with a visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. We travel by ferry across the Knysna Lagoon (weather permitting). The reserve lies on the unspoilt western head of Knysna, We board our vehicles and set off in a 4x4 to see stunning views and beautiful flora & fauna. After our tour we sit back and enjoy a buffet lunch underneath a canopy of Milkwood trees. Also included is the option to take a guided walk through coastal forest and fynbos into ancient sea caves.

    Note: Please note your visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve is subject to weather conditions.  If possible, another attempt will be made and/or an alternative excursion organised.  Our guide will reconfirm the arrangements locally.

    Relax More

    After we return from our guided excursion and enjoy the remainder of our evening at leisure.

    Tsitsikamma National Park, Forest & Port Elizabeth


    Experience Tsitsikamma National Park & Forest

    Today, we drive to Tsitsikamma, experiencing the dramatic coastal areas of the Garden Route where the forest meets ocean along the way. Let's explore the Tsitsikama National Park, a glorious 10km stretch of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forest, composed of Stink Woods and Yellow Woods along the river valleys.

    Transfer Onwards to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha)

    Afterwards we depart Tsitsikamma and drive to our hotel in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) where we spend the night, our journey today will take approximately three and a half hours (261km).

    Let's stretch our legs after our journey and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure, time to relax and unwind.

    Transfer to Kariega Game Reserve


    Travel on to Kariega Game Reserve

    Time: MorningMorning

    This morning we travel on to Kariega Game Reserve approximately two hours journey (144km), where you will spend your next three nights. Kariega is a family-owned and operated private safari reserve located in South Africa's Eastern Cape and is situated along the Garden Route. Make sure to have your camera ready, as animals can appear at any time, not just while on a safari drive!

    Experience the Thrill of a Big 5 Game Drive

    Time: AfternoonAfternoon

    After lunch at the lodge, we experience the thrill of our first game drive in the Kariega Game Reserve. The knowledgeable game rangers will try to bring you close to the Big 5 - lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, and leopard as well as a multitude of other African wild game and bird species. Have your camera ready and the binoculars polished in anticipation for your game drive.

    Relax More in Kariega

    After our game drive, dinner will be served in the lodge. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure. Take a dip in the pool or just relax and enjoy the beautiful calm surroundings, of your lodge.

    Game Drive in Kariega Game Reserve


    Early Morning Game Drive

    Time: Early MorningEarly Morning

    It’s time for safari! We set off early this morning while it’s still cool and the animals are most active, in an open top four-wheel drive vehicle to explore some of the magnificent 10,000 hectares of Kariega Game Reserve. If you are lucky today, you might witness a lion hunting, or the heart-warming social interactions of an elephant herd.

    Afternoon Game Drive

    We return to the lodge for lunch and depart in the afternoon for a second game drive in the reserve. You might be able to see other species such as hippo, hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland, kudu, waterbuck and a variety of other antelope, as well as a myriad of bird species including the nesting crowned eagle, martial and fish eagles.

    Relax More

    After our safaris, its time to relax and reflect on our days adventure. If you listen carefully you might hear the magnificent roar of a lion or the trumpet of an elephant. Relax and take in the serene surroundings. 

    Guided Game Drive in Kariega Game Reserve


    Early Morning Game Drive

    Time: Early MorningEarly Morning

    Another early morning start, this time we drive through a different area of the park in search of some new species of birds and animals to the ones we had seen yesterday.

    Afternoon Game Drive

    After enjoying lunch at the lodge, we savour our last game drive in the reserve. This is our last chance to see the big 5 so keep your eyes peeled!

    Depart South Africa for Turkey (Türkiye)


    Fly from Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) via Johannesburg to Istanbul

    Today we say farewell and transfer to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) Airport for our flights to Istanbul Turkey, the journey will take approximately two hours (144km). Check in for the flights to Istanbul after enjoying the many memorable highlights South Africa has to offer.

    Arrive Istanbul - Turkey


    Istanbul at Leisure

    On arrival in Istanbul Airport, we meet our transfer assistant and transfer to our hotel (early check in will be arranged for morning flight arrivals).  Once we have checked into our hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure, to relax and recharge the batteries.  We can take a stroll to Taksim square or wander the network of side streets filled with bars and restaurants.

    Breakfast only, is included each day of your stay in Istanbul.

    Please note that the extension in Istanbul is based on an individual rather than a group experience.  

    Uncover Ancient Istanbul on a Guided Tour


    Discover Istanbul

    Let’s discover this vibrant and ancient city!

    After breakfast we uncover some of the highlights of this historical city on a guided tour including a visit to the Hagia Sofia Mosque. We stroll past the Blue Mosque (viewed from the outside), the Roman Hippodrome and admire the ancient Egyptian Obelisks. After we finish our tour at one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world: the Grand Bazaar, a sprawling, lively market where you can haggle with vendors while drinking apple tea and enjoying the unique atmosphere.

    This lively city is a perfect combination of modern and ancient, displaying a range of architecture from majestic skyscrapers to historic mosques, temples and churches. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, to relax or uncover more of Istanbul's fascinating treasures. Ask the guide for advice on further places of interest, before the half day tour is finished.

    Please note: St Sophia is no longer a museum. It has now been converted to a Mosque. During times of prayer, it may not be possible to visit the interior.

    *In order to preserve the beauty and integrity of the iconic Blue Mosque, restoration work is ongoing at this site. Some phases of the restoration involve scaffolding; thus a clear view of the entire Mosque may not be possible. 


    Explore Istanbul At Leisure


    Discover more of Istanbul at Leisure

    Today is free to take in some sightseeing and shopping. Istanbul has so much to offer; no matter how many times you visit, there is always something new to uncover or rediscover.

    Perhaps a visit to the Underground Cistern, a fascinating network of water channels and ornamental pillars, dating back to Roman times.  Dare to look upon the face of Medusa! Explore Topkapi Palace with its museum of national treasures, discover the ancient harem of the Ottoman Sultans. See more on a cruise down the Bosphorus, or shop till you drop in the busy İstiklal Avenue.

    Return home from Istanbul


    Depart Istanbul Turkey

    This morning we bid farewell to Istanbul and transfer to the airport for our flight home.

    * We aim to operate your tour itinerary according to the format shown. Occasionally, local conditions and unexpected events may result in adjustments to the planned schedule. We kindly ask for your understanding and flexibility in the event of any changes.

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    Know before you go

    What if there is an emergency?

    We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.

    Do I need a Visa?

    Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements

    Will I be met at the airport?

    You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.

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