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Online booking service TripAdvisor compiled a list of 10 of the world’s best tours, and Earthstompers’ six-day Garden Route tour took the ninth position and had the accolade of being the only southern African experience on the list. We decided to see why the award-winning tour is so special.

The six-day Garden Route Tour explores one of the most beautiful areas of the Western Cape – the Garden Route – and includes visits to the Little Karoo, the Addo Elephant National Park, and the famous Route 62.

What can you expect from the tour?

Departing from Cape Town or Stellenbosch every Monday morning, the first stop of the tour is the whale-watching oasis of Hermanus where you can spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town, watch Southern Right whales during the whale season (July to November) and shark cage dive if you are feeling brave. You then drive on to Cape Agulhas to see the most southern tip of Africa and the place where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.

The next day, the tour takes the spectacular Route 62, the longest wine route in the country, into the Little Karoo and heads to the “ostrich capital” of the world, Oudtshoorn. You’ll sample some of the region’s finest wines at a local wine estate and explore the subterranean splendour of the Cango Caves on a guided tour.

Day three takes you through the magnificent Outeniqua Mountain Pass to the Wilderness National Park where you can spend a few hours exploring with canoes. After the park is a visit to the up-market little town of Knysna via the lavish Lake District of the Garden Route followed by the exquisite beaches of Sedgefield.

The following day begins with a visit to the Tsitsikamma National Park with an opportunity for adrenalin-seekers to bungee off the 216-metre Bloukrans bridge. You can then spend the day exploring the national park and enjoying activities like hiking, crossing a suspension bridge, and swimming. The afternoon will see you leaving the Garden Route and heading to one of South Africa’s best parks, the Addo Elephant National Park. 

After spending the night and the next morning exploring the 28,000-hectare national reserve where you’ll see plenty of elephants, along with Cape buffalo, eland, kudu, hartebeest, zebra, warthog, lion, and black rhino, the tour heads back to the Garden Route for an overnight stay in Wilderness or Mossel Bay.

The last day of the tour has a stop in Mossel Bay where you can visit the famous Diaz Museum complex, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail, or spend some time on the spectacular beaches. Adventure-lovers can try sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa or a 10,000 foot tandem skydive before heading back to Cape Town/Stellenbosch for an early evening arrival.

This incredible tour is a perfect way to escape the chaos and soak up the natural beauty of South Africa, and we can see why TripAdvisor has it on the list.

The other winners on TripAdvisor

  1. Three-day Sahara desert to Merzouga from Marrakech, Morocco
  2. Three-day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  3. Two-day St Petersburg city tour, Russia
  4. Two-day Beijing tour, China
  5. Four-day private luxury Golden Triangle tour to Agra and Jaipur from New Delhi, India
  6. Four-day trek to Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail, Peru
  7. Two-day Xian mini group tour to Terracotta Army, City Wall, Pagoda, China
  8. Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon two-day tour, Iceland
  9. Six-day Garden Route and Addo South African Adventure from Cape Town, South Africa
  10. Number one top rated ethical cultural trekking and homestay by ETHOS, Vietnam

Also read: Get ready to rumble: The Blue Train is back on track

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