You woke up this morning for a hike that would ascend 2,297 feet for panoramic views of the city and ocean below. You had heard the scenery was amazing from the top, but those exalting accounts only hinted how awe-inspiring the view would be in real life. It’s only your first day in South Africa and the view from the top of Table Mountain, up above Cape Town, has already become an all-time travel highlight.
For those who want to add some hikes like this to their South African expedition, the 17-day Hiking South Africa tour with G Adventures is designed for those insatiable adventure seekers looking for outdoor thrills and authentic experiences.
Book Now: From $2,324; gadventures.com
Launched in 1990 by Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures was inspired by the pure spirit of adventure and has grown into a globetrotting company catering to travelers looking for life-changing experiences. The small group tours go behind the scenes to see the real world in a genuine and sustainable manner. They respect local customs and give back to the countries they visit. In South Africa, you’ll travel in a comfy, private vehicle from Cape Town to Johannesburg with stops to satisfy your appetite for adventure, sample traditional cuisine, and understand the real meaning of ubuntu, which loosely translates to humanity. You’ll stay in authentic accommodations and benefit from the knowledge of your CEO (Chief Experience Officer), along with free time to venture on your own. It’s 17 days, three passport stamps, and endless fun.
You’ll begin your trip in gorgeous Cape Town, known for its outdoorsy lifestyle, where locals take advantage of their ideal position between sea and mountains. For a bird’s-eye view of the city bowl and Table Bay, you’ll hike in Table Mountain National Park ascending 2,297 feet. Heading out of Cape Town, you’ll hit the scenic Route 62, running to Oudtshoorn, which is one of the world’s greatest road trips through the Klein Karoo desertscape and wine country. You’ll stop for an optional wine tasting along the way, before settling in at a casual resort in Oudtshoorn, where you might just spot a giant feathered beast in the “ostrich capital of the world.”
You’ll have the option to visit an ostrich farm or explore the Cango Caves before hitting the legendary Garden Route over the Outeniqua Mountains. If you’re feeling especially daring, you’ll also have a chance to bungee jump from the Bloukrans Bridge on your way to the forest village of Storms River.
In Tsitsikamma National Park, you’ll hike the famous Otter Trail, which passes through stunning coastal scenery, suspension bridges, and waterfalls. Over the next few days on your journey eastward, you’ll go on a wildlife safari in Addo Elephant National Park, drive through the Great Karoo and Camdeboo National Park, and hike in the Valley of Desolation.
As you hit the midpoint of your journey, you’ll earn a unique passport stamp by crossing the border into Lesotho, the highest independent state in the world. During your time in “the Kingdom of the Sky,” you’ll go on the popular Botsoela Waterfalls hike and can spend your free time horseback riding or mountain biking.
Returning to South Africa, you’ll set up base in Drakensville at a holiday resort and get ready for a long hike along the Tugela Gorge in Royal Natal National Park, which is considered one of the best one-day hikes in South Africa. Next, you’ll drive to Saint Lucia on the Zululand coast for two relaxing days, during which you’ll have the option to go on a sunset cruise and possibly spot a croc or a hippo; do a wildlife safari drive in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park; or horseback ride on the beach.
On your way north to iconic Kruger National Park, you’ll cross into Swaziland for a night and explore the Mlilwane Sanctuary. For the finale of this adventure, you’ll return to South Africa and hunker down in a safari camp just outside of Kruger. You’ll go on a full-day wildlife safari and have the option to upgrade to a 4x4 for an up-close view of giraffes, lions, and zebras, among other animals. In the evening, you’ll celebrate your last night with a traditional dinner and local dancing before heading off to Johannesburg in the morning for the end of an amazing trip.
Check out other South African tours with G Adventures and get in on the action!