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Ready for one of the world’s most epic road trips – where you flicker from wildlife to city life to beach life? You’ll gawp at the Cango Caves, sample the nightlife of Cape Town & Stellenbosch, and even encounter the Big 5 at some of Africa’s finest national parks. The Garden Route has everything, and you’ll experience it all on this unforgettable 8-day adventure, with a squad of fellow 18-35s.
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Frequently asked questions
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How many days do you need to do the Garden Route?
You could drive the entire route in a day – but where’s the fun in that? Seeing the sights and taking part in the myriad of activities could take up to 2 weeks (depending on how long you want to sizzle on those glorious beaches.)
Our Garden Route & Addo trip is 8 days long, and includes all of the route’s main attractions, like Addo Elephant Park, Cango Caves and Stellenbosch.
Where does the Garden Route start and end?
It’s common to start in Mossel Bay in the west and finish at Storms River in the east – but there’s no reason you couldn’t do this in reverse or start in the middle (like the rebel you are.)
Our Garden Route & Addo trip starts off in Cape Town. From there, we’ll board the Contiki coach and drive east to the Addo Elephant Park via Oudtshoorn. We then head south to Gqeberha before making our way back west to Hermanus via Knysna. Check the itinerary above for more info.
Do I need a visa for this trip?
This depends on your country of origin. In some cases, your visa is free and you can collect it when you arrive in South Africa. In others, if you’re travelling from New Zealand for example, you’ll need to arrange your visa ahead of time. Click here to find out visa requirements based on your home country.
What should I pack for a Garden Route road trip?
It’ll change slightly depending on what time of year you’re visiting, but some essentials will include:
What is the best time of year to travel the Garden Route?
The Garden Route summer occurs between November and March, with the best beach weather coming in February/March. July to December is Whale Season, so this is the best time to visit if you’re keen to admire the Garden Route’s awesome marine life. June - September usually sees the coolest weather, so these months are ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.
What are my chances of seeing wildlife on this trip?
We visit two wildlife reserves, so you’ll have a decent chance of catching the elusive Big 5 – plus giraffes, warthogs and other famed species. You’ll also have a great chance of seeing elephants in Addo, plus the myriad marine life on our marine safari – including whales and dolphins.
What is Contiki?
Contiki are the world leaders in organized youth travel. We’ve been providing amazing travel experiences for young travellers, from 18-35 years old, since 1962. Imagine how good you would be at something if you had been doing it for more than 60 years?
Everything about Contiki is deeply rooted in our two values ‘Make Every Moment Count’ and ‘We’re About People’. We don’t just talk, we walk the walk and live by our brand philosophy of ‘Travel.Together.’ which means to travel with one another, with the destinations we visit, the people and cultures we enjoy and the environment.
You’ve never experienced travel like this.
Why only 18-35?
Focusing on 18-35 year olds allows us to tailor a dramatically more powerful travel experience and an itinerary so fun it feels like all of your best Friday nights combined.
Tailoring to select ages brings together like minded, likeable people, and allows us to use Social Travel planning to build great groups of people so fast you’ll wonder if you’ve been friends forever.
What destinations can I go to with Contiki?
A sunrise, shoreline or bright light for every whim. We are proud to offer more than 350 Global trips, intelligently designed for a seamless and simple social travel experience. Visit our search page to discover your perfect travel destination.
How does it work?
We’re reinventing hassle free travel. Whether you are a solo traveller or group you can be rest assured that there has been tonnes of planning behind every trip.
Booking with Contiki means you are saying yes to a smile inducing trip where the typically stressful elements just seem to magically happen.
No one does trips like Contiki, essential accommodation, transport, reservations and so much more is all taken care of. You can multiply the magic with trip add ons and numerous customisations for your free time.
Every single Contiki social travel trip is managed by one of our expert Trip Managers, who are there to provide hands-on support and ensure your trip runs smoothly whilst you stay in the moment.
From 2022 your good time will be good for the planet as all Contiki trips are carbon natural. Find out more here.
How many other travellers are on each trip?
Group sizes are completely dependent on where and how you choose to travel with Contiki.
In Europe and in most of North America and New Zealand, group sizes can range between 24 – 53 awesome travellers.
In regions like Asia, Australia, Africa and Latin America, and on some North America and New Zealand trips, our group sizes are considerably smaller – as low as 12 or up to 30 travellers max.
Detour trips offer a different type of experience and max out at 16 people led by a local host.
Wondering what is so great about travelling together? Check out the Contiki Social travel page.
Each group is administered according to our strict Covid policies which can be viewed here.
All essential trip elements have been catered to ensure a great time, with great people in great places. But you mean more specifically right?
Your accommodation, essential trip transport, and a good handful of meals are included in the cost of your Contiki trip (on most trips we offer breakfast every day, plus a hand-picked selection of authentic and tasty meals).
To fill your days and Insta feeds we have Included Experiences, which are basically the sights and activities we think you just can’t afford to miss. Of course you also get our expert and highly trained team of Contiki staff to support throughout.
A day by day breakdown of inclusions and Free Time Add-Ons are available on the trip specific pages.
We always try to accommodate special requests such as birthdays, proposals etc. Please chat to our team and we can explore how we may support the request.
What’s not included?
Contiki social travel trips have a large degree of flexibility built into them to enable you to truly own your experience. This means that some trip elements are not included in the initial cost and may require additional budgeting.
Flights to and from your starting and ending points are not included in the cost of your trip. These can be added on during the booking process either online or via our contact center or booked independently by you.
Each trip contains the right amount of free time for you to explore or indulge your travel desires. We offer Free Time Add-Ons, which are additional experiences that are not included in the overall price. These add ons are highlighted on the specific trip page. Your Trip Manager will highlight these to you and organise their booking on trip. Exceptions may apply where pre booking is required but this will be made known to you in your pre departure information.
A number of meal times are left open for you to explore a region and its foodie offerings in greater detail, so budgeting for your taste in non-catered meals is important.
Travel insurance and visas are also not included in the cost of your trip, and should be booked separately.
What are Contiki's sustainability credentials?
Travel comes with responsibilities. That’s why we’re determined to travel sustainably and consciously, and that’s why we’re willing to take a stand on issues closest to our hearts. Find out more details here.
With the help of our four-point Climate Action Plan, we're now on a journey to Net Zero - committing to carbon reductions and evolving to support the transition to a low-carbon future.
Find out more details here.