ExpeditionPlus! South Africa

ExpeditionPlus! South Africa


Join us for a 1700km (1049 mile) journey through the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. Our route follows roads used by pioneers in ox wagons as they pushed into the interior, through the "thirstland" of the aboriginal Khoikhoi and along the breath-taking coastline towards the Cape of Good Hope.

- ADDO NATIONAL PARK - Famous for its herds of elephants.

- THE KAROO - Home of the country's largest ostrich farms.

- CANGO CAVES - Visit limestone caverns that stretch 3 miles beneath the Swartberg Mountains.

- FARM STAY - Enjoy exploring a working farm and sampling its produce.

- HERMANUS - Overnight at this beautifully situated coastal hotel.

- THE EASTERN CAPE - Frontier country, heartland of the Xhosa people and homeland of Nelson Mandela.

- VINEYARDS AND FRUIT FARMS - The famous wineries and fruit farms of the Cape.

***Read more about the ExpeditionPlus! concept to see if this type of tour is for you.

We require that all participants complete the Expedition Acknowledgement form which emphasizes the daily protocols on an ExpeditionPlus! ride. ***

There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.

Tour Style: Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Download Itinerary Request Custom Date
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 24 Days
  • Total Distance / 1557 km - 1680 km (961 - 1037 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 74 km - 80 km (46- 49 miles) Average per riding day. per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 1.0
  • Countries / South Africa
  • Begin/End / Port Elizabeth / Cape Town
  • Price / From US $10095.00
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    • A game drive through Addo National Park
    • ,
    • Visit to the ancient Cango Caves
    • ,
    • Visit an ostrich farm
    • ,
    • Wine tasting in the Cape Winelands
    • ,
    • Riding in the shadow of Table Mountain
    • ,
    • Visit to the Cape of Good Hope and penguin colony

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    Though we do our best to accommodate people who prefer their own rooms it may not always be possible. ExpeditionPlus! tours will test you both physically and mentally. By prepared for anything. We require that all participants complete the Expedition Acknowledgement form which emphasizes the daily protocols on an ExpeditionPlus! ride.
  • Includes
    27 days, 26 nights' accommodation; use of a quality road or hybrid bicycle; all breakfasts, 21 lunches, 22 dinners; park fees at Addo and Cape Point Reserve; game drive at Addo National Park; 2 local guides and driver

  • Arrive / Depart
    Port Elizabeth via Johannesburg / Cape Town
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

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    Tour Level Note:

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
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DAY 1: Port Elizabeth

Highlights: Welcome to South Africa

Your guides will meet you on arrival at the Port Elizabeth airport and transfer you to the hotel to rest up before the welcome dinner. We meet this evening for dinner together, to kick off the start of your Cape journey.

Cycling Distance: No Ride today. Meals: D

Lodging: Isango Gate or Singa Lodge

  • Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: Port Elizabeth transfer to Bedford

Highlights: Coastal warm-up ride

Today we will have a bike fitting followed by a practice ride along the Indian Ocean coast line. Stretch out your legs after a long day of travel while enjoying the scenery around one of Port Elizabeth?s favored coastal training routes. Return to the hotel to freshen up before we have lunch and shuttle to the town of Bedford. We will check into our guesthouse with time to spare for a walk around town or to take short ride before dinner.

Cycling Distance: 34 km (22 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: The Duke of Bedford Inn

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: Bedford to Grahamstown

Highlights: Colonial Grahamstown

We have a big day of riding today to loosen up our legs and settle into the Eastern Cape?s iconic landscape. Founded in 1820, Colonial Grahamstown offers many restaurants, bars and churches to explore. This afternoon, a local raconteur will join us to recount the events of the Frontier Wars which ravaged this region for 70 years during the 19th century. You will have dinner on your own tonight. We will offer many suggestions and allow you to discover all that Grahamstown offers.

Cycling Distance: 94 km (58 miles). Meals: B

Lodging: The Graham Hotel

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: Grahamstown to Kenton-on-Sea

Highlights: Sibuya Game Reserve

This morning we ride towards the coast, passing aloe-covered livestock farms along the way. We cycle to Kenton-on-Sea, and will then take a boat up the Kariega River to the Sibuya Game Reserve. We will enjoy an afternoon game drive to view some of the wildlife roaming the reserve. Tonight we will sleep in a tented camp with elephants and rhinos nearby in the African bush.

Cycling Distance: 60 km (37 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Sibuya Game Reserve tented Camp

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: Sibuya Game Reserve to Addo Elephant Park

Highlights: Nanaga Farmstall, elephants

This morning we pedal inland towards the Addo Elephant National Park. Our route takes us through a historical dairy farming region and game reserves that once served as livestock farms. For lunch you will have the opportunity to sample many of the local specialties at the Nanaga Farmstall. We will spend the next two nights in Addo National Park where you will enjoy daily elephant sightings from the terrace of your chalet overlooking the park.



Cycling Distance: 112 km (70 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Addo Elephant National Park Main Rest Camp - Chalets

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6: Addo Elephant Park

Highlights: Elephants!

Free day! Rest your legs and relax in Addo National Park as we enjoy a game drive and marvel at the wide range of biodiversity. Choose from several activities to sign up for and explore South Africa?s third largest national park.

Cycling Distance: Day Off. Meals: B, L

Lodging: Addo Elephant National Park Main Rest Camp - Chalets

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7: Addo Elephant National Park to Kirkwood

Highlights: Cheetahs!

Today we venture further inland towards the province's citrus-growing region in the Sundays River Valley. We will stop for lunch at the Daniell Cheetah Breeding Project where you will have the opportunity for a brief cheetah encounter before continuing to Kirkwood for the night

Cycling Distance: 84 km (52 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Kronenhoff Guesthouse

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: Kirkwood to Steytlerville

Highlights: Big sky country, beautiful canyon riding

We leave this morning for a long ride to Steytlerville, a farming hamlet boasting a proud history since 1875. Our ride takes us through classic Karoo country, with big skies and sheep farms with warm hospitality.

Cycling Distance: 115 km (71 miles) Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Royal Hotel

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: Steytlerville to Willowmore

Highlights: Picutresque Willowmore, Apartheid Museum, Willow Guesthouse Bar

Today's route will boast a slow and gradual increase in altitude as we move towards the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. We will end in the town of Willowmore which in was developed in the late 19th as a gateway between the farmlands of the Great Karoo and the coastal town of Knysna. The town?s history is tightly intertwined with that of our accommodations for the evening, the Willow Guesthouse. We will enjoy dinner together at the guesthouse tonight.

Cycling Distance: 83 km (51 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: The Willow guesthouse

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: Willowmore to De Rust

Highlights: Karoo

A big day of riding today as we leave Willowmore for De Rust. Our route takes us through the heart of the Karoo, in the shadow of the Swartberg (Black) Mountains. The long, straight road and dry, scrubby bush give great insight into why the locals called this the "Thirstland". Our hotel is located in the quiet farming community of De Rust.

Cycling Distance: 112 km (69 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: House Martin guest house

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: De Rust to Prince Albert - shuttle to Oudtshoorn

Highlights: Wine Country, Meiringspoort Pass

Today we will ride up through a beautiful canyon and over the Meiringspoort pass down into Prince Albert Valley. We will have lunch in the quaint town of Prince Albert before shuttling over the dusty and rocky Swartbergs pass to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is the hub of the Karoo farming region and home of the country's largest ostrich farms. We will stay in Oudtshoorn for two nights.

Cycling Distance: 75 km (46 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Hlangana Lodge

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: Rest day in Oudtshoorn

Highlights: Ostriches, Cango Caves, Meerkats

Take the day to explore Oudtshoore, the heart of ostrich farming in South Africa. These birds were originally farmed for their luxurious feathers, catapulting the income of farmers to spectacular heights. Many of the so-called ostrich palaces still stand as testament to the sudden surge in income to the region. After the crash of the feather industry in the early 20th century, many of the farmers lost that income and some took to farming the birds for their meat. You will have the choice of visiting an ostrich farm, the Cango Caves, or participate in some Meerkat spotting this afternoon.

Cycling Distance: Rest Day or take a ride to the Cango Caves and back 52 km (32 miles).

Meals: B

Lodging: Hlangana Lodge

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13: Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp

Highlights: The port wine region

We leave early to avoid the heat as we head out on the R62 towards Calitzdorp. Nestled between the Swartberg range and the coastal Langeberg (Long) Mountains, the route offers picturesque landscapes as we ride through South Africa's port wine region. We spend the night in Calitzdorp after tasting the region's premier port wines.

Cycling Distance: 75 km (47 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Port Wine guesthouse

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14: Calitzdorp to Ladismith

Highlights: Quiet country life, vineyards and beautiful views of Towerkop Mountain

We continue through the port wine region ending the day's ride at a boutique wine estate. We will take the rest of the day on this working farm to explore the vineyards and taste the grapes!

Cycling Distance: 66 km (41 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Mymering

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: Ladismith to Barrydale

Highlights: Eclectic Barrydale and The Karoo Art Hotel

We continue along the R62 towards Barrydale, a lively little farming town that services a community established around 1700.As trade between farmers and the larger centers increased during the late 1800s, Barrydale became an important crossroads town. Today it is synonymous with the verdant valleys of the Little Karoo. It has recently become one of many small farming hamlets that has attracted an eclectic group of urban dwellers in search of a quieter life and slower pace.

Cycling Distance: 83 km (51 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Karoo Art Hotel

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16: Barrydale to Montagu

Highlights: Cycling the Famous Route 62

Today we will be cycling through a mix of rolling farmlands, vineyards and citrus orchards. As we wind down Route 62, we'll pedal through valleys of the Overberg mountains before arriving in Montagu. We'll spend the night in this quaint town, best known for it's dried fruit production.

Cycling Distance: 65 km (40 miles). Meals: B, D

Lodging: Minmosa Lodge

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 17: Montagu to Napier

Highlights: Cycling through Cogmans Kloof canyon

Today we leave the interior and start heading towards the coast. Our route continues through the Breede River Valley undulating with several important climbs. We will spend the night in Napier where we'll be greeted with Overberg hospitality and meet some local friends for dinner.

Cycling Distance: 115 km (71 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Pascal's of Napier

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 18: Napier to Hermanus

Highlights: Beautiful Costal views in Hermanus

This morning we head to the coastal town of Hermanus. Founded by itinerant farmer and school teacher, Hermanus Pieterse, this holiday and fishing town is a popular destination for domestic and international visitors alike. The first half of our ride climbs up and down before we start the breathtaking descent towards the ocean. We will spend two nights in our hotel which sits along the stunning Atlantic coast.

Cycling Distance: 92 km (57 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Windsor Hotel

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 19: Rest day in Hermanus

Highlights: Hermanus, Sea Safari

Today we will take a break and soak in this beautiful coastal town. In the morning we'll take a boat into the Atlantic Ocean for a Sea Safari. Odds are we'll spot penguins, sharks and a range of native birds. In the afternoon you'll have time to meander through the local shops or take a stroll along the coast. Hermanus also offers a wide selection of restaurants perfect for tasting the local seafood.

Cycling Distance: Rest day. Meals: B, L

Lodging: Windsor Hotel

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 20: Hermanus to Gordons Bay

Highlights: Epic Coastal Ride

Today's ride is a coastal epic, with spectacular ocean views for much of the route. We end the ride in Gordons Bay with views over False Bay, and in eyeshot of our final destination, Cape Town.

Cycling Distance: 86 km (53 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Manor on the Bay

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 21: Gordons Bay to Franschhoek

Highlights: Helshoogte Pass

Today's spectacular ride winds through the heart of the Cape wine lands. After a short transfer to skip a main freeway, we start our route from Elgin through apple country and into Franschhoek over the Franschoek Pass, a hearty climb and one of the favorite training grounds for local cyclists. The views at the top of the pass melt away any fatigue from the climb. From here we'll continue into the Franschhoek Valley and stop at a winery for lunch.

Cycling Distance: 60 km (37 miles). Meals: B, L winery lunch

Lodging: Protea Hotel Franschhoek

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 22: Franschhoek to Cape Town

Highlights: Cape Town

The route for today will pass through a mixture of farmland, urban residential and commercial areas close to Cape Town. We emerge on Table Bay coast and make our way into Cape Town via the commuter cycle network to our Waterfront hotel.

Cycling Distance: 90 km (56 miles). Meals: B

Lodging: Victoria and Alfred Hotel

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 23: Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope

Highlights: One of the iconic rides in South Africa

Today is a big day of biking as we tackle part of the Cape Town Cycle Tour route. Our route includes Victoria Drive and the iconic Chapman's Peak Drive as we head south towards the Cape. After a long morning of beautiful coastal riding you'll arrive at our much anticipated destination, the Cape of Good Hope! After more than 1500 km of biking across South Africa we'll celebrate the end of our unforgettable journey. We'll eat lunch together at the iconic light house before shuttling back to Cape Town to enjoy a final celebratory evening together.

Cycling Distance: 78 km (48 miles). Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: Victoria and Alfred Hotel

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 24: Cape Town

Highlights: Walking tour to explore Cape Town

After breakfast this morning join us for a walk around Cape Town to learn a bit about the history of one of the most iconic cities in Africa.

Meals: B

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Though we do our best to accommodate people who prefer their own rooms it may not always be possible. ExpeditionPlus! tours will test you both physically and mentally. By prepared for anything. We require that all participants complete the Expedition Acknowledgement form which emphasizes the daily protocols on an ExpeditionPlus! ride.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to Departure

  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike comes with a pack for the rear rack, lock, cyclometer (bicycle computer), a spare tube and patch kit and pump. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages and straps available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet. Daily Routine (Procedures and Logistics)

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

At breakfast each day we will make the "Master Route Map" available so you can highlight your map for the day's ride. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

We'll be taking photos throughout the tour and we encourage you to do the same. Please note that we may use these for promotional purposes. Please inform us if you prefer images of you not be used. We realize that many of our travelers are great photographers and often people want to share photos after the trip. We'd love to see and share your photos from the tour with the world so if you don't mind the possibility of being famous (at least in the ExperiencePlus! world) send us a link to your tour photo gallery, or upload your favorite 20 - 30 pictures to your tour departure gallery - we'll send you the link to that online photo gallery in your final email!

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