This 13 day Sharks & Garden Route adventure tour takes you down the South African coast from Durban to Cape Town. Your diving will include the famous Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, home to APEX sharks and filled with pelagic life. Not only will you have 10 incredible dives but you will also visit the world-renowned Addo Elephant National Park, recognised as one of South Africa’s most popular national parks and game reserves. Take advantage of an array of activities available on this route, which include exploring new surrounds, game driving, canoeing, bungee jumping, wine tasting and so much more. Discover an indigenous forest in the heart of the Garden Route and visit some of the country’s most scenic attractions.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation
Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.
Airport Transfer Available Garden Court South Beach Hotel
Situated in the warm subtropical city of Durban, on the lush coastline of KwaZulu-Natal, Garden Court South Beach is the ideal home away from home for our travellers. The hotel lies within easy reach of Durban’s popular South Beach, and provides an ideal springboard from which to explore Durban and … Read More
Durban to Margate
Please note that during the next few days (while we are visiting Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal), the order of activities could change without prior notice and a degree of flexibility is needed. This is to allow for maximum dive opportunities and experiences based on conditions and weather. Please also note that should conditions prevent diving we will substitute an alternative activity.
Leaving the city of Durban behind us we make our way south along the dolphin coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. About 2 hours north of Durban is the launch site for both Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, home to some of the best Apex Predator shark diving. We arrive at the Dive House and settle in for our stay. This afternoon we will check all dive equipment, ensure the correct gear is allocated and have a dive briefing for the following days.
Protea Banks Diving
Over the next three days we will have 5 dives on the Protea Banks Reef where we hope to see some of the worlds largest marine predators. During these three days you will also be offered a baited shark dive. Diving both North and South Pinnacles we will have the chance to collect Sand Tiger Shark teeth and explore caves, swim-throughs and tunnels. An optional Tiger and Bull Shark baited dive at Protea Banks will be offered during our stay. This dive takes place in open water, hanging in the blue whilst possible Tiger, Bull, Hammerhead and Oceanic Black-Tip sharks come in to investigate the scent trail around us. A full safety briefing and training session is included and this is a breathtaking experience.
Protea Banks Diving
Today we will enjoy 1 Dive on the Protea Banks Reef, allowing for us to have the afternoon at Leisure and be fully rested for our 2 x Dives tomorrow.
Protea Banks Diving
Today we will have our last 2 dives on the Protea Banks Reef, with this being our last chance to possibly see some of the world’s largest marine predators.
The following two days we spend diving the equally famous Aliwal Shoal. Renowned for Raggie Tooth Sharks congregating in their hundreds, dolphins and the baited shark dive. Each morning we will travel the hour from our Dive House in Margate to the launch site for Aliwal Shoal. Over the two days we will do 3 recreational dives on the Aliwal Shoal, including the famous “Raggie Cave”. The optional baited shark dive is well worth it, with Oceanic Black-Tip Sharks gathering in large numbers and possibly Tiger Sharks investigating the bait.
Today will be our last diving day and also our last night in South Africa. Please make sure to make the most of your 1 Diving activity today as this will be the last chance to spot the Raggie Tooth Sharks.
Margate to Durban to Port Elizabeth (Greater Addo Elephant National Park area)
We travel this morning to the Durban airport where we will board our flight south to the coastal town of Port Elizabeth. The Addo Elephant National Park is the third largest national park in South Africa and home to over 600 elephant, lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard and a variety of antelope. Our accommodation is located just outside the Addo NP on a private game lodge.
Tsitsikamma National Park
Famed for the Elephants after which the park was named, recent expansion has seen Addo grow to become the third largest of South Africa’s National Parks. The unique vegetation of Addo supports a wide variety of wildlife and we will spend much of today in search of the animals that call Addo home. Setting out early this morning we game drive through the Addo National Park before turning west to Tsitsikamma, where the wonders of the Garden Route await. We make a brief visit to the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay, most famous for its waves this little town is also home to a small Surfing Museum. Our final destination is the Tsitiskamma region where we set up for the next two nights.
Tsitsikamma National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning we set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Our hike along the Waterfall Trail sees us cover the first section of the world renowned Otter Trail, this is not an easy hike and those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River Mouth. For the adventurous the Waterfall Trail offers a spectacular winding path that follows the rocky coastline, an out and back trial we stop for a refreshing swim at the base of an icy Waterfall. For those who wish to get a birds-eye view of the magnificent forests an optional zip line tour through the canopy is offered this afternoon.
Heart of the Garden Route
The Garden Route is a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and an exciting menu of optional adventures. While our morning is set aside for an exploration of Nature’s Valley, this beautiful village offers us a chance to enjoy a hike or simply relax on the pristine beach in this paradise. We end the afternoon on the beautiful beaches of the Keurbooms Lagoon. Today offers a number of optional activities and your guide will assist you with a plan to get the most out the day, the truck will run a set schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs giving you the freedom to join or leave at the places of most interest to you. We celebrate our adventures with dinner out on the town this evening.
This morning the adventurous can join a number of optional activities on offer in the resort town of Plettenberg Bay, the winter months (July to November) offer some of the finest Whale Watching in the world and an ocean safari is not to be missed during these months. For those less inclined to adventure on the high seas, the morning can be spent at leisure on the beach or exploring this holiday town. This afternoon we cross the Outeniqua Mountains as we wind our way to the Klein Karoo, we end the day with a visit to the impressive formations of the Cango Caves, we join a guided tour as we venture underground into this sprawling network of limestone caves.
Oudtshoorn to Paarl
Our first stop this morning is an Ostrich Farm where we undertake a guide tour to learn more about the world’s largest birds. Travelling through the valley of the Klein Karoo, we follow the winding tarmac of Route 62. Road trips in South Africa are an exploration of the rural highlights that dot the lesser known byways of the land, no journey would be complete without sampling the offerings of a “Padstal” along the way. These small farm stalls offer a selection of homemade treats and bakes and are an important cog in the economies of rural towns. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub! Our day ends with a celebratory dinner out.
Paarl – Cape Town
Cape Town is not only set in one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, but offers a wide variety of attractions and highlights. We will gain a unique insight into the city when we join a local guide for a Cultural Tour. We Sample some of the fine Cape wines and spend some time exploring the town of Stellenbosch. To allow for Sundays and Public Holidays the order of events may be reversed today, the tour will however always end in Cape Town in the afternoon.
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