Shore Excursion Details

Garden Route Explorer and Safari (Single Occupancy)

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Garden Route Explorer and Safari (Single Occupancy)


  • 3 Days/2 Nights
  • Passport

Venture from the Friendly City and make your way deep into the picturesque Garden Route, home to beautiful beaches, lagoons and coves as well as indigenous forest, beautiful flowers (hence its name) and quaint towns. Along the way discover the famous town of Knysna, that is nestled on the banks of a breathtaking lagoon area, visit an Ostrich Farm as well as Cango Caves. After taking in the sights and sounds that Knysna has to offer, head into the heart of the Garden Route and uncover Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, home to a spectacular view of the Outeniqua Mountains and four of the Big 5 (Lion, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo).

Upon disembarkation from your cruise ship in Port Elizabeth you will be met by an English-speaking tour guide who will accompany you on your overland journey to Knysna. Approximately traveling time is 3 hours.

On the journey to Knysna, drive through Storm’s River Village, located in the heart of the Tsitsikamma, where you will be treated to lunch at the quirky Marilyn's 60s Diner. Drawing inspiration from the sensational era of the 60’s this diner offers guests a throwback dining experience while in the heart of the Tsitsikamma forest.

After lunch make a detour to the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve for spectacular scenery and once in a life-time photo opportunities.

Your final destination for the day is Knysna - a veritable paradise of lush green indigenous forest, tranquil lakes and long stretches of golden beaches. It is located on the banks of a lagoon which has been declared a natural marine reserve as it plays host to over 200 different species of fish and the extraordinary Knysna Seahorse which frolick in the shallows of the lagoon.

The mouth of the lagoon is guarded by two promontories known as the “Knysna Heads”. The origins of the town name are probably from the Hottentot words 'Xthuys Xna', which mean 'place where the wood is'. An entire industry sprang up around the beautiful yellowwood trees in the surrounding Tsitsikamma Forest, until South Africa's national tree became an endangered species.

Embark on a Knysna lagoon cruise, to view the two sandstone heads that guard the sea’s entrance to the lagoon.

On arrival at your overnight hotel, check-in and regroup for dinner at the hotel.

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, check-out and travel to Oudtshoorn – known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world. On arrival, proceed to the Cango Caves and embark on a 1-hour tour of the caves. Here you will find some of the biggest stalagmite formations in the world set in Precambrian limestone. The Cango Caves are a series of dripstone caverns that open into vast halls of towering stalagmite formations with names like ‘The Bridal Couple’, ‘Glass Flower Fantasy’, ‘Weird Cango Candle’ and ‘The Hanging Shawl’.

You will have an easy walk through of the first six, largest and most spectacular halls continuing through to the "African Drum room". There will be a few stairways to negotiate in the caves.

NOTE: Wear sensible footwear and light clothing. The temperature in the Caves remains a constant 20°C (60 °F).

Thereafter transfer to an ostrich farm to enjoy a light lunch before commencing on a highly entertaining and educational guided visit of the farm.

Your tour starts in the breeding camp, with a nest of ostrich eggs, where the first stage of the ostrich life cycle is explained. Visitors will have the opportunity to test the strength of the eggs by standing on them - a great photo opportunity. If you are lucky you may see ostrich eggs hatching in the incubator rooms! You will have the opportunity to view an ostrich up close and those who are brave enough can even try their hand at riding one. Every tour ends with an "Ostrich Derby" where local jockeys display their riding skills.

Depart Oudtshoorn and travel along a scenic mountain pass as you make your way deeper into the heart of the Garden Route to Botlierskop Private Game Reserve.

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, home to sweeping views of the Indian ocean and a magnificent backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains, offers visitors a truly authentic South Africa safari experience with a luxury twist. The reserve has four of the Big 5 (Lion, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo) as well as a host of other animals ranging from Antelope to Hippo.

Upon arrival at Botlierskop you will be guided to the reception to complete your check-in formalities. Strictly time permitting, embark on a shortened game drive in 4x4 vehicles.

With the Moordkuil River meandering lazily past them, each of the spacious and elegant Botlierskop Luxury Tented Suites are spaced apart for privacy blending seamlessly into their leafy, riverine and mountainous surrounds, offering splendid views out over the river and the mountains beyond. These luxury tents are Colonial only in style. Every modern convenience and thoughtful touch will make you feel welcome and pampered.

Raised wooden walkways connect the suites to each other and the Main Lodge with its spacious lounge areas and open-plan Fireplace Restaurant that leads out on to the spacious wooden deck with wrap-around views of the valleys below. Children aged 6 and over are welcome at the Luxury Tented Camp; however, bedding in each tent is a King-sized 4-poster bed with mosquito nets. Tents also include a bathroom with deep oval bath and private open-air shower, fully stocked mini-bar and electronic safe, coffee & tea station, sherry and fruit bowl, telephone, hairdryer, guest amenities, bathrobes and slippers and a private deck with cushioned seating.

Enjoy dinner at the main lodge, with the Outeniqua Mountains providing you with gorgeous views.

This morning, embark on an early game drive on the Botlierskop Game Reserve, followed by breakfast and check-out formalities.

Depart Botlierskop and travel towards Cape Town, traveling on the National N2 Road, stopping in a local town en- route for lunch. You will arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon and re-board the ship.

Land Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. All program details and the timings indicated below are approximate, given here for general reference purposes and subject to change. Final itineraries with the most up to date details will be provided by the Shore Excursion Team once you board the ship. Please review your final itinerary carefully for any amendments.

Day 1
• 9:00am Depart Port Elizabeth Harbor and transfer to Tsitsikamma National Park
• 11:45am Visit the Tsitsikamma National Park
• 12:15pm Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant
• 1:45pm Drive to Knysna
• 3:15pm Restroom stop and embark boat
• 3:45pm Lagoon cruise
• 5:00pm Transfer to your hotel
• 5:15pm Check-in and time at leisure
• 7:00pm Dinner at the hotel
• Overnight at the Knysna Log Inn Hotel or similar hotel

Day 2
• 7:00am Breakfast at your hotel followed by check-out formalities
• 8:00am Transfer to Oudtshoorn
• 10:30am Restroom stop
• 11:00am Guided tour of Cango Caves
• 12:00pm Transfer to an ostrich farm
• 1:00pm Lunch followed by guided tour of this working ostrich farm
• 3:00pm Continue the drive to Botlierskop Game Reserve
• 4:30pm Approximate arrival at the Botlierskop Game Reserve and check-in
• Strictly time permitting, embark on a shortened game drive
• 7:00pm Dinner at Botlierskop Game Reserve

Day 3
• 5:30am Wake-up call
• 6:00am Morning game drive on Botlierskop Game Reserve
• 8:30am Breakfast at the Botlierskop Game Reserve followed by check-out formalities
• 9:30am Transfer from Botlierskop Game Reserve to Cape Town Cruise Terminal
• 1:00pm Approximate time for lunch in a quaint town en-route
• 4:00pm Approximate arrival at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal
• 7:00pm Dinner at Botlierskop Game Reserve

Expected Weather:
The average high during this season is between 80.3°F (26.8°C) and 73.6°F (23.1°C).

What to Bring:
Khaki, brown, white and beige colored clothing, no bright colors for the game drives. Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts in summer, safari trousers and warm fleece tops for evenings and cooler days, swimwear, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, Camera film and batteries, personal toiletries, binoculars and windbreakers.

The monetary unit of South Africa is the Rand. All major credit cards are accepted at most establishments, although Visa and Master Card are the most widely accepted.

South Africa’s electrical system is 220/230 volts A/C 50 cycles. If you bring electric equipment, take along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs. Outlets in South Africa require a three-pronged adapter plug with 3 round prongs.

Be aware, however, that overnight recharging may not be possible where generator use restricts the availability of electricity.

No luggage restriction on board the coach. However, an overnight soft-sided bag is recommended.

Documents and Visa Requirements:
A valid passport is required. Please check with your local South African Embassy for any Visa requirements for your nationality.

Please Note:
• One room is included in the per person single or double cost of this program and will be assigned for any bookings up to 2 guests regardless of cabin size on the ship. If additional bedding or rooms are required for this program, please contact Norwegian Cruise Line in advance of travel to request and price accordingly. Requests must be received at least 65 days before departure and confirmations will be based on availability at the time of request.
• This experience is not suitable for guests with mobility difficulties or those confined to a wheelchair
• The Knysna Lagoon cruise is weather permitting
• The contents and order of activities in this program are subject to change by Botlierskop Lodge management without prior notice, due to the prevailing weather conditions and movement of dangerous wildlife on the Reserve.
• The program at the lodge and hotel is run solely and at the discretion by the lodge/hotel staff.
• During early morning game drives in open vehicles it can be a little cool. We recommend that guests take along a windbreaker.
• Guests are advised not to forget their sunhats, sun block, sunglasses, as well as their cameras and binoculars.
• Please note that the game drive vehicles traverse over uneven terrain and that the game-drives can be “bumpy”. This tour is therefore not recommended for guests with back problems.
• Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed

Program Includes for guests:
• 1 night at Knysna Log Inn Hotel (Standard Room) including dinner and breakfast
• 1 night at Botlierskop Game lodge (Luxury tented suite) including meals and game drives
• Registered English-speaking tour guide during the entire trip
• Entrance fees and excursions as featured in itinerary - Tsitsikamma National Park entrance, Knysna lagoon cruise, Ostrich Farm visit, Cango Caves standard tour
• Lunch as per itinerary including 2 drinks per person (mineral water, soft drink, house wine or local beer)
• 2 x 500 ml bottles of mineral water per person per day on touring vehicles
• Porterage for maximum 1 piece of luggage per person

One room is included in the per person single or double cost of this program and will be assigned for any bookings up to 2 guests regardless of cabin size on the ship. If additional bedding or rooms are required for this program, please contact Norwegian Cruise Line in advance of travel to request and price accordingly. Requests must be received at least 65 days before departure and confirmations will be based on availability at the time of request.

Program Excludes for guests:
• Any meals not indicated in the itinerary
• Any beverages not listed including Champagne and premium brand spirits and liquor
• Gratuities for drivers, guides, game rangers, trackers and lodge staff
• Personal expenses such as telephone calls, curio shop purchases, laundry, mini bar and room service

Need to Know:

Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies, and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.

All land programs are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Programs falling under the minimum number of required participants are subject to cancellation. Pricing listed is also subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases for transportation, land arrangements or currency fluctuations.

Once purchased, pricing is guaranteed and not subject to change. Mid cruise overland programs must be purchased no later than 60 days prior to your sail date. Cancellations made within 60 days or less prior to the sail date are subject to 100% cancellation penalty.

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Excursion Type:

Scenic & City Tours
Wildlife Tours

Activity Level:

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Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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