Garden Route Tour & Rovos Rail • Freedom Destinations
Cape Town City Stay
Lounge Car, Rovos Rail
Traversing Hex River Valley
Clifton Beach, South Africa
Cango Caves, near Oudtshoorn
Robberg Nature Reserve, Garden Route
Tsitsikamma National Park

Garden Route Splendour & Rovos Rail

13 day Small Group Tour & Luxury Rail - from £3279

With flights from £4129

Combine one of the world’s great rail journeys, with a Cape Town city stay and a small group guided tour of South Africa’s breathtaking southern coast.


  • Travel in style from Pretoria to Cape Town aboard Rovos Rail
  • Enjoy three nights in Cape Town, staying by the V&A Waterfront
  • Explore the spectacular Garden Route with an expert guide
  • Visit Cape Agulhas, an ostrich farm and the magnificent Cango Caves
  • Stay overnight in the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park

Your Holiday Includes:

  • 1 night in Pretoria
  • 4 day Rovos Rail journey
  • 3 nights in Cape Town
  • 6 day Garden Route small group tour
  • Airport and hotel transfers
  • Optional UK flights
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Pretoria

Welcome to South Africa! You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to the beautiful Sheraton Pretoria, which sits across from the Union Building. Explore Pretoria’s tree-lined streets and fine old buildings, or just relax after your flight, ready for the start of your Rovos Rail adventure tomorrow.

Hotel: Sheraton Pretoria

Day 2 to 4 - Rovos Rail

From your hotel, Rovos Rail’s private station at Capital Park is just a fifteen minute transfer. Before you board, take some time to explore the railway museum, an ever-growing collection of nostalgic paraphernalia, and have a peek in locomotive sheds, where you may see Rovos’ team of engineers keep the rolling stock in perfect order.

Sit back and relax, as your three night journey aboard Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Cape Town, takes you through stunning South African scenery, whilst you enjoy fine dining and a wide range of beverages on board. The open-air balcony at the rear of the observation carriage is the perfect place for a sundowner (or cup of tea!) with the sights and sounds of the African bush all around.

En route to the Mother City, you’ll pass through the grasslands of the Highveld, stopping in Kimberly to visit the Diamond Museum and aptly named Big Hole, a former mine, before crossing the mesmerising desert landscapes of the Great Karoo. After visiting the historic village of Majiesfontein, you’ll roll through the picturesque winelands of the Western Cape.

Cabin: Choice of Royal, Deluxe or Pullman
Meals: All meals and selected drinks onboard

Day 5 to 7 - Cape Town

You train arrives into Cape Town mid-morning, and you’ll be met at the station for the short drive to your hotel. You have the best part of three days to discover the city, its unique culture and fascinating, though sometimes dark, history, as well as the stunning coastal landscapes nearby.

You can explore independently or pre-book guided excursions, including to Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope and Robben Island. Just let your Travel Consultant know what you would like to do.

Hotel: Southern Sun Waterfront

Day 8 - Cape Town to Mossel Bay

Your Garden Route tour starts today. After an early morning departure from Cape Town, travel along Sir Lowry’s Pass with its magnificent views to Grabouw and Elgin, a lush landscape surrounded by majestic mountains.

The journey continues to Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The area’s unspoilt rugged coastline was, historically, the graveyard for many ships, and the historic Cape Agulhas Lighthouse here, signifies the southern most tip of Africa. Afterwards, continue via historic Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa, to Mossel Bay.

2024 departures – After visiting the lighthouse, continue via historic Swellendam and the Tradouw Pass to Barrydale and the famous Route 62. Sample top quality port style wines in Calitzdorp, before continuing to Oudtshoorn, the ‘ostrich feather capital’ and centre of the world’s Ostrich farming industry. Enjoy dinner at an Ostrich Farm, dining on local specialities such as Ostrich Steak.

Hotel: (2023) Diaz Hotel & Resort or similar
(2024) Overnight in Oudtshoorn at La Plume or similar
Meals: (2023) None, (2024) dinner

Day 9 - Oudtshoorn

After breakfast continue the journey to the Route 62 town of Oudtshoorn, located in the Little Karoo region of the Western Cape, the town is renowned as the ‘feather capital of the world’ and a visit will be made to an ostrich farm for a guided tour.

Next, enjoy a tasting at a local wine estate in the scenic Schoemanshoek Valley, before setting off on a tour of the Cango Caves, one of the world’s great natural wonders, sculpted by nature through the ages.

2024 departures – After a leisurely breakfast take a tour of the spectacular limestone caverns of the Cango Caves, one of the world’s great natural wonders, sculpted by nature through the ages. Afterwards enjoy a wine tasting at a local wine estate in the scenic Schoemanshoek Valley. Return to Oudtshoorn for a fun filled interactive guided tour at a working Ostrich Farm.

Hotel: La Plume Guest House
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 10 - Knysna

After breakfast, travel over the Outeniqua Pass to George, the sixth oldest town in South Africa, which has some fine examples of Edwardian architecture. The tour then travels through the attractive holiday resort of Wilderness with its long stretch of beach on its way to Knysna. Known as the oyster box of South Africa, Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route.

Later, journey into the magical Knysna Forests where you will learn stories of the woodcutters who worked the forests, the elephants that were hunted to extinction and the discovery of gold. There will be a visit the Matthee Big Tree Memorial, an enormous Yellowwood tree of over 880 years.

Enjoy a delicious lunch in the forest of traditional cuisine and local treats at Totties Farm Kitchen.

Hotel: Rex Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 11 - Knysna

Today explore further the natural beauty of the Knysna area with a visit the Forest Legends Museum, the colourful Old Suzie steam engine, that was used to generate power, and the stately Old Forester’s House.

Afterwards you’ll have the opportunity to visit Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, where you will be able to see a variety of primates, roaming free in the forest. The sanctuary is well known for its efforts to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates.

The tour continues to the famous Eastern Head, where you will enjoy spectacular views of the Knysna Heads, before travelling to the nature lovers paradise of Brenton on Sea with its unspoilt beaches. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.

Hotel: Rex Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 - Tsitsikamma

After breakfast, travel to the Plettenberg Bay area where you will visit Birds of Eden sanctuary, the biggest single free-flight aviary in the world. The sanctuary provides a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds.

Your journey continues to Bloukrans Bridge, the highest single span arch bridge in the world, offering one of the highest bungy jumps in the world (optional!).

Later, visit Tsitsikamma National Park; 80 km of rocky coastline, secluded valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. Enjoy a stunning view along the coast from the Storms River Mouth suspension bridge.

Hotel: Tsitsikamma Village Inn
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 - Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha)

After breakfast, travel eastwards along the Tsitsikamma Forest to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) where your tour ends and you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Alternatively, why not ask your Travel Consultant about extending your holiday with a safari at one of the Eastern Cape’s ‘Big 5’ game reserves?

Meals: Breakfast

13 day Small Group Tour & Luxury Rail - from £3279

With flights from £4129


  • Choose a Royal, Deluxe or Pullman Suite on board Rovos Rail
  • Upgrade to the 5 star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town
  • Add a wildlife experience at an Eastern Cape safari lodge after your tour
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class

Include this Small Group Tour & Luxury Rail in an Africa holiday designed for you

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All prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin or double room/cabin. Seasonal variations may apply, please call Freedom Destinations for more information and availability. Tour accommodation specified is subject to availability and may be substituted to a similar standard if necessary.

Garden Route Splendour tour + Rovos Rail

Garden Route Splendour & Rovos Rail, Route Map


We hope this holiday idea will inspire you. We have combined:

  • An iconic rail journey, including:
    – 3 nights’ in your choice of cabin
    – all meals and selected drinks on the train
    – off-train excursions
  • A city stay, with optional excursions
  • A small group tour, including:
    – air-conditioned coach travel
    – 5 nights’ hotel accommodation
    – daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • Optional UK flights

You can book this holiday idea as it is or we can tailor it to suit what you want to do. Or ask our team to design a holiday just for you, anywhere in South Africa.

See more South Africa tours…

See more South Africa rail journeys…

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an Africa Expert on 0333 234 3667