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Home > On the Garden Route

On the Garden Route

On the Garden Route is a 13 days tour, from the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, which is reached via the famous Garden Route. The hilly landscape of the wine region of Stellenbosch, the desert stretches of the Little Karoo around Oudtshoorn designated as the world capital of ostrich, passing through the charming seaside towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, Oriental Cape's wildlife parks near the Addo Elephant National park ... On the Garden route is a concentrate of the diversity of South Africa on 800 kilometers of coastline along the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Cape Town Airport - Cape Town
  • Day 2: Cape Town
  • Day 3: Cape Town
  • Day 4: Cape Town - Stellenbosch
  • Day 5: Stellenbosch - Swellendam
  • Day 6: Swellendam - Oudtshoorn
  • Day 7: Oudtshoorn
  • Day 8: Oudtshoorn - Knysna - The Crags
  • Day 9: Plettenberg Bay - The Crags
  • Day 10: Plettenberg Bay - Storms River
  • Day 11: Storms River - Amakhala Private Game Reserve
  • Day 12: Amakhala Private Game Reserve
  • Day 13: Amakhala Private Game Reserve
  • Day 14: Amakhala Private Game Reserve - Port Elizabeth

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Cape Town Airport - Cape Town

Meet and greet and assistance of our guide on your arrival.

You collect your rental car and drive to your hotel in Cape Town.
Overnight stay at Lezard Bleu Guesthouse.


Included : reception with english-speaking guide, car rental, room & breakfast

Day 2: Cape Town

Day at leisure to explore Cape Town known to be one of the most beautiful city in the world!


Suggestions:


Take the cable car and ascend the top of Table Mountain (weather permitting). The floor of the cable car rotates through 360 degrees during the ascent or descent, giving passengers a panoramic view of the city. From the top of the mountain at 1000 meters above sea level, a bordwalk will enable you to get different view point of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.


You can also visit the following sites depending on your area of interests:


- The National Museum of South Africa founded in 1825. This museum houses many diverse collections from fossils dating back millions of years to the clothing worn by our ancestors in the last century. All these collections have a common denominator to highlight the biological and cultural diversity of our planet,


- The Company 's Gardens founded in 1652 by the Dutch pioneers who plan to establish a Cape refueling station on the boat ride to India. Walk in Company 's Garden , which now houses the St Georges Cathedral, National Library, National Gallery, artworks and beautiful gardens,


- The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the finest botanical gardens in the world, located at the foot of Table Mountain. Founded in 1913 to protect the diversity of South African flora, the garden is unique as only indigenous plants are cultivated. This is a rare opportunity to see the fynbos, endemic plants in the region of the Western Cape. More than 7000 species of plants are grown in Kirstenbosch, including many rare and endangered species,


- The colorful Bo-Kaap district . The museum located in the historic district showcases the culture of immigrants from Malaysia. A visit to the museum and the neighborhood, with its colorful houses, cobbled streets and calls to prayer of the muezzin, can soak up the cultural diversity of Cape Town,


- The African Craft Market of Green Market Square in the middle of the CBD.


- The Castle of Good Hope , one of the oldest buildings in the country, which houses a collection of antiques (furniture , paintings, objects) that tells a lot about the life of Dutch settlers.


- The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is hosting a craft market, the aquarium " Two Oceans " and many restaurants. It is from this waterfront that boats leave to Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, as well as to navigate in the beautiful bay of Cape Town.


Other activity suggestions during your stay in Cape Town (please consult us in advance for booking):


- A Township tours ( 1 half-day )


- A culinary tours of the city ( 1 half-day )


- A cycling tours of the city (between 3 hours and 1 day )


- Shark cage diving to encounter the greatwhite (1 day )


- An evening discovering the origins of the Cape Town jazz


- An helicopter flight above the city and the peninsula ( between 12 and 60 minutes)


- An abseil of 112m on the Table Mountain (1 half-day )


- A paragliding experience on the Atlantic coast,


- A sunset cruise on board of a catamaran including sparkling wine.


Overnight stay at Lezard Bleu Guesthouse.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 3: Cape Town

Day at leisure to discover the Cape Peninsula and the legendary Cape of Good Hope.


Suggested itinerary:


You can commence this discovery with a little stop in the small fishing village of Hout Bay. This fishing village is a cosy little hamlet surrounded by mountains to the North, East and West and the Ocean to the South. Home to bustling craft markets, antique shops, a beautiful beach and a thriving fishing community. The harbour is also where many boat cruise departs from to Duiker Island. This small island is home to thousands of Cape Fur Seals and local birdlife. The boat ride lets you see the Cape Peninsula from a new perspective.


You can thereafter proceed and enjoy the twists and turns around the famous Chapman’s Peak scenic drive. Chapman’s Peak Drive is renowned for its spectacular 180° views of the Cape Peninsula as well as its 114 twists and turns. Viewpoints and picnic spots are scattered throughout its 9km length and its dramatic views have made it a favoured spot for photographers.


You enter the Cape Point Nature Reserve to reach the tip of the Cape Peninsula where you enjoy a dramatic view point located in a 17 750 hectare nature reserve. Looking out over the shining sea from the Cape Point Lighthouse truly makes you feel like you are standing at the edge of the world. The rich diversity of the nature reserve, part of the Table Mountain National Park, makes it home to a stunning array of animal and plant species.


After leaving Cape Point Nature Reserve you travel up the other side of the Cape Peninsula on the way to Simon’s Town and Boulder’s beach. Simon’s Town has been an important naval base and harbour for over two centuries and you can still see some historic naval vessels anchored just off-shore. Boulder’s beach is home of a colony of African Jackass penguins since 1985. These small citizens have been charming residents and tourists ever since.


A seafood lunch is highly recommended in this area but you can also have lunch in the Cape Peninsula Nature reserve’s restaurant.


As you head back towards Cape Town along the False Bay coastal road; you travel through Fish Hoek a little town with a long history. From Fish Hoek you drive past Muizenberg, another seaside town. The warm waters and long stretch of beach make this a popular spot for holidaymakers and there are a wide variety of activities, like kite boarding and surfing, for the adventurous.



Overnight stay at Lezard Bleu Guesthouse.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 4: Cape Town - Stellenbosch

Drive to Stellenbosch, a university town in the wine region of the Western Cape.
Estimated travel time: 50 minutes.

South Africa is a very good wine producer and most of it comes from this entire region of the Western Cape. A visit to the wine route through the valleys of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek is an essential step in your discovery of the country.

Our suggestions:

Discover the town of Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town, which has beautiful well maintained buildings with typical Cape Dutch style streets (the name given to the Cape architecture inspired by the Dutch).

Visit the cellars of some wine estates of Stellenbosch and do some wine tasting. You will find South African wines produced from grapes such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, but also Pinotage, a uniquely South African grape, a cross of Pinot Black and Cinsault.

Visit the village of Franschhoek (the French Corner), South Africa's gourmet capital located in one of the most beautiful valleys in the country. It is in this valley that the French Huguenots, including winemakers, settled in the late 17th century. Visit the museum and memorial to the Huguenots.



Overnight stay at Rusthuiz Guesthouse in Stellenbosch city centre.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 5: Stellenbosch - Swellendam

Departure for the town of Swellendam via the Sir Lowry's Pass. Estimated travel time: 2h30.

Swellendam was founded in 1745 (making it the third oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town and Stellenbosch) and is located at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains halfway between Cape Town and George. Its streets are lined with oak trees and beautifully preserved old buildings. Agricultural (raising sheep and cattle, the cultivation of cereals and fruits) is the main resource of this town. The most important building in Swellendam is the Drostdy Museum built in 1747, a real architectural treasure of Cape Dutch style.


Overnight at Bloomestate Guesthouse.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 6: Swellendam - Oudtshoorn

You leave the village of Swellendam and cross the vineyards of the Little Karoo with the longest wine route in the world: the R62, a scenic road that winds through mountain passes and natural reserves to the desert of the Little Karoo. Estimated travel time (excluding visits): 3h30.

Suggestions of visits on the road:

Calitzdorp: tastings of muscat and port at De Krans Cellar or Boplaas,
Ladysmith: Parmalat cheese factory visit, brandy and wine tasting,
Barrydale: a roadside restaurant called Country Pumpkin.



Overnight stay at De Denne Country Guest House, an ostrich farm in the outskirts of Oudtshoorn.
Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 7: Oudtshoorn

Day to enjoy the Little Karoo known for its ostrich breeding farms.

Suggestions:

- Visit the ostrich farm of Highgate - ride on an ostrich,
- Visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch which is a wildlife rehabilitation center where you can encounter wild animals such as a cheetah,
- Discover the Cango Caves which have magnificent geological formations,
- Climb to the Swartberg Pass for a beautiful view on the desert expanses of the Great Karoo,
- Discover the Rust and Vrede waterfalls
.


Overnight stay at De Denne Country Guest House, an ostrich farm in the outskirts of Oudtshoorn.
Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 8: Oudtshoorn - Knysna - The Crags

Drive to the town of Knysna, a seaside village that is renowned for its lagoon and estuary leading to the Indian Ocean.

Suggestion: go for a boat ride across the lagoon to "The Heads", the river mouth that separates the estuary from the ocean


Overnight stay at Trogon House Forest and Spa.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 9: Plettenberg Bay - The Crags

Day in the Plettenberg Bay region in the heart of the Garden Route.

Suggestions:

- Stroll around Birds of Eden, a bird sanctuary which is one of the largest aviaries in the world with hundreds of bird species,
- Next to Birds of Eden, visit Monkeyland, a sanctuary for primates,
- Nature hike to the heart of the Robberg Nature Reserve,
- Wine tasting at the Bramon estate in The Crags,
- Enjoy the beautiful beaches of Plettenberg Bay
.


Overnight stay at Trogon House Forest and Spa.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 10: Plettenberg Bay - Storms River

Travel to Storms River where the river, forest and ocean meet. Estimated travel time: 1 hour.

This narrow coastal strip wedged between the sea and mountains contain the Tsitsikamma National Park bounded on the west by the town of Nature's Valley and east by the Storms River mouth on the Indian Ocean. The view of the coast from the Tsitsikamma national park is spectacular, especially when the waves of the ocean are unleashed.


Overnight at the Fernery Lodge in a chalet.

The Forest Ferns estate offers several activities on site:
- Walks on the property,
- Visit the gardens,
- Mountain bike rides to explore the forest plantation.
Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 11: Storms River - Amakhala Private Game Reserve

Drive to the Amakhala private reserve in the region of the wildlife national park Addo Elephant. Estimated travel time: 3 hours.

Near Port Elizabeth, this reserve of 7,500 ha offers a family safari experience in an authentic atmosphere without risk of malaria. You will see the famous Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) but also cheetahs, giraffes, zebras and many antelope. Activities offered by the lodges in the reserve include 4x4 safaris but also boat safaris on the river Bushman.


Full board stay at Woodbury Tented Camp. Two guided safaris are included per day: first one in open 4x4 vehicle in the afternoon, and a second one by boat on the river Bushman in the morning of the following day.

This camp, at once rustic and intimate, offers an authentic experience of African savannah. Nestled high on a hill overlooking the bush and the river, the camp offers magnificent views. Night in a safari tent.


Included : car rental, room, dinner, brunch, game drive, selection of drinks

Day 12: Amakhala Private Game Reserve

Full board stay at Woodbury Tented Camp. Two guided safaris are included per day: first one in open 4x4 vehicle in the afternoon, and a second one by boat on the river Bushman in the morning of the following day.

This camp, at once rustic and intimate, offers an authentic experience of African savannah. Nestled high on a hill overlooking the bush and the river, the camp offers magnificent views. Night in a safari tent.


Included : room, dinner, brunch, game drive, selection of drinks

Day 13: Amakhala Private Game Reserve

Full board stay at Woodbury Tented Camp. Two guided safaris are included per day: first one in open 4x4 vehicle in the afternoon, and a second one by boat on the river Bushman in the morning of the following day.

This camp, at once rustic and intimate, offers an authentic experience of African savannah. Nestled high on a hill overlooking the bush and the river, the camp offers magnificent views. Night in a safari tent.


Included : room, dinner, brunch, game drive, selection of drinks

Day 14: Amakhala Private Game Reserve - Port Elizabeth

Drive to Port Elizabeth. Estimated travel time: 1h15.


Included : car rental

Lézard Bleu Guesthouse   Cape Town

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Lezard Bleu offers 6 rooms with balcony or terrace and views of Cape Town and Table Mountain. Ideally located, the property is close to the city attractions. You can relax by the pool between the visits.

Rusthuiz Guesthouse   Stellenbosch

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

The Rusthuiz Guest House is a lovely accommodation close to the city center and restaurants of Stellenbosch. She has beautiful standard and superior rooms, a fitness center, an outdoor pool and a laundry service. After a long day, you can relax and have a drink in the lounge or on the patio.

Bloomestate Guesthouse   Swellendam

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Located at the foot of the Overberg mountains, Bloomestate Guesthouse offers 7 spacious and tastefully decorated rooms. A spa, jacuzzi and swimming pool are available.

De Denne Country Guest House   Oudtshoorn

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

This accommodation is on a breeding farm with over 6,000 ostrich and gives a view of the Olifants river and Swartberg Mountains. De Denne offers 8 modern rooms and is the ideal place to discover Oudsthoorn and its surroundings.

Trogon House and Forest Spa   The Crags

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Located in the heart of the Garden Route at The Crags, the Trogon House and Forest Spa is a beautiful and charming hotel with a spa center and wooden walkways overlooking dense forest. This charming property is an ideal place to meet in nature. Exotic birds and wildlife can be seen.

The Fernery Lodge   Storms River

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Located 4 kilometers from the Tsitsikamma national park, The Fernery is perched on a cliff with a breathtaking view on the Indian Ocean. The suites and chalets have a lot of charm and include spacious bathrooms. Some have a private terrace with views on the gorge, the sea, the forest or the garden. The lodge's living room offers a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean and you can (in season) observe dolphins and whales.

Woodbury Tented Camp   Amakhala Private Game Reserve

Level : 3*
Included : room, dinner, brunch, game drive, selection of drinks

Woodbury Tented Camp offers 7 comfortable deluxe tents in the heart of the Amakhala Reserve, overlooking the valley. Several activities and safaris are offered to discover the reserve. You can also relax by the swimming pool. At night, you may gather around a campfire for a good time under the stars.

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