The Garden Route

South Africa's most famous road trip

Running from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth, expect pristine beaches flanked by dense forests, mountains and wild flowers. Discover charming towns and villages and enjoy some fantastic food and wine.

Food & Wine

Cape Town's reputation for great food and wine is no exaggeration, and the value is fantastic for foregin travellers.

Activity Central

Whether it be shark diving or ski diving, Cape Town has it. There are less extreme activities on offer however.

Safari Enroute

Along this route you can find a selection of game reserves so you can get your Big 5 fix.

pink color quotes symbols icon

This journey has been inspiring travellers for generations. Cape Town's beauty shows no end, oozing with culture & history whilst also spoiling us with endless food and wine.

Ben Nelson

Things to see on the Garden Route

But first… visit the Western Cape

When arriving in Cape Town, we'd recommend you could spend the first few days of your trip exploring the Western Cape before setting off along the Garden Route.

In this region you have the Cape Winelands, where you can tour vineyards to sample the region’s finest wines. You’ll also find excellent food in the towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch (the latter is the country’s second-oldest town). Cape Town also has beaches, is a cultural paradise and is home toTable Mountain. There's a lot to do and it's a great place to relax and unwind.

An hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town is Hermanus, known as South Africa’s whale-watching capital. Between June and October, you can head out on boat trips to see migratory southern right whales, or even spot them from the coastal path that winds along the cliffs of Walker Bay.

The Cape Whale Coast Route to Hermanus

Made up of a collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays, coves and valleys, the Cape Whale Coast is a pristine stretch of the South African coastline which runs from the town of Rooiels for roughly 150km, to the east. Next we stop at the largest breeding colony of the African Penguin, Stony Point Nature Reserve. An hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town is Hermanus, known as South Africa’s whale-watching capital. Between June and October, you can head out on boat trips to see migratory southern right whales, or even spot them from the coastal path that winds along the cliffs of Walker Bay.

Favourite Vineyard

Babylonstoren. This vineyard has become very well know and it's no surprise why when you have been. We'd like to say we knew about it first, but that's not true.

Favourite Restaurant

We're still working that one out, but we have a great short list to share with you :)

Favourite Place

We're big fans of Camps Bay. It epitomises Cape Town and is the perfect place to find yourself after a long flight.

No items found.

Swellendam: the gateway to the Garden Route

From Hermanus, drive an hour and a half East, or two and a half hours east of Cape Town and the Winelands, and you reach Swellendam. This small, unassuming town is one of the oldest Dutch settlements in the country and still has examples of Cape Dutch architecture. A couple of museums document the town’s history, but really your stay here is about relaxing and exploring the surrounding countryside.

Knysna

Drive for two hours toward the coast and the landscape changes dramatically. Everything is greener and fresher as you leave the semi-desert and mountains behind and reach the craggy coastline.You eventually hit the town of Knysna, hemmed in-between its forest and lagoon. Here, streets are lined with cafés, shops and art galleries, and intimate guesthouses sit along the water’s edge.

Plettenberg Bay

Probably the best-known place along the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay is also popular with wealthy South Africans, many of whom have second homes here.

There’s the bay’s long, pristine sweep of sandy beach, where the water is usually calm enough for swimming. The cliffs of the Robberg Peninsula form a backdrop, and walking the trails that weave through the Robberg Nature Reserve gives you the opportunity to get close to Cape fur seals and glimpse dolphins offshore. And, the town itself feels laid-back and unpretentious.

Bontebok National Park

Whilst at Swellendam, you can visit the nearby Bontebok National Park to stroll among protea-studded countryside, joined by herds of bontebok antelope. Or, drive south to the De Hoop Nature Reserve. In this unspoiled coastal reserve you can cross wind-whipped sand dunes topped with coarse grasses and admire the endemic fynbos growing here. And, from rocky clifftops, watch southern right whales breaching the waves (June to November).

Boat trip at Kysna

We highly recommend taking a paddle-driven boat trip out on the lagoon at sunset. You cross the water toward the Knysna Heads, passing sandy banks and the Featherbed Nature Reserve, which covers the top of the Western Head.

pink color quotes symbols icon

Ben Nelson
No items found.

Ending your trip with an Eastern Cape safari

After Tsitsikamma, you continue eastward for about two and a half hours to the city of Port Elizabeth. From its airport, you can fly up to Johannesburg for international flights. But, if you have time, I’d definitely add in a few nights on safari in the Eastern Cape game areas. You can choose from a cluster of parks and private game reserves, all between one and two hours away.

Prices

Prices do vary, especially if including nights on safari, but our itineraries tend to start from £1,500 per person for a tewo week holiday.


Speak to our travel specialist today & start planning your holiday

Enquire now
or

Get Inspired

icon

All our holidays are tailored to you, but let us get your travel cravings going.

dashed gray circle holding click-drag labels
circle left arrow
circle right arrow
dashed gray circle holding click-drag labels
Travel Idea

Zanzibar

,
Tanzania
Travel Idea

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Travel Idea

Experience Morocco

,
Morocco
Travel Idea

Adventure in Namibia

,
Namibia
Travel Idea

Namibia Flying Safari

,
Namibia
Travel Idea

Western Tanzania

,
Tanzania
Travel Idea

Northern Tanzania

,
Tanzania
Travel Idea

Island Hopping in Mozambique

Quirimbas Archipelago
,
Mozambique
Travel Idea

Southern Tanzania

,
Tanzania
Travel Idea

The Okavango Delta

,
Botswana
Travel Idea

Young Explorers

,
Botswana
Travel Idea

Kenya with the Family

Nairobi
,
Kenya
Travel Idea

The Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater
,
Tanzania
Travel Idea

Private Safari Houses

,
Zambia
Travel Idea

Masai Mara Riding Safari

Maasai Mara
,
Kenya
Travel Idea

A Self-Drive Safari

,
Namibia
Review

Namiri Plains

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Mumbo Island

Lake Malawi
,
Malawi
Review

Little Kulala

Sossusvlei
,
Namibia
Review

Lemala Ewanjan

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Sable Alley

Okavango Delta
,
Botswana
Review

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater
,
Tanzania
Review

Sausage Tree

Lower Zambezi
,
Zambia
Review

Wayo Safaris

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Entamanu Ngorongoro

Ngorongoro Crater
,
Tanzania
Review

Azura Benguerra

Benguerra Island
,
Mozambique
Review

Somalisa Expeditions

Hwange
,
Zimbabwe
Review

Oliver's Camp

Tarangire
,
Tanzania
Review

Mnemba Island

Zanzibar
,
Tanzania
Review

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Manyara
,
Tanzania
Review

Santorini Mozambique

Vilanculos
,
Mozambique
Review

Dinaka

Kalahari
,
Botswana
Review

Greystoke Mahale

Mahale
,
Tanzania
Review

Jongomero

Ruaha
,
Tanzania
Review

Omaanda

Windhoek
,
Namibia
Review

Vumbura Plains

Okavango Delta
,
Botswana
Review

Tena Tena

Mfuwe
,
Zambia
Review

Chinzombo

South Luangwa
,
Zambia
Review

The Manta Resort

Pemba Island
,
Tanzania
Review

Fanjove Island

Fanjove Island
,
Tanzania
Review

Sand Rivers Selous

Selous
,
Tanzania
Review

Ngorongoro Highlands

Ngorongoro Crater
,
Tanzania
Review

Meno a Kwena

Makgadikgadi
,
Botswana
Review

Klein's Camp

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Jack's Camp

Makgadikgadi
,
Botswana
Review

Jacana

Okavango Delta
,
Botswana
Review

Ol Seki

Maasai Mara
,
Kenya
Review

Angama Mara

Maasai Mara
,
Kenya
Review

Shinde

Okavango Delta
,
Botswana
Review

Fundu Lagoon

Pemba Island
,
Tanzania
Review

Sosian

Laikipia
,
Kenya
Review

WaterLovers

Diani Beach
,
Kenya
Review

El Fenn

Marrakech
,
Morocco
Review

Okuti

Okavango Delta
,
Botswana
Review

Borana

Nanyuki
,
Kenya
Review

Ol Malo

Laikipia
,
Kenya
Review

Kigelia Ruaha

Ruaha
,
Tanzania
Review

La Clé Lodge

Franschhoek
,
South Africa
Review

Offbeat Mara

Maasai Mara
,
Kenya
Review

Park Hyatt

Zanzibar
,
Tanzania
Review

Serengeti Safari Camp

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Xanadu Villas

Zanzibar
,
Tanzania
Review

Kuria Hills

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Offbeat Ndoto

Maasai Mara
,
Kenya
Review

San Camp

Makgadikgadi
,
Botswana
Review

Babylonstoren

Franschhoek
,
South Africa
Review

Mchenja

South Luangwa
,
Zambia
Review

Tongabezi Lodge

Zambezi River
,
Zambia
Review

Nkwali

South Luangwa
,
Zambia
Review

Ikuka Camp

Ruaha
,
Tanzania
Review

&Beyond Benguerra

Benguerra Island
,
Mozambique
Review

Pumulani

Lake Malawi
,
Malawi
Review

Onguma Fort

Etosha
,
Namibia
Review

Nsolo

South Luangwa
,
Zambia
Review

Chongwe Camp

Lower Zambezi
,
Zambia
Review

Serra Cafema

Kaokoland
,
Namibia
Review

Chada Katavi

Katavi
,
Tanzania
Review

Shipwreck Lodge

Skeleton Coast
,
Namibia
Review

Lamai Serengeti

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Baraza

Zanzibar
,
Tanzania
Review

Zein Nile Chateau

The Nile
,
Egypt
Review

Ongava Tented Camp

Etosha
,
Namibia
Review

Carana Beach Hotel

Mahe
,
Seychelles
Review

Elephant Pepper Camp

Maasai Mara
,
Kenya
Review

Hoanib Valley Camp

Kaokoland
,
Namibia
Review

Bisate Lodge

Volcanoes National Park
,
Rwanda
Review

Kilindi

Zanzibar
,
Tanzania
Review

Chem Chem

Tarangire
,
Tanzania
Review

Richards River Camp

Maasai Mara
,
Kenya
Review

Anabezi

Lower Zambezi
,
Zambia
Review

Singita Mara River Camp

Serengeti
,
Tanzania
Review

Lewa Wilderness

Laikipia
,
Kenya
Review

Sea Five

Cape Town
,
South Africa
Review

John's Camp

Mana Pools
,
Zimbabwe
Review

Kanana

Okavango Delta
,
Botswana
Review

The Capaldi Hotel

Atlas Mountains
,
Morocco
No items found.