The Garden Route in South Africa is well-known as being one of the best things to do in the region. The sweeping, natural beauty of the landscapes flanked by gorgeous beaches and peppered with inland lakes, makes you feel like you’re worlds away. Add this to the array of activities such as whale watching, diving and wine tasting, this makes for one hell of a holiday! Here’s our top tips for taking on one of the best road trips in the world!
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful places in the world, built around Table Mountain, with beaches practically clinging on to the slopes! Take a scenic drive to admire the views of the pristine beaches of Camps Bay, Clifton and Cape Point and stop off for delicious fresh seafood at ‘Dunes’ restaurant in the quaint fishing village of Hout Bay. Explore Cape Malay culture with a Bo-Kaap tour and local expert. Then sit back for a magical movie experience in the lush Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, or sip a glass of crisp South African wine from the top of Table Mountain. Cape Town can make you feel like the possibilities are endless!
Swapping the sea for fresh mountain air, take a drive into the Cape Winelands. Famous neighbours such as Constantia Valley or Franschhoek are home to some of the world’s best wine farms. You can take part in wine tasting and cellar tours with passionate guides, or have a lazy afternoon in the sun lying on the lawn with your own picnic of locally sourced treats. Franschhoek is the gourmet capital of South Africa and restaurants get booked up well in advance, so let the tailor made team help you with recommendations and table reservations.
For a relaxing stop along the Garden Route, you can stay in a beautifully restored Victorian country house. It’s set among manicured rose gardens in Oudtshoorn which just so happens to be the ostrich capital of the world! And if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the world’s largest bird you will not be disappointed – ostriches are a common sight in the area. Take an ostrich tour to get up close to these magnificent creatures, and learn about ostrich farming in the region.
Robberg Nature Reserve
With its diversity of flora and fauna, Robberg Peninsula is a paradise for walkers and bird watchers. This has to be one of the prettiest stops along the Garden Route in South Africa. You can walk around the entire peninsula for spectacular coastal views and see the playful Cape Fur seal colony from above. The seaside town of Plettenberg Bay (locally known just as ‘Plett’) is just a short drive away. You can also enjoy an authentic Italian lunch from the terrace of ‘Enrico’s’ restaurant. A prime spot for watching dolphins and whales swoop in the waves!
Tsitsikama National Park
The lovely Tsitsikamma Mountains are the perfect spot to enjoy nature with its beautiful forests and river pools. Whether you’re an energetic morning jogger, mountain biker or hiker, or want to simply soak up the sweeping mountain views, there is something for every type of traveller. Why not stay in a secluded lodge perched above a 30-meter waterfall, and after a day of exploration, curl up in front of a cosy log fire!
Eastern Cape Safari
Of course, no trip to South Africa would be complete without experiencing a wildlife safari! The Eastern Cape is a malaria-free zone with a number of spectacular wildlife destinations. Spot the Big Five at the Shamwari Private Game Reserve with guided game drives and bush walks. Stay in luxury tented lodges and enjoy uninterrupted views from the private deck. Sit back and watch the resident game visit the neighbouring watering hole – a magical finish to any South Africa itinerary!
If taking on the Garden Route in South Africa appeals to you too but you’d rather not have the hassle of organising it yourself, reach out to Tucan Travel‘s tailor made team here. They are experts in building personalised itineraries from scratch, suited to your interests, budget and style. But if you need a little inspiration to get you going, take a look at our group tours to South Africa.
Anneka is a Tailor-made Specialist for Tucan Travel. She has travelled solo and on group tours mostly through Africa, Indian subcontinent and South America.