South Africa's Garden Route is the ultimate self-drive destination. Best explored with plenty of time on your hands, the first part of the journey is known as the Whale Route & the Overberg. As the name suggests, this part of the route is famous for whale watching. Hermanus in particular offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. Relais & Chateaux member, The Marine Hotel is one of our favourite hotels in Hermanus and presents guests with spectacular views of Walker Bay.
Another precious part of the Garden Route is Route 62 which introduces travellers to the Little Karoo and boasts incredible and remote mountain passes. Hugging the N2 is the coastal route which begins in Mossel Bay and ends in Port Elizabeth. This stretch showcases some of the best beaches in the country and includes famous destinations such as Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. An overachiever, the Garden Route also includes winelands, malaria free Garden Route Safaris as well as lush riverine forests.
Perhaps the biggest attraction of the Garden Route is the Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales that visit between June and November to calve and nurse their young. Other year-round residents include colonies of Cape fur seals, large schools of bottlenose dolphins, endangered oyster catchers, sharks and the occasional orca. The area is extremely generous on experiences, from the ostriches along Route 62 to the large herds of elephants in Addo National Park.
With the right planning, there's no reason why you can't combine the best beaches with a Big 5 adventure. We are Garden Route experts which means we have the experience and knowledge to plan itineraries that incorporate the best elements of this incredible part of South Africa. Get free, no-obligation advice to start planning your tailor-made holiday.Consult the map below to find out more about any one route or destination.