The Garden Route, known as South Africa's "Garden of Eden", is the ultimate road trip destination. There's so much to explore around every corner, with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
Picture endless coastlines flanked by mountains and lush forested valleys, leading you to charming towns. It's no wonder that the Garden Route is such a beloved holiday destination, especially for self-drive trips.
Follow us this way to get a taste of our most popular Garden Route tours!
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There's much to do for the entire family along the Garden Route, from hiking along the pristine coastline or the many mountain ranges, kayaking around Storm River's mouth, and boat cruises on the Knysna lagoon. There are also many activities to delight the more adventurous travellers. Want to jump off one of the highest commercial bridges in the world? Visit Bloukrans Bridge. Or perhaps a quad biking adventure is in store for you? The little ones will love Monkeyland, where they can meet various free-roaming primates and learn more about the challenges and threats they're facing.
There are so many activities for the whole family and any kind of traveller that you can add to your Garden Route tour itinerary.
A South African Garden Route tour has many incredible stops you should include in your itinerary. Here are some of our favourites and why you'll love them!
Cape Town is the perfect city to start your Garden Route tour as it's very accessible with plenty of attractions. You probably best know the city for its flat-topped Table Mountain, but it has much more to offer. From dining at some of the best restaurants in the world (yes, the world!), visiting the penguins waddling along Boulders Beach, exploring the rich local cultures and history, to wine tasting in the nearby Cape Winelands.
The best place to do land-based whale watching (season-dependent), Hermanus is a quaint seaside town. Take your journey a little further to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.
Mossel Bay is a harbour town best known for its many activities, such as zip lining across the ocean. You will also find malaria-free safari destinations like Gondwana Private Game Reserve here.
Wilderness is a haven for nature lovers, with seemingly endless beaches for those long strolls on the beach and plenty of swimming spots and hiking trails. If you'd like to skip some of the stops or cut your Garden Route road trip short, you can fly in or out of the George airport.
Knysna is a water playground, with its famous lagoon and many water activities. It's also known for its seafood, in particular oysters! Sedgefield offers a quieter serene paradise.
Plettenberg Bay, or “Plett” as locals fondly call it, is best known for its incredible beaches, as well as dolphin and whale watching. This is also where you can find Monkeyland. You can also see a plethora of bird species at the Birds of Eden estuary.
The Tsitsikamma National Park offers forests, waterfalls, suspension bridges, and wildlife. If you're an avid hiker, the Otter Trail is a challenge you should take on! Nature's Valley awaits at the foothills of the Tsitsikamma mountains, an idyllic holiday destination.
The third-largest national park in South Africa, Addo Elephant Park, has abundant wildlife, flora, and fauna. There are also malaria-free private game reserves in the area, such as Kwandwe Private Game Reserve.
If you'd like to take a different route back to Cape Town before returning home, you can take Route 62. You will find historic small towns and fruit farms on this scenic route like Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Barrydale, Ashton, Montagu, Bonnievale, Ceres, and Wolseley. You will also drive through some big wine-producing towns like Robertson, Tulbagh, Wellington and Paarl.
The total cost of your trip will all depend on the duration of your journey, whether it's self-driving, the type of rental car you choose, or if you use a guided shuttle. It also depends on where you decide to stay and what activities you want to do. You can put your Garden Route tour in our Travel Experts' hands, and they'll plan a tailor-made itinerary specifically for you.
This also really depends on your tailor-made tour. We recommended that you set aside at least seven days for travelling from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape. However, if you'd like to add a safari to your itinerary, we highly recommend that you increase your trip to at least ten days.
Oh, where to start! It really all depends on your interests and what activities you would like to do. There are so many treasures awaiting you on your journey along the Garden Route. And on Route 62 if you want to take a different route back to Cape Town.
You can see more details above, but here are some must-see destinations on the Garden Route.
- Cape Winelands
- Cape Agulhas
- Mossel Bay
- Plettenberg Bay
- Nature's Valley
- Tsitsikamma National Park
- Addo Elephant Park
- Malaria-free private game reserves
The Garden Route is generally defined as the road between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay. However, Cape Town is almost always included in anyone's Garden Route tour as travellers tend to start and end their trip here. This is because it's a destination no one should miss out on and because many guests arrive at Cape Town International Airport.
Garden Route tours are popular for families and friends travelling together. It's also for couples who want to go on a self-drive romantic getaway. In fact, it's for anyone and everyone who enjoys relaxing in nature, as well as those who enjoy a little bit of adrenaline! It's the ultimate holiday destination with so much to see and do for every age, gender, and preference.
A Garden Route adventure is something everyone should get to experience at least once in their lifetime. But, once you have, you'll probably want to return again and again!
Contact our Travel Experts to start planning your dream Garden Route tour today!