Garden Route Tour
The Garden Route is named so due to its breathtaking beauty. We leave Cape Town at about 9.00 am and head east over the first mountain range via the famous Du Toits Kloof mountain pass and into the Breede River valley. Continuing along the lush backroads through the towns of Robertson and Ashton to stop at the historic settlement of Swellendam for a light lunch.
Back onto the highway for awhile as we head for the town of Mossel Bay, stopping briefly at the settlement of Albertinia to sample the fine range of Aloe ferox natural skin and beauty products. For those who feel like it, the beauticians will give you a quick head and shoulder massage at a small cost. A short hop and we are in Mossel Bay, ready to check into our hotel for the night, but not without a whirlwind sightsee of the quaint town and a swim in the warm ocean. Numerous good restaurants are to be found – most of them with stunning sea views – a great place to unwind.
The following morning we say good bye to Mossel Bay, and drive to George. You will notice a great change in the environment as travel further East – this is where the Garden Route really starts. Arriving in George, we have a moment before boarding the Outeniqua Choo-Choo. This old steam train follows the most breathtaking route for two hours through the areas Lake district to the town of Knysna. At Knysna train station, your guide and vehicle meets you having checked your baggage in to the hotel, where we will stay for two nights. The town is built on the banks of a beautiful estuary that is home to seahorses, crabs and oysters so before lunch we go for a cruise of the estuary to take in the sights. Lunch is good time to sample the famous oysters of this region, along with an array of other seafood. By this stage, its probably a good time to either take a swim, a stroll on the beach, do some shopping or just relax. The evening in Knysna is a beautiful time. Relax with a sundowner overlooking the estuary and enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants.
The next morning we begin to explore a little further east and head out to the holiday town of Plettenberg Bay. ” Plett ” as it is affectionately known by South Africans has stunning stretch of beach, which is overlooked by the Robberg mountain. This is our first stop at the reserve on the mountain to enjoy the natural beauty. An early lunch is enjoyed in the town, before continuing on to an estuary called the Storms River Mouth. This awesome sight of river ravine meeting the sea is well worth the drive. This is our turnaround point and is as far east as we will go and we return toward Knysna. On the way back we pass over the Bloukrans bridge, which traverses the beautiful Natures Valley. Our next stop is the Tsitsikamma Forest to view the 800 year old tree and to enjoy the peace of one of South Africas last remaining indigenous forests. A short drive and we are back in Knysna for our last night.
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and head back toward George and cross over the Outeniqua Pass into the town of Oudtshoorn. This town is famous for its Ostrich Farms and the world renowned Cango Caves. We spend the day visiting the highlights and ending off with a tour through the cave system. The night is spent in the town enjoying their hospitality – and if you have never tasted an Ostrich steak – now is the time.
At about 09h00 we depart returning toward Cape Town via the inland route, passing through the villages of Calitzdorp and Barrydale. We veer from the normal route home and cross over the Tradouws Pass and pass through the quaint missionary hamlet of Suurbraak joining up with the highway for a short distance. Lunch is enjoyed en route before travelling south to the “real” most southern point of Africa. Cape Agulhas. We have the opportunity here to visit the lighthouse and enjoy the atmosphere. The night is spent in the area at either a guesthouse or the Arniston Hotel with its famous fish tank bar.
On our last day together, we follow the old roads to Hermanus. This town is a well known whale watching place and during the late winter and early spring, its almost guaranteed to see them. After a refreshment break we continue toward Cape Town on the coastal route. In the early afternoon the familiar shape of Table Mountain greets us from across False Bay, and soon we’re back into the City.