Cape & Garden Route

Experience the beautiful Cape & Garden Route region in 15 days. The Cape & Garden Route itinerary starts in the ‘Mother City’, Cape Town. Meet local people and enjoy splendid views from the top of Table Mountain. Gain knowledge about the rich history by visiting the Bo Kaap Museum, the District Six Museum, and Robben Island. From here you will depart to the Cape Winelands and drive the Route 62 which ends in the Karoo, where you will stay in the Ostrich Capital Oudtshoorn. The tour continues to Tsitsikamma National Park and Port Elizabeth via an optional visit to Addo Elephant National Park. Enjoy the amazing scenery, breathtaking views and picturesque towns along the Cape & Garden Route. In this Cape & Garden route itinerary you can choose from a variety of uplifting projects to visit. The Cape & Garden Route area is great for self-drives and family travel. The Cape & Garden Route offers a wide variety of activities, accommodation and experiences on any level. As for this reason we can say that the Cape & Garden Route is suitable to everybody.

strip Cape and Garden Route1 Cape & Garden Route

Day 1 Cape Town
Arrival in Cape Town where you will meet your guide. Your guide will explain the details of the Cape & Garden Route itinerary. Transport to your hotel is arranged. Depending on the time of arrival, you will have the time to explore Cape Town and to acclimatize to the destination.

Overnight: Fair trade in Tourism certified guesthouse incl. breakfast

Day 2 Cape Town City Tour
If you wish to book the additional Activity Package, a local guide will pick you up at your accommodation after breakfast. You will then be taken to discover the Mother City Cape Town. Find out on its rich history and make stops at highlights like the District Six Museum, Company Gardens and the colourful Bo Kaap. If you do not book the Activity Package, you will have time to explore the city on your own.

Overnight: Fair trade in Tourism certified guesthouse incl. breakfast

Day 3 Cape Town & its people
As part of the Activity Package, you will be picked up at your accommodation around noon. Our local accredited guide will take you on a half day private cultural township experience on. You will get to meet the people of South Africa and experience the country in its purest and most personal way. Get introduced to inspiring local initiatives as well as learning more about the complex history of the country. This half day tour will absolutely be one that builds life time memories.

Overnight: Fair Trade in Tourism certified guesthouse incl. breakfast

Day 4 Cape Winelands / Stellenbosch (ca. 55 km)
The rental car can be dropped off at your accommodation around 9 am. Soon after, you can depart from the Mother City and explore more of the Cape & Garden Route. The first stop on your journey will be the historic town Stellenbosch. Drive through the Cape Winelands where you can optionally visit one of the many exquisite wine estates. The Winelands we recommend are not only renowned for their great wines but also for the great social and/or environmental impact they have on the destination. We recommend the following wine estates:

  • Backsberg. Backsberg became the first wine producer in South Africa and one of only three in the world to gain Carbon Neutral status by sequestrating its carbon emissions.
  • Delheim. Awarded with a Sustainable Wine Tourism Award.
  • Solms Delta. This wine estate  differs from the other estates. Here, they carry an inspiring story with the foundation of its community.
  • Spier. The heart of South Africa’s Cape Winelands, Fair trade in Tourism certified and often awarded for their fantastic environmentally responsible practices.

Overnight: Fair trade in Tourism certified Hotel, Stellenbosch incl. breakfast

Day 5 Montagu (ca. 200 km)
Today you will drive the Cape Route 62, also known as the mountain route. It will take you along the longest wine route in the Western Cape. Innovation and pride, combined with a mild climate that are harmoniously balanced, results in the prominence of the outstanding wines on Cape Route 62.

This scenic route passes through farming towns such as Calitzdorp, Ladismith and the historic town Amaliestein. Visit fruit and wine producing towns such as Barrydale and Montagu and many more cities!

Overnight: guesthouse in the idyllic town Montagu incl. breakfast

Day 6 Ostrich Capital Oudtshoorn (ca. 250 km)
Drive via the impressive Swartberg Pass to the ostrich capital Oudtshoorn. Here you can learn more about the biggest bird in the world. Visit an ostrich farm and enjoy your day in this beautiful and diverse region. In the afternoon you can visit the impressive Cango Caves, one of the many natural wonders in the Little Karoo. Water, time and simple chemistry have combined, over hundreds of thousands of years, to create a magical display of carved caverns, corridors and dripstone formations deep within the Swartberg Mountain Range.

Overnight: unique tented accommodation incl. breakfast.

Day 7 Oudtshoorn
You will have free time to discover more of Oudtshoorn and the region. Visit the Cango Caves, one of the many ostrich farms, the Crocodile Farm & Reptile Centre. Hike the Swartberg Pass or visit a local church or school.

Overnight: Tented accommodation incl. breakfast

Day 8 Tsitsikamma National Park (ca. 220 km)
Make your way through the Fruit Route on your Cape & Garden Route exploration, better known as the Langkloof. This route is situated in the valley between the Kamanasie and Kouga mountains in the north. The Outeniqua- Langkloof and Tsitsikamma mountains are in the south. This area, which stretches along the valley for more than 160km, used to be the home ground of Bushmen and Gonagua Hottentots. Today it is the second largest fruit production area in South Africa.

Today you will drive to Tsisikamma National Park with its famous hanging bridge at Stormsriver Valley. This hanging bridge is home to the highest commercial bungee jump in the world. The adventurous can join FTTSA accredited Stormsriver Adventures. It is a professional adventure and activity company based in the heart of the Tsitsikamma Forest.

Overnight: In Tsitiskamma National Park, room only

Day 9 Port Elizabeth (ca. 180 km)
Continue the journey to the windy city, Port Elizabeth. In the afternoon you can optionally join FTTSA certified Calabash Tours on a guided Shebeen Tour. Experience the diversity of townships and enjoy unbeatable African hospitality when relaxing at a Shebeen for drinks and dinner (not included, but optional).

Overnight: Unique luxury accommodation, incl. breakfast

Day 10 Port Elizabeth
Today you can visit Addo Elephant National Park. It is a little north of Port Elizabeth. The entrance fee is included in the Activity Package. This park has over 500 elephants, 450 Cape buffaloes, black rhinos, a variety of antelope species as well as the unique flightless dung beetle. You can drive through the park yourself or book a guided game drive at the entrance.

Overnight: Unique luxury accommodation, incl. breakfast (2 nights)

Day 11 Knysna (ca. 270 km)
Today you will head back towards Cape Town. The start of the return on the Cape & Garden route takes you first to Knysna. This is a small cosy town on a lagoon with a special holiday atmosphere. You will be following the Garden Route further to Plettenberg Bay to go on a dolphin cruise with the FTTSA Ocean Blue. You can also visit Birds of Eden – they are the largest free flight bird aviary in the world. These are subject to the time you have left. Other excursion possibilities are the Elephant sanctuary near the crags. This sanctuary provides a “halfway house” for young elephants in need of a temporary home. It is our vision to release all the elephants into an environment where they can be more independent once they are older.

Overnight: In a guesthouse, incl. breakfast

Day 12 Knysna
Today you will have more time to explore the village and Knysna and its surrounding parts. Hike the Knysna Heads and/or visit the Knysna forest. Enjoy the Knysna lagoon or spend relaxed time at one of the many restaurants of the Knysna Waterfront. If you have booked the Activity Package then you are expected by a local home at 13h00 in the afternoon. Here you will be welcomed by your African Host Kamamma who will teach you the skills of traditional African cooking during a cook-up workshop at her house. The afternoon will end by enjoying the jointly prepared meal with the host and her family whilst having the opportunity to share stories and dreams before you leave to go back to your accommodation.

Overnight: In a guesthouse, incl. breakfast

Day 13 Swellendam (ca. 275 km)
Today you will continue in the direction of Cape Town and drive via the sleepy town of Swellendam. Visit the old townhouse and relax in the tea gardens. Another option is to visit the Drostdy museum; one of the most beautiful and oldest museums in South Africa. Make your way towards the accommodation where you will meet the head chef, Lena Vergotini. Lena’s development from housemaid to head chef is part of the staff policy which the accommodation has won for its Fair Trade Tourism status.

Overnight: Fair trade in Tourism certified country house incl. breakfast

Day 14 Cape Town (ca. 200 km)
Today  you will drive the last part of the Garden Route before you reach Cape Town again. En route you could optionally stop at the coastal village Hermanus. It is famous for whale watching in the winter season (June-September). If the time permits you can drive along the breathtaking coastal route back to Cape Town. This route offers beautiful sightseeing and great photo opportunities.

Once you have arrived in Cape Town you can spend your time on some last minute shopping. Some recommendations are the Green Market Square or the V&A Waterfront.

Overnight: Fair trade in Tourism certified guesthouse incl. breakfast.

Day 15 Back home
Today the Cape & Garden Route will come to an end. You will have to drop off your rental car at Cape Town International Airport prior your departure.

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