SPECTACULAR GARDEN ROUTE
Spectacular tour for 8 days to experience the breath taking view of the Garden Route The Garden Route is a coastal corridor on the southern coast of South Africa, where ancient forests, rivers, wetlands, dunes, stretches of beach, lakes, mountain scenery and indigenous fynbos all merge to form a landscape of restorative beauty.
The Garden Route (Afrikaans: Tuinroete) is a 300-kilometre (190 mi) stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa which extends from Mossel Bay (many say Mossel Bay is not part of the Garden Route, because it is positioned behind what locals call the “Boom Gordyn” roughly translates to “Tree Curtain”) in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay, Little Brak River and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre.
It has an oceanic climate, with mild to warm summers, and mild to cool winters. It has the mildest climate in South Africa and the second mildest climate in the world, after Hawaii, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Temperatures rarely fall below 10 °C in winter and rarely climb beyond 28 °C in summer. Rain occurs year-round, with a slight peak in the spring months, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean rising and releasing their precipitation along the Outeniquaand Tsitsikamma Mountains just inland of the coast.
The Route is sandwiched between the aforementioned mountains and the Indian Ocean, with mountain passes, including the Outeniqua Pass, linking the area with the arid Little Karoo. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and Temperate Forest and offer hiking trails and eco-tourism activities. Nearly 300 species of bird life are to be found in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.
Day 1. Arrive in Port Elizabeth where your guide will be waiting to collect you or collect your car from the Europcar counter. Depart on arrival to Addo Elephant Park for a day to spend with the Addo Elephants and many other species of antelope. You will have a full day tour of this park if you arrive in the morning in Port Elizabeth. Return to the hotel late afternoon. Overnight The Kelway hotel 4 star or the Humewood Hotel 3 star. (D)
Day 2. Start the tour of the Garden Route today. Travel past Humansdorp to Storms River bridge. Stop for a view of the bridge to the groge below. Enjoy refreshments here before we travel further along the Garden Route which starts here. Very old Yellow wood trees and an abundance of ferns and Cape fynbos can be seen along the road. We will visit the “Big Tree” in the Tsitsikamma forest. A stop will be made at the famous Plettenberg Bay to stretch legs and perhaps enjoy a walk on the beach. An optional cruise from here to see the whales or dolphins can be done from here but must be booked in advance. Overnight Knysna River club or similar. (B,D)
Day 3. After breakfast a little time to explore Knysna on foot and by vehicle. This is a delightful town to explore. Depart for the honeymoon village of Wilderness and then to George from where we cross the mountain into the Little Karoo to Oudtshoorn. Rfreshments can be enjoyed at the famous limestone caves, Cango Caves. Enjoy a tour of these caves. Then travel to Safari show ostrich farm for a tour of the farm. Check into our hotel Hlangana lodge or similar 4 star or De Oude Meul 3 star. Dinner and overnight (B,D)
Day 4. We leave after breakfast for the journey through the Little Karoo, an ostrich breeding area situated between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. Travel past Calitzdorp and Ladismith to Barrydale where lunch is included at Mike of the Karoo. This route is full of high mountains, amazing passes and breathtaking mountain scenery with many waterfalls in the mountains of the Karoo. Depart from Barrydale and travel via Swellendam and then make our way to Hermanus. Spend 1 night here before going to Cape Town the next day. Arrive in the afternoon and time to stretch legs and see the town of Hermanus, the centre for whale watching from May to November or Dolphins in the alternative months. Hermanus Beach Villa or similar 4 star or Villa Venusta 3 star or similar. Dinner tonight is for your own account as lunch in Barrydale was included in your half board for today. (B,L)
Day 5. After breakfast make our way to the wine-lands. This morning we arrive in Franschhoek. Our first stop is the Hugenot monument. We go to one of the local wine estates for a wine taste. Then you will be taken to Boschendal for lunch. After lunch visit the Language Monument at Paarl on Paarl Rock. We visit Stellenbosch with it’s Oak lined streets and hear all about this old town and the centre for the wine industry. After this proceed to Cape Town after an interesting day in the wine-lands. Overnight The Hyde hotel 4 star or similar or New Tulbach hotel 3 star or similar.
Day 6. Depart from our hotel and we have an early morning tour up the famous Table Mountain to see the view from the top (Weather permitting. Travel both ways with rotating cable car. After returning down from the mountain you will have time for lunch at the Waterfront. This afternoon we will do a city tour of Cape Town including the Castle, company gardens, Houses of Parliament and the Groote Kerk as well as some of the other interesting places. Overnight (B,D)
Day 7. Depart at 08h00 for a full day Cape Point tour. Travel from Seapoint to Camps Bay, the Twelve Apostles (Mountains) and Llandudno to Out Bay. We take a cruise from Hout Bay and along Chapmans Peak drive to Seal Island. After the cruise that takes us around the point at the Sentinel to see the seals playing in the water we return to harbor. Drive up to Chapmans Peak drive overlooking the Sentinel across the bay. Spectacular scenes can be seen along this part of the road that takes us around the coastline to Kommetjie and Cape Point Nature Reserve. As you enter the reserve you will see various species of antelope roaming in the fynbos. We arrive at the terminal point from where we will take the funicular train to the top of Cape Point with it’s magnificent views across the ocean. Return from the train ride and depart from Cape Point.. We travel alond the False Bay coast past many little bays until we reach Simonstown, the headquarters of our navy in South Africa. You may enjoy lunch here. We stop to view the protected Jackass penguins at Boulders Beach. After this we visit the statue of the famous navy dog,Just Nuisance. Continue past picturesque St James where Cecil John Rhodes who discovered Rhodesia lived and died. Return to Cape Town late afternoon. (B,D)
Day 8. Morning at leisure for final shopping. After lunch visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens until we transfer you to the airport for final departure back home. (B)