Garden route Tour will take you from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It is a region of spectacular mountains, placid lakes and endless sandy-white beaches. Travelling from hot dry Karoo to the amazing forests of the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve and the fishing town of Knysna, Garden Route tour is explored at its best across the Western Cape, discover the many facets of Garden Route. An experienced guide will share the stories, facts and history about the region, its breathtaking sights, see its wildlife and its sea-side towns along the Garden Route on the Garden Route tour. You will visit the impressive Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve, Nature’s Valley and the pre-historic Cango Caves. Garden Route Tour Package will take you to Port Elizabeth, 800 kilometers from Cape Town, and back to Cape Town.
DAY 1: CAPE TOWN TO OUDTSHOORN
With the 4-day Garden route tour you’ll journey along some of the most beautiful stretches of landscape in South Africa. This is a popular exploration route with locals and travellers from around the globe, for good reason, as the scenic route offers unparalleled beauty and ecologically diverse settings along the way.
Depart Cape Town at about 08h15 and head northwards over the spectacular Du Toit’s Kloof Mountain pass en route to Worcester. From Worcester we continue on the R62 (route 62 is the longest wine route in the world) through Montagu. We stop for a wine tasting and delicious lunch. In the afternoon we travel through the Little Karoo.
Changing scenery from lush farmland to semi-desert areas make this a day full of surprises. A warm welcome awaits us from the staff of the 3* Riempies Estate Hotel in Oudtshoorn (or similar), where we arrive in the late afternoon for our overnight stop. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. Here ostriches are found in great numbers and the region produces the best feathers, leather products and ostrich meat worldwide. But the world’s biggest bird is just one of the many attractions in this area of interesting contrasts. This small town is the commercial hub of the greater Klein Karoo region (encompassing Prince Albert, De Rust and Calitzdorp) and is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua- and Swartberg Mountains. Accommodation: 3* Riempies Estate Hotel in Oudtshoorn or similar.
DAY 2: OUDTSHOORN TO KNYSNA
Awake the next day to the freshness of the Karoo air. After a good breakfast we visit the world famous Cango Caves where we take a guided tour lasting over an hour – full of fascination. These caves span huge distances of dark, winding caverns and can be a little scary if you aren’t too comfortable with small spaces. Some of the lower, longer passages are only for the courageous. From the Caves we travel to the Cango Wildlife Ranch (Crocodile and Cheetah farm) to learn more about frightening reptiles and other beautiful animals. Hear the awesome stories from the guide as we tour the farm with a chance to view cheetah, tiger, lion, puma, and jaguar. This is a rare opportunity to be able to get up close to these elegant and graceful predators.
A short drive to the other end of Oudtshoorn brings us to Ostrich country and lunch at the Highgate Ostrich farm. Today’s lunch – yes, you guessed it, includes ostrich delicacies. We’ll listen to the restaurant staff as they serenade us during lunch. After all this, the tour of the farm begins. We head down to the fields, where you will have the opportunity to touch an ostrich and learn more about the breeding habits and of the bygone days, when Oudtshoorn was in the midsts of the 1920’s ostrich feather boom.
The late afternoon takes us over the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna. Here for the first time one can understand why this area is known as the Garden Route. The nearby mountains contain the moisture from the buffeting waves and winds that come across the seas, and create a floral paradise. As you drive over the summit of the pass, lush green vegetation awaits you. Accommodation: 4* Knysna Quays Hotel in Knysna (or similar).
DAY 3: MOSSEL BAY
The morning gives us some time to enjoy the quaint village of Knysna and we have a bit of free time in the Knysna Waterfront. At 11h00 we depart on a guided boat trip on the Keurbooms river where you experience the majesty of the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve, as the Ferries glide over shimmering waters, through soaring gorges. Qualified skippers and guides are on board to ensure that your 2.5hr trip is as informative as it is unforgettable, ending with a picnic lunch on the beaches of the Keurbooms River.
In the late afternoon we will make our way to Mossel Bay where we visit to the Post Office Tree and Diaz museum where early pioneers left mail for the homebound ships to Europe. You can still leave message sunder a bottle or a horseshoe for any loved ones passing through, as was the old tradition. We spend a leisurely afternoon at the swimming pool or stroll along the beach before enjoying dinner, and overnight at the 3* Mossel Bay Protea hotel (or similar). Accommodation: 3* Mossel Bay Protea hotel or similar
DAY 4 MOSSEL BAY TO CAPE TOWN
The next morning, we visit Botlierskop Private Game reserve where we have breakfast before departing on a game drive. Experience close encounters with Rhinoceros, Lion, Buffalo, and Giraffe, rare Black Impala and many other African species on an exhilarating three-hour guided game viewing drive in an open vehicle over the 3000-hectare reserve. The private game reserve is a great opportunity for a shorter safari, that still includes all the amazing animals that draw people from all over the world.
From the reserve we travel via rolling hills to Swellendam, which is full of romantic history. The town was founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1745 in order to exercise control over independent frontiersmen who migrated over the Hottentots Holland Mountains at the beginning of the 18th century. This dangerous and wild frontier was tamed by these men, who were in turn tamed themselves. The district and town were named after the reigning Governor of the Cape, Hendrik Swellengrebel, and his wife, Helena Ten Damme. In time, a village was established and Swellendam became the last outpost of civilization on the eastern frontier. Our lunch today is at a restaurant in Swellendam (La Belle Alliance).
We stop at one of the local Farm stalls where you can purchase local artisan breads, cheeses and meats, before continuing on our scenic route back to Cape Town, either terminating at the airport at 18h00 or at the various hotels.