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The Garden Route: Self-Drive

A road trip through South Africa’s natural highlights

At a glance

The Garden Route: Self-Drive

AfricaTourlane Expert

Your Travel Expert for ${destination}

Travel timeFrom 14 days
Type of travelSelf-drive
Best timeAll year
To destination18+ hours

from

$2,738

pp excl. flights

Plan your own Garden Route tour with Tourlane. Your South Africa vacation starts in the sensational coastal city of Cape Town, before moving on to explore the world-class wineries of nearby Stellenbosch. Next, you’ll move on to explore the Garden Route, where spectacular coastal scenery and unique wildlife come together. Finally, you end your trip in luxury with a stay at Shamwari Private Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth. With Tourlane, you are able to book flights, transfers, accommodations, and safaris, all in one place!

  1. Cape Town

  2. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek

  3. Oudtshoorn

  4. Knysna

  5. Shamwari Private Game Reserve


The Garden Route: Self-Drive

from

$2,738

pp excl. flights

Plan your trip

Travel Itinerary

1. Cape Town

The jewel in the crown of the Garden Route is Cape Town, one of the world’s most distinct and beautiful cities. Cape Town is sandwiched between the Atlantic ocean on one side and the imposing Table Mountain on the other - the city’s most famous attraction. Take the cable car and enjoy superb views over Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean from the top. Those with an interest in history should visit the fascinating District 6 Museum and the Robben Island Museum – the former prison home of Nelson Mandela. A visit to the colourful Bo Kapp district and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens as well as the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Market are also well worth visiting. 

2. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek 

If you’re interested in sampling South Africa’s exceptional wine, then look no further: Stellenbosch is surrounded by world-class wineries, and you’ll want to spend several days here to properly explore the region. The town itself is relatively small so it is easily explored on foot. The nearby town of Franschhoek also boasts an impressive range of wineries, and offers a wine tram - where visitors ride a tourist tram in between different wineries along the route. It is one of our top recommendations! 

3. Oudtshoorn

With more days of sunshine than any other town in South Africa, Oudtshoorn is easy to enjoy as you make your way along the Garden Route. The town is well-known as the Ostrich farm capital of Africa and we recommend visiting a farm. Another highlight of the Oudtshoorn area are the Cango Caves, an underground wonder. Here, you’ll find huge, natural limestone halls with towering formations of stalactites. Be sure to participate in one of the adventure tours within the caves.

4. Knysna

Perfect for hikers, Knysna is an enchanting destination along the Garden Route that delights travellers with its natural wonders. The ancient forests located here are home to the rare forest antelopes and elephants which you might spot while on a nature hike. Be sure to visit the Knysna Elephant Park as well, especially if you weren’t lucky enough to glimpse the rare forest elephant in the wild. In the town itself, the Waterfront Knysna Quays offers boutique shops and charming restaurants on the harbourfront. Nature lovers may also be interested in visiting the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Only accessible by ferry and on a guided tour, this reserve offers visitors peace and quiet in a spectacular landscape, with great views of the lagoon as you look out to sea.

5. Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Shamwari Private Game Reserve is a conservation project for the region’s land and the animals who live here. It is also a premier safari destination that blends luxury accommodation with sensational wildlife viewing opportunities. Here, spot the Big 5, as well as cheetahs, giraffes and many other wildlife species. Sunrise and sunset game drives are offered, as well as photographic tours and guided bush walks for the more adventurous. Rather uniquely, the reserve is also home to a wildlife rehabilitation centre and the Big Cat Sanctuary both of which offers informational experiences about the animals they’ve rescued from the African wild as well as from around the world.

Useful Information for Your Garden Route Tour 

South Africa is located in South Africa Standard Time. The official currency is the South African Rand (ZAR), and the country has 11 official languages, including English. Johannesburg (JNB) has direct flights to the USA, while Port Elizabeth and Cape Town have one-stop flights (where the Garden Route starts and finishes). U.S. citizens are allowed to enter South Africa without a visa for up to 90 days 

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