Garden Route essentials

South Africa's Garden Route is at its most beautiful in September and October, when all flora just starts to bloom. Also when you travel outside South African spring, the Garden Route is a destination not to be missed. The Garden Route bursts of possibilities and activities, all in a beautiful setting. This luxuxry Garden Route holiday combines the best that the Garden Route has to offer. From ancient coastal forests, extremely pretty beaches, a whole lot of (child friendly) activities, to the starry starry nights in the Klein Karoo semi desert. There;s just so much variety. If you have a little more time to spend, we recommend extending your luxury Garden Route holiday with an extra overnight stay in Oudtshoorn. If you choose for this travel module, you get the ultimate Garden Route experience is just six days time and three different locations.

Tour duration: 6 days, 5 nights

Price: From £ 529 per person (high), from £ 469 per person (low) for two adults sharing

Best time to visit: All year round

Day 1: George / Port Elizabeth - Plettenberg Bay

tsitsikamma bridge garden route south africa

After your visit to South Africa's northeast you travel to George or Port Elizabeth conveniently by domestic flight. After picking up a rental car, you start your Garden Route holiday here. You will encounter a completely different South Africa compared to the South Africa you saw in the northeast. It feels and smells different, and landscapes and views change faster. An excellent road takes you to Plettenberg, your next stop close to the shores of the Indian Ocean. The next two night you'll sleep in a luxury lodge just outside Plettenberg Bay itself. The extensive grounds of the lodge is in fact a mini nature reserve, and feels far away from civilization. In reality, you are close to a bustling seaside resort town, with all facilities and comforts it has to offer. The lodge has an African look and feel. Rooms are equipped with king size beds, a cosy fire place for colder days, private patio with stunning views over the forest, and mini-bar. There also is a large swimming pool with a panoramic view over the gorge where the Matjies River meanders through. Breakfast is included. (Driving distance from George 93 miles, from Port Elizabeth 133 miles)

Hotel name: Hog Hollow Country Lodge Hotel style: African fusion

Day 2: Plettenberg Bay

pool plettenberg garden route

Plettenberg Bay is your home base when it comes to exploring the area. From July to November, southern righ whales can be seen in the bay. Throughout the year thousands of bottlenose dolphins reside in the same bay. Pick one of the nearby fantastic beaches for a walk or settling down with a good book. But most of all, there is a lot to do in the area. Not to be missed is Tsitsikamma National Park, less than an hour's drive away. This great nature reserve is located right on th coast whe huge waves crash onto the rocks. You can follow some rewarding walking trails where you walk in between the Indian Ocean and ancients coastal forests. Walking in the park means that you are actually walking a small part of the world famous "Otter Trail". The best way getting to Tsitsikamma is not via the N2 motorway. The much smaller -old- roads are much more beautiful and take you through some deep gorges. Tonight you'll stay another night in the same lodge in Plettenberg Bay.

Hotel name: Hog Hollow Country Lodge Hotel style: African fusion

Day 3: Plettenberg Bay - Oudtshoorn (Swartberg Pass)

oudtshoorn garden route luxury accommodation

The Garden Route takes you further inland. First follow the road along the coast and pass through the friendly town of Knysna. Knysna is worth a short stop to visit the "Knysna Heads", an inpressive views point from where you overlook the town and its lagoon. From the city of George you follow the road inland. You will pas a mountain range and once on the other side you imagine being in another world. Welcome to Klein Karoo, a semi desert. In the area there is a lot of fruit cultvation: especially peached, apricots and oranges. When you are travelling at the beginning of summer (November and December) make a stop at one of the many roadside fruit stalls. You can buy juicy fresh fruit for barely nothing. The next town en route is Oudtshoorn, centre of the South African ostrich farming. From Oudtshoorn it is another forty minute drive to the foot of the Swartberg Pass. Here you'll stay in a typical "Karoo style" small lodge that completely fits its surroundings. The adjacent restaurant serves excellent meals (nothing fancy). The best way of finishing your day is taking a glass of South African red and enjoy the endless Karoo sunset. The rooms are tastefully decorated and provide all comforts. (Driving distance 118 miles)

Hotel name: Swartberg Country Manor Hotel style: mountain splendour

Day 4: Oudtshoorn (Swartberg Pass) - Swellendam

pool swellendam lodge luxury

We thoroughly enjoyed getting up just before sunrise when staying at Swartberg Country Manor. By doing so you can drive up the Swartberg Pass and enjoy a majestic sunrise from the top. Please drive slowly, the road is steep and has many sharp bends, but the reward is definitely worth the efoort once on top. Go prepared: it can be very cold and windy so early in the morning. Back at the lodge you can have breakfast before setting off to Swellendam. This village is one of the older settlements in the Western Cape, which shows through the many old "Cape Dutch" buildings that can be seen in the centre. For the next two nights you'll be staying in a very special guest house owned by the Dutch Carla and Maarten. They have a beautiful moden lodge on the outskirts of Swellendam. (Driving distance 161 miles)

Hotel name: Bloomestate Hotel style: minimalistic chic

Day 5: Swellendam

luxury hotel Swellendam garden route

Many travellers seize the opportunity to just sit back and relax a little bit after what has been quite an active holiday in South Africa so far. The guest house in Swellendam provides the excellent location to do so: the spacious garden invites you to relax by the pool or jacuzzi. You can also get a DVD from the extensive library and enjoy a movie in the privacy of your room. But of course you can also choose to venture out and explore Swellendam and surroundings. In whale season (August - November) it is recommendable to drive to the The Hoop Nature Reserve. Here you are able to spot the giant mammals from the beach. Also worthwhile is visiting Bontebok National Park, just across the motorway from Swellendam. Here you can see a large population of the rare bontebok, an animal species not commonly sighted in other places throughout Africa. Tonight you will stay another night in Bloomestate. Breakfast is included.

Hotel name: Bloomestate Hotel style: minimalistic chic

Day 6: Swellendam - Cape Town

overberg south africa garden route

In the morning you continue your luxury South Africa holiday in the direction of Cape Town. You make some good progress when following the N2 motorway, it takes about three hours to get to Cape Town. You can also choose to take it a bit more slowly and drive the coastal route to Cape Town. Ask Carla and Maarten for some advice, they happily assist you in picking the best route. (Driving distance 136 miles)

Luxury travel modules that connect well are "Discovering Cape Town. Chic!" for a visit to South Africa's "Mother City" or "A taste of Africa: wine & whales in the Overberg" for a visit to the Cape Winelands and the coastal town of Hermanus.

You can request a quote for this South Africa luxury travel module by completing a quote request form. For more travel options see our luxury South Africa modules overview.

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Included: bed & breakfast

Excluded: car hire (more information); other meals; all items of personal nature and tips

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