Garden Route Tour
Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, Cape South Coast, Hermanus and Cape Town
Day 1 – 2
Your Garden Route Tour starts in George, South Africa
You will be picked up at your hotel in George or at the airport around 13:00 by Julie Clarke your guide.
The beautiful drive to Knysna takes you through the scenic Lake District and the Wilderness National Park, Sedgefield town then into Knysna.
Check into your hotel then drive up to the Knysna Heads to enjoy the stunning views. Enjoy sundowners at the Simola Hotel and Country Club. Dinner at the Knysna Waterfront.
The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa, Knysna
After a leisurely breakfast, you will be taken to the departure point for the 10am departure to the Eco – Feather Bed nature reserve tour in the Knysna lagoon, strictly speaking, an estuary as five freshwater rivers flow into it from the Outeniqua mountain range. The reserve is privately owned and a South African Heritage site. It is only accessible by ferry, which will take you to Feather Bed Bay, where you will be driven to the top of the cliffs, stopping at sensational viewpoints.
There is an optional walk to the bottom of the cliffs, about 2.2 km. A beautiful walk through large Milkwood forests and onto the steep sandstone cliffs offering wonderful views. explore bushman sea caves and saunter along a scenic coastal path fringed with fynbos. Your expert guide will keep you informed about the fascinating ecosystem and its inhabitants. Learn about the endangered seahorse, the Knysna Loerie and the rare Blue Duiker. You can then enjoy a lovely buffet lunch at the open Forest Restaurant under giant Milkwood trees.
After lunch, you will be taken to the picturesque village of Brenton On Sea to enjoy the spectacular cliffs, views and beaches.
Day 3 – 4
Oudtshoorn & Mossel Bay
DCheck out of your hotel on Day 3 and drive to Oudtshoorn via George. A short drive north from Oudtshoorn will take you to the world-renowned Cango Caves where you will be taken on a 60-minute tour by expert guides. These caves, composed mainly of calcium carbonate, are among some of the largest stalagmite formations in the world. The caves are well lit, quite warm and humid. so wear summer clothes and comfortable walking shoes.
After the tour, you will return to Oudtshoorn for lunch probably at Jemima’s or the Pepper Tree, followed by a visit to the C.P. Nel museum . Discover the fascinating history of the epicentre of the global ostrich industry.
After breakfast on Day 4, check out of your hotel and drive to the Cango Ostrich Farm. You will be shown the workings and history of this commercial ostrich farm. The tours take place approx every 40 minutes.
Your drive to Mossel Bay takes you through some beautiful scenic landscape. Arrive for lunch in one of the many lovely little restaurants.
After lunch check into your accommodation and freshen up before your tour at the Point of Human Origins to visit the world-renowned archaeological site with early evidence for modern human behaviour. This tour is 90 minutes and a minimum level of fitness is required to access the caves via a long wooden walkway. There is also a 4-hour tour for the exceptionally interested StoryScape travellers guided by Dr Nillsen a distinguished archaeologist who discovered the caves, remains and fossils.
The StoryScape traveller will experience two facades to the tour – one in space and time, and one within.
Day 5 – 7
Cape South Coast & Hermanus
After checking out on Day 5 you will visit the Bartholomew Diaz complex which includes:
The Post Office Tree
Dating back some 500 years, this is considered to be the oldest post office in South Africa, as it was where the first written letter was left (likely in a shoe), warning whoever read it of the troublesome conditions in Calcutta.
The Maritime Museum
Home to many delights, not least of all the Dias Caravel; a life-size replica of one of the caravels used by the Portuguese explorers of old.
The Shell Museum and Aquarium
Here, shells and marine animals from all over the world are exhibited for young and old to enjoy.
The Ethno-Botanical Garden
Showcasing the plants used by the indigenous folk and the settlers for food, shelter and medicine over the generations
We stop in Bredasdorp en-route to Arniston where you can visit the only shipwreck museum in South Africa.
Upon arrival at the Arniston Hotel, check-in, freshen up and look forward to what will be a memorable dinner.
On day 6, after checking out of the hotel we will visit the Waenhuiskrans cave, tide permitting. Then make our way to Cape Agulhas.
Cape Agulhas is the southernmost tip of Africa and where the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Oceans clash together. Notorious for tales from bygone eras where ships and their precious cargos vanished during vicious storms during their trade on the Spice Route.
we will drive to Hermanus via Napier where there is a quaint and interesting little museum exhibiting all sorts of Boer war memorabilia. The owner makes hand-made chess sets, depicting various characters from molten lead.
Check into your hotel and time permitting you can enjoy a stroll along the clifftop in Hermanus before freshening up for drinks and dinner.
Day 7 – 8
The Clarence Drive
Today the StoryScape traveller will be assured of absolutely spectacular views of the ocean and mountains of the Western Cape. Some of the most breath-taking views of this drama and beauty are showcased on The Clarence Drive, which winds for 21 kilometres between Rooi-Els and Gordons Bay.
Rooi-Els is on the shore of False Bay, just a few kilometres north of Pringle Bay. This little hamlet marks the start (or finish) point of the Clarence Drive. The route then winds along the coastline, letting the untamed waters and the high blue of the African skies do the “talking”.
More than the views, the route itself is thrilling. There are no fewer than 77 bends or corners, of which four are greater than 150 degrees. This makes for some exhilarating driving. And, because the road is fairly narrow and the bends plentiful, most of the drive is done at 60 kilometres an hour or less. This gives drivers and their passengers’ plenty of opportunities to drink in the gorgeous views.
The route goes through the charming seaside towns of Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, as well as showcasing Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els as the start and finish points. Phenomenal views of the Cape Peninsula, False Bay and Table Mountain make it particularly memorable. This stretch of coast is part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and the Cape Floral Kingdom. In the waters below, surfers can often be seen testing their skills on the swell. But, on some days, you may even spot whales or dolphins.
There are stops and viewing points along the Clarence Drive, inviting StoryScape travellers to pause and let the breath-taking beauty of South Africa sink in.
Finally you will be dropped off at your hotel or Cape Town airport, unfortunately heralding the end of your Garden Route tour.