Garden Route and Western Cape

The famous Garden Route runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and is some 750km long using the shortest, mostly inland route. To explore this vast countryside you need to self-drive and spend ten days visiting the mountains, lagoons, lakes and beaches along the way. To see the highlights of the area, we suggest flying from Cape Town to George and exploring from there. Knysna, set around a tranquil lagoon, is the ideal base to explore the middle section of the Garden Route which includes the long, unspoilt golden beaches of Plettenberg Bay, the forests of Tsitsikamma and the lake areas around Wilderness.

Some 120km from Cape Town, Hermanus is a wonderful base to explore the Garden Route, or a perfect stop-off as part of a longer tour of The Cape. With excellent access to beaches including the wonderful Walker Bay, it is justifiably famous for the best land-based whale watching in the world (July toDecember). It also offers marine ‘Big 5’ tours and for adrenaline seekers, cage-diving with great white sharks at Gansbaai. It has dramatic scenery for beautiful cliff top walks,horseback rides and Grootbos Nature Reserve for hikes and private scenic flights, close to the Southern tip of Africa. We recommend Birkenhead House or The Marine Hotel

The Cape is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest, but richest of the six floral kingdoms in the world, with 9000 different plant species.

Susie’s Recommendations

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