Our South Africa Garden Route holiday takes in four locations along the south coast between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay. This 300km stretch of coast is known for its wild beauty, and our trip offers an exceptional range of contrasts; from buzzing cities, to desert landscapes to beaches.
We’ll start our multi-centre in the Constantia Valley, a wine growing community just a short distance from Cape Town - South Africa’s oldest city. You can ride a cable car to the summit of Table Mountain, see the penguins at Boulders Beach and take a boat ride out to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in captivity. In the evenings you can dine at world class restaurants and relax in intimate bars.
At Hermanus whale watching tours give you a chance to see these peaceful creatures at play. You can also try shark diving, which enables to you get closer to the region’s undersea predators then you ever thought possible.
Unique Oudtshoorn is next. It’s known as the gateway to the Klein Karoo. The remarkable desert landscape offers amazing views over the Outeniqua Mountains and the majestic Cango Caves.
Plettenberg Bay is your final stop and provides a suitably breath taking conclusion to your journey, with its spectacular beaches, excellent hiking and relaxed atmosphere.
- Stay in the gorgeous Constantia Valley just outside Cape Town
- See southern right whales and humpbacks off the coast of Hermanus
- Visit the Klein Karoo and the Cango Caves of Oudsthoorn
- Relax and unwind in the beautiful surroundings of Plettenberg Bay
Start your Journey
You’ll spend two nights staying in the Constantia Valley, a pretty landscape consisting of mountains and vineyards just a short drive from the centre of Cape Town. This attractive city has plenty to offer visitors, with cafés, museums and bars galore.
The view from Table Mountain is a must see, as is the cell at Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent much of his long prison sentence. Wander the grounds and take in the same view that met him on the day of his release in 1990.
Simons Town is just a short drive from the centre of Cape Town. Here you can visit Boulders Beach, a gorgeous sweep of sand which is home to a large colony of penguins. In the evening, dine at one of South Africa’s finest restaurants. The Greenhouse in Constantia is an institution, serving world class cuisine with an African foundation.
Hermanus is a former whaling town, where locals now operate whale watching tours and safeguard these peaceful animals. You can take a trip on the water in the hope of seeing pods of right whales and humpback whales, which regularly pass by during their migrations. The merging of the Indian Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean produces a unique environment below the surface, which offers a rich variety of sea creatures.
Away from the water, Hermanus is a relaxing place to spend a couple of days. The town boasts some fine restaurants and a handful of interesting museums, including the Old Harbour Museum and the Whale House Museum. Wander through the exhibits for an interesting account of the town’s history.
If you have an urge to push your limits to the utmost while in Hermanus, shark diving offers a genuine adrenaline rush. You’ll be lowered to sea in a cage, where you can come face to face with nature's ultimate predator.
Oudtshoorn rests in a fertile valley at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. It’s an attractively quirky town, with a well preserved colonial centre. Spend your days here wandering through the town and taking in its quaint architecture, stopping off at the many quality spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The town of Oudtshoorn is especially well known for its ostrich farms. Take a guided tour and you can learn about the unique challenges and rewards of raising and caring for these eccentric birds.
Close to Oudtshoorn, on a limestone ridge opposite the Swartberg Mountains lie the Cango Caves. This system runs on for 4km and includes some truly arresting rock formations. Take a guided tour of the first kilometre and explore the natural passageways that wind their way deep into the Earth. The view over the mountains as you head back into town is worth the journey alone.
Enchanting Plettenberg Bay will be your final stop on this multi-centre holiday. This seaside community boasts pretty beaches, forest trails and amazing wildlife. It’s a popular holiday spot for South Africans, and still retains the laid back charm that made it a local favourite.
Gorgeous Knysna Lagoon is just a half hour drive east and offers some magical views and the chance to explore by boat. Travel further afield and you’ll reach Tsitsikamma National Park. This park is a vision of paradise, and its deep gorges, green forests and picture perfect beaches offer endless riches for hikers.
Wildlife lovers will be keen to take a trip from Plettenberg Bay out to the world’s largest free flight aviary, Birds of Eden, at The Crags. You’ll have the chance to see the Alexander parakeet, African sacred ibis and flamingo. This beautiful part of the country is sure to leave a lasting impression.
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