Ultimate Garden Route Self Drive

19 days
FROM £ 3635

Ultimate Garden Route Self Drive

Are you looking to escape the winter months? Then you really should head south to South Africa's Cape region; Cape Town, the Garden Route, the Eastern Cape game reserves and the Winelands. It's an excellent winter/spring destination with glorious sunshine and balmy temperatures but without the jetlag of the Caribbean or the Far East.

September is spring in the Cape and the beautiful and unique fynbos are in full bloom. This is also the month of the whale festival in Hermanus as this is the time when the whales arrive to mate and give birth. You can see Humpback and Bryde whales but the most common are the Southern Right whales who linger just offshore between June and November. The shoulder months of October and April are slightly cooler with the chance of a shower but a great time of year to go see the spring flowers or the autumn leaf colours and if you don't like the heat. November through to March is the perfect time to go for the best weather when it is hot, sunny and dry and you can really enjoy the wonderful beaches in this part of the world.

This is a fabulous holiday to South Africa with plenty of time to relax, explore and really enjoy the destination. Accommodation has been hand-picked - stay in wonderful small Cape Dutch properties, full of character, boutique hotels in prime locations and elegant country houses. With a hire car for much of your stay, you can travel at your own speed stopping off en route to explore those places that interest you, whether it be a secret cove or a special lunch spot.

You start in buzzing Cape Town before heading to the famous winelands. You then join the Garden Route, one of the world's most famous drives, sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains. As well as superb scenery all the way along this rugged coastline, you will have the chance to see a huge variety of wildlife.

The Marine Five go along hand in hand with the Big Five on a trip to South Africa. You can spot an incredible range of marine life along the whole coastline. These include porpoises, dolphins, a variety of sharks including the great white, Cape fur seals, jackass penguins and southern right whales which come to mate and raise their young off the coast in the autumn. The area is also home to smaller inhabitants which are equally precious such as various species of seahorse and starfish.

On arrival in the Eastern Cape, the thrill of safari awaits at a non-malarial game reserve home to all the Big Five such as elephants, rhinos, hippos and the big cats. It also makes the most of its location on the Kariega River and guests can enjoy canoeing and guided boat trips. After your safari adventure you take the epic inland road, Route 62, via Oudtshoorn en-route back to the Winelands where you will be staying in the very pretty Dutch colonial town of Franschhoek before your journey home.

This holiday is completely tailor-made so please do ask us about options and extensions. You can add on an extension to Victoria Falls, Botswana or Mauritius for example - please just ask us for more details.

The Real World Conservation Trust (formerly Real Africa Trust) works with leading conservation organisations to raise awareness as well as raising funds for specific projects. Partners include Save the Elephants, Save the Rhino, The Sheldrick Trust, Rhino Conservation Botswana and Animals saving Animals. You can find out more on our Conservation pages. On behalf of every client travelling, Real Africa makes a donation to the Trust. Our aim is to raise awareness about the plight of endangered species and to promote sustainable, socially responsible travel which benefits the wildlife and communities you choose to visit.

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Safari Itinerary

DAY 1 - 4

Cape Town
On arrival at Cape Town International Airport our representative will meet you airside and will assist you with passport control, luggage collection and customs clearance, they will then transfer you to the Victoria and Alfred Hotel. Following check-in, the rest of the day is at leisure. You spend the next couple of days free to explore Cape Town including Greenmarket Square, Simonstown, the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, whale watching, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Robben Island, Boulder Bay, Lions Head and Signal Hill etc. (You will have a hire car from Day 3 for you to use exploring.)


This morning after breakfast check out. Then self-drive approximately 2 hours to Swellendam arriving at Rothman Manor in time to check-in. During the afternoon, you can explore this historic town or even take a game drive in the Bontebok National Park.

DAY 6 - 8

Garden Route
After breakfast self-drive along the Garden Route bypassing the towns of Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness (good place to stop for lunch!) and Sedgefield before arriving in Knysna at the Knsyna Belle Guest House late afternoon. The rest of the day at leisure. The drive is approximately 4 ½ hours without a stop. Overnight at Knysna Belle Guest House. Spend the next couple of days exploring the beautiful Garden Route including the Featherbed Nature Reserve, the Knysna Lagoon (a popular arena for water sports such as cruises, sailing and water skiing), whale watching in the two marine nature reserves, Nature’s Valley and the Tzitzikama Forest, perhaps taking a treetop canopy tour and Storms River mouth – an absolute must.
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  • Airside meet and greet at Cape Town International Airport and assistance with passport control, luggage collection and customs clearance
  • Private airport transfer to the Victoria and Alfred Hotel
  • Car hire with inclusions and exclusions as specified
  • All accommodation and board basis as detailed
  • Game drives at Kariega Game Reserve
  • ATOL protection
  • The services of our offices in South Africa and the UK with 24/7 contact details
Not Included: International flights, travel insurance, meals not specified, game ranger/tracker/guide tips, gratuities, petrol, optional excursions/sightseeing tours and associated entrance fees and any items of a personal nature i.e. spa treatments

Price Guide

  • Per person sharing: from £3,635 (low season); from £4,670 (high season)
  • This trip is available all year round
  • The price guide is based on the accommodation and transfers as listed above and is subject to availability at the time of booking.
  • For an exact quotation and itinerary based on your requirements please do get in touch.

International Flights   We are ATOL bonded and can easily arrange international flights for you as required. Please contact us so we can provide an accurate tailor-made costing based on your travel dates, availability, cabin/route/airline preferences and special offers.

Extensions  You can also add visit to Victoria Falls, a safari in Botswana or a beach stay in Mauritius to this trip - please ask for details.

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