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Garden Route, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Stellenbosch
Cango Caves, near Oudtshoorn
Knysna Lagoon, Garden Route
Plettenberg Bay
Storms River Suspension Bridge, Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa
Shamwari Game Experiences, Bayethe Tented Lodge
Game Drive Drinks, Oceana Wildlife Reserve
Garden Route, South Africa

Luxury Garden Route

18 day Self Drive – from £4325

With flights from £5350

Embrace the very best of South Africa’s Garden Route. Enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery, staying in luxury and boutique hotels along the way.

Highlights:
  • Explore colourful Cape Town from your elegant hotel on the V&A Waterfront
  • Discover the Cango Caves from a renovated Victorian homestead
  • View Knysna Heads across the lagoon from your clifftop retreat
  • Go in search for the ‘Big 5’ from a safari camp in Shamwari Game Reserve
  • Take in the panoramic ocean views from your luxury wildlife lodge

Your Itinerary

Expand All

You can customise your South Africa self drive holiday by adding extra nights, destinations or activities. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Cape Town, South Africa

Day 1 to 3 – Cape Town

Arrive into Cape Town and transfer to your waterfront hotel. Whilst in Cape Town take the…

Arrive into Cape Town and transfer to your waterfront hotel. Whilst in Cape Town take the time to enjoy the views from the top of Table Mountain and visit historic Robben Island. You could also choose to tour the Cape Peninsula to see the penguins at Boulders Beach and cruise along Chapman’s Peak Drive. There will always be plenty of time to wander along the vibrant V&A Waterfront and sample the local cuisine from your hotel, alternatively, for something special, pre-book a Cape Town helicopter flight for a birds-eye view of the city and Table Mountain.

    Table Bay Hotel

    Breakfast
Cape Town, South Africa
Stellenbosch

Day 4 to 5 – Stellenbosch

Collect your vehicle and begin your journey to the Garden Route. However, it is not far…

Collect your vehicle and begin your journey to the Garden Route. However, it is not far before your first stop, so there is no rush. You may like to detour via Camps Bay and Hout Bay before heading across to the picturesque winelands region.

Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa and the historic heart of the country’s wine region. A gracious blend of 18th-century Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings is evident on Dorp Street, where massive oaks still shade original water furrows. There are plenty of options to join a wine tasting and cellar tour at one of the local estates, before heading to your hotel.

    Table Bay Hotel > Lanzerac Wine Estate | 60 kms

    Lanzerac Wine Estate

    Breakfast
Stellenbosch
Cango Caves, near Oudtshoorn

Day 6 to 7 – Oudtshoorn

Although not strictly on the Garden Route just yet, today’s drive is still spectacular. Following Route…

Although not strictly on the Garden Route just yet, today’s drive is still spectacular. Following Route 62 to Oudtshoorn takes you through the Hawequas Mountains to the charming town of Montagu, before continuing passed several small farming communities towards Oudtshoorn. Be sure to stop at Calitzdorp to pick up a bottle of the town’s famous port wine, admire its sandstone church and historical buildings or even take a dip in the nearby hot springs. Your destination tonight is Oudtshoorn, a great base to explore the dry Little Karoo region.

You have a whole day to explore this fascinating corner of South Africa. A visit to the impressive Cango Caves is a must. Here you can join a guided tour through six main magnificent limestone halls, where it is thought groups of Khoekhoe and San people lived thousands of years ago. For the more flexible, there is also an adventure tour, that heads deeper into the cave network through narrow tunnels and passages, with some crawling or belly sliding required!

Consider also visiting one of Oudtshoorn’s working ostrich farms. The birds have been bred in the area for over 160 years for meat, leather and feathers. You’ll find ostrich steak on the menu at many restaurants in town.

    Lanzerac Wine Estate > Rosenhof Country House | 395 kms

    Rosenhof Country House

    Breakfast
Cango Caves, near Oudtshoorn
Knysna Lagoon, Garden Route

Day 8 to 9 – Knysna

After a leisurely breakfast, it’s back on the road today, though with only 110 kms to…

After a leisurely breakfast, it’s back on the road today, though with only 110 kms to cover you have plenty of time for photo stops and exploring.

Leaving Oudtshoorn, drop down through the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to George and the lush coastal section of the Garden Route. Here you have a choice. You can follow the N2 to Knysna, with the ocean on your right and ancient Yellowwood forests to your left, or you could take the winding Seven Passes Road, which heads back into the hills and crosses seven gorges before dropping down into Knysna.

Knysna sits on the edge of a large saltwater lagoon, protected by large cliffs called the Knysna Heads. You can choose to join an afternoon cruise across the lagoon to Featherbed Nature Reserve, for stunning views and to learn about the local fauna and flora from your guide. The Knysna waterfront is a lively area with a variety of restaurants, shops, and galleries; however, your hotel is just five minutes away, hidden on a secluded hillside overlooking the lagoon.

    Rosenhof Country House > Kanonkop House | 120 kms

    Kanonkop House

    Breakfast
Knysna Lagoon, Garden Route
Plettenberg Bay

Day 10 – Plettenberg Bay

It is just a short hop from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay, so along the way you…

It is just a short hop from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay, so along the way you may wish to visit Robberg Peninsula, part of the Garden Route National Park. The area features some diverse environments including the unique flowering Fynbos vegetation that contributes to the Garden Route name. There are well-marked hiking trails that lead to protected coves and beaches along the peninsula.

Plettenberg Bay is best known for its blue flag beaches and wildlife sanctuaries, but at its heart it is a small coastal town with quaint shops and local restaurants specialising in very fresh seafood. It is also a good area for embarking on whale-watching and dolphin tours, providing an unforgettable experience.

    Kanonkop House > The Old Rectory | 37 kms

    The Old Rectory

    Breakfast
Plettenberg Bay
Storms River Suspension Bridge, Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa

Day 11 – Port Elizabeth

En route to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) a stop at Tsitsikamma National Park comes highly recommended. Hugging…

En route to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) a stop at Tsitsikamma National Park comes highly recommended. Hugging the coast around the mouth of the Storms River, the park protects an area of temperate high forest and fynbos (indigenous plants) that cling to rocky cliffs, pounded at their foot by the waves of the Indian Ocean.

Follow a roughly one hour walking trail to get to the 77 metre long Storms River suspension bridge, standing in the middle of which you can’t help but appreciates the might of the sea and natural beauty of Tsitsikamma National Park.

You may also like to stop further along the road at Jefferey’s Bay. The pristine blue flag beaches here are ideal for swimming, sunbathing and the usual beach activities, whilst the impressive waves have made Jeffery’s Bay a top destination for international surfers.

    The Old Rectory > The Boardwalk Hotel | 245 kms

    The Boardwalk Hotel

    Breakfast
Storms River Suspension Bridge, Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa
Shamwari Game Experiences, Bayethe Tented Lodge

Day 12 to 14 – Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Spanning 25,000 hectares Shamwari Private Game Reserve is home to the ‘Big 5’ and a wide…

Spanning 25,000 hectares Shamwari Private Game Reserve is home to the ‘Big 5’ and a wide range of other African wildlife and offers an immersive safari experience. The reserve is committed to wildlife conservation, sustainable practices, and community engagement, and guests can participate in game drives, bush walks and bird watching excursions during their stay.

A visit to Shamwari Private Game Reserve is not just any safari. Just a short distance from Port Elizabeth, you find yourself amongst the African wilderness, with a choice of luxury tented-camps and lodges from which you can explore nature in the company of experienced guides.

    The Boardwalk Hotel > Bayethe Tented Lodge | 80 kms

    Bayethe Tented Lodge

    Breakfast
Shamwari Game Experiences, Bayethe Tented Lodge
Game Drive Drinks, Oceana Wildlife Reserve

Day 15 to 17 – Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve

Returning to the coast through the mountains is a spectacular route, combining hill passes, with glimpses…

Returning to the coast through the mountains is a spectacular route, combining hill passes, with glimpses of the ocean beyond. Be sure to make use of the stopping points to take in some of the views.

This part of the coast feels quite different from the Garden Route, with a dominance of sand dunes and vast beaches. There is also a number of private wildlife reserves that welcome guests for daily game drives. Port Alfred is on the Kowie River, where it is possible to join a guided river cruise or visit the Kowie Museum to learn more about Port Alfred’s maritime past.

    Bayethe Tented Lodge > Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve | 132 kms

    Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve

    Breakfast
Game Drive Drinks, Oceana Wildlife Reserve
Garden Route, South Africa

Day 18 – Farewell to The Garden Route

Fully rested and relaxed, it is unfortunately time to return to reality and the end of…

Fully rested and relaxed, it is unfortunately time to return to reality and the end of your Luxury Garden Route holiday. It is an easy drive along the coast back to Port Elizabeth International Airport, to continue your journey or begin your return home.

    Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve > Port Elizabeth Airport | 165 kms
    Breakfast
Garden Route, South Africa

Your Itinerary

You can customise your South Africa self drive holiday by adding extra nights, destinations or activities. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Day 1 to 3

|

Cape Town

Arrive into Cape Town and transfer to your waterfront hotel. Whilst in Cape Town take the time to enjoy the views from the top of Table Mountain and visit historic Robben Island. You could also choose to tour the Cape Peninsula to see the penguins at Boulders Beach and cruise along Chapman’s Peak Drive. There will always be plenty of time to wander along the vibrant V&A Waterfront and sample the local cuisine from your hotel, alternatively, for something special, pre-book a Cape Town helicopter flight for a birds-eye view of the city and Table Mountain.

    Table Bay Hotel

    Breakfast
Cape Town, South Africa

Day 4 to 5

|

Stellenbosch

Collect your vehicle and begin your journey to the Garden Route. However, it is not far before your first stop, so there is no rush. You may like to detour via Camps Bay and Hout Bay before heading across to the picturesque winelands region.

Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa and the historic heart of the country’s wine region. A gracious blend of 18th-century Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings is evident on Dorp Street, where massive oaks still shade original water furrows. There are plenty of options to join a wine tasting and cellar tour at one of the local estates, before heading to your hotel.

    Table Bay Hotel > Lanzerac Wine Estate | 60 kms

    Lanzerac Wine Estate

    Breakfast
Stellenbosch

Day 6 to 7

|

Oudtshoorn

Although not strictly on the Garden Route just yet, today’s drive is still spectacular. Following Route 62 to Oudtshoorn takes you through the Hawequas Mountains to the charming town of Montagu, before continuing passed several small farming communities towards Oudtshoorn. Be sure to stop at Calitzdorp to pick up a bottle of the town’s famous port wine, admire its sandstone church and historical buildings or even take a dip in the nearby hot springs. Your destination tonight is Oudtshoorn, a great base to explore the dry Little Karoo region.

You have a whole day to explore this fascinating corner of South Africa. A visit to the impressive Cango Caves is a must. Here you can join a guided tour through six main magnificent limestone halls, where it is thought groups of Khoekhoe and San people lived thousands of years ago. For the more flexible, there is also an adventure tour, that heads deeper into the cave network through narrow tunnels and passages, with some crawling or belly sliding required!

Consider also visiting one of Oudtshoorn’s working ostrich farms. The birds have been bred in the area for over 160 years for meat, leather and feathers. You’ll find ostrich steak on the menu at many restaurants in town.

    Lanzerac Wine Estate > Rosenhof Country House | 395 kms

    Rosenhof Country House

    Breakfast
Cango Caves, near Oudtshoorn

Day 8 to 9

|

Knysna

After a leisurely breakfast, it’s back on the road today, though with only 110 kms to cover you have plenty of time for photo stops and exploring.

Leaving Oudtshoorn, drop down through the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to George and the lush coastal section of the Garden Route. Here you have a choice. You can follow the N2 to Knysna, with the ocean on your right and ancient Yellowwood forests to your left, or you could take the winding Seven Passes Road, which heads back into the hills and crosses seven gorges before dropping down into Knysna.

Knysna sits on the edge of a large saltwater lagoon, protected by large cliffs called the Knysna Heads. You can choose to join an afternoon cruise across the lagoon to Featherbed Nature Reserve, for stunning views and to learn about the local fauna and flora from your guide. The Knysna waterfront is a lively area with a variety of restaurants, shops, and galleries; however, your hotel is just five minutes away, hidden on a secluded hillside overlooking the lagoon.

    Rosenhof Country House > Kanonkop House | 120 kms

    Kanonkop House

    Breakfast
Knysna Lagoon, Garden Route

Day 10

|

Plettenberg Bay

It is just a short hop from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay, so along the way you may wish to visit Robberg Peninsula, part of the Garden Route National Park. The area features some diverse environments including the unique flowering Fynbos vegetation that contributes to the Garden Route name. There are well-marked hiking trails that lead to protected coves and beaches along the peninsula.

Plettenberg Bay is best known for its blue flag beaches and wildlife sanctuaries, but at its heart it is a small coastal town with quaint shops and local restaurants specialising in very fresh seafood. It is also a good area for embarking on whale-watching and dolphin tours, providing an unforgettable experience.

    Kanonkop House > The Old Rectory | 37 kms

    The Old Rectory

    Breakfast
Plettenberg Bay

Day 11

|

Port Elizabeth

En route to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) a stop at Tsitsikamma National Park comes highly recommended. Hugging the coast around the mouth of the Storms River, the park protects an area of temperate high forest and fynbos (indigenous plants) that cling to rocky cliffs, pounded at their foot by the waves of the Indian Ocean.

Follow a roughly one hour walking trail to get to the 77 metre long Storms River suspension bridge, standing in the middle of which you can’t help but appreciates the might of the sea and natural beauty of Tsitsikamma National Park.

You may also like to stop further along the road at Jefferey’s Bay. The pristine blue flag beaches here are ideal for swimming, sunbathing and the usual beach activities, whilst the impressive waves have made Jeffery’s Bay a top destination for international surfers.

    The Old Rectory > The Boardwalk Hotel | 245 kms

    The Boardwalk Hotel

    Breakfast
Storms River Suspension Bridge, Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa

Day 12 to 14

|

Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Spanning 25,000 hectares Shamwari Private Game Reserve is home to the ‘Big 5’ and a wide range of other African wildlife and offers an immersive safari experience. The reserve is committed to wildlife conservation, sustainable practices, and community engagement, and guests can participate in game drives, bush walks and bird watching excursions during their stay.

A visit to Shamwari Private Game Reserve is not just any safari. Just a short distance from Port Elizabeth, you find yourself amongst the African wilderness, with a choice of luxury tented-camps and lodges from which you can explore nature in the company of experienced guides.

    The Boardwalk Hotel > Bayethe Tented Lodge | 80 kms

    Bayethe Tented Lodge

    Breakfast
Shamwari Game Experiences, Bayethe Tented Lodge

Day 15 to 17

|

Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve

Returning to the coast through the mountains is a spectacular route, combining hill passes, with glimpses of the ocean beyond. Be sure to make use of the stopping points to take in some of the views.

This part of the coast feels quite different from the Garden Route, with a dominance of sand dunes and vast beaches. There is also a number of private wildlife reserves that welcome guests for daily game drives. Port Alfred is on the Kowie River, where it is possible to join a guided river cruise or visit the Kowie Museum to learn more about Port Alfred’s maritime past.

    Bayethe Tented Lodge > Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve | 132 kms

    Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve

    Breakfast
Game Drive Drinks, Oceana Wildlife Reserve

Day 18

|

Farewell to The Garden Route

Fully rested and relaxed, it is unfortunately time to return to reality and the end of your Luxury Garden Route holiday. It is an easy drive along the coast back to Port Elizabeth International Airport, to continue your journey or begin your return home.

    Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve > Port Elizabeth Airport | 165 kms
    Breakfast
Garden Route, South Africa

This Self Drive Includes

17 nights’ luxury accommodation
14 nights’ car hire, with unlimited kilometers
Comprehensive car insurance with nil excess
Breakfast daily
Game drives and safari activities at Shamwari Game Reserve

Flights & More

Ask your FREEDOM Consultant to include Economy, Premium or Business Class flights for a complete ABTA and ATOL protected package.

They can also add extra nights and experiences in places you choose, to create the exact holiday you are looking for. Popular options include:

  • Extra nights in Cape Town or any of the  locations along this route
  • Day tours or experiences along the Garden Route

Next Steps

Please get in touch with our Africa Experts to start planning your holiday. You’ll have a single point of contact from your first enquiry through booking.

Luxury Garden Route

18 day Self Drive – from £4325

With flights from £5350

All prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin or double room. Seasonal variations may apply, please call Freedom Destinations for more information and availability. Accommodation specified is subject to availability and may be substituted to a similar standard.

Map

Luxury Garden Route Holiday, Itinerary Map