14-day Cape Town and Garden Route Self-drive

Cape Town and Garden Route Self-drive
Cape Town and Garden Route Self-drive

This 14-day self-drive tour of South Africa's east coast is a gentle meander through beautiful scenery and amazing contrasts from the winelands of Cape Town to the semi-arid Karro hinterland.

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14 days
South Africa, Cape Town, Cape Winelands, Garden Route
13 nights accommodation; meals and drinks as indicated in the itinerary; 14 days car hire (Group A); vehicle drop off/delivery fee; vehicle insurance (maximum cover); safari and sight-seeing activities as indicated in the itinerary

Tour Brief

Holidays, in our experience, are best enjoyed slowly with as little effort as possible. And this 14-day holiday is about as slow and easy as you can get. Start off with a few days in Cape Town Cape Town then head out to the Cape Winelands - about an hour's drive. From the Cape Winelands you will zig-zag along the Garden Route to Knysna via Hermanus, Route 62 and Outdshoorn.

The entire 14-day Cape Town and Garden Route Self-drive journey covers about 700km of open roads with low traffic and wonderful scenery. That leaves plenty of time between stops to relax, explore and enjoy your surroundings.

Cape Town is a picturesque city with Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles forming a stunning backdrop to the beaches, city, wine farms and working harbour. The Cape Winelands, surrounded by craggy peaks is a gentle country affair reminiscent of southern France. Hermanus is a charming seaside town and the epicentre of the exceptional whale-watching activity along the Garden Route; Route 62 is a scenic detour by-passing the busy highway and calling in at several quirky towns culminating Oudtshoorn: the quirkiest of the lot.

From Oudtshoorn you traverse a large mountain range descending on the idyllic coastal towns of Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, famed for, among other things, an exceptionally mild and pleasant climate.

The self-drive holiday ends with a short drive to Port Elizabeth where you say goodbye to your car and to South Africa with, no doubt, a tear in your eye. You can of course add a Garden Route Safari in the malaria-free Eastern Cape for the complete package. 

Activities along the way are enough to keep you happily occupied for a year so you'll have to choose wisely on this 14-day slow-tour. And your Travel Expert is here to help you with all your arrangements to make this the most relaxing, enjoyable and fun South African holiday imaginable.

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1, 2, 3 and 4: Cape Town

    Arrive at Cape Town international airport, collect your hired car and drive to your Cape Town hotel, which will be your travel base for the next four days. Explore Cape Town and the Cape Peninsuala at your leisure: the roads are excellent and finding your way around, with the help of a friendly GPS, is a breeze.

    Our recommended Cape Town activities:

    • Robben Island
    • Township Tours
    • Table Mountain
    • Cape Point Nature Reserve
    • Boulders Beach
    • V&A Waterfront
    • Constantia Winelands
    • Museums, galleries and aquarium, planetarium, Company's Gardens… 

    The list goes on and on and on. Talk to your travel expert about what to do in Cape Town while you're there (the season makes a difference and we can make all the recommendations and advance bookings you need).

    Our recommended Cape Town hotels:

    • Standard: The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, Townhouse Hotel
    • Mid-market: 2Inn1, Derwent House Boutique Hotel, An African Villa
    • Luxury: Cape Grace, Mount Nelson, Cape Royale, Table Bay, One&Only Cape Town
    • Exclusive: Kensington Place, Derwent Boutique Hotel, Dock House, Ellerman House

    And this list goes on and on and on. Where you stay depends on your budget, the type of accommodation you like (small and intimate or large and care-free) and what you want to do in Cape Town. If you want to laze on the beach all day, then a hotel on the beachfront at Camps Bay is the best option. If you want to spend time exploring the city and the waterfront or you prefer the gentle mink and manure countryside of the winelands or a family-friendly beach holiday.

    Talk to your Travel Expert for advice on where to stay and what to do in Cape Town.

  • Day 5 and 6: Cape Winelands

    You will spend more time along the beautiful South African coastline so don't despair it's time for a bit of Europe in African now as you head an hour's drive inland to the Cape Winelands .

    Hotels abound here and you have a choice of staying in the small and foodie-friendly town of Franschhoek, historical Stellenbosch or stately Paarl. Beyond these towns are a host of country guesthouses, many of them on working wine farms.

    Spend two days tasting wine in beautiful settings, exploring nature reserves and discovering the diverse history of South Africa.

    Our recommended Cape Winelands hotels:

    • Standard: The Garden House, Franschhoek; Devon Valley Hotel, Stellenbosch
    • Mid-market: Plumwood Inn, Franschhoek; Summerwood Boutique Hotel, Stellenbosch
    • Luxury: Akadamie Street Boutique Hotel, Franschhoek; Klein Genot, Franschhoek
    • Exclusive: Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek; Grand Roche, Paarl
  • Day 7 and 8: Hermanus, Garden Route

    Follow the Big Sur-style road along the coast to Hermanus about an hours from the Cape Winelands .

    Hermanus is brimming with seaside activity from whale watching, boat rides, sea kayaking, swimming in the lagoon to wonderful restaurants, nature reserves and even wine tasting nearby.

    Spend two days in Hermanus where there is a good chance of seeing whales from June until November, which is South Africa's winter and the best time for game viewing. The crowds descend upon Hermanus during whale calving season, usually at the end of September, and though the whale watching is good at this time you must be prepared for a lot of slow-moving traffic and fully-booked everything. It is a fun and festive time if you can take the crowds.

    Our recommended Hermanus accommodation:

    • Standard: Abolone Guest Lodge
    • Mid-market: The Marine Hotel
    • Luxury: Birkenhead House
  • Day 9 and 10: Route 62, Garden Route

    From Hermanus you head for Route 62 - the scenic Garden Route alternative to the get-there-quick national highway. Start early for today is a long drive as you traverse mountain passes and descend into the expanse of the semi-arid Klein Karoo, where farmers, artists and escapists converge in charming little towns with beautiful scenery all around.

    Your destination is Oudtshoorn which is the unofficial capital of the Klein Karoo where a lot happens if you so choose. Visit the Cango Caves, ostrich farms, game reserves, swim with crocodiles, pet snakes, feed wallabies - the kids will love it.

    Or you can choose for nothing to happen and just enjoy the lovely scenery, relax by the poolside, enjoy some first-class cuisine and wonder about the town, the craft markets and the museums and galleries.

    Our recommended Oudtshoorn hotels:

    • Standard: Queen's Hotel
    • Mid-market: Adley House, Hlangana Lodge
    • Luxury: Rosenhof Country Estate
  • Day 11, 12, 13 and 14: Knysna/Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route

    Over yet more impressive mountain passes you drive towards George of the Garden Route proper and then along the coast to either Knysna or Plettenberg Bay. Or both: the latter favouring the typical beach holiday while the former offers plenty of outdoor and nature activities.

    Spend four days at the beach on the lagoons and rivers, exploring nature reserves, coastal hikes, forest canopy rides, whale-watching, boat cruises and the gamut of seaside attractions, cafes and restaurants.

    Our recommended Garden Route hotels and accommodation:

    • Standard: Tranquility Lodge, Nature's Valley
    • Mid-market: Periwinkle Guesthouse, Plettenberg Bay; Knysna Quays, Knysna
    • Luxury: Pezula Hotel and Spa, Knysna
    • Exclusive: Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay

Just Booked!

Customers who enquire about this tour end up making many changes to the standard itinerary. Below are the most recent variations of this base tour booked by us for our clients. Have a look at their itineraries, see what changes they requested, what the final cost was and read what they have to say about their holidays.

    Whoa! Untrodden territory here. It appears nobody has booked this base tour yet so you could be the first to explore these faraway places.

Recent Reviews of This Tour

We don't have any reviews of this exact tour but here's what people have said about their holidays. If you want to read more reviews, visit our client comments section. If you would like to submit your own review please use the contact form on this page.

“Thanks for all your work putting together a holiday we truly loved”

We would like to commend the high service received from Namibian Tours and Safaris especially taking into account the short length of time you had to arrange this holiday for us. The recommendations and itinerary were ideal with the majority of our stay in each location being the right duration. The whole process of booking this holiday was hassle free and we would not hesitate in recommending your services to others.

We would specifically like to thank you, Alison, for all of your hard work which resulted in a truly fabulous holiday for us. Also, it was great to meet up with you in Solitaire where you expressed so much love for your country and this was clearly mirrored in the schedule and service you presented to us allowing us to experience this fantastic country. It will not be the case of 'if' we return to Namibia, it is more the case of 'when' we will return as we enjoyed it so much.

Nik Stevenson, UK

“Edward did a super job”

A special mention for Edward he did a super job – vouchers and maps were with our car hire agency at the airport – book presentation of whole trip was clear, easy to follow and complete. He even gave us his mobile No in case we encounter some problems. Really to recommend as Tour Operator and will use them again next time.

Road – all went well and thanks to have recommended a 4Wheel Drive Car – due to rough road conditions we appreciated – you could do it with a normal car and met tourists with B type cars but they took much longer for the journeys – had more issues with flat tyres and most admitted next time they will take a 4Wheel Drive Car.

Would like to thank you for all your time spent and hard work to find best places, difficult tasks due to budget restrictions. I will recommend you and your agency whenever I can – actually already did in Joburg – hope brings you some new customers - and of course will come to you for my next trip this time to South Africa hopefully in 2012.

Germaine Comin, Switzerland

“Thank you again for planning a perfect vacation for us”

Dear Wilmari,
Back home and I wanted to take a moment to thank you again for planning a perfect vacation for us. I was especially pleased that for the accommodation with dinner all knew about my allergies and cooked accordingly. The Cheetah experience made my daughter very happy and they were so kind to not even charge me for taking pictures.

Highlight of our trip was the stay in Onguma The Fort and we are determined to return one day.

As pointed out before, the Namib Desert Lodge I cannot recommend to anybody (fined for driving on their property and below average dinner buffet) and also the Olivia Guesthouse was a letdown when it came to the food (lunch and breakfast).

I have posted some pictures on Flickr, maybe you want to have a look and I'm always happy to read comments.

Last but not least: Could you please send us the itinerary you prepared for us and we received at arrival electronically? Some of my friends are interested to book the same trip with you.

Dr Andreas Koester, USA
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