Our expert shares her experience of driving the Garden Route in South Africa
With its magnificent scenery, delicious wines and beautiful beaches, it’s no wonder that tourists continue to flock to South Africa year after year. If you want something more than just a safari holiday then you should consider driving the Garden Route in South Africa. This stunning stretch of coastline along the south-east of South Africa is a real ‘bucket list’ adventure. Our Travelmood travel expert Rachel recently took on this self-drive journey and in this blog she shares her experience.
My South Africa Garden Route trip started in Cape Town. After renting a car we hit the road with Stellenbosch in our sights. After just 30 minutes driving we had reached our destination. Stellenbosch is a university town which is famous for its wineries.
We took advantage of a ‘Wine Hopper’ tour which cost about €12 each. Tastings in each of the wineries vary from €1.50 – €3.00 each. A bargain!
If you really want to get to grips with all that Stellenbosch has to offer then set aside 3 days stay there. This will allow you to enjoy the local spa treatments, which are very reasonably priced, as well as the restaurants, some of which are the best in South Africa.
After a few pleasant days in Stellenbosch, it was back on the road to head for our next stop. Following a scenic 90 minute drive, we reached the coastal town of Hermanus. Home to tasty tapas and fish restaurants, Hermanus is the perfect place to spend 2 days.
If you’re feeling brave then why not take part in a shark cage dive? Costing about €120, this excursion has an early start of 7am and takes a whole day to complete.
Pack some snacks before hitting the road to Knysna as you have a four and a half hour drive ahead of you. This small fishing village boasts a quaint boardwalk area with restaurants and craft shops.
It is advisable to plan for two nights in this area as you will need a good rest after the long day of driving. If you want to get out and experience the village then why not take part in some kayaking or a sunset catamaran cruise?
Next up was one of the highlights of the driving the Garden Route in South Africa – Plettenburg Bay. Located 45 minutes from Knysna, this beach town is extremely scenic and offers fabulous views of the coastline.
Must do’s while in Plettenburg include Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, which is the largest free flight bird aviary in the world.
After 2 nights in this interesting town, it was off to our final stop of Port Elizabeth. This industrial town features a boardwalk, restaurants and a large casino with good entertainment.
One of South Africa’s largest cities, Port Elizabeth has plenty to keep your days and nights filled with fun.
Tips for Driving the Garden Route in South Africa
- The drive is one straight road. Difficult to get lost.
- There are no tolls.
- You will drive past some townships. Do not be alarmed.
- Keep doors locked. Do not have any valuables on show.
- 10 days from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth will really allow you to experience the Garden Route.
Have you driven the Garden Route? What were your highlights? Tweet us @Travelmood and let us know!