The Maldives islands are home to some of the very best scuba diving in the world. Even if you’re not a diver, snorkelling in the warm waters offers wonderful opportunities to spot a wide variety of marine life. Some resorts have their own diving schools, whilst others have their own reefs and you may even see whale sharks.
The region sweeps eastwards along the coast of the Cape, running from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth. See pristine beaches along the rugged coastline flanked by dense forests, mountain ranges and wild flowers. Discover charming towns and villages and enjoy fantastic hospitality. This journey has been inspiring travellers, artists and writers for generations and is certain to give you memories to last a lifetime.
Cape Town is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Our Garden Route tour begins here and includes a guided city tour to show you the highlights. The self-drive tour then travels inland to Prince Albert, a delightful village dating back to 1762, the continues to Oudtshoorn and the spectacular limestone caverns of the Congo Caves. Drive along the banks of a natural lagoon in the heart of this region before enjoying a lagoon cruise to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, before returning to Knysna for an overnight stay. There is plenty to see at Knysna including the Garden of Eden, Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, the views from the famous Eastern Heads and Brenton on Sea. Travel on to the beautiful Tsitsikamma Forest where you have time to explore before heading on to Port Elizabeth when you can enjoy a private guided tour of this pretty city.
Famed as the ‘Ostrich Capital of the World’, Oudtshoorn is home to an abundance of these amazing birds and this tour includes a guided visit to one of one of the farms. The Cango Caves and Wildlife Reserve are another reason for the area’s growing popularity. The caves offer visitors the opportunity to visit vast caverns with amazing stalactites and stalagmites, whilst the wildlife reserve also allows you to get close to some of its big cats with a catwalk over their enclosures, as well as a cheetah encounter. Oudtshoorn is also the start of the Route 62 wine route, and some of the best South African port wines are produced in this area.
Knysna is renowned for its oysters and seafood cuisine. Nestled beside a great lagoon, between the Tsitsikamma National Park, the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, it is popular with food connoisseurs and wildlife enthusiasts alike. The lagoon is protected from the sea by the sandstone ‘Heads’, and they are best viewed from either a catamaran or from one of the many hiking trails that can be found within the Featherbed Nature Reserve.
The climate here is comfortable all year round, making it a popular destination with both locals and tourists. It is also becoming a great destination for golfers, with a collection of world-class golf courses including the Pezula Golf Course, Knysna Golf Course and Simola Golf Course. If you are a big fan of seafood, try and be around in late June/early July as this is when the Knysna Oyster Festival is on.
Best time to visit
October – February
Guided city tour of Cape Town
Travel via beautiful mountain passes inland
Guided tour of ostrich farm
Explore pretty Knysna
Lagoon eco cruise to Featherbed Nature Reserve
Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary (optional)
Guided city tour of Port Elizabeth
Itinerary in brief
Cape Town x 2 nights
Oudshoorn x 1 night
Knusna x 2 nights
Tsitsikamma x 1 night
Port Elizabeth x 1 night
Day 1 – Depart UK
Depart UK and fly directly to Cape Town airport. Overnight in Cape Town.
Day 2 – Cape Town
Private guided tour of Cape Town to orient you and show you the highlights. You may also wish to visit the city’s amazing aquarium and wander around the shopping areas. We recommend having drinks and dinner on the Victoria & Albert waterfront, overlooking the marina. Overnight in Cape Town.
Day 3 – Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn
Collect your hire car and leave Cape Town for Prince Albert. This is a spectacular drive through Meiringspoort Pass to the Klein Karoo village of De Rust. Continue to Oudtshoorn which is home to the spectacular limestone caverns of the Congo Caves. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of an ostrich farm. Overnight in Oudtshoorn.
Day 4 – Oudtshoorn and Knysna
Continue by car Knysna, stopping enroute at George if you wish. George is the main gateway to the Garden Route and the sixth oldest town in South Africa. Here you’ll find a great sense of community, a real sense of character and a welcome that encompasses all who stop off here. Knysna is located on the banks of a natural lagoon and famous for its oysters. Spend the rest of the day exploring this wonderful region with a trip to the Garden of Eden, the famous Eastern Heads for spectacular views of Knysna Heads and Brenton on Sea. We recommend a visit to Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, the world’s first free-roaming multi-species primate sanctuary which spans over 30 acres and allows the resident primates to forage freely as they would in the wild. Overnight in Knysna.
Day 5 – Knysna
Embark on the Featherbed Eco Experience after breakfast. This four-hour experience features a tour of the privately-owned nature reserve, including a ferry and nature trail walk, ending with a delicious buffet lunch at the Forest Restaurant. Hop back on the ferry to return to the mainland for an evening at leisure. Overnight in Knysna.
Day 6 – Knysna and Tsitsikamma National Park
Leave Knysna this morning and drive to Tsiksikamma National Park. The Park incorporates 49 miles of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes, a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys covered in mountain fynbos, and temperate high forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. Overnight in Tsitsikamma.
Day 7 – Tsiksikamma and Port Elizabeth
Drive to Port Elizabeth today, return your hire car and enjoy a private guided tour of this city. Port Elizabeth has many historical attractions, the most interesting being the Historic Donkin Heritage trail, which allows the visitor to follow in the footsteps of the 1820 settlers on their journey of discovery and settlement. This 5km trail visits 47 historical sites and architectural delights in the Old Hill area of central Port Elizabeth. Overnight in Port Elizabeth.
Day 8 – Port Elizabeth
At leisure in Port Elizabeth.
This tour could be extended by adding additional nights in Port Elizabeth or journeying inland for a safari extension.
Map and travel information
Direct flights from the UK to Cape Town in 11 hours 30 minutes