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Knysna - Garden Route

Fantastic Garden Route Tour
6 Days of Famous Cape Highlights

The South africa Garden Route gives you an experience of natural beauty and many famous highlights. Only the Garden Route can present it to you in such a stunning way... the Southernmost Tip on the continent of Africa, the Cango Caves, Diaz Museum and Knysna heads. See Natures Valley and cross the suspension bridge over Storms River for breathtaking views. We know all the right stops.


Distance: 1 648 km / 1030 miles

Duration: 6 days

Best time: All year

Included: Certified driver/guide, a/c vehicle and gasoline

Excluded: Entrance fees, overnight accommodation, extra optional excursions, lunch, dinner, drinks

Price: Please request a quote

Note: All tours can be customized

Inquire about the Classic Garden Route Tour

- Classic Garden Route Tour -

AY 1

Cape Town City Bowl1. CITY BOWL CAPE TOWN
The Garden Route tour starts in Cape Town’s city centre. It lies cradled in a vast blue-grey amphitheatre formed by Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak. This conglomeration of Dutch and Victorian architecture, interspersed with modern wonders of glass and concrete, is the heart of Cape Town and on either side of Adderley Street is an eclectic array of sightseeing highlights and urban attractions that endowed the Mother City with its unique flavour.

kids in township2. TOWNSHIPS
The first township was built 1900 and situated next to the old harbour in Cape Town. The people were removed to Ndabeni when the bebonic plague broke out during 1918. They were again removed to Langa in 1923 when the Spanish flu broke out. Guguletu was built in 1948 and the hostels were developed to house the black male migrant workforce. Expansion of the local townships continued after that.

Gorden's Bay harbour3. GORDON’S BAY
Tucked into a secluded corner of False Bay, this holiday village has a small harbour and is a popular angling and boating resort. It takes its name from Colonel Robert Gordon, commander of the garrison at the Cape from 1780 to 1795. A beautiful marine scenic drive (Route 44) extends from Gordon’s Bay to Hangklip, a 454 m high “hanging” chunk of rock that marks the easternmost end of the False Bay.

Jackass Pinguin at Betty's Bay4. BETTY’S BAY (PENGUINS)
Betty’s Bay was named for the daughter of Arthur Youlden in the 1930s. Together with two other businessmen of Johannesburg, they developed the seaside municipality. The African Penguin lives at Stony Point and a visit will be worthwhile. The Herold Porter National Botanical Garden in and around Disa Kloof represents one of the largest concentrations of wild flower species in the country and has an entrancing waterfall.

Whale watching at it's best5. HERMANUS (WHALES – SPRING)
Hermanus ( a garden route highlight) is one of the world’s finest holiday and fishing resorts and also the best land based whale-watching place. The town is named after Hermanus Pieters and the first municipality proclaimed in 1904. An official whale crier, complete with uniform and horn, announces the arrival of the gentle giants of the deep mostly Southern Rights. There are many viewpoints to watch them from winter to spring. The giant marine mammals enter the bays both to mate and, after a yearlong gestation period, to calve.

Cape Agulhas is the southernmost tip on the continent of Africa. Officially it is here where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet, even though the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean penetrates as far as Cape Point. The name Agulhas was probably inspired by the fact that the compass needles (“agulhas”) of early Portuguese navigators showed no magnetic deviation from true north here. The first lighthouse was built in 1848.

Swellendam is the 3rd oldest town after Cape Town and Stellenbosch. Swellendam was established in 1745 as sub-magistracy. For a few months in 1795 Swellendam was a “national capital” when the local burghers dismissed the landdrost (magistrate) and declared Swellendam a new colony, independent of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). The town was named for Governor Hendrik Swellengrebel and his wife Helena ten Damme. Swellendam is recorded as the garden route cradle of South Africa’s Marino sheep farming industry. The Drostdy which served as a seat of the magistrate for over 100 years until 1846 is now a cultural history museum and one of the country’s great architectural treasures.



The village of Albertina was named after Reverend J.R. Albertyn and proclaimed in 1904. The district is largely wheat and sheep farming area but today the mines for red and yellow ochre are the country’s main source. This is exported and mainly used in manufacturing of paint. Quartsite and Koalin are also mined in the district. The other unique product is aloe juice or sap. This eastern extremity of the Overberg is the habitat of several species of the aloe. A factory processes and produce various aloe products and medicines.

Mossel Bay has a strong association with the early Portuguese navigators of the 15th and 16th centuries. Bartholomeu Diaz sailed on 3 Feb 1488 into the bay and replenished his supplies of water. Other explorers used the same spring too for the years to come. Mossel Bay is South Africa’s 7th largest port and boasts the first “post-office” and church in the country. Legend has it that the Dutch navigator Paulus van Caarden entered the bay in 1601 and found nothing else than mussels to replenish his supplies and from there the name.

Diaz Museum Complex11. DIAZ MUSEUM COMPLEX
The Mossel Bay Museum Complex has recently been upgraded and displays a rich cultural history. The old “post-office” tree inaugurated by D’ataide, and the fountain, which supplied many vessels, are now national monuments. A letter- box in the shape of a Portuguese seaman’s boot is placed in 1963 by the Post Office and letters can be posted here. In the maritime museum is the prize exhibit of the caravel built in Portugal and suited to South Africa in 1988 to mark the 500th anniversary of Diaz’s “discovery” of the bay in 1488.

Gold in the western Cape12. GEORGE (CITY TOUR)

A woodcutters past was already established here in 1776 to organize the felling of timber in the mountains. George Town was proclaimed on 23 April 1811 and the first new district in the colony under British control. The name honoured the monarch at the time, George III. The actual “Garden Route” starts here and in those days with all the forests and their fynbos undergrowth intact, the sobriquet "Garden of Eden" would not have been inappropriate at all. Mixed farming and timber are the main source of income.



A number of ferry trips around the Waterfront are available daily, weather permitting. Some companies offers trips on the Lagoon and beyond the head and others for sundowner trips on the Lagoon visiting the Nature Reserve where the Knysna Loerie, Blue Duiker (smallest antelope) and sea horse can be seen.

Knysna heads15. KNYSNA HEADS
There is no certainty to the meaning of the word of Khoisan origin. One source suggested it is a corruption of the two words meaning “straight down” a reference to the two cliffs at the entrance to the harbour, now known as the Heads. The Eastern Heads viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the town, the estuary and the Indian Ocean. It's Garden Route Highlight.

flowers16. GARDEN OF EDEN
The Garden of Eden offers walks ranging from easy to difficult and from short to long through the Knysna Forest in the heart of the Garden Route. The walking route in the Garden of Eden is wheelchair friendly. The forest can be entered at any time during the day but its best to leave before sunset. South Africa’s National tree, Yellow wood and other indigenous trees like the Ironwood, Stinkwood, Milkwood and many others can be seen.

Knysna waterfront17. KNYSNA WATERFRONT
The Knysna Waterfront-development boasts fine vintage wine, fresh seafood, curios and much more. One can shop, eat or simply sit on the quay side and watch boats rocking on the tide. The famous Knysna oysters and seafood offers you the opportunity to taste and enjoy freshly harvested cultivate and wild oysters from the lagoon.



Plettenberg Bay19. PLETTENBERG BAY
Plettenberg Bay is a glamorous holiday destination and named after Governor Joachim van Plettenberg in 1778. He opened a timber pier on the shores of the bay and the development of the town began. Today Plettenberg Bay is known especially for its three beaches and water-skiing on the Keurbooms River Lagoon. Plettenberg Bay is rich in history and is sheltered in the west by Robberg Nature Reserve. It is also a surfers heaven on earth.

Tsitsikamma20. R102 (NATURE’S VALLEY)
The Route 102 and the passes negotiating the Groot-, Bloukrans- and Stroms River gorges are regarded as Thomas Bain’s (master pass builder) masterpieces. The “old passes road” offers one of the mots rewarding scenic drives in the country to travellers who have time to linger, observe and appreciate. Nature’s Valley incorporates the Lagoon and the mouth of the Groot river. In the valley of the river are several ancient Yellow Wood trees, some of them about 800 years old. Beautiful picnic and overnight facility developed here. A lookout point endorses the beauty of the Garden Route wiith an extra-ordinary beautiful panoramic view.

Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve21. TSITSIKAMMA NATURE RESERVE
Tsitsikamma National Park (the park of “running waters”) is proclaimed in 1964 at the eastern end of the Garden Route. The park compromises two sections namely indigenous forest and a coastal strip astonishingly rich in marine life. The park is situated 68 km from Plettenberg Bay. The access route from the N2 highway, as well as all internal roads are tarred.

Storms River suspension bridge22. STORMS RIVER SUSPENSION BRIDGE
The rest camp near Storms River Mouth offers several day walks. The Mouth Walk is especially popular and meanders to the suspension bridge spanning Storms River Mouth. Visitors can get close-up views of the awesome gorge by taking a boat cruise up the river.

The original Bloukrans Pass was built during 1881 and recently upgraded. Shortly after crossing the Bloukrans River there is a magnificent viewpoint of the toll road-bridge over the river. This is the place where the world’s highest bungy jumping takes place. Refreshments can be enjoyed while watching people jumping, or you can do it yourself !

The Choo-Tjoe coming from Sedgefield24. SEDGEFIELD
Sedgefield takes its name from the many large patches of sedge in the neighbourhood and was established in 1928. This was the year when the railway from George to Knysna was completed. The road through Sedgefield passes between bush-covered sand dunes on the seaside and the lakes, some forest-fringed, with superb vistas on the mountains. Sedgefield is a quaint little town for people in love with nature in the heart of the Garden Route.

Long beaches at Wilderness25. WILDERNESS
Wilderness, village and resort, is located on the mouth of the Touws River. Hippopotami use to wallow here in the early days. The resort’s name is rooted in its traditional popularity as a honeymoon destination. A number of view sites are provided to drink in the beauty of nature, watching dolphins and whales.

Construction of the Outeniqua Pass, a modern expressway was started in 1943 and opened on 20 September 1951. The pass rises at a steady rate outside of George to reach the summit (800 meters) 14km later. It is just a sheer driving pleasure to travel on this road with exquisite views over the coastal belt and onto the Little Karoo on the other side. Viewpoints give opportunity to absolute photo stops.

Oudtshoorn area27. OUDTSHOORN CITY TOUR

The town was proclaimed in 1863 and named for Baron Pieter van Rheede van Oudtshoorn. He tragically died at sea in 1773 en-route to the Cape to take up his appointment as governor. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. Several “feather palaces” was built as a result of the feather boom. Oudtshoorn is the venue for the Little Karoo arts Festival.



Cango Caves29. CANGO CAVES
The Cango Caves with their dripstone creations are universally regarded as one of South African’s greatest natural wonders. These stalactites (hanging crystals), stalagmites (those growing upwards) and helictites (those growing in any direction) began to be formed about 100 million years ago in crystalline limestone along an old fault line in the foothills of the Swartberg range. Guided tours of the caves can be undertaken and lasts 1 hour.

Ostriches30. OSTRICH FARM
Oudtshoorn is the only district in South Africa where the world’s largest flightless bird is commercially farmed on a large scale. A tour on one of the show farms can be undertaken and last 1 hour. It includes a ride on the birds for the more adventurous.

Calitzdorp became a municipality in 1913. Is regarded as the Port Capital of South Africa. Calitzdorp is renowned for the quality of its deciduous fruit, table grapes and wine. Tasting the Port and wine is a must. Calitzdorp Spa has been developed 17 km south east of the town and the hot mineral spring is 50 degree C at source.

Ronnie’s S.. Shop is situated halfway between Barrydale and Ladismith. It is the ideal place to stop and have some refreshments and stretch the legs. Ronnie’s S... Shop is one pleasant surprise along the Route 62. It's a fun quick stop on the Garden Route tour.

Wine tasting in Barrydale33. BARRYDALE (WINE TASTING) (OPTIONAL)

Barrydale was established by John Joseph Barry and gained municipal status in 1921. Barrydale is known for its stately houses, wild flowers and soft fruit. The Centenary Nature Garden boasts the largest variety of mesembryanthemums (vygies) in the country. Tasting the beautiful wines that are produced in this area is a must.

Montagu hot water springs34. MONTAGU HOT WATER SPRING (OPTIONAL)
Montagu is regarded as the “capital of the Langeberg valley” and was named for Mr John Montagu, colonial secretary (1843-1853). Wine and fruit production is the district’s main economic activities. Wine tasting is a must. Long street, the oldest in town and by many considered architecturally one of the most important streets in the country. The hot mineral spring 3km out of town (43 degree C at source) has always been a great attraction.



Ashton remained a little more than a busy siding until 1940 when the Langeberg co-operative built a huge canning factory nearby. Several more suburbs had been laid out since. Fruit and wine are the main economic activities of the town. Wine tasting must be experienced to remember.

Wine farm37. ROBERTSON
Robertson was founded in 1852 and is often referred to as the “muscadel and brandy capital” of the country. The town is named for the Reverend Dr W. Roberston of Swellendam with so many excellent wine estates close to one another, tasting of wine can be arranged.

The region is best known for its wines, especially desert wines and liqueurs. There are three co-operative wine cellars and the KWV brandy distillery is reputed to be the largest in the world under one roof. Revel in the luxury of top quality wines before driving to the next village.

Worcester “capital of the Breede River Valley” was founded, developed and granted municipal status in 1842. The town is the commercial, distribution and transport centre for the district. Five major roads including the N1 radiate in all directions. Kleinplasie (“little farm”) is a living open-air agricultural museum with a full range of period farmyard buildings. Visitors receive a glimpse of the pioneering days of farming when the farmers had to be self-reliant or go under.

Du Toit's Kloof Pass40. DU TOIT’S KLOOF PASS
The scenic route between Worcester leads through the Breede River Valley and flanked by vineyards that is bush green during spring to summer and a kaleidoscope of colours during high autumn. The route winds through the Du Toit’s Kloof Mountains that is occasionally covered with snow during winter. The effect of these majestic mountains will stay with you for a long time to come.

Paarl area41. PAARL
Dutch name of place founded in 1720 by William Gabemma means “Pearl” in English and refers to a granite round rock which shines like a pearl when the sun reaches a certain position. The town lies nestled in a charming very fertile valley with the purplish blue 729 m high Paarl Mountain as a backdrop. The Paarl wineroute covers 15 wineries just outside the garden route.

The original 8 596ha park was established during 1931 to save the Addo elephant from extinction. The Addo elephant is smaller and carries less ivory than those of central Africa but still belongs to the same species. Currently the park, situated 70km north of Port Elizabeth, is extended down towards the coast with more animals that can be accommodated.

Many Game Ranches in the Eastern Cape are well established. Visitors have the opportunity to see some of Africa’s wildlife from very near. It's a nice way to combine the garden route with wildlife viewing. On some of them, the opportunity is there to watch the Big Five: Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard, Lion and the Buffalo.

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