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Stunning Mtn along the Garden Route Tour


Shorter Garden Route Tour
Specially for Those Short on Time!

For you if time is short - the Shorter Garden Route tour is a great solution...

Now have the opportunity with this tour to enjoy many Garden Route Highlights within 3 days. The Garden Route tour start with a drive on N1, through the Little Karoo and winds through the spectacular Swartberg Mountain Pass. From Oudtshoorn it’s down to Knysna and back to Cape Town along the coast.


SHORT GARDEN ROUTE TOUR DETAILS
Distance: 1 480 km / 925 miles
Duration: 3 days
Best time: All year
Included: Certified driver/guide, a/c vehicle and gasoline
Excluded: Entrance fees, overnight accommodation, lunch, drinks
Price: Please request a quote
Note: All tours can be customized


Inquire about the Shorter Garden Route Tour






- Short Garden Route Tour -



D
AY 1

Cape Town City Bowl1. CITY BOWL
The Short Garden Route Tour starts in Cape Town’s city centre which 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.


Du Toit's Kloof Pass2. 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 and is occasionally covered with snow during winter. The effect of these majestic mountains will stay with you for a long time to come.


Worcester Open Air Museum3. WORCESTER
Worcester ‘capital of the Breede River Valley’ was founded, developed and granted municipal status in 1842. The town is the commercial, distribution and transport center 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 farmers had to be self-reliant or go under.


Hex River Valley4. HEX RIVER VALLEY
From the very first days one of the major routes to the north lay through the Hex River valley. Very scenic and picturesque specifically during autumn with its kaleidoscope of colours gives the visitor sheer pleasure driving through the valley. The road was upgraded in the 1860’s after Second World War.



5. MATJIESFONTEIN
Matjiesfontein was established in 1883 by James Douglas Logan as a health resort. It was the first village in South Africa to have electricity and water-borne sewerage. Matjiesfontein is rich in history. 12 000 British soldiers were stationed here during the Anglo Boer-War.


Cape Fruits6. LAINGSBURG
Laingsburg was established 1881 and was named for John Laing, Commisioner of Crown Lands at the time. The main economic activity is wool production but limited quantities of lucern and deciduous fruit are also grown under irrigation. The town was almost washed away during the flashfloods in 1981.


Swartberg Mountains7. PRINCE ALBERT
Prince Albert is nestled quietly at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountains. Prince Albert was established as early as 1842 on one of the farms in the district and later in honour of the Prince Consort. The name was later changed. Gold was dug up here during the gold rush in 1890. Deciduous fruit is grown under irrigation in the town and district.


Swartsberg Mountain Pass8. SWARTBERG PASS

The Swartberg Pass over the mountain by the same name, was built by Thomas Bain, master pass builder to link the Little and Great Karoo. Just a few kilometers outside Prince Albert the visitor encounters the stunning entrance to this majestic pass and simply has to stop and appreciate nature before continuing. On the crest of the mountains explicit scenes of nature awaits those who dare to travel the pass. This is a highlight on the Garden Route tour.


Cango Caves9. 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.


Ostriches10. 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. You'll won't forget this on your Garden Route tour.



Oudtshoorn area11. 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.


12. (OVERNIGHT STAY: OUDTSHOORN - GARDEN ROUTE TOUR)



DAY 2

13. OUTENIQUA PASS
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.


Great golf in George14. GEORGE
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.



Knysna waterfront15. KNYSNA
Knysna is the ideal base to explore the Garden Route and its history is woven around its rich natural heritage: the indigenous forests. George Rex is considered to be the founder of Knysna in 1804. It lies on the banks of a tranquil lagoon, guarded at its mouth by The Heads, and overlooked to the north by the Outeniqua Mountains.


Knysna Lagoon16. KNYSNA LAGOON BOATTRIP (OPTIONAL)
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 Heads17. 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.


Flowers in the Cape18. GARDEN OF EDEN
The Garden of Eden offers walks ranging from easy to difficult and from short to long through the Knysna Forest. 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.


19. (OVERNIGHT STAY: KNYSNA - GARDEN ROUTE TOUR)



DAY 3


Choo-Tjoe leaving Sedgefield20. 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.


long beaches in Wilderness21. 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.


Fishing boats in Mossel Bay22. MOSSEL BAY
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.


23. 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 letterbox 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.


Drosdy in Swellendam24. SWELLENDAM
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 locals dismissed the landdrost (magistrate) and declared Swellendam a new colony, independant 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 cradle of South Africa’s merino 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.


Caledon area25. CALEDON
The name of the town was changed in 1813 to Caledon in honour of a former governor of the Cape, the Earl of Caledon. Agriculture, timber and wool are the main economic activities. Caledon boasts the largest malt-producing plant in the Southern hemisphere. The world-famous Caledon wildflower Garden and Nature Resereve was established 1899. The Caledon district hosts also out national bird, the Blue Crane.


Whale watching at it's best26. HERMANUS (WHALES DURING SPRING)
Hermanus 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.


Jackass penguins at Betty's Bay27. BETTY’S BAY
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 in the 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.


Gorden'd Bay Harbour28. 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. After Gorden's Bay we return to Cape Town on this short Garden Route Tour.



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