There is no better way to experience the wonders of South Africa’s Garden Route than on a self-drive holiday. Driving in South Africa your vehicle is on the same side of the road as it is in Australia. With an excellent road system and easy to read signs, you will have no trouble finding your way around. The Garden Route is filled with spectacular scenery and many wonderful sights to stop and admire along the way. We’ve compiled a list of our Top 5 Self-Drive Garden Route highlights. Read on and it won’t be long before you start planning your South African self-drive experience……
Many Garden Route highlights lie within the beautiful town of Knysna.
One of many is the alluring Knysna Lagoon; a stunning azure blue opens through the two giant cliffs known as “The Heads”. The two cliffs stand tall over the lagoon creating a narrow entrance whereby the water surges through the cliffs, making for picturesque scenery along the Garden Route
Although its nice to look at, the Lagoon also allows for many water activities. From fishing and boating to kite surfing and kayaking, the lagoon offers more than just a pretty picture.
In addition, to the adrenalin filled activities, you can head to the other side of the Two Heads. Here you can venture out on a boat trip and see if you can spot some whales and dolphins.
The town of Plettenberg Bay lies almost on the border of the Eastern and Western Cape. Because the town is built on a hillside, most of the town is on a steep slope, meaning that, no matter where you find yourself, you will always have spectacular views of the bay and its surrounds.
Plettenberg Bay has gained the reputation as a pleasure seeker hotspot. From polo at Kurland, to yachting at the Keurbooms River mouth and marina, to less high brow activities including swimming and water sports in the warm, gentle waters, the leisure activities on offer at Plettenberg Bay are endless.
With miles of pristine beaches, it’s no surprise that relaxing on the beach is so popular with visitors. However, for adventure seekers, there are charter boat cruises, hiking, canoeing and abseiling to choose from, to name a few.
Approximately 4km in length, the Robberg Peninsula is a nature reserve, national monument and marine protected area set in the heart of the Garden Route, just 8 km south of Plettenberg Bay.
Aside from its awe-inspiring natural beauty, Robberg Peninsula is also home to hundreds of Cape Fur Seals living on the rocky shorelines. Waters are plentiful with dolphins and whales, and above you will witness hundreds of sea birds soaring across the sky.
In addition to Mother Natures stunning showcase, Robberg is also a significant archaeological site. Nelson Bay Cave bears evidence of a time where grasslands, rather than sea, stretched beyond the southern horizon. In addition, rocks in the region date back as early as 120 million years ago.
Enjoy walking alongside climbing-falling dunes on the Cape coastline, take hikes and walks through the reserve. You can experience whale watching from a private charter and picnic lunches with unparalleled views. The Robberg Peninsula boasts beauty in bucket loads.
Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape Winelands lies the outstanding Franschhoek Valley. Franschhoek is the heart of food and wine in South Africa. Here you will find beautiful grapes that are grown to create some of the most divine wines. Also home to world-class chefs creating exceptional international cuisine. Revel in breathtaking scenery, warm hospitality, outstanding cuisine and the finest wines.
Franschhoek continues to foster its French heritage, with wineries and farms keeping their original names as well as spectacular Cape Dutch estates. You would be forgiven for mistaking these towering oaks and rolling vineyards were located within the French countryside.
Within Franschhoek, you will find an exceptional collection of cellars, ranging from charming boutique wineries catering to those in search of something unique, to the larger cellars offering visitors winery tours.
A picturesque town, you cannot afford to miss Franschhoek; complete with spectacular scenery, incredible food, remarkable wines and an intimate atmosphere.
A natural heritage site, the Featherbed Nature Reserve is a stunning privately owned reserve. This reserve is accessible only by ferry and lies on the Western Head of the famous landmark “The Heads”.
The reserve is home to the elusive Knysna Lourie. This large green bird with a short hooked bill and vibrant red wings is unique to the area only found on the Garden Route.
In addition to the Knysna Lourie, other wildlife species you may see include the blue duiker – one of the smallest antelope species as well as a range of lush forest plant species.
The Featherbed Nature Reserve offers a range of different cruises operating along the Knysna Lagoon, offering incredible ‘one on one’ with nature experiences.
The number of visitors to the reserve is restricted so you are only permitted to visit the reserve if you are accompanied by one of the reserve guides.
Our African Travel Specialists can get you on the road experiencing your best self-drive holiday yet. With an extensive knowledge bank and wealth of experience, we’d love to share our many tips and helpful hints so contact us today.