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5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

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cardiff, wales
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5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

We are looking to travel from and return to Cape Town over a 5 night 6 day trip around the garden route in February 2014 and have been unable to find any suggested routes. We have found trips but none that return to cape town. We have 3 nights to explore a bit of Cape Town then plan on hiring a car to see what we can of the garden route in 5 nights. We then need to to return to cape town as we then fly to Jo burg and later onto sun city. We need to be back in cape town for a 2.30 pm flight. We hope to visit some wineries and see some wildlife and some coastal towns. Please can someone suggest a route we could take. We don't want to spend all driving as we want to have time to explore. I realise there is so much to see and do but our time is limited so we don't expect to be able to see it all. Your suggestions would be much appreciated.

Cape Town Central...
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1. Re: 5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

Day 1 - drive from Cape Town to Cape Agulhas via Hermanus along the coast. Overnight in Cape Agulhas (The most southern point of the African Continent)

Day 2 - drive from Cape Agulhas to Knysna (long drive about 4hrs) and overnight here. You can also make this your main stop and book the rest of the nights for here and explore from here. Arrive before 6pm and book for you a sunset cruise on the John Benn Cruise on the Knysna Lagoon, fantastic.

Day 3 - for this day you can drive to Storms River Bridge to do the Bunjy Jumping, then from here drive further to the Stormsriver Mouth and do the hike to the swing bridge and again after this have a stop at Nature's Valley and enjoy a nice dinner in Plettenberg Bay.

Day 4 - for this day you can enjoy the rest of the activities like maybe river rafting, boat trip in Plettenberg Bay, etc.

Day 5 - drive from here to Oudtshoorn past Sedgefield, Wilderness and also George and overnight there. You can do the Ostrich Farms, Cango Caves and also Cango Willife Ranch where you can see cheetah's, white lions, tigers, crocodiles and even do a cage dive with the crocodiles.

Day 6 - drive back to Cape Town and spend the last night in the City and take the flight out the next day.

Or if it does not work, cut then the trip down to Cape Agulhas out and drive straight to Knysna from Cape Town.

Hank - Owner - Ulungele Tours

South Africa
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2. Re: 5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

I like Hank's suggested itinerary above. A garden route itinerary will depend a lot on what you like to see and do, and you will not be able to see and do everything the Garden Route has to offer in only 5 days. Here is another suggested itinerary (not better, just different):

Day 1 - head out on the N1 from Cape Town, through the tunnel (or take the mountain pass for a more scenic drive). At worcester turn off onto the R400 / R62 and make your way to Oudtshoorn via Robertson, Montagu, Calitzdorp. This will be a good 5-6 hour drive, but it is a very scenic drive. At Oudtshoorn, you can visit an ostrich farm if you still have enough time that afternoon.

Day 2 - the next morning visit the Cango Caves if that interests you. Then head south toward George via the Outeniqua pass and make your way to Wilderness. Take time to stop at Dolphin's Point (a look out point next to the N2 above Wilderness). If you would like to spend some time on the beach, try Victoria Bay (famous surfing beach) just outside George or Leentjies Klip, the very first beach in Wilderness. Spend the night at Ebb and Flow camp in Wilderness, from where you can hire canoes to go up the river, do a forest walk or visit the beach. The town of Wilderness has a lovely ambience and some good restaurants.

Day 3 - After enjoying a relaxed morning at Ebb and Flow, head toward Knysna. For a nice view of Sedgefield and the surrounding lakes, take the first turnoff after the bridge before you come to Sedgefield, and make your way around the edge of the Swartvlei and up over and along the hill, where you can stop at one or two viewpoints (this road is a dirt road and not recommended after a lot of rain). Overnight in Knysna and book a lagoon cruise with one of the operators. There are also more adventurous options like taking a yacht out through the heads to sail on the open sea, or a jet-boat if you prefer to explore the lagoon at high speed (these depart from the Knysna waterfront).

Day 4 - Knysna is often used as a central base from which to explore the Garden Route, because it is within reach of many of the attractions in the area. There are forest walks, more than one "big tree" sites you can visit, an elephant sanctuary, reptile park, monkeyland, birds of eden. If you like scenic walks or hikes, consider going to Robberg nature reserve at Plettenberg Bay to do the circular route there, with spectacular coastal views all round. On this itinerary I would not go as far as east as Storms River, although it is within reach if you want to make a day of it. The same with Nature's Valley - a quaint little seaside town in beautiful surroundings with a stunning beach and lagoon, and excellent walks. Worth a visit but it is almost one hour from Knysna. Return to Knysna for the night so you have at least 2 nights in the same location.

Day 5 - from Knysna, it is a good 6 hours to get back to Cape Town via the N2, and longer if you wish to go via Cape Agulhas (the southernmost tip of Africa). If you have all day, it is very doable to go via Cape Agulhas (turn south just after Swellendam).

Hope this helps!

Onne from Wild Wings Safaris

Cardiff, United...
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3. Re: 5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

Thanks both I shall research these. I've done the bloukrons river bridge bung hi back in 1999 and vowed never to do another. It scared me to death. Really want to include some vineyards but neither of you mention those. I assume we will come across several on the routes you have provided. Maybe even stay at one for the night. Thanks again

South Africa
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4. Re: 5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

You're most welcome! The Garden Route is not really known for its vineyards, except closer to Cape Town, or along the R62 route that I described above on day 1 (Worcester / Robertson / Montagu regions). Even closer to Oudtshoorn and beyond. Here is some info about the wine region from Montagu to Oudtshoorn: www.oudtshoorninfo.com/activities.php?id=27

Cardiff, United...
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5. Re: 5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Hermanus, South...
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6. Re: 5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

The suggestions of Hank & Onne are great. My preference would be to trip outwards via R62 say for a first night at Oudtshoorn . I would also base at Knysna from where to explore the surrounding garden route area. In terms of wildlife, other than Birds of Eden which for me is a must, you will have a wonderful opportunity to go into Pilansberg game park when at Sun City so don't try fitting other(mammal)wildlife into the Garden route trip. There is enough else to see and do.

Then on your return I would come straight back on the N2. However I suggest you do not drive all the way to Cape Town for the last night but rather overnight in Hermanus. This shortens your trip by 115km. Secondly if you depart Knysna early you could easily arrive in Hermanus mid day which will enable you to visit several wineries In the Hemel en Aarde valley in Hermanus. The wines from this region are top notch! The next morning you can further explore Hermanus and leave say midday for the airport. It's about an hour plus journey.

WK

7. Re: 5 night round trip around the garden route from Cape Town

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