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“Review of a Fabulous 3 week trip from The cape to Addo”
Review of Garden Route

Garden Route
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Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour
Ranked #303 of 1,064 things to do in Western Cape
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Thanks to all the advice received on here, that enabled me to plan such a comprehensive trip

We landed in Cape town early, after a terrible BA flight ( why is it none of the IFE systems worked in many seats near us, likewise on return journey, the poor staff go through the pointless " I'll just re-boot that for you " routine If seriously affects travel in a 11 hour flight how come the other economy flight can manage it? never again with BA!)

Efficient pick up of car and drive to Beautiful Hermanus, where we enjoyed a luxurious 2 night stay in the AUBERGE BURGUNDY watching whales breach from our balcony and a White shark cage dive early on the second day. lovely eateries in Hermanus , we hit pensioner night and were politely informed we had left to beg a tip ( How different from San Francisco last year!!)

On for a long drive to the MUD LARK RIVERFRONT LODGE near Infanta. a great welcome. dinner included and our own rustic riverfront lodge. with canoeing and fishing.

Next on to Oudtshoorn for 2 nights at De ZEEKOE GUEST FARM . the middle of Ostrich country and Cango caves with well informed and amusing guide, lots to see and another superbly comfy bed , Ostrich feathers galore. although the restaurant did seem to hurry you between evening courses, the Mains arriving in the middle of the first course. early morning Meerkat walk , if you feel up to it..

Then 2 days in the Stunning Knysna lagoon, we stayed on Leisure Island at the sleek white coastal chic of the AMANZI LODGE fab views and locations, splendid breakfasts supplied by Promise! and choccies by the bed, This marked the start of husbands Oyster binge in the waterfront restaurants.

Monkeyland/Birds of Eden were well worth visiting if only for the brilliant informative guides.

The Folllowing 2 days were spent at , THE FERNERY , Tsitikamma. no description adequate for the edge of the ravines views, from cottages & restaurant and memorable hot tub perched precariously off the cliff. , we cycled around the area, played with donut the dog and wallowed in the scenery .

Onwards to ADDO ELEPHANT PARK., for 3 nights we enjoyed S/c Chalet and drove ourselves around, at one point meeting up with 200+ elephants enjoying a waterhole, a spectacular park, quite desolate in some areas with a true sense of being away from it all , if you cant make the Kruger.

Next Stop Plett' , via the bloukans valley drive, staying at the THE VALLEY LODGE. John the owner/builder and host was incredibly helpful, a true gem of a place. a day spent hiking around the Robberg peninsular walked off his breakfast.

2 more nights at THE GARDEN ROUTE GAME LODGE, included meals and game drives, fears that this would be an enlarged zoo, were unfounded due to the knowledgeable staff that kept us enthralled , with details about everything from plants to wildlife and all aspects of natural history, great food and lovely little round cottages.

The next visit was to swellendam , and AUGUSTA DE MIST. I cannot adequately describe this enchanting venue, just GO see for yourself. make sure its a night that they are cooking dinner, an extravagance not to be missed.

2 days at the RUSTHOF COUNTRY HOUSE. a beautiful elegant dwelling , and a great base for a day spent on the Franchoek Wine tram

Last stop 3 nights at THE PLACE ON THE BAY , camps bay. right opposite the beach, we didn't really use all 3 balconies. but a great location for exploring the Cape , Table mountain, and the Hop on hop off bus stop for the V&A waterfront outside. and the wonderful Kirstenboch gardens.

This trip really bought home to us, the value of researching locations, distances and picking just the right places, I am pretty sure no package would have provided all this. within budget , and given us such a good taster of all the highlights. A wonderful experience.

61  Thank buckle-bugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 - 54 of 96 reviews

Reviewed 14 October 2013

This is one of the most beautiful parts of the country. There are some great day walks mountain bike trails and multiday hiking trails. Booked at Cape Nature or at Tsitsikama National park.... which is really beautiful and well worth a visit. Paragliding in Wilderness for beginners and experienced Paragliders. Some of the best day walks and mountain bike routes around George start at the Garden Route dam.
Even driving through the Garden Route is rewarding. There are also some great restaurant, hotels and good self catering accommodation.

8  Thank payback21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2013

I live in the Western Cape, but for some reason my family and I have never travelled through the Garden Route, I am a horrible South African I know. For the recent school holidays we decided to take a trip down to this AMAZING region. Wish I had gone before.

Its perfect for the family and for international travellers looking to explore what South Africans get to witness everyday.Our amazing experience might have been largely part to 34 South Tours (http://www.34southtours.com/). Really cool tour operators that make you feel right at home.

Would definitely do it again!!

3  Thank Lynn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Day 1 17th may 2013
Goeie more (good morning) !!!!
Landed at Cape Town, South Africa via dubai in emirates airlines at 1130 am along with wife and a friend. As planned our driver cum guide rafiq received us and we bought the Vodafone SIM cards at the airport.
Started our drive for the Garden route from airport at 2 pm reached our first stop at 330 pm At the
Caledon spa and had a dip in the natural hot pools. They had five different sized hot pools and all
with natural sulphur water oozing out of earth and all had a different temperature levels. This indeed
had a magical effect of sucking off all out tiredness and filling us with a fresh renewed energy. Later
we also indulged in few games of poker in the gambling zone. 150 r for the hot pools meal and
gambling card worth 100r. After this refreshing pause proceeded and reached wilderness at 10 pm
and checked in at Mel Amis hotel which was on the beach. Temperature was 11c. I just visited three
pubs in the nearby town of George. Vibe was good in the last one. Drove around 500kms.
Day 2. 18 may 2013
Temperature 17 c.
Started at 930 am from Mel Amis leaving behind the sound of the beach and the majestic view from
the rooms of the ocean. Drove through George and came to Victoria bay. Lovely beach with hightide
waves and people surfing. Visited the view point of Map of Africa around 1030 am. Then we went
to the Cango Caves. Amazing guided tour for an hour looking at the huge caves and history of
mankind of 10000 years and more. The adventure trek inside is something which looks great to do.
We did the standard one and so did everyone. Cost 75r. Visited the Ostrich farm. Amazing to see the largest and fastest bird. Our guide gave us a long
detailed history of the life of an ostrich and showed us around the farm. We all Fed them hugged
them, few of us sat on them and two professional guys rode on them for a minute. Cost 60r.
At the cango wild life ranch before the wild life tour we had karusa craft beer made from full grain
brewing the Klein Karoo. Light pale colour, unfiltereds with passion fruit and citrus flacours and
malty sweetness-mild bitterness, crisp and refreshing. Saw Bengal tigers white lions tigers cheetah
crocodile. Cost 125.
Came to jewel of India restaurant by 7 pm and had our first meal in two days and drove back to mel
Amis Drove around 200kms.
Day 3. 19 may 2013
Tried walking down to the beach it remained a try as the wind was so brutally chill at 740 am. Started
at 930 topped up the gas, as a routine the pump guy water washes all the window glasses and opens up
the boot and checks on the engine oil. Every day same routine. Driving to tsitsikamma national park
Passing through sedge field a small town. Very clean looking neatly planned town. Dint spot any
People out. Every small town you pass at 60km max speed and its annoying to drive slow in so empty
and lovely roads. Passed through very scenic drive showing lakes rivers lagoons mountains. Once our
car flashes on the head lights asking for way, to overtake, the guy in the front moves and gives way,
you overtake and once done and put on your hazard lights as a gesture to say thank you. In the
Tsitsikamma Natural Park we walked through the dense forest which leads to the suspension bridge. Which runs over the storms river mouth and this river
joins in the ocean. Watching the ‘sangam’ over from the bridge was something remarkable And the view was absolutely breathtaking . Almost for an hour. Very
intoxicating. Spotted Klip dassie an African Rodent found in african rocky outcroppings. Cute littleanimals. At the restaurant ordered for Thai red curry, veg wrap and draft of mitchell's beer. Thai
curry tasted like a normal curry and Yummy served with flavoured rice. 200r.
Stopped at longest bridge bungy jumping. Contemplating to do or not and then realised that our heart
gave way so just drove ahead to petite burg bay and the headed to Knysna. The harbour the shops the
roads everything was deserted and no life around the town. So we just droved back to wilderness and
made a good choice to have a wonderful feast in Cocomo restaurant. Amazing pizza Penani bake
vegetables salads mojoti maithai strawberry shake. All so yummy. Few nice people around with a
camp fire kept us warm and ofcourse the drinks did the trick.
Next day early morning started on way back to Capetown

4  Thank MMAind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2013

This was our first visit to South Africa so all of the places we stayed and the activities were new and we had nothing to compare them with so this is a standalone review but I have tried to be honest and fair. Our itinerary is below and I have (or am in the process of) separately reviewed all of the places, things and people mentioned so please see my other posts for details of each.
Our trip was booked through Fifth Avenue Tours in Port Elizabeth who were quite superb throughout and offered unbeatable value even when compared to booking everything ourselves.

Day 1 – 30th Jan – Arrive CPT, collect hire car and drive to Franschoek. Visit to Motor Museum, accommodation at Le Ballon Rouge, dinner at the Grill Room.
Day 2 – Morning at Stellenbosch, afternoon wine tasting tour in Franschoek with Valley Rouge Tours. Too much wine – missed dinner, accommodation at Le Ballon Rouge.
Day 3 – Drive to Oudtshoorn, accommodation and dinner at The Oue Werf.
Day 4 – Swartberg Pass downhill mountain bike ride. 41K to the Oue Werf with Backpackers Paradise and Joyrides. Collapse by the pool, accommodation and dinner at The Oue Werf.
Day 5 – Drive to Port Elizabeth, accommodation at Fifth Avenue Beach House.
Day 6 – Drive to Woodhall Country House and Spa who arranged an afternoon game drive in Addo Elephant Park. 7 course dinner and accommodation at Woodhall.
Day 7 – Drive to Kichaka Luxury Private Game Reserve, afternoon game drive, all inclusive basis.
Days 8 & 9 – Morning and afternoon (+1 moonlight) game drives.
Day 10 – Morning game drive then drive to Storms River Village, accommodation at At The Woods Guest House, afternoon at Storms River Mouth, dinner at Storms River Inn.
Day 11 – Zip Wiring with Tzitzikamma Jungle Tours then pm kayaking/liloing with Untouched Adventures. Dinner locally and accommodation at At The Woods Guest House.
Day 12 – Drive to Knysna, visit Heads and waterfront, accommodation at Candlewood Lodge, dinner at the Olive Tree.
Day 13 – Sightseeing around Knysna, dinner at JJs, accommodation at Candlewood Lodge.
Day 14 – Drive to Mossell Bay, afternoon on the beach, accommodation at B@Home Guest House.
Day 15 – Drive to Cape Town, accommodation at The Walden House, dinner at the V&A Waterfront.
Day 16 – Tour of Cape with Daytrippers, accommodation at The Walden House, dinner at the V&A Waterfront.
Day 17 – White Shark Diving at Gaansbaii with SharkCageDiving, accommodation at The Walden House, dinner at the V&A Waterfront.
Day 18 – Table Mountain and abseiling with Abseil Africa, pm at The Walden House, night flight to UK.

Overall, a very busy 18 days in this stunning country offering excellent value to UK tourists. The accommodation ranged from good to out of this world, the food and drink cheap, plentiful & very good, the people were uniformly incredibly friendly and helpful, the roads & driving standards excellent and at no time did we feel anything less than completely safe and secure.

It’s difficult to adequately cover such a memorable holiday in a short(ish) review but we were blown away by it all and had run out of superlatives by Day 4!

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or need more specific details on ay of the above.

32  Thank Scubacol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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