Touring the Garden Route is a very popular thing to do on a first or second visit to the Cape. The route is so named because much of the landscape that you drive through appears garden-like, very verdant with spectacular vistas of mountain, sea and plain. You’ll fall in love with the spectacular mountain passes, tranquil lagoons, ancient lush forests and pristine beaches.
Traditionally, the route follows the N2 highway all the way along its length from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. We have amended this a little to avoid long sections of road with few places to stop at and bring you inland to the Karoo and Winelands and also to the coast. Of course, this is only one way of doing this trip and you could easily spend more time at these places. We are working on the assumption that you will drive out and then fly back from Port Elizabeth (PE) but there is no reason why, if you have the time, you couldn’t drive back another way and stop off at what you missed.
A word of caution: don’t attempt to drive more than around three hours a day of this trip. Roads in South Africa, whilst being the best on the continent, are not like motorways in the West. They go through rather than around towns, have a lot of freight on them and generally require a great deal of concentration to drive on. We strongly recommend that you do not travel at night and that you aim to travel between around 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. so that you’ve got plenty of time to arrive and find your next lodging.
(Hover over the BLACK DOTS on our interactive map below & view stunning snapshots of each location ! )
Leaving from Cape Town...
Day 1 Swellendam (picturesque rural wine town)
Day 2 Wilderness/Mossel Bay (stunning coast line and rivers)
Day 3 Knysna and Plettenberg (bustling, swish and wealthy coastal towns)
Day 4 Storms River and Nature’s Valley (nestled in virgin forest these are unspoilt coastal towns)
Returning to Cape Town...
Day 6 Calitzdorp, Ladismith and Barrydale (small Karoo towns, beautifully preserved on the Route 62)
Day 7 Montagu and return to Cape Town (small winelands town, home to Cape Town’s émigré hippy population)
Download the PDF for our self-drive Garden Route tour
Click on the icon above !