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Africa is a continent of such scale, diversity and richness that it offers limitless travel combinations. The best way to start your journey is to speak to one of our expert safari designers.

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Explore the Garden Route

 
To experience a little bit of everything that South Africa has to offer, you can hardly do better than to drive along the coastal road of the Garden Route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. It’s an extraordinary journey, and there’s wildlife on both land and shore, endless beaches, historic battlefields, and the vineyards are never far away. One day you might be whale spotting at Hermanus — renowned as one of the best whale watching locations in the world — and the next you could be learning about the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, handling antique weapons and scrambling over the British and Zulu positions.
Cars driving along cliffside highway of the Garden Route

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Montague Golf Course at Fancourt Hotel in South Africa.

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Flower safari picnic at Grootbos Private Reserve

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Safari guests walking near elephant at Shamwari Game Reserve

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Tsitsikamma forest zipline tour

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The Most Idyllic Road Trip in Africa

South Africa’s most scenic self-drive route hugs the coastline of the Cape for nearly 450 miles. Self-driving here is a breeze — though it’s also possible to have a car and driver — and with every bend in the road comes another dramatic view. Quiet beaches are flanked by protected forest, and rivers and streams run down to meet the ocean from rolling hills and sizeable mountains.

You can stop along the way to hike, surf, and picnic, as well as to sightsee in charming seaside towns. There are world renowned golf courses and, for those who wish to head beneath the waves, exhilarating cage diving excursions amongst sharks, too.

Along the coast near the Outeniqua Mountains, try kayaking in the Knysna Lagoon and Estuary, or a canopy tour in Tsitsikamma Forest. Monkeyland and the Elephant Sanctuary are popular stops at Plettenberg Bay, and at Birds of Eden you can walk amongst the numerous species of avifauna in the world’s largest outdoor aviary.
Schoone Oordt Country House, Garden Route, South Africa.

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Canoeing at Bushmans Kloof Wellness Reserve, South Africa.

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Luxury private outdoor dining deck setup at Tsala Treetops lodge

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Bushman paintings, Bushmans Kloof Wellness Reserve.

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Beyond the Beaten Track

One great joy of travelling the Garden Route is also in learning about its diverse history and culture. Step back in time with a night or two at the elegant Schoone Oordt Country House, built in 1853. From Tsala Treetops you can visit the villages and towns of Plettenberg Bay, shopping and meeting local people, and there’s also a world class golf course. Wherever you choose to stay, you will undoubtedly experience the warm hospitality of South Africa’s people, your hosts and guides alike regaling you with stories which will enrich your visit.

For wellness and wildlife together, choose Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve. Set in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, the world’s largest collection of rock art is only a short distance away. Hike and bike, canoe and swim, then retreat to the spa to continue your journey of relaxation.
Giraffes at Ocean Beach and Wildlife Reserve

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Ocean Suite Bedroom, Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve, South Africa.

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Whale watching from land at Grootbos Forest Lodge, Garden Route, South Africa.

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Dolphins jumping out of water

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Meerkat safari with guide at De Zeekoe guest farm

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There’s Abundant Wildlife, too

The Garden Route and East Cape are also home to a number of private wildlife reserves. At Oceana, the Indian Ocean, the forests, and the sky meet in perfect harmony. In this spectacular setting you’ll find not only a charming boutique hotel, but around it more than 220 species of birds, and 30 different kinds of animals. Drive out amongst the giraffe and rhino, swim in the rockpool accompanied by the sound of crashing waves, and explore mile after mile of pristine private beach.

The Mosaic Private Sanctuary overlooks Hermanus Lagoon, South Africa’s prime whale watching site. Here in this tranquil space — where there are just nine guest residences — you can walk amongst the milkwood trees, swim, and admire the views. The birds and wildflowers are uncountable, and cruising at sunset on the lagoon is unforgettable. What’s truly extraordinary though is you can watch the whales and hear their songs from the shore.

Or if you want to try spotting some of Africa’s rarer species, we’ll arrange a stay at De Zeekoe. It’s a stylish working ranch covering 2,000 tranquil hectares in the Klein Karoo. Here you can enjoy meerkat tours, learning from resident expert JD Glinister about the most memorable of Africa’s ‘Shy Five’ creatures. You might be lucky and spot the rest of the Shy Five, too — aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox and porcupine — and other fascinating species such as springbok, genet, civets, otters and owls.
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