Getting between Cape Town and the Garden Route can take just 50 minutes by plane or up to seven hours by bus.
Those who opt to fly can arrange a private transfer or rental car at the airport in George. Alternatively, using a rental car or private transfer for the whole trip is highly recommended, and only takes between three and four hours. There are two main route options. Travelers can either drive along the coast the whole way or, for some of the journey, travelers can drive inland through the Klein Karoo. There are also bus routes between Cape Town and the Garden Route—although this isn’t recommended.
This 10-day self-driving itinerary leaves from Cape Town and includes Oudtshoorn and many top destinations along the Garden Route.
Duration: 50 minutes
A 50-minute plane trip to George airport is the quickest way to get to the Garden Route. Depending on your preference, you can either rent a car at the airport in George or use a private transfer to get around. Travelers should be aware of pay tolls and speeding cameras on the N2 through the Garden Route.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 3-4 hours
Traveling by private transfer or rental car is also highly recommended due to the fairly short distance and the scenic drive. The quickest way by car is to travel along the N2 highway for the entire trip. After leaving Cape Town, travelers will enjoy the views of Sir Lowry’s Pass and drive through the towns Bot River, Caledon, and Albertinia before arriving at Mossel Bay in the Garden Route. Those traveling further can continue driving along the N2.
An alternative route is to leave via the N1 highway. You will then drive along the R60, R62, R322, and eventually the N2 which will take you through the Garden Route. Some notable places this route will take you through include the Paarl wine region, as well as the charming Klein Karoo towns Montagu and Barrydale. A recommended place to stop at for lunch is Diesel & Crème in Barrydale.
Those who are self-driving should be aware of pay tolls and keep cash or a credit card accessible.
Duration: 7+ hours
This option is the least recommended. Those who opt to use the bus should be aware that bus delays can make the trip longer. Most bus lines travel to different towns along the Garden Route including Mossel Bay, George, Plettenberg Bay, and Knysna. We recommend that those who opt for this option book a ticket that arrives in daylight for safety and use Baz Bus, which caters to tourists.