How to Get to the Garden Route
The Garden Route, a 190 mile (300 km) stretch of land is home to some of the best spots in South Africa including Nature’s Valley, Oudtshoorn, Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, and Mossel Bay.
Flying to the airport in George, situated in the Garden Route, offers great convenience for those traveling from places like Johannesburg, Durban or Kruger National Park. Those traveling from Cape Town can fly, for time efficiency, or enjoy the scenic four-hour drive along the N2.
There are also self-driving routes. The drive from Johannesburg, as well as Durban, takes approximately 12 hours without stops. Technically, there is also the option of booking a bus from Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban—although this isn’t recommended.
This 15-day trip plan offers five different itinerary options which include the Garden Route, Mauritius, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls, and much more.
Duration: 2 hours - 2 days
The best-recommended way to get to the Garden Route from Johannesburg is by plane. A flight to the airport in George is only two hours. After arriving in George, travelers can either rent a car or use a private transfer to explore the Garden Route.
There is also the option to drive the whole way. The quickest route, which takes 12 hours, goes via the N1 highway through Bloemfontein. Travelers can opt to travel through KwaZulu-Natal and along the South Coast for a more scenic drive—although this trip needs to be split over two days. There is also the option to take the bus, which takes 17 hours with the risk of delays, and is not recommended.
This article offers more information on getting to the Garden Route from Johannesburg.
From Cape Town
Duration: 55 minutes - 4 hours
Traveling by plane or traveling by car the whole way are both highly recommended travel methods for those visiting the Garden Route from Cape Town. A flight from Cape Town to George is only 55 minutes. Those who opt to fly can rent a car or use a private transfer to get around.
Traveling by car for the duration of the trip typically takes under four hours and offers a scenic drive. The quickest route is via the N2 highway, which will take travelers through Sir Lowry’s Pass, Bot River, Caledon, and eventually Mossel Bay in the Garden Route. Traveling inland through the Klein Karoo, along the N1 and R62 for part of the journey, is also highly recommended. The Paarl wine region, Montagu, and Diesel & Crème in Barrymore are good places to visit along the way. There is also an option to use the bus, which takes at least seven hours, and doesn’t offer sightseeing opportunities.
You can find out more about traveling between Cape Town and the Garden Route here.
Duration: 1.5 hours - 17 hours
The best way to get to the Garden Route from Durban is by booking a direct 1.5-hour flight to George. However, direct flights can be infrequent, and travelers may need to book a flight to Port Elizabeth which will require two hours of driving time on the other end to get to the Garden Route.
There is also the option of driving the whole way, along the N2, which will take at least 13 hours without stops. Those who opt to drive should be aware of traffic congestions in the Transkei region in the towns Idutywa, Mthatha, and Butterworth.
Travelers can also book a bus to towns like Jeffreys Bay, Knysna, and George. However, this can take around 17 hours and is not recommended.