Experience one of the most beautiful parts of the world as you make your way along South Africa's Garden Route for a unique mix of scenery, multiculturalism, and outdoor activities. This 8-day adventure starts and ends in Cape Town—capped by the magnificent Table Mountain—where you'll have several days to explore this fascinating city (and nearby vineyards) with the help of local guides.

Highlights

  • Take the rotating cable car to the top of Table Mountain on your first day
  • Hit some of the country's best beaches along the Garden Route
  • Get up close to tame wildlife like penguins and ostrich
  • Choose between hiking, sailing, golfing, wine tasting, and kayaking 
  • End the trip partaking in cool guided tours around Cape Town

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Drive to Mossel Bay – Continue to Knysna Knysna
Day 3 Drive to Plettenberg Bay - Return to Knysna Knysna
Day 4 Drive to Tsitsikamma - Return to Knysna Knysna
Day 5 Drive to Oudtshoorn - Continue to Cape Town Cape Town
Day 6 Winelands Tour or Architectural Tour Cape Town
Day 7 Art Tour or Foodie Tour Cape Town
Day 8 Depart Cape Town  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town

See the iconic sites on your first day

Welcome to Cape Town! Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city.

Once you have some energy after the long journey, there is plenty of magnificent scenery and abundant outdoor life to experience on your first day, like the Company’s Garden, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Lion's Head, and Green Point Urban Park.

For the ultimate introduction to the city, take the rotating cable car to the top of Table Mountain for 360-degree views. Don't worry if you can't fit it all in—you'll have more time to explore Cape Town at the end of the trip. 

Day 2: Drive to Mossel Bay - Continue to Knysna

Mossel Bay's scenic positioning along the sea

After breakfast at your hotel in Cape Town, you'll begin your road trip on the Garden Route. This 186-mile (300 km) stretch of coastal road on the southwest tip of South Africa is oft-considered one of the most beautiful regions in the country. The route gets its name from the Garden Route National Park that it covers with diverse vegetation and wildlife, as well as an abundance of lagoons, lakes, mountains, forests, and beaches along its winding roads. 

Your first destination is Mossel Bay, but before that, make a stop to watch the penguins along the way. Once you arrive, you'll have time to explore the area's spectacular beaches. You can also hike the Cape St. Blaize trail overlooking the Indian Ocean. (More optional activities include skydiving and cave tours). While here, make a visit to the famous Diaz Museum complex, commemorating the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa.

From Mossel Bay, you'll continue driving to Knysna—a large town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. This is your base for the next three nights as you make day-trips around the Garden Route. 

Day 3: Drive to Plettenberg Bay - Return to Knysna

The picturesque Plettenberg Bay

Today, you'll have time to get to know two seaside towns at the heart of the Garden Route: Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. This stretch of coast is known for its lovely scenery, including indigenous forests, a large warm-water estuary known as the Knysna Lagoon, and the stunning Outeniqua Mountains.

You'll have your choice between a wide variety of outdoor activities, depending on your preference, including canoeing and hiking in Wilderness National Park or Robberg Nature Reserve, as well as hunting for oysters, wine tasting, sailing, or golfing, to name a few.

Day 4: Drive to Tsitsikamma - Return to Knysna

A canopy bridge in the park

After breakfast, you'll make your way to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route you can stop at Bloukrans Bridge to view the world’s highest bungee jump bridge at 708 feet (216 m) high. You'll also have the option to participate if you dare!

From here, you can spend the afternoon enjoying the park with its unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. Tsitsikamma has a wide variety of activities for all ages including hiking, crossing a suspension bridge, taking a canopy tour, and swimming in the ocean—or simply throw down a towel on the sand and relax.

Day 5: Drive to Oudtshoorn - Continue to Cape Town

Hang with the Ostriches before you head back to the city

On the final day exploring the Garden Route, you'll travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, also known as the 'Ostrich Capital of the World', via the scenic Outeniqua Mountain pass. Here you will experience the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided adventure tour before heading back to Cape Town via the scenic and spectacular Route 62. This also happens to be South Africa’s longest wine route, so you can stop for some port tasting along the way.

Return to Cape Town in the early evening where you'll have the night to explore more of the city's dining scene. 

Day 6: Legendary Cape Winelands or Architectural Tour

A vineyard in Stellenbosch near Cape Town

This morning, it's up to you on how you want to spend your day, in fact, you can choose between some guided tours like to two listed below.

The first full-day option is to take a Winelands Tour to Stellenbosch. After a morning pick-up, your guide will take you to the Villiera wine estate, where you'll try some of the best champagne South Africa has to offer. Next, there will be time to stroll through the gardens of Babylonstoren, with more than three hundred varieties of edible plants, bees, ducks, chickens, and even a prickly pear maze. Sample several red and white varieties of Babylonstoren wine during your visit. Next is a leisurely picnic lunch under the trees at the legendary Boschendal wine estate, often photographed as the archetypal Cape wine farm. Finish off the day with a wine tasting at the ultra-chic and modern wine estate, Delaire Graff estate, as you enjoy spectacular views over the vineyards, mountains, and valleys before returning to Cape Town in the late afternoon.

Another full-day option is to stay in the city and take an Architectural Walking Tour where you'll have a chance to discover the fascinating array of colorful, stately, and unique structures all over the city. Throughout the tour, you’ll visit Bo-Kaap, one of Cape Town's most colorful neighborhoods, which is predominantly a Muslim quarter, and home to many of the descendants of slaves brought from Indonesia and Malaysia as a source of labor in the 1700s. Get a fascinating look at homes (and some mosques) painted in vibrant rainbow colors including blues, purples, pinks, yellows, and greens. The tour also includes a visit to the Castle of Good Hope and St. George's Cathedral.

Day 7: Art Studio Tour or Foodie Tour

V&A Waterfront

Today, you'll have another choice between guided tours around Cape Town.

Your first option is the Cape Town Art Tour. This private half-day tour takes guests into the studios of fine artists around Cape Town for a fresh and contemporary look at the local art world. You'll start with a visit to the Stevenson Gallery, one of the top galleries in the city, or maybe the Association for the Visual Arts—it all depends on what is showing. Then you'll meet a local graffiti artist and are hosted for a street art tour in Woodstock and Salt River, the country’s street art capitals, delving deep into the works themselves, public space as gallery space, and the tensions between art, capital, and property. You'll finish with a visit to an artist in his or her studio for insight into their work and the city's art scene as a whole. 

Following the tour, spend the afternoon (on your own) at the V&A Waterfront where you can sample some of the delicacies a the Food Shed, followed by the craft market for beautiful local art, gifts, and jewelry. While there, don't miss a visit to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa—the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world.

Another option for a guided tour is the Cape Town Foodie Tour. With this full-day option, you'll start the morning with a coffee tasting and tour at one of the oldest artisan coffee roasters in South Africa. From here, you'll head to the Company’s Gardens for a walk and some local snack before continuing to Woodstock – a vibrant hidden gem on the outskirts of town for a craft beer, and food pairings. Next you'll give your sweet tooth some attention with a tour of a chocolate factory, complete with tasting and a hot chocolate to follow.

The tour doesn't end here. Next, you'll walk up Bree Street, Cape Town’s coolest strip, coveted by locals and tourists alike. Along the way, you will bite into South Africa’s favorite snack—biltong—before heading off to the iconic and colorful district of Bo Kaap to sample the delights of the Cape’s Eastern traditions, including samosas and koeksisters. Finish the day with a wonderful cheese platter accompanied by one of South Africa's best wines whilst chatting to the cheesemaker. 

Day 8: Depart Cape Town

Take a sunrise walk before your flight

It's time to say goodbye to Cape Town! At the designated time, you'll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Cape Town & Garden Route - 8 Days
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route - 8 Days