Best of South Africa's Garden Route

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Garden Route
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Garden Route Essentials

Garden Route coastline
How Many Days to Spend on the Garden Route

The approximately 250 mile (400 km) stretch of coastline from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Jeffreys Bay boasts a remarkable kaleidoscope of topography, vegetation, and outdoor activities. This area provides as complete an experience as the country can offer, including Cape Town, wine tasting in Cape Winelands, Oudtshoorn (with its abundance of ostriches), nearby game parks, and even cage diving with great white sharks. The information below will help you plan an appropriate itinerary for your schedule and interests.

Dare to cross the Storms River Suspension Bridge in Tsitsikamma National Park, Garden Route, South Africa
Best Time of Year to Drive the Garden Route

Driving South Africa's famed Garden Route is suitable in any season; though there is always a chance of rain, it's never enough to discourage a road trip or adventure outdoors. Let your interests determine when you hit the road. If you want to see whales, come in the winter, spring for the wildflowers, summer for the beaches, and fall for hiking. Awaiting exploration at any time, the Garden Route offers something for everyone.

Garden Route Itineraries

An aerial view over Cape Town
Map of Highlights of South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Safari - 10 Days
Highlights of South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Safari - 10 Days

This itinerary will start in Cape Town, where you will have a few days to explore the culturally-rich and scenic city, including a visit to Robben Island as well as a cable car ride up to Table Mountain.  You will then drive through the Cape to the quaint town, Caledon, before exploring the Klein Karoo and spending a night in Oudtshoorn. Over the next few days, you will discover the famous Garden Route while staying in Knysna before heading to Amakhala Game Reserve for two days of safari.

Bloukran's Bridge
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 10 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 10 Days

Spend 10 days taking in the Western Cape with this trip plan. You'll explore Cape Town and see Table Mountain from both a distant beach and right under your feet, sample the wines of Stellenbosch, and dive into a great white cage encounter before you hit the road on the Garden Route for canoeing, hiking, animal encounters, and more.

Chapman's Peak outside of Cape Town
Map of Scenic South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town & Garden Route - 13 Days
Scenic South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town & Garden Route - 13 Days

Spend 13 days in South Africa enjoying the highlights of Cape Town, plus a jaunt through wine country and down to the Cape of Good Hope. You'll then embark on an epic road trip along the Garden Route, one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. Stop in national parks, visit charming towns, hit the waves in surf towns—you'll even have time to search for the "Big Five" on multiple safari game drives.

Elephants on parade in South Africa
Map of Garden Route and "Big 5" Tour - 8 Days
Garden Route and "Big 5" Tour - 8 Days

Get ready for the road trip of a lifetime!  Explore the Western Cape, Little Karoo, Whale Route, Addo Elephant National Park, and more. Ride down Africa's largest dune on a sandboard, explore Wilderness National Park in a canoe, relax and shop in Cape Town, and jump from the world's highest bungee bridge (if you dare!).

Tsitsikamma National Park
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 11 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 11 Days

Eleven days will allow you to encounter many of the highlights of the Western Cape with this itinerary. You'll start off in Cape Town with scenic city tours, wine tastings, and a shark dive before you set out on the Garden Route. This classic road trip will wind you through wilderness, wildlife, and more wine before loop back to Cape Town to depart.

Check out the towns on the Garden Route
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 12 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 12 Days

Combine a city break and a classic road trip with this 12-day itinerary. Stroll through Cape Town's many attractions, whether on sandy Bloubergstrand Beach or the shops of the V&A Waterfront, before you duck under the vines of the Winelands' vineyards. Then get in your car for a drive filled with whale-watching, wildlife, and more.

Knysna's turaco
Map of South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 14 Days
South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 14 Days

Travel for two weeks through a tapestry of the Cape Town region's attractions with this trip plan. You'll start with Cape Town itself as your base for day trips into the Winelands and out to the Cape of Good Hope, then drive off through smaller cities and towns. Visit animal sanctuaries, ancient caves, national parks, and more before ending your trip with a classic safari.

A road in the Western Cape, South Africa
Map of South Africa Self-Drive Tour - 11 Days
South Africa Self-Drive Tour - 11 Days

This stunning road-trip itinerary encompasses urban sophistication, a wildlife safari, and one of the country's best wine regions—all in the span of 11 days. Kick off in Cape Town, where you'll have four days to explore the city's culture and hiking trails. From here, drive to a beautiful private game reserve that is home to the Big Five. Finish in the Franschhoek Valley to see some of the best wine estates and gardens in South  Africa.

Young family running down rocky mountain trail in South Africa
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 14 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 14 Days

Sharks can give birth to up to 100 pups at once, so if your child asks to pet the pups on this itinerary, make sure you know what kind they're referring to. Learn about all sorts of small fry on this two-week trip through South Africa as you go from atop Table Mountain and pirate ship rigging in Cape Town to the farms and vineyards of the Winelands, followed by marine tours, cave excursions, swinging bridges, and safaris.

Tsitsikamma National Park
Map of South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 15 Days
South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 15 Days

Take yourself through some of the Cape Town's top spots with this 15-day road trip. Your trip begins with five days in Cape Town itself and its neighboring attractions, including the Cape of Good Hope, Table Mountain, and historic Robben Island. Then you'll get in your car and head to the relaxed town of Greyton, caves and animal reserves of Oudtshoorn, and Tsitsikamma National Park and the famed lagoon of Knysna, before you conclude with a safari in the Eastern Cape.

Cape White-Eye Bird
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 13 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 13 Days

Thirteen days through the Western Cape will thrill you with all that this region has to offer. Your trip begins in Cape Town, where you can enjoy views from on the shore, atop Table Mountain, and amidst the city streets. Venture into the vineyards of the Winelands and rocky coasts of Hermanus before you embark on a Garden Route drive that will bring you from one of the world's highest bungee jumps down into glittering caves, and so much more.

View over coastal Knysna and the scenic Garden Route, South Africa
Map of Coastal South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route & Big Five Tour - 7 Days
Coastal South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route & Big Five Tour - 7 Days

Discover some of the most beautiful coastal views of South Africa on this weeklong journey that hugs the shores. Start in Cape Town, where you'll explore the city's highlights before venturing on an epic ocean drive. Meander along the famous Route 62 for expansive mountain range vistas. Visit national parks and coastal villages along the Garden Route, which runs from the west to the Eastern Cape. Finish your trip in search of the "Big Five" with a safari game drive in Addo Elephant National Park.

Cape Town
Map of Coastal South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route & Eastern Cape Safari - 13 Days
Coastal South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route & Eastern Cape Safari - 13 Days

This epic 13-day itinerary delivers the best of South Africa's southern coast by combining city tours, wine tastings, road trips, and safari drives. First, enjoy history walks around Cape Town, tours in the Winelands, and trips to the Cape Peninsula to walk with penguins. Then hit the road for nature tours and beach time along the famous Garden Route before finishing strong with a true African safari in a private game reserve.

Close-up of male ostrich in Little Karoo
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 14 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 14 Days

Take a two-week adventure from one of the world's highest bungee jumps down into a cage next to a great white shark with this trip plan. Start on Table Mountain in Cape Town, followed by a culinary tour, treetop walkway, and wine tastings. Once you get onto the Garden Route, you'll make your way around canoeing through lagoons, hiking in national parks, and spelunking through caves.

A view of Johannesburg's skyline
Map of Authentic South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, Safari, and Johannesburg - 15 Days
Authentic South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, Safari, and Johannesburg - 15 Days

Over two weeks, you'll do everything from touring Cape Town's top tourist destinations to eating lunch in a local tavern in the township of Soweto. The trip will start with five days discovering the best spots in Cape Town and its vibrant city life before flying to the Eastern Cape where you'll spend four days in Knysna and Jeffreys Bay exploring the Garden Route. For two days, you'll get up close with the big five while staying in a tented camp in Manyeleti Game Reserve before heading to South Africa's commercial capital, Johannesburg, where you'll have a full city tour.

Declare yourself king of the rock
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 15 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 15 Days

While parenting can feel like an extreme sport at times, you can really get your adrenaline up on this 15-day itinerary. Warm up with a hike or cable car ride up Table Mountain and some beach time in Cape Town before you get on the road and follow the Garden Route to adventures like ziplines, a shark encounter, sandboard rides down one of the world's largest dunes, and safari drives.

We have got to stop meeting like this
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 16 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 16 Days

Despite their dramatic size difference, the elephant's closest living relative is the hyrax. See if you can spot both elephants and their cousins as you take your own family on this 16-day adventure that will take you from up in the trees of Kirstenbosch Garden, onto the cliffs of Cape Point, out to sea for marine wildlife sightings, down into caves, and into safari grasslands, just to name a few, to take in landscapes as varied as your family.

Cape Asparagus
Map of South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 12 Days
South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 12 Days

Taste 12 days of South African traditions on this tour that combines education and eateries. Whether you're making your way through the streets of Cape Town to relevant restaurants in the city's history, sipping wine and shucking oysters along the Garden Route, or trading tales around the barbecue in Johannesburg's Soweto township, you'll stimulate both your taste buds and your brain.

Royal Natal National Park in the Drakensberg Mountains
Map of Country of Contrasts Road Trip: Cape Town, Garden Route, Wild Coast, Kruger National Park & More - 21 Days
Country of Contrasts Road Trip: Cape Town, Garden Route, Wild Coast, Kruger National Park & More - 21 Days

South Africa contains multitudes—of people, landscapes, wildlife, cultures, and more. With three weeks to explore, you'll travel through the highlights of contemporary Cape Town, visit the beach towns of the Wild Coast, experience the animal attractions of Addo Elephant National Park and Kruger National Park, and traverse highs and lows from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Cango Caves. Along the way, you'll gain insight into the country's complex history and ecosystems with the help of local experts and experienced guides.

Cape Town, South Africa
From South Africa to Zimbabwe - Cape Town, Knysna, Victoria Falls - 13 Days

Perfect for those wishing to explore the best of South Africa, this 2-week tour includes some of the country's most popular regions, including a luxury stay with 5-star, private safaris. Start in Cape Town exploring its impeccable coastline, penguin colony, and Table Mountain, before renting a car and heading into the famous wine country. Sip world-renowned wines, go cave spelunking, visit an ostrich farm, and try the country's best oysters before heading north to Zimbabwe to hike Victoria Falls and view elephants.

Bean curry with dried fruits
Map of South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 9 Days
South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 9 Days

Nibble on nine days of nom with this South Africa culinary outing. You'll start strolling the colorful streets of Cape Town, enjoying the farms of Elgin, and exploring the flavors of the Garden Route before you head to Johannesburg to learn about the history of the Soweto Township and Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site alongside interactive dining experiences.

The basis of bobotie
Map of South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 13 Days
South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 13 Days

Follow your nose for 13 days of South African gastronomy with this itinerary. Start with three days amid the city streets and spices of Cape Town, then go along the Garden Route to encounter Elgin's farms and markets followed by the shores of the Knysna Lagoon and Tsitsikamma National Park.  End your trip around the campfire and dining on a platform above the skyline of Johannesburg.

Colorful Cape Town
Map of South Africa Highlights: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 9 Days
South Africa Highlights: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 9 Days

Explore the magic of South Africa on this nine-day, self-drive adventure. Start in Cape Town, where you'll take a cable car up Table Mountain and visit penguins on Boulders Beach. Then, it's off to the seaside town of Mossel Bay for a guided safari and close encounters with wildlife like zebras, elephants, and rhinos. Hop a flight to the beaches of Durban for some swimming and surfing, then finish your trip in St Lucia, where you'll cruise the St Lucia Estuary and see the hippos and crocodiles that live there.

Completed bobotie
Map of South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 14 Days
South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 14 Days

For two weeks, you can try out a thorough selection of South Africa's most typical tastes with. this trip plan. Whether you're winding your way through the Winelands, circling the stalls in the Elgin Railway Market, or relaxing on the shores of the Knysna Lagoon, you'll be educating both your mind and palate. Follow that with five days in Johannesburg that will take you from down in the Sterkfontein Caves to a dinner on a floating platform above the city.

A lion at Kruger National Park
Map of South Africa Wildlife Road Trip - 10 Days
South Africa Wildlife Road Trip - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary is the ultimate introduction to South Africa for animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Start your adventure with two nights in Kruger National Park followed by a self-drive tour from the Eastern Cape through the Garden Route and all the way to Cape Town while seeing members of the Big Five, as well as ostriches, penguins, meerkats, and a range of marine life off the South Atlantic Coast.

Gather 'round the braai
Map of South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 10 Days
South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 10 Days

Take ten days to tease your taste buds on this trip through South Africa's treats. You'll start with three days in Cape Town to walk the city streets on a guided food tour and visit the Winelands, then stop in the smaller towns of Elgin and Knsyna to explore their farm-to-table scenes. End your trip around the bonfire in Johannesburg with storytelling and barbecue-style dining.

Sunset over Clifton Beach, Cape Town
Map of Self-Drive Tour of South Africa's Coast: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 10 Days
Self-Drive Tour of South Africa's Coast: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 10 Days

From bustling Cape Town to secluded St Lucia, you'll see the best that South Africa's Atlantic and Indian coasts have to offer on this 10-day self-drive itinerary. Experience golden beaches in Durban, take in stunning views from atop Table Mountain, and come face to face with hippos and crocodiles in iSimangaliso Wetland Park as you create lasting memories on this South African adventure.

Bobotie with rice
Map of South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 15 Days
South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Johannesburg - 15 Days

Sample 15 days worth of South Africa's savoriest spots with this itinerary. You'll start in Cape Town, with four days to explore from the treetops of Kirstenbosch to the colorful streets of Bo Kaap and vines of the Winelands, then head out on the Garden Route to explore Elgin's farms and Knysna's waterfront cooking. Conclude with five nights in Johannesburg, where you'll follow the full timeline of South African history from the Cradle of Humankind, to a barbecue in Soweto, through a modern dinner in a former power station.

Spot elephants on your South African safari
Map of 10 Days in South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route & Safari
10 Days in South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route & Safari

This tour takes you from the sights of Cape Town to the lush Overberg, followed by an exceptional safari experience. Enjoy some of South Africa's most sought-after destinations across the diverse Western and Eastern Cape Provinces.

Indulge in an oyster feast in Knysna
Map of South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route & Johannesburg - 11 Days
South Africa Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Garden Route & Johannesburg - 11 Days

Experience 11 days of edible education with this South Africa itinerary. You'll learn about the history of Cape Town via a food tour, followed by lessons in wine appreciation, salt curing, and oyster tasting along the Garden Route. Continue the curriculum in Johannesburg with dinner and storytelling around a fire, a cast-iron cooking class, and more—all complete with samples.

Table Mountain at sunset
South Africa Photography Adventure: Cape Town, Garden Route & Cango Caves - 7 Days

"Chase the light" as you explore mesmerizing mountains, rivers, coastlines, and plateaus across the Western and Eastern Capes in South Africa. Flexible for all budgets and skill levels, photographers will explore the shadows of Cape Town's colorful neighborhoods, capture stunning sunrises atop Table Mountain, and cruise the Stanford River in search of glistening sunbeams. End your trip by heading east along the coastal Garden Route for even more photographic scenes of nature and wildlife, including rare rhinos and meerkats in their natural habitats.

Campus Bay in Cape Town, South Africa
Map of Cape Town, Franschhoek & Garden Route - 14 Days
Cape Town, Franschhoek & Garden Route - 14 Days

Go whale watching, shark diving, wine tasting, meerkat spotting, ocean kayaking, and so much more on this fantastic two-week tour of South Africa. Kick things off in Cape Town with the best food, art, and history experiences, get up close with nature on a drive along the famously scenic Garden Route, and end your adventure with a ride through the vineyards on the famous wine tram of Franschhoek.

Other popular travel destinations in South Africa
Cape Town · Western Cape · Cape Winelands · Kruger National Park · Johannesburg · Eastern Cape