Travelling along the Garden Route in South Africa is magic. It was made for motorhomes, where you can experience everything from the iconic Table Mountain to warm, sandy beaches, the Western Cape’s renowned wine farms, fishing villages, museums, small towns, fauna, flora and so much more. All on your own time with an incredible sense of adventure.
Here at Southern Africa Roadtrippers, our expert team have put together a Garden Route tour that will take you on a new adventure every day for nearly 2 weeks. You’re able to do all of this without the hassle and stress of having to arrange the whole thing yourself, and with the added benefit of following our predetermined itinerary or setting your own leisurely pace.
Cape Town | Noordhoek | Hermanus | Arniston | Swellendam | Mossel Bay | Knysna | Stormsrivier | Addo | Oudtshoorn | Montagu | Stellenbosch
Start your trip in Cape Town. This amazing city is considered Africa’s tourism beacon and an absolute must for any traveler venturing to South Africa, a place of unmatched beauty. Within 45-minutes you’ll be in the quaint coastal town of Noordhoek, known for its famous white sandy beach, aptly named Long Beach. Here you can walk along the coastline or choose to ride by horseback. Once you have worked up an appetite, explore the Noordhoek Farm Village or any one of the surrounding area’s fine restaurants for dinner.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Noordhoek
The second leg brings you to Cape Point for more dramatic coastal scenes. Known as the ‘Cape of Storms’ this section of the coastline was feared by sailors for centuries. Take in the area’s unique Fynbos floral kingdom, and you’ll soon understand why Table Mountain National Park has been named a World Heritage Site.
Afterward, you’ll head through the picturesque seaside towns of Simonstown, Kalk Bay, and Muizenberg. Stop for ice cream, you won’t regret it. En route to Hermanus, you’ll undertake one of South Africa’s most scenic drives situated between Gordon’s Bay & the African penguin colony in Betty’s Bay. Stop off in Betty’s Bay for its walking trails, before parking off for the night in Hermanus.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Cape Point
Wine tasting or whale watching? You decide as Hermanus offers both. Try the crisp white wines of the region (minding not to drink and drive) or enjoy the coastal holiday town of Hermanus renowned for whale watching, where you can see the Southern Right Whale and others in their natural habitat.
As you head from Hermanus to Arniston, you will pass the true Southern Tip of Africa inside the L’Agulhas National Park. It features the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse Museum which includes a display of stone-made fish traps that were used hundreds of years ago by the indigenous Khoisan people.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Hermanus
Arniston is a true South African gem. It has been exceptionally preserved and is still a lively fishing village, with traditional fishermen huts, turquoise waters, and white sandy beaches. The whitewashed houses create a picturesque seaside village, and you’re able to explore the traditional communities, giving you insight into their uncomplicated way of life. If the tide is in your favour, you can also explore the caves dotted along the rugged coastline before heading off to Swellendam.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Arniston
Welcome to the historic town of Swellendam, at the foot of the Langeberg mountain, known for its listed Cape Dutch style buildings. Culturally, there is the Drostdy Museum and a selection of art galleries to visit. The town also has its own Faerie Sanctuary, believe it or not. If you want to explore outdoors, you can go river rafting on the Breede River with Felix Unite, visit the Bontebok National Park, Two Feathers Horse Trails or play a round of golf at the Swellendam Golf Course.
After an action-packed day, you’ll welcome settling down for the night in the beachfront caravan resort at Mossel Bay, where you can drift off to sleep to the sound of the ocean.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Swellendam
Mossel Bay is filled with beachfront restaurants, ideal for a leisurely and delicious brunch. Afterward, the Bartholomeu Dias Complex Museum offers with a wealth of information, historical artifacts and a small aquarium for the little ones. There is also a range of hiking trails along Mossel Bay’s rocky cliffs that are perfect for an afternoon walk before you head off to Knysna for the evening.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Mossel Bay
There is a good reason why Knysna is so well known and loved by locals and tourists alike. This busy little town has a wide range of exploratory hiking trails to the Knysna Lagoon, Knysna Heads and Brenton on Sea, with walks on its golden beaches not to be missed.
For the less active, the Knysna Waterfront and water park are ideal for a family day out – as is the highly recommended Knysna Elephant Park, where you are guaranteed a sighting! Alternatively you can explore the Bird Park or Monkey Land.
For the more adventurous, the nearby Bloukrans Bridge hosts one of the world’s best bungee jumps. You’re also able to zipline to the bungee platform. If you can fit it in during Leg 7, do so, but there is also the chance to incorporate it on Leg 8.
Links/Resources: Hikes & activities near Knysna
The highlight of Storms River National Park is most definitely the Tsitsikamma National Park. Filled with cultural sites, jagged cliffs, natural rocky coastlines, ancient Cape indigenous forest and Fynbos as well as rivers and lakes, it is one of South Africa’s most beautiful attractions. There is also a myriad of hikes and walks available in Storms River, or you can put your feet up in your campsite. Like before, it’s on the water’s edge offering incredible views.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Stormsrivier
Addo Elephant Park is world-renowned for good reason. A day in the park will keep you busy with game drives to see the majestic elephants and more, sandboarding or sledding on the coastal dunes, horseback rides, hiking trails or braving a zipline or gorge swing around the area.
When the sun sets, be sure to book a table at the Cattle Baron Steak Restaurant in the National Park. They’re known to cook an excellent steak.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Addo Elephant Park
Oudtshoorn is affectionately known as the ostrich capital of the world. Besides these not-so-elegant flightless birds, this charming Garden Route town is famous for its Karoo hospitality and its ostrich and Karoo lamb focussed cuisine, of course. Just outside Oudtshoorn is a working ostrich farm, where you can meet with the world’s biggest bird in a completely ethical ostrich-based tour.
We recommend doing the Cango Caves’ underground tour, this 20-million-year-old cave system is magnificently beautiful and the biggest cave system in Africa. Or you could take a short trip to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, for your chance to see over 90 species of beautiful animals up close and personal.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Oudtshoorn
After 10 days of exploring and driving, you might need a little break and Montagu is the ideal place to do so. Montagu Hot Springs offers the chance to relax in the hot and cold pools, as well as the hot mineral springs. There is also a dedicated kids pool if you’re travelling with the little ones. The area has a host of restaurants and wine farms to eat, drink and enjoy. What more could you want on a holiday?
Links/Resources: Hikes near Montagu
Stellenbosch is a University town steeped in history. It is home to some of South Africa’s most awarded and celebrated wine farms and is a food destination of note with many of SA’s top restaurants. If there was a day to gorge yourself, this would be it. After a boozy lunch, you could try a chocolate making course, visit the towns many coffee shops and craft breweries, or simply wonder about.
As night falls, the town comes alive with its student inhabitants needing no excuse to party. Stellenbosch has bars, pubs, and nightclubs for you to let loose on your last night.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Stellenbosch
Leg 13 is the final stretch home to Cape Town with just a quick drive to return the vehicle to us. By now, your motorhome is full of stories that will last a lifetime after nearly 2 weeks on the road. Here at Southern Africa Roadtrippers, we think there’s no better way to see Africa than from behind the wheel, and we’re sure that you’d agree.
Links/Resources: Hikes near Cape Town
Everyone at Southern Africa Roadtrippers is a road tripper themselves, so we know the trust you put in us to help you plan your adventure. We hope that you enjoyed your 2 weeks along South Africa’s beautiful Garden Route in one of our motorhomes and that we can plan another tour for you, sometime soon.