Garden Route Meander Tour

Garden Route Meander Tour

Day 1 Tuesday:

Depart Cape Town at about 08h15 and head north over the spectacular Du Toit’s Kloof Mountain pass en route to Worcester. From Worcester we continue along the R62 (Route 62 is the longest wine route in the world) through Montagu. We stop for a wine tasting and delicious lunch. In the afternoon we travel through the Little Karoo. Changing scenery from lush farmland to semi-desert areas make this a day full of surprises.

A warm welcome awaits us from the staff of the 3* Protea Hotel by Marriott Oudtshoorn Riempie Estate Hotel (or similar), where we arrive in the late afternoon for our overnight stop. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world. Ostriches are found in great numbers and the region produces the best feathers, leather products and ostrich meat worldwide. But the world’s biggest bird is just one of the many attractions in this area of interesting contrasts.

This small town is the commercial hub of the greater Klein Karoo region (encompassing Prince Albert, De Rust and Calitzdorp) and is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains

Day 2 Wednesday:

Awake the next day to the freshness of the Karoo air. After a good breakfast we visit the world famous Cango Caves where we take a fascinating guided tour lasting over an hour. From the caves we travel to the Cango Wildlife Ranch (Crocodile and Cheetah farm) to learn more about frightening reptiles and other beautiful animals. Hear the awesome stories from the guide as we tour the farm with a chance to view cheetah, tiger, lion, puma, and jaguar. A short drive to the other end of Oudtshoorn brings us to Ostrich country and lunch at an ostrich farm. Today’s lunch – yes, you guessed it, includes optional ostrich delicacies. We’ll listen to the restaurant staff as they serenade us during lunch. After all this, the tour of the farm begins. We head down to the fields, where you will have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about ostriches. You’ll also learn more about the breeding habits and of the bygone days, when Oudtshoorn was in the midsts of the 1920’s ostrich feather boom.

The late afternoon takes us over the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna. Here for the first time one can understand why this area is known as the Garden Route. As you drive over the summit of the pass, lush green vegetation awaits you. We’ll take a drive to the spectacular Knysna Heads where the ocean surges through the two sea cliffs to enter the magnificent lagoon. Get your camera ready!

Our hotel tonight is the 4* Blackwaters River Lodge (or similar). Situated high on the hills above Knysna, you’ll enjoy dramatic, sweeping views of the Knysna Valley and Knysna Estuary to the Knysna Heads.

Day 3 Thursday:

The morning gives us some time to enjoy the quaint village of Knysna and we have a bit of free time in the Knysna Waterfront to take photos and shop for souvenirs, or to sit and absorb the beauty of the magnificent lagoon and the unique surroundings. At 10h00 we depart for Featherbed Private Nature Reserve on a guided boat trip (subject to weather conditions and boat sailing). You’ll be thrilled by the spectacular views of the Knysna Heads from the placid waters of the Knysna Lagoon. The sandstone cliffs rise out of the water revealing sea caves along the forested banks of the lagoon. You’ll find out all about the magnificent flora and fauna from your specialist guide before enjoying a delicious buffet lunch at the outdoor restaurant under a canopy of Milkwood trees.

In the late afternoon we will make our way to Mossel Bay where we visit to the Post Office Tree and Diaz museum where early pioneers left mail for the homebound ships to Europe. We spend a leisurely afternoon at the swimming pool or stroll along the beach before enjoying dinner, and overnight at the 4* Protea Hotel by Marriott Mossel Bay (or similar).

Day 4 Friday:

The next morning, we visit Botlierskop Private Game reserve where we have breakfast before departing on a game drive. Experience close encounters with Rhinoceros, Lion, Buffalo, and Giraffe, rare Black Impala and many other species on an exhilarating three-hour guided game viewing drive in an open vehicle on the 3000-hectare reserve. From the reserve we travel via rolling hills to historic Swellendam. The town was founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1745 to exercise control over independent frontiersmen who migrated over the Hottentots Holland Mountains at the beginning of the 18th century. The district and town were named after the reigning Governor of the Cape, Hendrik Swellengrebel, and his wife, Helena Ten Damme. In time, a village was established and Swellendam became the last outpost of civilization on the eastern frontier. Our lunch today is at a restaurant in Swellendam (La Belle Alliance). We stop at one of the local Farm stalls before continuing the scenic route back to Cape Town.

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