5 Day Garden Route Tour
Cape Town to Cape Town
Western Cape and Eastern Cape, South African
Guided Safaris Tours
Day 1 : Cape Town Klein Karoo – Oudtshoorn
A guide from Far and Wild Safaris will collect you in the Cape Town area and drive through the scenic mountain barrier to the Little Karoo and on to Oudtshoorn along "Route 62" arriving late afternoon. The topography offers magnificent scenic landscapes, towering cliffs, crystal clear streams with an abundance indigenous flora. Arguably the longest wine route in the World. Arrive at Oudtshoorn late afternoon, a town that was known as the "Feather capital of the world".
Overnight at the Turnberry Boutique Hotel (or similar). The Turnberry Boutique Hotel is situated in the centre of this picturesque Klein Karoo town. Well appointed air-conditioned bedrooms (satellite television, coffee station and mini bar), each with private bathroom en-suite, double / twin beds. Each room has WiFi.
Day 2 : Oudtshoorn
A visit to the impressive Cango Caves, having amongst the largest stalagmite / stalactites in the World. Some of these limestone formations are colourfully illuminated. They develop as limewater drips from the stones and evaporate leaving a residue. The structures growing down from the cave ceiling are called stalactites, whilst those that grow from the ground tup are known as stalagmites.
On to a working ostrich farm where one can learn more about these fascinating birds. Commercial ostrich farming started during the late 1880's in South Africa; the start of the burgeoning ostrich feather industry, with the Oudtshoorn district quickly being established as the "ostrich capital of the world". A unique feature of the farm experience is a visit to the Ostrich Palace "Welgeluk" which was built at the height of the feather boom in 1910. The homestead is a National Monument and is a superb example of that period's architecture. Lunch will be enjoyed at this farm.
Drive via the scenic Outeniqua Pass to Knysna, overnight Knysna Hollow (or similar). The chalets and rooms are set in lush gardens and have been tastefully decorated with a Knysna forest feel. Room amenities include private bathrooms en suite, television, tea and coffee making facilities and private patios.
Day 3 : Knysna
After breakfast we drive the Swartberg Pass, considered one of the most impressive mountain passes in the world - an untarred road that winds to the summit 1583 meters above sea level with scenic views all the way. The road is reinforced in places with hand-packed stone walls, a characteristic of Thomas Charles Bain's design, a brilliant road engineer of the 19th Century. En route are relics of prisons, tollhouses, and Way stations that bear historic testimony to the past. Often covered with snow in winter, the mountain's microclimate supports fynbos and a rich bird life, in contrast with the arid-zone flora and fauna outside its cool shady kloofs. The Swartberg Pass was declared a National Monument in its Centenary year, 1988. Lunch stop at the town of Prince Albert, then on to Meiringspoort, a deep ravine, through the seemingly impenetrable Swartberg Mountain range. This natural passage forms a convenient link between the Great and Little Karoo. Soaring cliff walls with spectacular rock formations line the 25 km tarred road, which winds along the floor of the gorge, crossing the Groot River 25 times. Please note that this trip is only possible if the Swartberg pass has not been closed. This usually happens when there has been heavy snowfall or very heavy rain, making the road dangerous.
From here we will make our way to Knysna, where we overnight at the Knysna Hollow (or similar). The Garden Chalets and Rooms are set in lush gardens and have been tastefully decorated with a Knysna forest feel. Room amenities include televisions, tea and coffee making facilities and private patios.
Day 4: Knysna
Morning visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, an unforgettable experience on the Knysna Lagoon. Featherbed is a privately-owned, Nature Reserve and a South African Heritage Site, a pristine paradise situated on the Western Head (The 'Knysna Heads' - the grand sandstone cliffs towering above the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon) accessible by ferry only. After driving through the reserve to the top of the Western Head, guests take the optional, 2.2 kilometre guided walk, passing through Milkwood forests onto steep sandstone cliffs, into ancient Khoi Khoi sea caves then along a scenic coastal path, fringed with Cape fynbos. On the coastal walk back, you can often see African Black Oystercatcher, a rare coastal bird in South Africa. Featherbed Nature Reserve has a breeding program for the rare Blue Duiker - (one of the smallest antelope species in the world) - the colourful Knysna Turaco and the endangered Knysna Sea Horse.
Lunch at The Forest Restaurant, on the edge of the Lagoon, under a canopy of Milkwood trees.
Balance of the afternoon at leisure, stroll around the town or the interesting Knysna Waterfront for some shopping or relaxation.
Day 5 : Cape Town
Drive to Mossel Bay, visit the Diaz Museum. The museum grounds are situated on the Indian Ocean, at the very site where European explorers came ashore and made contact with the indigenous people. Information about the Khoi-Khoi and explorers can be seen in the Maritime Museum. After our museum visit we make our way back to Cape Town - tour ends.