Experience The Garden Route
Stretching along the southern coast of South Africa, spanning the cities of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, is the spectacular Garden Route. Offering a stunning incentive group experience with a difference, the Garden Route is best enjoyed as an incredible road trip in chartered luxury coaches. The Garden Route is so-named for the exceptional beauty of its diverse landscapes. It takes in the evocativeness of the semi-arid Klein Karoo, the rugged blue-tinged mountain ranges, verdant coastal forests, sparkling lagoons, lush gorges, hidden coves as well as long stretches of golden, sandy Indian Ocean beaches. Many of South Africa’s most popular holiday towns are dotted along the Garden Route making frequent leisurely sightseeing stops and quality stay-overs possible in scenic and fascinating places. There’s a wide range of activities and adventures on offer; from wine-tasting to whale-watching, from adrenalin-charged escapades to golfing on championship courses, from marine cruises and fishing to breath-taking forest and mountain walks. Guests can enjoy gourmet foods and the best South African wines, excellent accommodation and interesting shopping.
- Stretching along the southern coast of South Africa, spanning the cities of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth
- Exceptional beauty of its diverse landscapes
- Best enjoyed as an incredible road trip in chartered luxury coaches
What to Do
Safari at the unique Sanbona Game Reserve
In the heart of the picturesque Klein Karoo lies the expansive Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, a haven for Africa’s Big 5 game and much more. Guests will be accommodated in secluded luxury safari lodges in exquisite settings. They can enjoy early morning and late afternoon game-watching from open-vehicles with the chance to see rare white lions, San rock art expeditions, classic Karoo high teas and relaxing around their own private plunge pools.
Taste the famous wild and farmed Knysna Oysters
Situated on the sparkling expanse of the Knysna Lagoon with its majestic Knysna Heads leading to the sea, this top holiday town is famous for its cultivation and harvesting of oysters. Home to an annual Oyster Festival, and offering numerous oyster tours, tastings and activities, Knysna has a keen focus on this culinary delight, which is complemented so perfectly by South Africa’s excellent bottle-fermented bubbly, Cap Classique.
Experience Nature’s Bounty and Beauty in Knysna
Cruise on the Knysna lagoon to the private Featherbed Nature Reserve, situated on the Western bluff of the towering Knysna Heads. Experience a drive up to the top of the cliff, stopping at spectacular view sites. On the walk down, through rare coastal forest and fynbos, your specialist guide provides fascinating insights into the unique flora and fauna of this highly sensitive eco-system. Enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch at an outdoor restaurant under the Milkwood trees.
Shop ‘til you drop on Knysna’s Thesen Islands’ Harbour Town
Set in the historic buildings of Knysna’s Thesen Islands, Harbour Town is a commercial village boasting an eclectic mix of fine restaurants, coffee-shops, world-famous bakeries, art galleries, boutiques and lifestyle stores. Guests have wide range of sophisticated choices to leisurely explore and enjoy.
Indulge in a Knysna Waterfront Drydock dinner
Enjoy a fresh seafood feast and tantalizing salads, accompanied by fine wine and followed by sinful deserts in the idyllic setting of the Knsyna Lagoon. The Drydock Food Company serves fusion cuisine in an atmosphere of international elegance, inside or out on the enormous deck overlooking the glamorous Knsyna yacht basin.
Spot dolphins and other marine life on a sea cruise
Early Portuguese sea-farers called Plettenberg Bay ‘Formosa’, meaning beautiful, and in every way the stunning golden, curving bay, with its striking Robberg Peninsula and attractive holiday town, lives up to that name. Guests can enjoy an exclusive and environmentally-sensitive whale and dolphin ocean cruise with the opportunities to also see Cape Fur Seals, sharks, a variety of seabirds and other fascinating marine life.
Walk amongst exotic birds and primates at Birds of Eden and Monkeyland
Guests will enjoy a guided walking tour through two of Plettenberg Bay’s finest animal sanctuaries. More than 450 primates roam Monkeyland’s forest, including gibbons, several species of monkeys, two species of langurs and three species of lemurs. Experienced rangers will share their knowledge as guests wander through Birds of Eden, the largest single dome free-flight aviary in the world. This forested sanctuary is home to over 3,500 birds of around 220 species offering fantastic photo opportunities.
Relish fine wine and food at the most easterly boutique Wine Estate
The boutique wine estate, Bramon Wines holds the distinction of being the most far-eastern winery in the famous Western Cape Winelands. Guests can enjoy an elegant wine-tasting and a sumptuous lunch at Bramon’s fine restaurant set in the vineyards and overlooking the Tsitsikamma mountains. This is a mouth-watering culinary experience that includes pairing the estate’s fine wines and Cap Classique with cheeses, oysters, meats, patés and freshly baked homemade breads.
Rejuvenate body and mind at the Fancourt Hotel and Spa outside George
The Fancourt Hotel & Spa is an oasis of pampering and pleasure in a tranquil setting just outside George, the main town on the Garden Route. The luxurious Fancourt Spa offers inspired treatments derived from Air, Water, Fire and Earth rituals from around the world. Guests can unwind and enjoy hot stone massages, swimming in the heated Roman Bath, the steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and tepidarium.
Tee off on the championship Fancourt Golf Course
Fancourt Hotel & Spa is one of South Africa’s premier golf resorts, with three top-ranked, Gary Player-designed courses that are host to championship tournaments. Fancourt’s The Links, Outeniqua and Montagu golf courses boast the finest 18-hole parkland layouts in the country. Sculpted and finished with rare attention to detail, a round of golf at any level on these courses is a special experience.
Tour an authentic, working ostrich farm in Oudsthoorn
The towering Outeniqua Mountains separate the lush coast of the Garden Route from the sweeping, semi-arid Klein Karoo. The town of Oudsthoorn and its surrounds are famous for a long heritage of ostrich farming. Guests can enjoy a guided tour of a working farm, learning more about the fascinating history, and getting up close and personal to the largest birds on the planet.
Explore the 20 million year old Cango Caves
Guests can visit South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction for an expertly guided tour of the ancient Cango Caves, an extraordinary system of chambers cut deep into the limestone layer of the Swartberg Mountains. An accredited guide will bring the fascinating stories of the history and geology of the caves to life as guests wander awestruck through the finest dripstone caverns with their vast halls and towering stalagmite and stalactite formations.
Where to Stay
Tsala Treetop Lodge
Set in the heart of the Garden Route, Tsala is a hideaway among the trees for guests who appreciate exclusivity, romance and adventure. Perched above a lush, whispering forest that stretches for kilometres over rolling hills and valleys, Tsala offers a sanctuary from the stresses of modern life. The elaborate afro-baroque décor is inspired by the diverse cultures of Africa, incorporating all the luxuries you’d expect from a Hunter Hotels property including private infinity pools in all suites and villas. From a hidden wine cellar to fine dining high above the forest floor,More information
Conrad Pezula Resort and Spa
Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa is an exclusive getaway set between the ancient indigenous forests, secluded beaches and rugged seaside cliffs of Knysna. While natural beauty abounds on the estate, the cosmopolitan town center is just a few minutes away by car. Inside the resort itself, there are swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), a stunning gym and spa, as well as an 18-hole championship golf course. Other features include guided forest walks, hiking, canoeing, horse riding and several dining experiences, from starlit braais in the Boma to fine dining at Zachary’s.
Turbine Hotel and Spa, Thesen Islands, Knysna
This exceptional boutique 5-star hotel offers guests an extra special experience. Situated in an extraordinarily transformed old power station and surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Knysna Lagoon, the hotel offers spacious accommodation with all modern amenities as well as trendy bars, superb restaurants, a pool and Spa.More information
Fancourt Hotel and Spa, George
The Fancourt Hotel masters a fine blend of modern luxury and classic elegance with fully equipped suites that cater for every comfort. Guests can enjoy the wide range of outdoor and sports activities including golf, mountain-biking, hiking, fishing, tennis, volleyball and swimming. Fancourt offers a range of dining experience in three casual dining venues as well as the elegant and discerning Henry White’s restaurant.More information
The elegant Kanonkop House is an award-winning luxury boutique hotel that offers relaxed accommodation in a private forest a mere five minutes’ drive from Knysna. The hotel offers panoramic views of the surrounding eco-wonderland that includes an immense tidal lagoon, magnificent beaches and the giant sandstone cliffs known as the ‘Knysna Heads’. Leisure facilities include: a swimming pool, sundeck, outdoor lounge, terrace and bar. The food is always excellent and the service is always personal and friendly, ensuring that each and every guest feels completely at home.More information
St James of Knysna, Knysna
The St. James of Knysna is an exclusive, 5- star Country House Hotel situated on the shores of the famous Knysna Lagoon. The luxuriously-appointed accommodations offer spectacular views across this peaceful lagoon to the dramatic Knysna Heads, or over the magnificent 3-acre gardens. The hotel boasts a superb dining room and a well-stocked wine cellar. Country style breakfasts, light lunches, teas and snacks are also served on the various patios and terraces.More information
Views Boutique Hotel, Wilderness
Set high on the coastal ridge of the Wilderness, Views Boutique Hotel is the only luxury hotel offering accommodation with vistas overlooking the spectacular, long beach. Sumptuous cuisine complemented by an extensive wine list is served in the sophisticated Sails and Views restaurants. Amidst unabashed luxury and indulgence, guests are accommodated spacious and splendid 5-star suites. Other exceptional facilities include the spa and gym, the private Pool and Cocktails Decks, the Seaview and Library Lounges.
Rosenhof Country House, Oudtshoorn
The beautifully renovated, centuries-old homestead with its yellowwood beams and ceilings and a tasteful collection of antique furniture, exudes an aura of country elegance and sophistication. Situated on the outskirts of the town, it is in close promixity to Oudtshoorn’s main attractions such as the Cango Caves and Ostrich Farms. Stylishly decorated bedrooms, each individually furnished, lead out into the lovely rose garden, which gave Rosenhof its name. Guests can enjoy the welcoming pub and several luxury lounges with fireplaces where they can relax and admire works from well-known South African artists.More information
Pearl of Oudtshoorn, Oudtshoorn
The Pearl of Oudtshoorn is set against the backdrop of the mountainous splendor of Oudtshoorn, between the Outeniqua and Swartberg mountain ranges. Accommodation is in well-appointed, en suite rooms that overlook the sparking swimming pool. Guests can enjoy sumptuous traditional and international cuisine at the Garden Buffet and Grill and relax in old-world style Bar. They can also experience an authentic Boma dinner under the expanse of the star-studded African night-sky.
Hlangana Lodge, Oudtshoorn
Situated just outside of Oudtshoorn, within walking distance of the some of the town’s finest restaurants, Hlangana Lodge is a pretty guest house set in a picturesque garden with a sparkling swimming pool. The attractive and comfortable en suite rooms offer all modern amenities and lead out onto a deep, tranquil veranda with refreshing garden views. Hlangana Lodge is committed to responsible tourism and provides a high level of caring, attentive service.
The Plettenberg Hotel, Plettenberg Bay
In the idyllic beach town of Plettenberg Bay you will find an outstanding hotel in a spectacular ocean, mountain and beach setting – The Plettenberg. Situated on a rocky headland in the heart of Plettenberg Bay, this property affords spectacular vistas of its surroundings. The hotel offers terrific service and excellent fine food and wines. At SeaFood at The Plettenberg restaurant, look forward to local seafood and seasonal produce dishes, and lounge in style at the contemporary The Sandbar cocktail bar and lounge.More information
Kurland, Plettenberg Bay
This unique Cape-Dutch style hotel is an exclusive hideaway on a 700 hectare private estate near Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley. This is a place where old-world charm meets modern sophistication, where people take the time to indulge in characterful, fine cuisine and true hospitality. Take in mountain views and countryside charm whilst enjoying the beach and warm Indian Ocean waters. The hotel even has its own polo club! Private and classy accommodation is in Elegant Suites, Luxury Suites, Superior Suites, and the Kurland Villa.
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