Cape Town Family Holiday Magic

Garden Route Suggested Itinerary
a la Ali

Planning your Garden Route itinerary depends what you interests are.
Hiking - Wildlife - Golf - Adventure... ?

garden route photos

For me, a Garden Route suggested itinerary from Cape Town will usually include Route 62. The two are a great combination because they make an excellent circular route and let you enjoy two completely different types of terrain.

There are also a number of safari options along the two routes, which means you can combine Cape Town, the Garden Route and a safari experience in one holiday. You just need to allow yourself enough time to do it without feeling rushed!

Another excellent choice is to fly into Cape Town and out of Port Elizabeth (or vice versa). This allows you to visit Cape Town, drive Route 62, link with the Garden Route at George and then finish with safari at Addo Elephant Park.

Garden Route Suggested Itinerary - how long do you need?

Ideally, you need 2 weeks to begin to do justice to this trip. Not less than 10 days for sure, else you'll be rushing and you'd be better off setting your sights on doing less but more thoroughly.

Use my Garden Route map , things to do list and accommodation guide (I always prefer a personal recommendation if possible, don't you?) and decide which towns you want to spend your nights in.

As you can see below, between Wilderness and Storms River the towns are pretty close together and driving between them is simple. The only bottleneck en route is Knysna and you'll probably want to spend at least one night there anyway.

Some people may like to spend a night in each town. Other prefer to settle for a couple of nights in the same bed. Juggle it according to your preference, but split your time reasonably evenly along the route and see what suits you best.

There are certain towns along the Garden Route that are particularly magnetic. I'll tell you which ones and why...

  • Wilderness - lovely short forest hikes from Ebb and Flow restcamp
  • Sedgefield - Wild Oats Farmers' Market (only Saturday mornings), Swartvlei Lagoon and walks to Gericke's Point at the end of Swartvlei beach
  • Knysna - the Featherbed Reserve trip and diving the Paquita wreck at the Heads
  • Plettenberg Bay - schools of dolphins (all year round) and whales in season (May to November)
  • Nature's Valley - the long, long beach, the lagoon, the away-from-it-all feeling
  • Storm's River Mouth - the dramatic coastal scenery, the forest walk to the mouth, the boat trip up the river

GArden Route Suggested Itinerary

Here are the distances and driving times between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

TownsDistancesOur quick crib-notes
(not exhaustive!)
Cape Town to Mossel Bay360km3 1/2 hours drive on the N2, include extra time for a tea or lunch stop!
Mossel Bay to George67kmpassing Hartenbos and Groot Brak Rivier - aloes everywhere!
George to Wilderness 30kmKaaimans River and Dolphin Point - beautiful, but watch for speed traps!
Wilderness to Sedgefield23kmThis is where you'll find the lakes...
Sedgefield to Knysna30kmGroenvlei on the right, then Karatara up to your left...
Knysna to Plettenberg Bay14kminteresting farm and craft stalls, the Harkerville hikes and MTB trails, Big Tree
Plettenberg Bay to Nature's Valley34kmOld Nick farm stall, the Crags, Monkeyland, the Wolf and Elephant sanctuaries. You have to turn off the N2 to get to Nature's Valley
Nature's Valley to Storm's River Mouth34kmDrive the rest of the old pass, don't hurry back onto the N2!

You may find the following related pages helpful:
Garden Route South Africa
Garden Route Accommodation
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