Garden Route
Fly Drive


This is probably the area that most first time visitors to South Africa enjoy. Arriving at Cape Town, which is the natural starting point for this tour, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy the Garden Route and its coastal scenery, together with the hinterland. Our Garden Route fly drive is best described as an outline plan for your holiday. Although it has proven highly suitable as it is written, for many of our clients we can tailor it to fit your individual needs.
South Africa Holidays BrochureGarden Route Fly Drive Itinerary

Day 1 - Southbound

Fly overnight from the UK to arrive in Cape Town the next morning.

Day 2 - Arrive in Cape Town

You will be met at Cape Town airport and pick up your rental car and final documents before driving to your hotel. The rest of the day to enjoy Cape Town.

Day 3 - Discover Cape Town

Overlooked by Table Mountain, there is much to see and do in Cape Town. Great beaches, colourful markets, historic castle and Robben Island. We include the open top bus tour in your fly drive, allowing you to easily see all that Cape Town has to offer. Overnight Cape Town.

Day 4 - Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope

Drive to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope through numerous bays and small townships. On your return to Cape Town, visit the Cape penguin colony at Boulders. Experience the restaurants and shopping at the V & A Waterfront. Overnight Cape Town.

Day 5 - Wine and Mountain Passes

A short drive from Cape Town you enter the winelands, world famous for the production of South Africa’s fine wines, ports and brandies. Towns such as Paarl, Stellenbosh and Franschhoek will be familiar to those who enjoy South Africa’s fine wines. Magnificent rolling farmlands stretch for miles. Overnight Oudtshoorn area.

Day 6 - Ostrich and Caves

In the area there are numerous ostrich farms which are well worth a visit. The Cango Caves are magnificent limestone caves as big as many cathedrals and highly recommended. Overnight Oudtshoorn.

Day 7 - The Swartberg Pass and the Great Karoo

Cross the Great Karoo, an area of semi-desert that stretches from Uniondale to Graaff-Reinet. For the adventurous this morning, we suggest a detour over the Swartberg Pass, higher than Ben Nevis, offering some spectacular views. When you arrive in Graaff-Reinet, there is time to enjoy this Cape Dutch town with its wide strands and spectacular architecture. Overnight Graaff-Reinet.

Day 8 - Cape Dutch and Desolation Valley

Takw a walking tour of Graaff-Reinet, which lets you into the secrets of this Cape Dutch colony, its magnificent churches, architecture and history. In the afternoon, visit Desolation Valley, described by some as South Africa’s Grand Canyon, offering wonderful views. Overnight Graff-Reinet.

Day 9 - Oranges and the Eastern Cape

Travel down through the rural areas of Eastern Cape and the orange growing area. Visit Grahamstown, the home of the monument to the British settlers of South Africa. Then, on to the seaside town of Port Elizabeth for your overnight stay. Note: it is on this day that you would add in a safari in the malaria free Eastern Cape area.

Day 10 - The Classic Garden Route

This route stretches from Storms River in the east to Mossel Bay in the west. It is one of the most spectacular scenic areas of South Africa. Magnificent coastal beaches and secluded coves nestled between the mountain range and the sea. In the heart of this area is the town of Knysna with its' lagoon, world-famous for its wonderful oysters. Knysna will be your home for the next three nights.

Day 11 - Featherbed and Oysters

A full day in and around Knysna. An opportunity to take a trip around the lagoon and across to the Featherbed Nature Reserve at the Knysna Heads.

Day 12 - A Train ride to remember

Outeniqua Choo Tjoe, one of the few remaining steam trains in South Africa, which runs regularly from George to Mossel Bay is a must. You can enjoy the ride both ways taking lunch in Mossel Bay before returning to Knysna for your overnight stay.

Day 13 - Whales and Oil

Drive from Knysna to Hermanus via Mossel Bay. Between June and November the coastline as far north as Port Elizabeth provides a home for over half the world’s species of whales and dolphins. Hermanus offers the largest concentration of Southern Right Whales anywhere in the world. Overnight Hermanus.

Day 14 - Whales, Great White Sharks, Wine and Golf

Today, possibly take a cruise from Gansbaai. During the whale watching season, you can get up close to the magnificent Southern Right Whales. At other times of the year the area is famous for the colonies of great white sharks. The local micro climate produces some of the highest quality wines in South Africa. There are also excellent local golf courses and some wonderful beaches. Overnight Hermanus.

Day 15 - Your last day – Homeward Bound

Today, you will go through the Franschhoek Pass back through the Cape wineries and a last opportunity to buy some South African wines to take home. Your flight leaves early evening arriving in the UK the next morning.

What to do next

If you would like to start planning your own amazing Garden Route Fly Drive then either:

Garden Route Fly Drive Map
Garden Route Fly Drive Hotels
For your convenience, we have put together a list of some of the outstanding properties we feature on the Garden Route:

Garden Route hotels >>>
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Things to remember about planning your fly drive
1. Select the right size of vehicle for your party. Distances are a little further than you perhaps expect in South Africa.

2. Think about a good mix of accommodation and we strongly encourage use of some of the smaller guest house accommodation, which you will find is first class.

3. The information you will be provided with will give you detailed directions to your hotel/safari and we provide maps for your whole itinerary.

4. Please allow time for excursions along the route.
Excursions to consider
1. Whale watching. Hermanus has amongst the best land-based whale watching in the world. However many clients enjoy going out by boat to view these magnificent creatures. Strongly recommended in the whale watching season.

2. Shark Diving. In the same area inhabited by the whales there is some of the best great white shark viewing in the world and some intrepid travellers enjoy the cage diving experience.

3. The Outeniqua Choo Tjoe. For railway enthusiasts to travel on this vintage railway is a great half day excursion.

4. Walking tour in Graaff-Reinet The historic town of Graaff-Reinet includes some of the best Cape Dutch architecture in South Africa. Our walking tour allows you to explore and experience some spectacular architecture whilst learning of the development of this town.

5. Destination Valley Tour. Destination Valley, located near Graaff-Reinet, is South Africa’s equivalent of the Grand Canyon.
Additional information
This fly drive gives you an example of what can be achieved in a specific time period.

Some of our fly-drives can be joined together to provide extended stays, often by the use of relatively low priced internal flights within South Africa.

Please ask a member of our dedicated team to help tailor a trip to meet your specific requirements.
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: For your financial protection and peace of mind, The Independent Traveller is a full member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) membership No. 96395/V9150 and a licensed and bonded tour operator. Our tour operating licence is granted by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) through their ATOL scheme. Our ATOL licence number is 4660.
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