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A Garden Route Memoir: South Africa’s Emerald Paradise

South Africa’s Garden Route is a journey of splendour. It is difficult to create words that can mirror such beauty. The CapeTowning three day Garden Route Tour explores all the major attractions and is the gateway tour to everything beautiful and exciting about this South African travel destination. Only an introduction, it boasts its four day sister and five day brother tour which driver explore deeper into this coastal paradise.

Day 1

We depart Cape Town at dawn and drive into the golden sunrise that peeps above the Hottentots Holland Mountains and lights up a land of beauty and rich diversity. The main road of the day is Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. We experience the Klein Karoo’s straight roads that never end, mountain passes of geological majesty and quaint villages that beg for a travel break. The highlight of the day is the twenty million year old Cango Cave system. A labyrinth of limestone chambers formed deep in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains near Outshoorn. South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction will definitely leave some new memories. We finish the day with a journey to the forested and fittingly named coastal town of Wilderness. Here we have the opportunity to go river kayaking and marvel at the birdlife that inhabits the region.

Day 2

Today marks the start of a busy day of activities for the adventurous. We fuel up with a delicious breakfast at one of the top ten farmers markets in the world, after which we take a digestive walk around organic farm stalls and meet the friendly locals. Back into the bus, multiple options mark the first round of the day. We can interact with Elephants and learn about these intelligent and majestic giants. We can visit a wildlife sanctuary where cats have been rescued from Zoos and Canned Hunting facilities or we can visit a monkey jungle where you walk among old and new world primates. Never the less you will learn a ton about wildlife in this chapter of the day. After lunch we boldly venture to the 216 meter Bloukrans Bridge. The gorge-ous views take your breath away before you have the opportunity to face your fear and plummet to the river below. This adrenalin filled experience is wrapped up pretty well with a sun downer overlooking the Knysna lagoon. We end our day with a party vibe on the beach next to a bonfire and starlit sky.

Day 3

Wake up sunshine, today is Safari day! Packing our bags we load up the bus for our return journey to Cape Town. The day is broken by a wail of excitement as we board a safari truck and head out into the heart of African tourism. See Lion, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino, Giraffe and Zebra in their natural habitats. Antelopes roam in their hundreds. If we are lucky we will spot a Cheetah casting its hungry eye on the open plains. Learn about the wildlife of the region and enjoy the open air vehicle as you rumble on over grass and fynbos habitats.

The day draws to a close with a drive through fields of grain and cattle farms. We pass Swellendam, South Africa’s third oldest town. Like a western, we drive into the sunset and if we are lucky, when we descend into Cape Town over Sir Lowry’s pass, we will get to see the silhouette of Table Mountain going to sleep on what was an epic weekend.