On the Road trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth: Surf, white dunes and ostriches!
South Africa was a revelation...you wouldn't expect to find such a rich country in friendliness, landscape, animals and smiles.
I would recommend a visit and an added plus it is also cheap...yes believe me! Despite everyone telling me 'hey be careful it's expensive'. Well don't let that put you off because it's not expensive as you would expect.
Read also the second part of the trip (about the Kruger National Park) to find out costs. Follow the article here:
It is also a quite easy country to travel around with a rented car: we rented twice, one for the road trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and the second time for the self-safari in the Kruger.
Here's the first part of our trip:
The first day we arrived to Johannesburg early in the morning. Breakfast in the airport and we immediately took an internal flight to Cape Town with Air Tambo, good low cost company. Rented the car at the airport in time to arrive for dinner at the MOJO Market, next to our guesthouse Ashby Manor (in the residential part of Cape Town with an internal safe car park)
Good sweet and savoury breakfast before heading to the centre: a brief visit to the beautiful Victoria&Albert Waterfront followed by Table Mountain...the view of Cape Town is stunning from here! As a fact it's one of the new wonders of the world!
We planned two nights in Cape Town but unfortunately our flight from Europe was delayed. But if you have more time don't miss the Robben Island visit, the island where Nelson Mandela was imprissoned. Purchase the ticket online!
In the afternoon we head South through the Chapman's Peak Drive and the panoramic Ocean Road.
We arrive to Boulder Beach, a tiny beach whith lots of penguin where you can even swim with them! First chance to take advantage of our Wild Card purchased in Italy which gives access to all South African public park.
It's almost 3pm so we head to Cape Point. Once you park the car you can reach the lighthouse either by cable car (5€) or on foot (20mins).
Afterwards we head off to the Cape of Good Hope so called in the hope of reaching calmer waters for the ships that had to reach the East from the Atlantic.
Access to the the park with Wild Card.
We reach Muizenberg at sunset, we sleep at the Heavenly View, a beautiful guesthouse with Ocean view, good dinner at the Milky Tiger.
We settle in Muizenberg for a couple of days for surf practice. It is a really good spot for learners/intermediate. The waves are more defined and regular compared to the Jeffrey's Bay ones (which close up very quickly), so if you're a lerner/intermediate level I would strongly advise to choose Muizenberg...and is also cheaper: 1,2 h of rental equipment and surf instructor 30€!
On the 4th day, after a morning surf session, we're back on the road again to Stellenbosh, the most famous wine region of SA! We choose a chocolate and wine tasting at the Waterford Estate, a must do experience I strongly recommend!
In the late afternoon we reach Hermanus, a beautiful town from which it is possible to sight the whales during the migration period (June to November). But don't worry if you don't see them, there will be plenty of opportunities on the Garden Route...before dinner enjoy the overlooking ocean walk that crosses the town!
On the early morning of the 5th day we drive to Gaansbai, where at 9 we leave for an unique experience: the cage shark diving! Don't be afraid about it: you'll have a better view of the shark from the boat rather than from inside the cage. So I would recommend this experience even if you decide not do dive inside the cage as on the way back, if you're lucky enough, you may also caught the sight of a whale!
After this experience we drive to Cape Aghulas, the southernmost tip of SA where Indian and Atlantic Ocean meets!
Almost at sunset, after 1,30h drive, we reach the stunning Kwetu Guestfarm where you'll sleep in comfortable accommodations scattered around the property. This is the first time we come in touch with the wild nature of SA...we wake up with the giraffes on our doorstep!
On the early morning of the 6th day we drive to the De Hoop National Park on the coast.
From Swellendam is about 3 h drive as is mostly off road.
This could be one of the reason why we didn't really enjoyed it: the time you spend to arrive will reduce your time once you're there. I would rather recommend to sleep directly inside the park booking your accommodation through SanParks. You'll have the opportunity to wake up early in the morning for a ocean view trekking through white dunes and in the distance the whales!
Around 1 pm we leave for Houdtshoorn in the inland following the Route 62 for about 3,30h through mountains and desert! We arrived for dinner time. At the Karoopot restaurant we get ostrich and Crocodile dishes, very good!
On the 7th day we choose the Highgate experience: an ostrich farm where they will explain you the life and habits of these fascinating animals. At the end of the tour you can also ride one!...I couldn't miss this opportunity!
Once in their life ostriches eat stone, do you know why? As they don't have teeth, the stone will remain in the stomach and let them have a 'mechanical' digestion!
In the afternoon we visit the rehabilitation center for cheetas Cango wildlife Center. In the standard ticket is included the guided tour of the park with Crocodile, lions, tiger etc.. In addition to the standard ticket (+5€) you can purchase an additional experience with the lemurs, with cheeta adult or cub, in the cage with crocodiles...
I couldn't miss the chance of cuddling a Cheeta cub😍
We leave at 4pm for the Garden Route. Before arriving to Plattenberg Ba, a brief stop at Knysna for a couple of picture of the bay overlooking the lagoon.
On the morning of the 8th day we leave for the Robberg Peninsula trekking. Access to the park with Wild Card. You immediately choose the longer one: 9 Km in 4 h. I wouldn't say is for everyone as the last part of it is entirely on the rocks. I would recommend the intermediate route with children. But if you feel fit, the longest path is really beautiful, with glimpses of the ocean overlooking penguins, whales and seals. Take with you a Pic nic and have lunch on the beach!
Back on the road again and head towards Storms Riviera. Relax and dinner at the excellent Tub'n ax backpacker.
9th day. Visit of the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve. Access with Wild Card. Firstly we take the short walk that takes you to the suspended bridges over the canyon and the ocean. It takes about one hour to go and come back. If you don't feel like doing the next trek I suggest the canyoning and kayak experience with Untouched Adventures that you'll find at the parking.
The second trek today is about 4h (including bath, lunch and picture break), the Waterfall Day Walk (the departure could be reached by car, is 5 min away from the main parking of the Tsitsikamma). As for yesterday, the excursion develops for a good stretch on the rocks, not recommended for children. The path is not easy but is worth it: the waterfall create a natural pool overlooking the ocean...we also had a good view of baby whales playing right in front of us!
On the road towards Jeffrey's Bay, where we indulge in surfing, shopping (there are Billabong, Rip Curl, Roxy outlets) and relax for two days!
On the morning of the 11th day, after the last surf lesson we head towards Port Elizabeth, brief visit of the Donkin Reserve dedicated to Nelson Mandela. Superb dinner at Sticky Fingers with Kudu steak! We sleep near the airport for the early morning flight that takes us to Johannesburg from PE.
Our on the road trip on the Garden Route ends here. But our holiday doesn't stop here! It continues in the wild heart of South Africa!
Follow our self safari in the Kruger National Park here:
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