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Garden Route & Eastern Cape

The N2 highway running east from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth passes through some of the world’s most attractive coastal scenery – an enchanting coastline of lagoons and lakes, breath-taking bays, steep cliffs and wide estuaries, with a hinterland of mountains, spectacular passes, rivers, waterfalls and ravines. This is the Garden Route.

The ‘jewel’ of the Garden Route is the lagoon-estuary town of Knysna. Don’t miss a boat trip across the Knysna lagoon to Featherbed Nature Reserve, the bustling Knysna Quays and the Knysna Elephant Park.

Upmarket Plettenberg Bay is a beach-lover’s paradise: long stretches of soft white sand give way to the warm Indian Ocean. This is an excellent base from which to explore the Garden Route – from whale- and dolphin-watching boat excursions to treetop canopy tours in the Tsitsikamma Forest and bungee-jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge (at 216 metres, this is the highest bungee-jump in the world).

The inland village of Oudtshoorn is a good overnight stop. The ‘Ostrich Capital’ of the world is home to the Cango Caves – a labyrinth of massive caverns and inter-leading passages in the Swartberg mountain range.

Then head for the sleepy charm of the white-washed village of St Francis Bay en route to the ‘Friendly City’ – Port Elizabeth, the gateway to the game reserves of the Eastern Cape. A safari here is the ideal partner to a trip along the Garden Route.

Highlights and suggested day tours during any trip to the Garden Route & Eastern Cape include:

  • Indulge in oysters and champagne in Knysna
  • Visit the Birds of Eden and Monkeyland Primate Reserve
  • Bungee-jump or do a treetop canopy tour
  • Visit an Ostrich Farm and the ancient Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn
  • Visit Knysna’s Featherbed Nature Reserve

Garden Route & Eastern Cape Accommodation

  • Founders Lodge
    Eastern Cape

    Until recently the family holiday home of Adrian Gardiner, Founders Lodge has been freshly renovated to deliver an intimate and relaxed big game safari. Founders lies in a 400-hectare private reserve, adjacent to Shamwari. With just six suites, this luxury lodge focuses on a tailored safari experience. Get an early start on game drives in Shamwari, set out on a guided walk in the private reserve, or sleep in and start your day with a quiet coffee and those beautiful Eastern Cape views – it’s up to you!

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  • Kichaka

    Situated in a private game reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, Kichaka is the perfect place to enjoy a Big 5 safari experience in quiet luxury. Guests will feel instantly at home – the lounge and dining areas are positioned to offer uninterrupted views across unspoilt bush landscapes. Large terraces at the stone and thatch main lodge provide guests with a magnificent viewing deck to witness the passage of game to the nearby large waterhole. The terrace extends into a small island, perfect for romantic outdoor dining.

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  • Royal St.Andrews Hotel
    Port Alfred

    The Royal St. Andrews Hotel is just minutes from the bustling Port Alfred town center, right opposite the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club and a mere kilometer away from a blue flag beach.The hotel offers an array of modern, luxury accommodation including a superior Honeymoon Suite and nine Heritage Rooms – all set in the original 1924 building – as well as 50 recently built contemporary rooms. Promising a comfortable and utterly charming stay, the Royal St. Andrews Hotel is a fantastic base from which to explore this popular area.

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  • HillsNek - Amakhala Game Reserve
    Eastern Cape

    At the heart of the picturesque Amakhala Game Reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, lies HillsNek Safari Camp, an intimate, family-run lodge. Known for its warm hospitality and personalized service, HillsNek boasts beautiful accommodation that synchronizes seamlessly with the surrounding bush, displaying a commitment to conservation and conscientious safari living.

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  • Bush Lodge - Amakhala Game Reserve
    Eastern Cape

    Bush Lodge is discreetly positioned in the bush at the top end of an open valley in the malaria-free Greater Addo and frontier region in the beautiful Eastern Cape on the Amakhala Game Reserve. Located just 45 minutes away from Port Elizabeth, each of the superlative en-suite, tented and thatched suites with big sky views overlooks a water hole.

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  • Kurland
    Garden Route

    The beautiful Kurland Hotel is set on an expansive 700-hectare private estate located between the majestic mountains and pristine beaches of Natures Valley in the Garden Route region. Embodying the essence of a perfect union between old-world charm and modern sophistication, the hotel offers a spectacular setting complemented by luxurious and modern amenities. Guests can expect breathtaking beaches, award-winning cuisine and indulgent service. This boutique, luxury 5-Star Hotel offers gracious country living with just 12 suites that afford utter privacy. 

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  • Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa
    Garden Route

    Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa is an exclusive and unique hotel found in the heart of the South African Garden Route only minutes away from the holiday Mecca of Plettenberg Bay. Set within a private nature reserve encompassing 200 hectares of land and nestled on a cliff’s edge, guests enjoy the dramatically sweeping views of the Indian Ocean. The emphasis at Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa is on unique experiences, time-honoured values, excellent personalized service, and superb cuisine.

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  • The Boardwalk Hotel
    Eastern Cape

    A hotel, convention centre and a spa, the 5-star Boardwalk Hotel is a Victorian styled hotel built with different modern touches. Each of the 140 suites are ocean facing and designed individually to satisfy everyone’s needs. Guests can enjoy a spa treatment or try their luck at gambling. With eight different restaurants to choose from, guests will not be disappointed in the variety of food choices. The hotel is in walking distance to Hobie Beach as well as a buzzling street.

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  • No5 Boutique Art Hotel
    Eastern Cape

    The No5 Boutique Art Hotel is located near an international airport and within walking distance to the beach. This hotel is very private and has just ten suites. The underground dining cellar has many local and international wines and is perfect for an intimate dinner experience. Single malt whiskeys and cigars are offered at Salon Privé. Guests can enjoy a spa treatment, an elegant 15 seater cinema or a workout in the gym, overlooking the ocean. Each suite is designed as a masterpiece to ensure ultimate comfort and satisfaction.

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  • Turbine Boutique Hotel

    Once a wood-fired power station and now a hotel, the Turbine Boutique Hotel is a magnificent hotel in Knysna. The hotel has used many of the old machines and incorporated them into the décor. There are 24 suites and guests have an option of dining at the Island Café and the Tapas Bar. There is a pool, spa and an Arabian steam room. There are many activities for all guests to enjoy from adventure based ones to shopping or eating at the various restaurants

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  • Tsala Treetop Lodge

    Themed to an ancient civilization, the Tsala Treetop Lodge & Villas in the Tsitsikamma is an incredible place to stay which has an adventurous character. There are ten suites and six villas. Each suit has its own infinity pool and a lookout deck. There is a fireplace and a music system to set the right mood. There is Wi-Fi in the suites and the public areas as well as a library. Guests can take part in nature walks, bird watching and mountain biking to name a few.

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  • The Plettenberg
    Plettenberg Bay

    The Plettenberg, located in the incredible beach town of Plettenberg Bay is I the perfect spot if you want to explore the Garden Route. There are 37 rooms, each with incredible views of either ocean or mountains. Guests can go dolphin or whale watching, bungee jumping hiking and much more. There is a spa for relaxing as well as two infinity pools where guests can watch the dolphins from. The Plettenberg is a family friendly destination and also caters for children.

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  • Hunter’s Country House
    Between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay

    The Country House at Hunters is the perfect home away from home. Individual thatched cottages add to the feeling of being at home, each decorated with a romantic sparkle and facilities beyond your expectations. Dinner is exceptional and can be enjoyed in a number of different areas. Families are welcomed here at the Country House where children of all ages are encouraged to have fun. The Country House is situated between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in Western Cape making it the ideal location to explore many incredible attractions which form part of the Garden Route.

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  • Gorah Elephant Camp
    Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape

    Gorah Elephant Camp is home not only to the Big 5 but also the two ocean predators – the shark and the whale, making it a Big 7 experience, with the best of both worlds a bush and beach location.  Gorah Elephant camp offers an unforgettable, exclusive adventure in the heart of the malaria-free Addo Elephant National Park.

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  • Kariega Game Reserve
    Eastern Cape

    A natural extension to the Garden Route, this malaria-free, Big 5 private game reserve is set in 9,000 hectares of pristine African wilderness.  Offering guests a choice of three superb luxury lodges and unforgettable guided game viewing.  Kariega is family owned and run and is an ideal destination for families.

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  • African Relish
    Prince Albert, Garden Route

    African Relish is situated in the historic village of Prince Albert, nestled at the foot of the mighty Swartberg Mountains offering guests a unique cooking experience.  Accommodation is in beautifully restored and appointed Victorian and typical Karoo self-catering cottages.  Guests are guaranteed to leave with special memories.

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  • Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate
    Garden Route

    Guests will enjoy a luxury golf resort experience at the famous Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate situated in South Africa’s beautiful Garden Route region. Indulge in a stay in the beautiful boutique hotel set in the restored Manor House, 150-years old and a National Monument. You will be spoilt with the classic opulence, indulgent sophistication and luxury amenities and facilities on offer here. From the contemporary Luxury Suites with their sensual decor to the Grand Suites with their spacious and elegant living areas and the ultimate in sophistication, the Master Bedroom with its unsurpassed spacious elegance. When not on the Gary Player-designed courses, guests can spend time in the world-class spa, relaxing in the stylish restaurants and eateries or exploring the lush surrounds of the region.

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  • Pumba Private Game Reserve
    Pumba Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

    Pumba Private Game Reserve, nestled in the heart of the malaria-free Eastern Cape, is the perfect destination for those in search of a unique, five-star African bush safari. Pumba offers a rich, biodiversity-filled, Big Five game-viewing experience and the reserve boasts two unique lodge settings. Msenge Bush Lodge, overlooking the Kariega River floodplain, complete with waterhole and panoramic views of the Zuurberg Mountains, offers 11 thatch-and-glass-enclosed chalets, while Water Lodge, perched on the banks of Lake Kariega, has 12 stone-and-thatch waterfront chalets, leading off meandering timber footpaths.

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  • Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve
    Port Alfred, Eastern Cape

    Escape to a sanctuary set along a vast, private expanse of world-famous pristine beach in the heart of South Africa’s Eastern Cape region. Nestled in the midst of an exotic ocean/game reserve, this is an ultra-luxurious haven for world travellers, complete with five star dining. From the moment you arrive, Oceana offers a thousand reasons for you to never leave. It’s truly the best of all possible worlds. Where Ocean, Earth and Heaven meet...

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  • Shamwari Game Reserve
    Shamwari Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

    This award-winning game lodge is set on 25 000 hectares of privately owned prime wildlife terrain in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. Shamwari, which means friend, is where guests and wildlife live in harmony for a special moment in time. Shamwari has six unique luxury lodges: Long Lee Manor, Riverdene Family Lodge, Eagles Crag Luxury Lodge, Sarili Lodge, Bayethe Tented Lodge and Lobengula African Lodge.

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  • Conrad Pezula Resort &Spa
    Knysna, Garden Route

    Experience Pezula, Africa’s most luxurious award-winning resort, perched on the eastern head of Knysna Lagoon, with exquisite views of the Indian Ocean, the famous lagoon and the Pezula Championship Golf Course. Indulge in gourmet food at Zachary’s Restaurant; be pampered in the multi-award winning spa; horseback ride or hike through ancient indigenous forests; picnic on the exclusive, secluded Noetzie beach and relax in your sumptuous suite.

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  • Views Boutique Hotel
    Wilderness, Garden Route

    Offering unabashed luxury and pure indulgence, the exquisite Views Boutique Hotel & Spa is set overlooking the beautiful Wilderness beach and Indian Ocean. Enjoy sophisticated dining, scenic splendours and exciting land and water activities including golf, fishing, forest walks, hikes and more. Easily accessible from the George Airport which is a 25-minute drive away, Views is an idyllic base from which to explore the Garden Route.

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