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Spend 11 days winding your way along both South Africa's Whale Coast and Garden Route on a self-drive adventure. These famous regions of the Southern Cape coast are easy to drive around, hold many wonderful nature-based activities and boast magnificent scenery virtually every step of the way.

Spend your first nights in the town of Hermanus - the whale-watching capital of South Africa - before moving on to Knysna where you'll stay on an island set in its shimmering lagoon at the heart of the Garden Route.

Continue to vibrant Plettenberg Bay - the Garden Route's see-and-be-seen coastal town - and explore its beautiful natural surroundings before carrying on to the Eastern Cape where you will spend your last nights on safari in the Pumba Private Game Reserve, a malaria-free, Big 5 conservation area.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Discover the Cape coast on a self-drive journey
  • Enjoy land-based whale watching in Hermanus
  • Visit the wine estates of Hemel & Aarde Valley
  • Stay on an island in the Knysna Lagoon
  • Enjoy all the adventures of the Garden Route
  • Stay in a beautiful reserve in Plettenberg Bay
  • Relax on the edge of the Tsitsikamma Forest
  • Search for the Big 5 in Pumba Private Reserve
  • Enjoy game drives, bird watching & hiking

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-2

Enjoy a seaside-stay in Hermanus

Arrive at Cape Town International Airport where you will collect your rental vehicle. A scenic drive takes you up and over mountains to the Whale Coast and the Schulphoek Seafront Guest House. Situated in a beautiful protected sanctuary just outside the popular seaside town of Hermanus, you'll enjoy incredible views of the ocean during this two-night stay.

This area is well-known for its regular whale sightings and spectacular scenery. During whale season (from late July to November) it is even possible to see whales and dolphins from the windows of the guesthouse. The area boasts the world's best land-based whale watching and if you're planning to visit in peak season (August/September) then you're in for a treat.

Make the most of your stay here by going on day trips and outings to explore the area. Enjoy cliff-top and beach walks, wine estate tours, boat-based fishing and a choice of no fewer than three golf courses.

Days 3-4

Journey to the Garden Route

Continue your journey along the Cape coast and make your way onto the Garden Route as you head for the busy little town of Knysna. Your accommodation for the next two nights is at Leisure Isle Lodge, situated on a tiny island in the Knysna lagoon - a uniquely beautiful and secluded location.

When you're not relaxing at the lodge or swimming in the lagoon, you can take time to explore the town. Spend an afternoon browsing the art galleries, scouring the shops and markets or taking a walk around the waterfront. Knysna is at the heart of the Garden Route experience and there are dozens of adventures and activities within a short drive of town - enjoy forest canopy tours, marinelife safaris, bird watching and forest walks to name but a few.

Days 5-7

Explore Plettenberg Bay's marine life

Travel further along the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay where you will spend the next three nights at Hog Hollow, situated in a private nature reserve with views of plunging valleys and the Tsitsikamma Mountains. The lodge is set next to a dam to create a private oasis on the edge of an indigenous forest.

Relax by the pool overlooking the Matjes River Gorge or stroll along the forest's walking trails, binoculars in hand. You can also take a trip to the nearby Elephant Park or visit the primates at Monkeyland.

A boat ride out to sea will bring you close to the area's abundant marinelife that includes whales (in season), sharks and dolphins while a hike in the mountains will introduce you to fynbos, the extraordinary and largely unique flora that covers the Cape mountains.

Days 8-10

Search for wildlife in Pumba

Continue your journey along the coast as you enter the Eastern Cape and head to Pumba Water Lodge for your final three nights.

Situated in the Pumba Private Game Reserve, the lodge is ideally located to deliver a Big 5 safari in malaria-free conditions. From the comfort of a custom-made, open-sided 4X4 you'll have the opportunity to spot classic African animals as well as several rarities such as white lion, wild dog and cheetah.

Days 11

End your journey in PE

This morning you will drive to Port Elizabeth where your memorable tour of the Garden Route will come to an end as you return your car and board your onward flight.


  • 2 nights at Schulphoek Seafront Guest House on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 nights at Leisure Isle Lodge on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 nights at Hog Hollow Country Lodge on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 nights at Pumba Water Lodge on a fully inclusive basis
  • 11 day car rental


  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Sep 2015 - 31 Oct 2015 $1885
  • 01 Nov 2015 - 18 Dec 2015 $2220
  • 19 Dec 2015 - 09 Jan 2016 $2600
  • 10 Jan 2016 - 29 Feb 2016 $2250
  • 01 Mar 2016 - 30 Apr 2016 $2250

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Carlien Parsons

Carlien Parsons

Product Manager

"Perfect for couples wanting a luxurious self-drive, or families looking to explore South Africa's beautiful coast & safari destinations."



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