The Garden Route in South Africa. Described by travel guides as one of the highlights of the country. And it really is. In the summer of 2018, we explored the magnificent beauty of southern South Africa. From the stunning Cape Town with its majestic Table Mountain, the haunting Robben Island and the beautiful beaches to the vast reddish-brown Little Karoo with its ostrich farms. We went hiking in the breathtaking Tsitsikamma National Park, where the Storms River flows into the Indian Ocean. But above all, never to be forgotten, the ‘real life’ zoo: whales, penguins, elephants, zebras, monkeys, giraffes, antelopes, dassies and so much more. In this blog I take you ‘en route’ on this extraordinary journey, perfect to do with teenagers.

Our itinerary: from Cape Town to Addo Elephant National Park

Below you will find our itinerary, per day, with an overview of the accommodation and the most important excursions. You find more tips & tricks about this itinerary and special travel stories per region in separate blogs.

1 Cape TownBrussels → Addis Adeba → Cape TownSleep on flight
2Cape TownArrival Cape TownDe Waterkant Village
137 Waterkant Street
Cape Town
+27 (0)21 437 9703
3Cape TownRobben Island
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
De Waterkant Village
4Cape TownCity Walk
Table Mountain
De Waterkant Village
5Cape TownChapman Drive
Kaap de Goede Hoop
Boulders Beach pinguïns
De Waterkant Village
6HermanusMuizenberg Beach
WhaleRock Luxury Lodge
26 Springfield Avenue, Westcliff
Hermanus, 7200
+27 (0)28 313 0014 or 5
7HermanusWhales spottingWhaleRock Luxury Lodge
8OudtshoornRoute 62
Langeberg Mountain
AfriCamps Klein Karoo
AfriCamps Head Office
Rivergate Business Park
5 Columbus Cres, Cape Farms
Cape Town 7441
+27 (0)21 300 5694
9OudtshoornWalk neighbourhood
Rest day
AfriCamps Klein Karoo
10OudtshoornSafari Buffelsdrift
Ostrich farm
Vreugde Voetjies
AfriCamps Klein Karoo
11KnysnaKnysna city walkCuningham’s Island Guest House
cnr Kingsway & Church Square, Leisure Isle
6570 Knysna,
+27 (0)44 384 1319
12KnysnaRobberg Nature ReserveCuningham’s Island Guest House
13Tsitsikamma (Storms River Rest Camp)HikesStorms River Mouth Rest Camp
Tsitsikamma National Park
+27 (0) 42 281 1607
14Tsitsikamma (Storms River Rest Camp)HikesStorms River Mouth Rest Camp
15Addo Elephant National ParkEvening SafariAddo Elephant National Park
+27 (0)42 233 8600
16Addo Elephant National ParkSafariAddo Elephant National Park
17Addo Elephant National ParkSafariAddo Elephant National Park
18Addo Elephant National ParkAddo → Porth Elizabeth → Johannesburg → Brussels

General information

Our itinerary is relatively short. We drove about 1500 kilometers in about 2 weeks.

We chose not to make a ‘loop’, we drove from Cape Town to Port-Elizabeth (instead of Cape Town-Cape Town). From Port-Elizabeth we took a domestic flight with South African Airways to Johannesburg and via Addis Ababa to Belgium.

This way, we had enough time to discover each region. Also, the cost of the additional flight corresponded to the extra nights driving back.


Usually, I plan the full trip myself. For this journey, we however worked together with the tour operator Jambo Safari Club. The main reason? I felt, despite extensive research, not always completely sure about our safety, a.o. about the choice of accommodation in Cape Town. Moreover, Jambo was able to offer a very competitive price for certain accommodations and willing to make quite some adjustements at our request. It was a pleasant cooperation and the documentation of the trip (itinerary, directions, …) was top.

Why visit South Africa?

South Africa has everything to offer for a great holiday with children: magnificent nature and an extraordinary culture.

  • Number one: the ‘real life’ zoo. There are special animals in abundance, everywhere you go, even if you don’t go on safari. There are the dassies in Cape Town, the penguins at Boulder Beach, the whales in Hermanus and the ostrices and local wildlife at Africamps, Klein Karoo. But ‘top of the bill’ yes, is the safari: elephants, zebras, monkeys, giraffes, antelopes, meerkats, … you name it. All equally impressive, especially these elephants just in front of your car. The children also enjoyed ticking off the ‘which animals are in this park’ lists.
  • The national parks are equally impressive. On Table Mountain you can take a beautiful walk.  Standing on the very tip of the Cape of Good Hope is very special too. Tsitsikamma National Park, where the Storms River flows into the Indian Ocean, is breathtaking. And impressive sand dunes meet with beautiful ocean views in Plettenberg bay. All parks are well maintained.
  • Culture is everywhere. In Cape Town you can visit Robben Island. And the country in itself is very special: the confrontation with the townships, the gap between rich and poor, … It makes you think.

Interested in more South African adventures? Then read my blogs on amazing accommodation and tips and costs.


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