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Cape Town / Garden Route -- Distances??

Washington, DC
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Cape Town / Garden Route -- Distances??

I am very much looking forward to my first visit to SA next month. I wanted to see if anyone had feedback on distances. My preliminary itinary is:

Cape Town - 7 nights

Hout Bay - 3 nights

(Planning lots of day trips during this time. Any suggestions?

Franschhoek/Winelands - 1 night

Knsyna - 1 night

Addo - 3 nights

Storms River - 1 night

Swellendam - 1 night

Paarl/Winelands - 1 night

Cape Town - 1 night

Is any of this a stretch? I don't want to be on the road for long periods of time. Also, I'm a big foodie so if anyone has restaurant recommendations I welcome them. Thanks!

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1. Re: Cape Town / Garden Route -- Distances??

In the case you are planning lots of day trips, stay in Cape Town. 7 nights would cover most of the trips you can make from CPT. It takes only half an hour to get to Hout Bay! I would stay overnight there.

You can also make the trip to Franshoek and to the Winelands in 1 day. If you plan to taste wine then it is recommended to stay in that region instead of driving back to CPT. The same applies to Paarl.

Knysna is 7-8 hours drive from CPT. I would really recommend that region because it is very scenic. I just loved that part of the Garden Route (we stayed in Brenton-on-Sea).

Stormsriver is an hour-drive. The Titsikamma National Park is amazing. If you like active holidays, try the canopy tour. It is great fun! www.treetoptour.com

Addo (45 min from Port Elizabeth, PE-Storms River is 3 hours): try to combine it with Schotia (private game reserve). You need 2 days for this experience all together. Go to Addo in the morning and take Schotia`s safari tour at 3 p.m. till 9 p.m. (incl. dinner). Following day you can still go back to Addo (national park, so the entrance fee is EUR 5 which is nothing for the experience you can have if you are fond of animals.

Do not underestimate the distances! Though the roads/highways are in good condition it takes time to get from A to B. You will realise how huge SA is but it is always a scenic drive.

Best wishes

Cape Town
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2. Re: Cape Town / Garden Route -- Distances??

Hout bay is a suburb of Cape Town, so its not necessary to stay there for 3 nights AND 7 nights in Cape Town - its basically 10 nights in Cape Town, which I think might be a bit too much? Hout Bay is very pretty and convenient for visiting areas on the peninsula, so maybe keep those nights there, but cut down on the 7 nights in the city?

You could use an extra night or so in Knysna as it’s a great area. You also might want to take a day trip out to Oudtshoorn from there, and even spend a night there? It also sounds like you will be changing hotels every day, which might be very tiring – lots of driving, packing and unpacking. My advice would be to cut down the time in CT by a few days and spend 2 nights in some of those places to avoid holiday burn-out.

Cork Ireland
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3. Re: Cape Town / Garden Route -- Distances??

I was also planning a big itenary like your until I met with a friend at the weekend. He owns a house in Franschhoek and reckons its mad to try all that travelling when there is so much to see around the South. If your a big eatie franschhoek has some of the best restaurents in Sth Africa. Best chef and restaurent belong to this area also he highly recommends the wine estates in the area. Booking early is esential, as I tried to book a place to eat for christmas day and it was booked out already. I am a first time visitor as well so all the advice we can get is great. Hope I have been of some help.

Regards Punch

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4. Re: Cape Town / Garden Route -- Distances??

You have a very nice trip planned indeed but as I am a South African (living abroad) and know the area very well, I strongly suggest you spend more time in the winelands, especially Franschhoek.

You can also do many day trips (even into Cape Town), from the winelands as it is only a 45 minute drive. Certain areas of Cape Town can be a bit of a tourist trap.

As Paarl and Franschhoek is next to each other, you also dont need to do both.

We stayed in Franschhoek for 3 days and felt it was too short. We stayed at a place called Franschhoek Country House just over a year ago and can highly recommend it or at least their excellent restaurant Monneaux (if you have already booked other accommodation). There is another restaurant at the Grande Provence Estate (sorry I dont know the name) that is very good.

Enjoy the time - it is a marvelous area to visit!

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5. Re: Cape Town / Garden Route -- Distances??

We went to SA for the first time last Feb. and are going back again in Feb. for 18 days.

First of all - do not underestimate the distances between places - be prepared for a lot of driving. Best map you can buy is from a BP petrol station called South African Road Atlas. Also, beware where you buy food for the car - only stomach problems we had was from sandwiches from a local supermarket in the mountains. You should be ok if you think about where you buy.

If you stay in CT for seven nights you do not need another three in Hout Bay which is on the far side of CT but still ok for all things around CT. Do go down to Cape Point and do Boulders Beach (Penguins) on way back.

You will need most of the day and drive via the Chapmans Peak Drive which is wonderful

Addo can be done in Addo Park itself or at Amakhala Game Reserve which takes in Addo for a day anyway. It was great there with very personal service and good food and comfort - unique place . They do a three night Tuskers Safari

From there - fly into Port Elizabeth and then its 40 mins. From there you could start driving back west to Knysna or Plettenberg which is close by and also lovely - plenty of good food around

Then go via Swellendam - the long drive, stay one night and then carry on to the Winelands.

We had three nights in Franshoek and did not want to leave - wonderful food and wine and service everywhere. Going back for six nights this time! If interested, let me know and I can recommend to you. Lots of lovely B&B - no need to spend in big hotels to get comfort and service. You can see Stellenbosch, Paarl and franshoek all from Franshoek - but F. is foodie capital!

Hope this is useful


You could drive to Storms River on the way back to the Windelands - a day trip is enough without staying the night