After your enjoyable flight to Port Elizabeth with Mango, BA or SAA, collect your cheap car hire vehicle from Avis, Sixt or Budget car hire not forgetting additional batteries for your camera as you’ll be unable to resist capturing awe inspiring beauty all along the way.
As you journey along the N2 take a turn-off and for refreshments at the infamous town of Jeffery’s Bay where you may be lucky to witness surfers at their best, or alternatively pop into St Francis Bay or Cape St Francis or skip all of these and stop at Oyster Bay.
Back on the N2 a must see is the ‘Tsitsikamma National Park’, Africa’s oldest and largest marine reserve, covering around 100km of rugged unspoilt coastline. In season Southern Right Wales come in-shore to breed and always an enchanting sight are dolphins gliding effortlessly through the waves. The park is internationally renowned for its forests with locals and foreigners visiting the area to enjoy mountain biking, sailing, kayaking, diving, snorkelling, hiking, climbing, abseiling and bungee jumping and the many hiking trails of which the ‘Otter Trail’ is the most famous. Within the park, visitors staying over can select the ‘Barn Room’, a ‘Luxury Cabin’ or the ‘Honeymoon Cabin’ while located in near proximity outside the park are cabins suitable for families at The ‘Tsitsikamma Lodge’ and at the ‘Tsitsikamma Village Inn’ you can enjoy staying in a colonial styled cottage with its own beautiful garden.
Plettenberg Bay with 20km of beaches and surrounded by the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains is a great attraction for holiday makers annually. Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast overlooking the ocean at the 4-star ‘Whalesong Hotel and Hydro’ or the ‘Castleton Suites’ hotel providing traditional or self catering accommodation.
You’ll then find Knysna located between the Outeniqua Mountains and the sea, surrounded by indigenous forests and plantations with the lagoon running into the sea between the well known Knysna Heads. The lagoon has well over 230 bird species and is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse. Spoil yourself at the 5-star ‘Simola Golf & Country Estate’ located in the hills above Knysna and overlooking the river and lagoon or opt for self catering in ultimate luxury with a 4-star rating at ‘The Rex Hotel’ within 300m of the Knysna Waterfront shopping area.
Leaving Knysna you’ll pass through the small tranquil scenic town of Sedgefield on the banks of the Swartvlei Estuary – the largest natural inland salt-water lake in South Africa – and then Wilderness situated on the banks of the Touws River Estuary with lakes, rivers and white beaches and the ‘Wilderness National Park’, a paradise for eco-tourists with captivating beauty and peacefulness. A little further along, take a break at Victoria Bay, a small cove of sheer beauty with numerous camping sites and guest houses overlooking the bay, very popular during summer and for surfers with district and national surfing competitions often taking place.
The city of George is another favourite on the garden route, with majestic oak trees lining the streets is situated on a 10km plateau between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean and is halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Mango Airlines does fly directly into George should you require so. At the foot of the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains is the ‘Inn Victori’ where you can stay in an elegantly decorated room with a mountain view or for more opulence try the ‘Protea Hotel King George’ located on the 11th fairway of the George Golf Course, 3 minutes from George and 10 minutes from the airport. Before taking your return flight from George airport, visit the harbour town of Mossel Bay with perfect beaches, mountains and a wealth of archaeological and cultural history going back around 350 thousand years. Places to stay are ‘Point Village Hotel’ a few metres from the Indian Ocean or the ‘Protea Hotel’ built in 1846 with a five minute walk to Santos Beach.