Karoo - Garden Route Karoo - Garden Route

Karoo - Garden Route

The stunning diversity of South Africa

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Inspiration

Overview

On the most south-westerly shores of the African continent, bordering on both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, is the Western Cape province – a region marked by a great cultural, scenic and climatic diversity. This is the area you will explore during your organised self-drive adventure. Near the coast, the climate is mediterranean, with a characteristic Fynbos (heathland) vegetation of small shrubs. The inland areas of the Cape province are defined by the dry, warm Karoo plateau with its typical semi-desert plants, while the south-eastern part of the Garden Route still encompasses some subtropical rain forests. Despite these magnificent and fascinating landscapes, tourism in Western Cape is mainly focused on the area around Cape Town, the Cape of Good Hope, and the classic Garden Route – while the beautiful expanse of the Karoo plateau tend to be much less frequented.

With the Karoo – Garden Route, we have devised a circular road trip that perfectly conveys the multi-faceted character of this part of South Africa within the space of a few days. In your rental car, you traverse gentle winelands, mountainous and semi-desert landscapes, subtropical forests and stunning coastlines with endless beaches. Naturally, Africa’s magnificent animal world is also part of this journey, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife observation in nature reserves as well as the sea (such as whale-watching). Your expedition comes full circle in the stunningly situated metropolis of Cape Town, defined by its rich history and multi-cultural society, offers a myriad of opportunities to discover and explore. This dynamic melting pot is where you meet the people who fill South Africa with life: it’s not for nothing that the country is known as the ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Highlights

  • Cape Winelands – a gentle landscape that is home to a whole range of first-class vineyards
  • Self drive safari in the Karoo National Park
  • Tsitsikamma National Park and Knysna Lagoon
  • Africa’s native animals, incl. whale observation from May to November
  • Stunning coastlines with expansive beaches and penguin colonies
  • The metropolis of Cape Town and Table Mountain

Highlights

  • Cape Winelands – a gentle landscape that is home to a whole range of first-class vineyards
  • Self drive safari in the Karoo National Park
  • Tsitsikamma National Park and Knysna Lagoon
  • Africa’s native animals, incl. whale observation from May to November
  • Stunning coastlines with expansive beaches and penguin colonies
  • The metropolis of Cape Town and Table Mountain

Your advantages

  • Trail Booking Center: Top advice and trail hotline (daily from 08:00 to 20:00)
  • Our experienced partner company in South Africa: EGOLI Reisen
  • Unique individual travel planning and booking with "travel planner" & "book here"
  • Fabulous services such as rental cars, comfortable lodges etc.
  • Carefully arranged combination of self-drive traveling and short hikes
  • Security package by EU-certified travel agency

Your advantages

  • Trail Booking Center: Top advice and trail hotline (daily from 08:00 to 20:00)
  • Our experienced partner company in South Africa: EGOLI Reisen
  • Unique individual travel planning and booking with "travel planner" & "book here"
  • Fabulous services such as rental cars, comfortable lodges etc.
  • Carefully arranged combination of self-drive traveling and short hikes
  • Security package by EU-certified travel agency
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain
The famous Blouberg Beach offers unforgettable views of Cape Town and the distinctive Table Mountain

Information

Best time to travel

As it is located on the southern hemisphere, the seasons in South Africa are opposite to those in Europe. While the Cape Province can of course be visited at any time of year, you can expect significant climatic differences depending on your chosen dates.

The optimal time for the Karoo - Garden Route is the South African spring (October, November, first half of December) and early autumn (March, April). The South African winter (May, June, July, August) can get rather cold and rainy, though this is often interspersed with warmer days with temperatures of up to 20° C.

Spring (mid-September to mid-December): All roads on the Karoo - Garden Route are drivable from mid-September onwards. September nights can, however, still get quite cool. In October, the temperatures start to become very pleasant, with rain showers becoming increasingly rare. Whales can usually be spotted close to the coast from May to November. Also, September, October and November are a time when many of the region’s native plants are in full bloom.

Summer (mid-December to mid-May): Throughout the South African summer months, the weather conditions are consistent and dry; only the eastern, more coastal part of the route might still experience some rain showers. In the Karoo region, January and February can grow extremely hot (temperatures exceeding 40° C are not uncommon). Mid-December to mid-January also marks the high-point of the holiday season in South Africa, with many tourist destinations along the route becoming very overcrowded.

Autumn (mid-March to mid-May): March and April are the best time for a journey on the Karoo - Garden Route. The heat in the Karoo has lessened, the weather is consistent and pleasantly warm. At the same time, the stream of visitors to the most popular tourist spots has eased up significantly.

Winter (mid-May to mid-September): The winter season can get fairly cool, with temperatures often falling below 10° C. This is also the wettest time of the year, and the shorter days make both navigating the roads and wildlife observation more difficult.

Requirements

The designated driver must hold a Category B driving license. Important: in South Africa, road traffic drives on the left!

Drivers must also be able to present an international driving licence or an English translation in conjunction with their standard licence.

Once you have adapted to driving a right-hand-drive vehicle on the left-hand side of the road, you will find no major differences to navigating traffic in central Europe. The country roads are very pleasant – only in the cities you do encounter some more aggressive traffic. Having said that, you won’t have to do any city driving until the end of your trip, by which time navigating left-hand traffic will have become second nature.

The Karoo - Garden Route is generally suitable for children, as the journey involves no major physical exertion. However, every parent will have to make their own assessment of how their child will cope with driving for 2 to 5 hours every day. To be on the side of caution, we recommend a minimum age of 7 years, if your child feels comfortable going such distances by car - although we have also had positive feedback from families travelling with children as young as two.

The optional hikes along the route are short and pose no particular physical challenges.

Nevertheless, we do always recommend a health check before travelling. You should also take into account the higher daytime temperatures (up to around 40° C in the semi-desert regions) in the period from November to March. Temperatures can significantly fluctuate (with the result that night-time temperatures tend to drop to pleasant levels in the hot season).

Equipment

Standard, season-appropriate travel equipment is sufficient for this hire-car road trip. This includes plenty of sunscreen with extra-high SPF! Only winter nights can bring temperatures below 10 °C. At any other time, they rarely drop below 15 °C. Any items you might have forgotten can easily be purchased in the towns along the way. Although the areas along your route are rather sparsely populated (so there might be quite a distance from one town to the next), the Western Cape Province has a good overall infrastructure that is fairly similar to what you would find in a European country.

We strongly recommend bringing a pair of binoculars for wildlife observation, as well as an unlocked mobile phone, which you can pair with a South-African prepaid sim card. Many shops take credit cards, and there are plenty of cashpoint (ATM) machines where you can withdraw money with a Maestro card.

Stages

For a closer look, check out the detailed information for each stage along the trail here. The times are average values and may vary depending on personal fitness, number and length of breaks, weather conditions, etc.

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Map

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Service

Category

In Cape Town and along the Karoo - Garden Route, we offer two categories of accommodation (regional ratings):

Classic: Good-quality, 3 or 4-star guesthouse or hotel
Comfort: Luxury-level accommodation in 4 or 5-star guest house or hotel

Please note that there may be occasions when your booked accommodation in South Africa is not available. In this case we will book an equivalent alternative and contact you in advance. This will in no way detract from the quality of your travel experience.

Children from 6 to 14 are eligible for a discount when sharing a room with their parents. Please contact the Trail Info & Booking Center in advance to request your personal discount offer: E-Mail to Info- & Buchungscenter



Classic

Comfort
Boarding

Our selected partner establishments on this route offer the following catering options:

Breakfast only: plentiful breakfast buffet or traditional South African Breakfast (similar to English Breakfast)
Half-board: dinner and breakfast (this option may not be available at every destination along your route)

We have carefully selected our partner establishments to ensure that you are able to enjoy an excellent a la carte menu either in-house, or at one of several nearby restaurants. Guesthouses and lodges will provide you with an ample breakfast. On more remote stages of the route (for example, stage 07 – De Hoop) we recommend you opt for a half-board booking.

Any special dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, food intolerances , etc.) can be entered in the ‘comments’ box. Our team at the Trail Info & Booking Center will do their best to accommodate your request.


Bed and breakfast

Half board

Mobility Service

Air travel (not included in the package price) is the only way to reach the starting point of this self-drive expedition:

Arrival at Cape Town International Airport. An airport shuttle (included) will pick you up and take you to your first accommodation.

As of the second day of your Trail journey, Bookyourtrail.com will provide you with a rental car specifically selected for your intended route. For your convenience, the car will be delivered to your accommodation. See here for rental conditions and vehicle specifications.


Luggage service

Back transfer

Shuttle service
Service

For the duration of your road trip through the Cape Province, you have full access to our comprehensive range of services:

Trail Hotline (Angels’ Service) – languages: German and English: Call us for advice and support – we are here for you seven days a week, from 8:00 to 22:00.

Comprehensive Travel Information (Angels’ Service): An expertly compiled folder with detailed, in-depth information will be sent to you in preparation for your road trip in South Africa.

Arrival

Air travel (not included in the package price) is the only way to reach the starting point of this self-drive expedition:

Arrival at Cape Town International Airport. An airport shuttle (included) will pick you up and take you to your first accommodation.

Partners along the trail

The guesthouses, lodges and hotels we have selected for your overnight stays along the Karoo - Garden Route have been carefully tested and quality-approved by Bookyourtrail.com.

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Information about your destination

Here you will find all relevant information about your travel destination such as currency, entry requirements, food & drink, health and vaccinations and literature tips.

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Your booking center

Trail Information & Booking center, Travel Agent
Trail Angels GmbH
9821 Obervellach 15
Austria

We arrange your tour operator
Trail Angels GmbH
Obervellach 15, 9821 Obervellach, Österreich
Eintragungs-NR. Veranstalterverz. des bmwfi: 2016/0005
Tel: +43 4782 93093
Email: info@bookyourtrail.com

Terms of service

Here you will find the travel terms of your trail operator:

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