Best of the Garden Route Self Drive Spectacular


22 Days

Travel Style: Self-Drive

Destinations: South Africa

“If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again” – Karen Blixen

Begin your Best of the Garden Route Self-drive Spectacular with four memorable nights at the Dock House Boutique Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, which is regarded as ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the glamorous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. From Cape Town, you’ll head towards Montagu where you will spend three truly remarkable nights at Dywka Tented Lodge in one of the nine luxury tents, complete with private decks and heated jacuzzis.

From a dry Karoo ravine to a secluded valley, the next leg of the self-drive journey sees you arrive at Madi Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, near Oudshoorn, for three nights. After experiencing, first-hand, the idyllic blend of luxury and tranquillity that Madi Madi has to offer, your uniquely African experience continues with a three-night stay in Plettenberg Bay at Tsala Treetop Lodge. Set amid the treetops of an age-old indigenous forest, Tsala is a lavish celebration of the spirit of Africa.

The penultimate stop on this self-drive spectacular is one night at Port Elizabeth’s 5-star No 5 by Mantis Hotel. Nestled in an upmarket beach suburb, this luxury boutique hotel is within 100m of the Indian Ocean and each of the ten exquisite suites are masterpieces of comfort and opulence.

From Port Elizabeth you will embark on the final road trip of this adventure, a scenic drive to Port Alfred where the Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve promises to make the final three nights unforgettable. Offering a luxurious boutique hotel experience in a wildlife reserve on the Indian Ocean, Oceana is exclusive, yet unpretentious, offering guests a relaxing environment in which to unwind and celebrate the finer things in life. A fitting end to a 23-day celebration of the best that the Garden Route has to offer.

Contact us now to begin planning your ultimate safari holiday.

Day 1 – 5: Dock House boutique hotel and spa, Cape Town


Arrive at Cape Town International, collect your hired car and take a short drive to the Dock House Boutique Hotel and Spa in the beautiful V&A Waterfront, where you will spend the next 4 nights in pure luxury. 

Originally built as the Harbour Master’s private residence in the 1800’s, this grand architectural gem has been transformed into one of Cape Town’s most exclusive and elegant boutique hotels. Dock House is a unique and opulent jewel in the crown of Cape Town’s glamorous, world-famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, offering guests exclusive accommodation and personalised yet unobtrusive butler-style service in an excellent world-class setting.

The glamorous suite plus each of the five chic rooms at Dock House Boutique Hotel & Spa has been individually decorated and imbued with a unique and understated Victorian elegance, juxtaposed with lush contemporary style and comfort. Urban Beauty Spa offers guests sophisticated cutting-edge gym facilities with panoramic harbour and mountain vistas, as well as secluded treatment rooms for personalised pampering.

From the very first moment of arrival at Dock House Boutique Hotel & Spa guests can expect minute attention to detail, exclusivity and personalised yet unobtrusive butler-style service.

A cable car ride up Table Mountain and a visit to Cape Point is an absolute must whilst exploring the Peninsula, so take great care of including them in your plans. Pre-planning of your time here will be worthwhile as there are many excellent hikes, wine farms, galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and events in Cape Town to experience and discover.

Meals:  Breakfast


Day 5 – 8: Sanbona Dwyka Tented Lodge, Waterberg Mountains, Montagu


Magnificent views, panoramic landscapes and towering cliffs, streams and the abundance of trees and indigenous flora, all contribute to making the Breede River Valley one of the Western Cape’s most diverse regions.  An approximate 3 and a half hour drive will bring you to the breathtakingly beautiful Sanbona Dwyka Tented Lodge, where you will spend the next three nights.

The malaria-free Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is around a three-hour scenic drive from Cape Town in the heart of the Little Karoo, along Route 62 – the world’s longest wine route. At the foot of the towering Waterberg Mountains, Sanbona boasts 58, 000 hectares of sculpted Cape Fold Mountains, wide-open Karoo plains, indigenous flora and fauna and rare examples of San rock art, some dating back more than 3, 500 years, plus a unique boat safari. More than a Big 5 wilderness reserve, it’s the vastness of the landscape, the alluring stillness and isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains that make Sanbona unique.

Embraced by striking rock formations, Dwyka Tented Lodge epitomises an atmosphere of seclusion. Nine luxury tents, with private decks and heated Jacuzzis, are set in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine. The lodge stands proudly upon the beautifully weathered landscape reflecting the nomadic lifestyle of the Khoisan hunter-gatherers who once roamed this land. Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul at the Relaxation Retreat, which offers an extensive menu of treatments and therapies. Dine alfresco in the boma or unwind in the communal lounge.

Surrounded by towering mountains and open plains it boasts an impressive selection of succulents and wildlife, including the Big Five and free-roaming white lions. Sanbona offers five-star accommodation at three luxurious lodges.

Meals:  Full Board


Day 8 – 10: Madi Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, Oudshoorn


An incredibly scenic drive along the famous Route 62 of approximately 3 Hours will bring you to your destination for the next two nights, the magnificent Madi Madi Karoo Safari Lodge.

Once in a lifetime, you find a special place suspended in time, hidden in a secluded valley in one of the most ancient and remote corners of the world. Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge.

The Karoo Game Reserve offers guests an experience of ultimate luxury accommodation in the Karoo, personalized service, exquisite nature and wildlife including, Cape Buffalo, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Zebra, Eland, Springbok and over 200 bird species.  They also offer Bush Drives (Game Drives), Horseback Safaris, Birding, Nature Walks, Sunset River Cruises, Stargazing evenings and much more.

The Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge provides unique Luxury Little Karoo Accommodation that is close to the neighbouring towns of Dysseldorp and Oudtshoorn. Accommodation Guests have an amazing selection of 2 Executive Riverfront Cottages, 2 Luxury Suites and 2 Superior Riverfront Cottages, all with amazing 180-degree views of the Kammanassie River.

Madi, the Venda name for water, is situated just off the famous Route 62 (R62) in the forgotten secluded valley in the Little Karoo, one of the most biodiverse regions of South Africa and nestles between the Swartberg Mountains and the mighty Outeniqua mountains just outside Oudtshoorn.

Meals:  Full Board


Day 10 – 13: Views Boutique Hotel and Spa, Wilderness


After a magical stay at Madi Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, an approximate one and a half hours drive will bring you to your home for the next three nights.  The breathtakingly beautiful Views Boutique Hotel and Spa.

A spectacular, lavishly-appointed boutique hotel with breath-taking views of the world-renowned Garden Route. Revive, revitalise and relax in a luxurious oasis of pure tranquillity. This serene retreat, perched high above Wilderness Beach, offers spectacular panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Outeniqua Mountains. Let the worries of the world wash away and awaken your senses as you soak in the sublime surroundings. Whether seeking a gentle nature filled break or a vigorous outdoor holiday Wilderness really does have something for everyone. Lots to do, lots to see, the perfect place to make special memories.

The 26 luxuriously furnished suites are designed to afford you front row access to the awe-inspiring vistas of the Garden Route, with each boasting large glass windows that open out onto striking panoramas. Both non-sea facing and sea facing suites epitomise 5-star living, their sumptuous interiors custom-made for comfort, and fully equipped with plush couches, flat-screen TVs and opulent en-suite bathrooms.

Awaken your senses and soothe your soul at our fully equipped on-site spa, a tranquil oasis designed to uplift, revive and refresh. Indulge in a therapeutic massage, nourish your body with one of our revitalising skincare treatments.

Fully equipped with a gym, a hydrotherapy bath, a Vitality Pool and a Tylarium Sauna, Views Spa welcomes you to enjoy a world of well-being.

Meals:  Breakfast


Day 13 – 16: Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay


Tsala Treetop Lodge is a mere one hour drive from Views Boutique Hotel, this spectacular lodge will be your home for the next three nights.

Set amidst the treetops of an age-old indigenous forest, Tsala is a lavish celebration of the spirit of Africa.

Emulating the monumental ruins of an ancient central African civilisation, the impressive stone-masonry entrance flanked by water features leads into a magnificent foyer supported by polished Blackwood columns.

The magical allure of Tsala is irresistible to those who appreciate exclusivity, fine fare, romance and adventure. With beautiful private suites and villas, breathtaking views and forest seclusion, unique architectural design and excellent personal service, it is a fantastic get-away destination.

The afro-baroque décor with its earthy colours, rich textures and handcrafted fittings draws inspiration from the diverse cultures of Africa, yet remains integrated with the sophistication of the Western world. Whether from the exotically appointed dining room, the intimate glassed-in lounge, or the large open decks high above the forest floor, the views are all breathtakingly beautiful, encompassing lush forests extending across rolling valleys towards distant hills.

Whether you wish to stay in and relax amidst the ancient enchanting forest, or to head out and explore South Africa’s celebrated Garden Route, experiencing Tsala is pure magic.

Meals:  Breakfast


Day 16 – 17: No5 by Mantis Boutique Hotel, Port Elizabeth


After a magical stay at Tsala Tree Top Lodge, an approximate two and a half hours drive will bring you to the elegant No5 by Mantis Hotel, situated in Port Elizabeth where you will spend the night.

Step into a world of unsurpassed sophistication & excellence at the exclusive No5 by Mantis in Port Elizabeth

Nestled in the upmarket beachfront suburb of Summerstrand, No5 by Mantis is less than ten minutes from the airport and within 100 metres of the Indian Ocean.

No stone was left unturned to ensure that their ten exquisite suites are masterpieces of comfort and opulence. No5 by Mantis is superb accommodation for business conferences or pleasure, offering the service excellence that the Mantis Group is renowned for the world over.

The tranquil surroundings have inspired the plush interiors designed for guests who expect nothing but the best. Ten exquisite suites, all masterpieces of comfort and opulence, are equipped with business units to keep guests connected with the world. Relax in your lounge with a selection of beverages from your private bar or freshly brewed coffee. In-room dining options allow for a personal five-star meal. Beautifully appointed double bathrooms will further enhance your experience.

Meals:  Breakfast


Day 17 – 19: Gorah Elephant Camp, Addo National Park


An hour and 40 minutes’ drive will bring you to the magnificent and charming Gorah Elephant Camp, situated in the Addo National Park, your home for the next two nights.

The thrill of quietly watching a herd of elephants stroll by while sipping tea on the veranda of a stately colonial manor house is the unforgettable stuff of dreams.

This exclusive lodge recaptures the romantic mystique of authentic safaris from centuries past. Experience the breathtaking natural world of Africa merged with colonial nostalgia and modern sophistication, to deliver an unforgettably unique 5-star adventure. Gorah is the only private concession and Camp situated in the middle of the famous Addo Elephant National Park, home to the densest population of elephants on earth. Gorah is malaria-free and has the Big 5.

During the colonial era, the vast expanses of land, wild animals and fascinating encounters with rural tribes, led to legendary tales of Africa that have shaped history and drawn more and more visitors to this magical and mystical place. To experience Gorah is to get a taste of this history. Discover its captivating rhythm that calls for adventure and fills your soul with an intense passion for the ever-changing landscape, the majestic animals and the cultural diversity.

The 1900’s was a time when the elite indulged in the extravagance of crystal, polished silver, white linen and G&T’s in the afternoon. At Gorah, guests are transported back to this era through the day-to-day luxuries offered at the Camp.

Meals:  Full Board


Day 19 – 22: Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve, Port Alfred


You will end your once in a lifetime holiday off on a high note, by spending the last three nights at the magnificent Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve, a two hours’ drive from Gorah Elephant Camp.

Set in a spectacular and unique environment, Oceana offers a truly special luxury boutique experience. The property is perfectly positioned within a sprawling wildlife sanctuary, fronted by a pristine 7km stretch of private beach. With absolutely everything is taken care of by their discreet staff, this private and intimate destination is where guests go for a “holiday whilst on holiday”.

Spacious and airy, all luxury accommodation options offer captivating views of the sand and sea, framed by indigenous shrubs and trees that create an easy island-living feel. They have seven double Suites to choose from, all with private decks and full bathrooms. Guests may also choose to book the magnificent double-storey Private House, with three en-suite double rooms. The Private House has private access, a spacious lounge with fireplace, private plunge pool on the deck, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, bar and dining area for effortless entertaining.

The reserve is home to more than 220 species of bird and 30 animal species, including rhino, giraffe and many others that can often be viewed from your suite. On-site attractions include safari drives, spa treatments, fine dining, games room, swimming and beach activities. From golf to fishing, birdwatching and more, there are also many other activities to be enjoyed in and around the charming town of Port Alfred.

Oceana is located on the warm Indian Ocean, close to Port Elizabeth as well as Big 5 reserves. Exclusive, yet unpretentious, this property ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable holiday.

Meals:  Full Board


Day 22: Homeward Bound

After breakfast, an hour and 50-minute drive will bring you to Port Elizabeth International Airport from where you will start your journey home after a holiday of a lifetime.


** Tailor-made Itinerary

As with all the tours on our website, this is just an example of what you can do. All our tours are formed from scratch for each individual client, destinations and accommodation are coordinated not only to your personal tastes and requirements but also to your budget.  Contact us now to begin planning your dream safari holiday.

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