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FROM US$2,410-US$2,730

Waterbuck self-drive

A classic Cape and Garden Route self-drive taken at a leisurely pace and staying in charming boutique hotels. Great food and wine paired with spectacular scenery and an exciting array of activities.

Waterbuck self-drive: Summary

Waterbuck self-drive in a nutshell

Discover the awe-inspiring Western Cape on this 12-night self-drive adventure from Cape Town to the Garden Route. Staying in a string of boutique hotels with complete freedom to choose from a great range of activities, this trip can be tailored to your interests, from wine and whale watching to history and hiking.

Begin your journey with three nights the beautiful Cape Town, staying in a leafy suburb of Constantia. Head into Cape Town to wander the V&A Waterfront, visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and indulge in some of its renowned restaurants. The more active can hike through Table Mountain’s Nature Reserve for breath-taking views of the scenic city below, drive the Cape Peninsular in search of sandy beaches home to curious penguin colonies and try some of Constantia’s famous wines.

More oenology and rolling green vineyards backed by rocky mountains await in the Winelands and the quaint town of Franschhoek. Staying the luxurious Le Quartier Français, enjoy tastings, horse riding and culinary classes as you discover the farms that date back to French Huguenot refugees who settled here in the 17th century and enjoying their celebrated fresh produce.

Driving a scenic and quitter route east, spend a night in historic Swellendam, one of the oldest towns in South Africa, en route to Oudtshoorn. Set in a unique semi-arid region between mountain ranges known as the Klein Karoo, its known for picturesque hikes and dramatic passes dotted with arty villages. It’s also the gateway to the Garden Route, which you’ll follow back to the coast.

With the Indian Ocean rolling into bays and beaches to your right and forest-covered hills to you left, spend two nights each in Knysna and Tsitsikamma. Explore the area’s diverse nature reserves to see where the Garden Route gets its name from, take a boat out to spot whales and dolphins, and trace the area’s history back 100,000 years at ancient rock art sites.

At a glance

Starts: Cape Town International Airport
3 nights Cellars-Hohenort - Cape Town, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Le Quartier Francais - Winelands, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
1 night Schoone Oordt C. House - Swellendam, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Rosenhof Country House - Little Karoo, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Turbine Hotel - Knysna | Garden Route, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
2 nights Hog Hollow - Tsitsikamma | Garden Route National Park, South Africa Bed & Breakfast
Ends: Port Elizabeth International Airport

Cellars-Hohenort

Days 1-4

In the heart of Constantia, one of Cape Town’s leafiest and most affluent suburbs, The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel lies close to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It’s a Relais & Châteaux hotel, set in nine acres of manicured, award-winning gardens, for which it is well known, with a small vineyard and forested area. The name relates to the original cellars of the 18th-century Klaasenbosch wine estate, and the Hohenort Manor House – both of which have been beautifully restored.

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Le Quartier Francais

Days 4-6

For those seeking a peaceful spot in a tiny town surrounded by vineyards, the excellent Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek may be the answer. (It's recently joined the Relais & Château group.) Open log fires, sumptuous rooms and a couple of superb restaurants ensure a very comfortable stay here. The town itself has a diverse array of art galleries, high fashion clothing boutiques, jewellers, local artisans, coffee shops and restaurants. As with everywhere in this region, excellent wine estates are close by.

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Schoone Oordt Country House

Day 6

Schoone Oordt Country House is located in the historic town of Swellendam, at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains. A beautiful Victorian house dating back to 1853, it is a convenient halfway stop between Cape Town and the Garden Route. The house is set in landscaped gardens and has been lovingly restored by its current owners as an upmarket guesthouse.

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Rosenhof Country House

Days 7-9

The elegant Rosenhof Country House occupies a mid-19th-century single-storey homestead on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn, in South Africa’s Little Karoo. It is well placed for visits to the Cango Caves and several ostrich farms in the region. During our last visit, the rooms were being renovated and refurbished.

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Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

Days 9-11

The Turbine or, as it’s more formally known, ‘The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa’, is located on Thesen Islands, beside the town of Knysna, on South Africa’s Garden Route. Converted from an old power station, and beside one of this small island’s waterways, The Turbine is particularly interesting for its history and for the original machinery, which has been incorporated into its modern design.

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Hog Hollow Country Lodge

Days 11-13

In the heart of the Garden Route, in an area known as The Crags, lies Hog Hollow Country Lodge. This tranquil property, where the only sounds are birdsong, baboons barking and monkeys chattering, is set on a hillside, overlooking the Matjies River Gorge below and the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Just 18km east of the popular holiday town of Plettenberg Bay, it is well positioned to explore this stretch of the South African coast.

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Cellars-Hohenort

Cellars-Hohenort

Cape Town, South Africa

Le Quartier Francais

Le Quartier Francais

Winelands, South Africa

Schoone Oordt Country House

Schoone Oordt C. House

Swellendam, South Africa

Rosenhof Country House

Rosenhof Country House

Little Karoo, South Africa

Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

Turbine Hotel

Knysna | Garden Route, South Africa

Hog Hollow Country Lodge

Hog Hollow

Tsitsikamma | Garden Route National Park, South Africa

About image

Highlights

Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this Waterbuck self-drive.

  • World-class cuisine and wine
  • Stunning hikes around Cape Town & on the Garden Route
  • Learn about the Cape’s rich history and cultures
  • Spot whales and dolphins in Plettenburg Bay
  • A new incredible view around every corner

Activities

Some activities which can be included in the Waterbuck self-drive: talk to us about those which interest you.

  • Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

  • Canoeing

  • Cultural excursion

  • Dune-boarding

  • Elephant encounter

  • Fishing

  • Helicopter

  • Horse-riding

  • Hot air ballooning

  • Kayaking

  • Microlight

  • Mountain biking

  • Quad-biking

  • Scuba-diving

  • Self-guided walking

  • Snorkelling

  • Watersports

About image

Key species to see on the Waterbuck self-drive

Based on our travellers' observations, we’ve estimated the likelihood of seeing these species during the Waterbuck self-drive. Click on the animals and our wildlife surveys page for more info.


Leopard

0% chance

Side-trips whilst on this holiday

We may be able to build in some of these optional excursions from the Waterbuck self-drive. Talk to us: they’re usually best arranged when you book.


Winelands Private Tour

Winelands Private Tour

Full day

Spend a day exploring the beautiful vineyards, mountains and valleys of the Cape Winelands and sample some of the well-known wines they have to offer

More about Winelands Private Tour
100% (2 reviews)
Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Full day - normally nine hours

Get your camera ready for one of South Africa’s most breathtaking coastal drives in the company of an informative guide. Take in magnificent beaches, stunning scenery, wildlife on land and at sea, and the meeting of two great oceans, then round off your day in the tranquillity of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

More about Cape Point and Peninsula
92% (5 reviews)
City and Table Mountain Tour

City and Table Mountain Tour

Approximately four hours - AM or PM

From atop the iconic Table Mountain, the panoramic views of Cape Town can be breathtaking – and if the cable car isn’t operating, they’re just as good from nearby Signal Hill. Back at sea level, explore the highlights of this fascinating and pretty city, including the South African Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and the Houses of Parliament.

More about City and Table Mountain
93% (3 reviews)

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Like all of our holidays on this site, this is just an idea. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you.


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