Go on a family adventure with this 16-night itinerary along South Africa’s Garden Route. Starting in Cape Town, this version of the famous self-drive route is created for families in mind with short distances between stops and an almost infinite list of experiences that’ll have the whole family in awe.
Suggested route & duration
16 nights from Cape Town
• Cape Town: 3 nights
• Grootbos: 2 nights
• George: 2 nights
• Hog Hollow: 3 nights
• Cape St. Francis: 3 nights
• Shamwari Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape: 3 nights
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this self-drive
• Give the kids a trip of a lifetime with new experiences they’ll treasure
• Watch African penguins waddle on the sand at Boulders Beach
• Take time out on the Garden Route’s family-friendly beaches
• Get the kids involved on safari with Shamwari’s dedicated programme
• Stay in family-friendly apartments and lodges and enjoy the flexiblity of self-driving
Suggested itinerary details
Day 1: Cape Town
Arrive in Cape Town. From your comfortable apartments by the water, head up to Table Mountain, visit the penguins at Boulders Beach and wander around the V&A Waterfront. Stay 3 nights at African Elite Waterfront Apartments.
Day 4: Grootbos
Drive to the Hermanus area where you’ll stay in an eco-lodge surrounded by nature on all sides. Spy whales from the beach (June to December), stroll around the ancient milkwood forest and follow a guide around the fynbos on a flower safari. There are over 100 bird species to keep an eye out for and super scenic walks from forest to coast. Stay 2 nights at Grootbos Nature Reserve.
Day 7: George
Today is your longest drive (approx. 4 hours) to the gateway of the Garden Route, George. Make chocolate treats, pick strawberries in a maze or go on a Segway tour in Wilderness – the list of activities at Fancourt are huge. Stay 2 nights at Fancourt.
Day 9: Hog Hollow
Head to Hog Hollow, near Plettenberg Bay. Go whale watching, kayak with dolphins, hike the Robberg Nature Reserve’s stunning cliff walks or get more active with horseriding or mountain biking (age restrictions may apply). Stay 3 nights at Hog Hollow Country Lodge.
Day 12: Cape St. Francis
Travel on to your beach villa at Cape St Francis for idle time by the sea, or take on the famous surf. Stay 3 nights at Cape St Francis Beach Break.
Day 15: Eastern Cape
Drive on to Shamwari Private Game Reserve. At Riverdene Lodge, go on game drives to find Africa’s epic beasts. Stay 3 nights at Riverdene Lodge at Shamwari.
Stop for the gorgeous valley views and horse riding at Hog Hollow Country Lodge
Head out on game drives in Shamwari’s Big Five territory and visit Born Free Foundation’s Big Cat Rescue Centres
Grootbos Nature Reserve
Go on treasure hunts in the forest and see wildlife in their natural habitat at Grootbos
Relax and watch the kids make friends in family-friendly Cape St. Francis
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this family-friendly itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible and the Garden Route is just as great for those without children too, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
We’ve chosen hotels that are inspiring for kids and sophisticated enough for adults. Grootbos is a flower-filled nature reserve with beaches and forest and Fancourt has an impressive activities list. As this itinerary is flexible, changing hotels to suit your style and budget is easy.
Whale watching, horse riding, mountain biking – this itinerary is jam-packed with optional experiences. Game drives are usually for kids aged 7 and over, but Shamwari allows children from 4 years old. Chat to us about what your family likes to do on holiday and we’ll help plan exciting activities.
We’ve included stays that are 2 to 3 nights long, so you can get the family ready for the next stop at a comfortable pace. Add in extra beach time in Plettenberg, or you can take out George and Cape St. Francis for a shorter, more traditional Garden Route itinerary.
This itinerary will probably be long enough for most families, but if you have older children who are up to it, add a visit to South Africa’s lesser-visited KwaZulu-Natal or the mighty Victoria Falls.
Good to know
When to go
• Cape Town is great to visit year-round with warm summers (January to February) and mild winters (June to August, when Cape Town gets its rain). The shoulder seasons are warm and usually less busy – perfect for Easter and September school holidays
• The UK summer holidays falls in South Africa’s winter time so it’s a more budget-friendly time to travel