If you read my previous blog about South Africa and the Cape Town Area, you know why I fell in love with this country during our last trip just a few weeks ago.
As I mentioned there already they call South Africa a world in one country, and in this blog I will show you why that is!After we explored Cape Town and the surrounding area for 4 days we drove a route of 800 kilometers towards Port Elizabeth, while visiting Stellenbosch, exploring the real Africa through Route 62 and the Garden Route and of course do a few safari’s.
On below map you can see our exact route, the stars indicate all the places we stayed overnight and visited for several days.
I hope you will enjoy my highlights through our pics, which are all original and taken by us during our 17 day trip in this beautiful country.
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
Less than an hour from Cape Town you will find Stellenbosch, which we absolutely ffell in love with. Such a classy yet historical city located in a beautiful nature area, also called capital of the winelands, and the second city in South Africa founded by the Dutch colonists. The architecture here is beautiful and quiant and nearby Franschhoek is also worth a visit for its authentic shops and many wine tasting venues.
For dinner or lunch at a restaurant with stunning views over the vineyards and nature area around Stellenbosch I can highly recommend Delaire Graff. We had lunch at this classy estate, enjoying the amazing views paired with exquisite wines, delicious food and stunningly decorated dishes!
Delaire Graff Estate and Restaurant
From here we drove 2 iconic routes which are unique for South Africa:
Starting at Montagu and ending at Port Elizabeth, resembling Route 66 in the USA with its desert surroundings and old forgotten towns along the way. During this drive we passed by many quaint towns and came across beautiful nature areas.
Driving down again from Oudtshoorn we entered the iconic Garden Route which is the lush part of the N2 that runs through many nature reserves and along beautiful beaches from Mosselbaai to Plettenberg Bay.
For us the highlights along this route were:
Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve
We love game drives and safari’s and in South Africa there are many places where you can see the big 5 in the wild. We did several game drives at 2 locations in the south of the country, as we didn’t want to go all the way up to Kruger Park.
Our first stop was Oudtshoorn where we stayed at an authentic but very luxurious game lodge in a spacious tent by the waterhole filled with hippos and different animals visiting throughout the day:
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge in Oudtshoorn
(Remember to click on the smaller tile pics to scroll through the gallery and see the bigger version and description)
Our second and last stop was located 50 minutes above Port Elizabeth. Here you will find Addo Elephant Park and several private game reserves surrounding it, where you can definitely spot the big 5! We stayed at the smaller Amakhala Game Reserve which is equally beautiful and filled with wildlife.
During the game drives I was happy to be able to test our new Nikon d5600 digital camera including Nikkor 18-300 mm telelens, which was perfect for this occasion. I was very pleased with the results, but you can be the judge of that as well:
Game drives Oudtshoorn & Amakhala Game Reserve
One of the most unique experiences we had here was to observe this cheetah family in the wild for over an hour. The mother with 4 cubs was so precious and even though we didn’t see a real leopard these majestic cats more than completed the big 5 for us!
But I still have many more pics to share! For daily pics of South Africa you can follow me on social media via te icons at the bottom of this page.
Have you ever been to South Africa, on safari and did a road trip through the Garden Route and Route 62 as well?
Tell me about your experiences and plans and let me know if you have more questions or need more details so I can answer them here or write another blog about it.