Cape Town to Garden Route Experience – August 2016
The purpose of this trip was for the Andre & Debbie (2 members of the Safari With Us team) to experience the Cape Town to Garden Route tour first hand and to visit and evaluate the guest houses we promote on our 10 day Garden Route Luxury tour. Our Cape Town Garden Route experience starts here.
Day 1: Johannesburg to Cape Town
It was an early morning start as the excitement was in the air and we had looked forward to our Cape Town – Garden Route tour for quite some time and a lot of organizing and planning went into our tour. The day arrived and so did our taxi (Uber) to take us to the airport. After an uneventful flight (just the way i like it) that lasted just under 2 hours we landed in Cape Town late morning .
Cape Town is also known as the mother city, maybe because it was the first major city and metropolis in South Africa, or maybe because she just makes you feel at home. One thing is certain, you will never forget Cape Town.
Our first task at hand was to collect our rental. Our guests of course have the benefit of a vehicle and driver / guide but as team members we had no such luxuries and had to drive ourselves.
After collecting our rental we hit the road into Cape Town; our destination, Floreal Guest House. This is the first stop in our Cape Town Garden Route experience.
This stately mansion is situated at the foot of Table Mountain and commands stunning views of the ocean as well as the mountain. The rooms are well-appointed and the service first class.
You will find all the facilities and comforts you expect from 4 and 5 star hotels.
- Wi Fi
- Well appointed rooms
- Good service
- Great food
- Helpful staff
It is a good choice to use as base for a stay in Cape Town.
We spent the early afternoon relaxing at the pool where we enjoyed a light lunch. It was winter in Cape Town and intermittent rain would force us inside. After a scrumptious dinner we decided to retire early and get a good nights sleep.
Day 2: In and around Cape Town
This day we explored Cape Town and enjoyed various activities and attractions.
Here are some great things to do in Cape Town
Since we did not want to drive we simply requested an Uber taxi using the mobile app. The Uber taxi arrived in no time and took us into the city. Uber works really well in Cape Town and is a great way to get around. There are always many things to do and places to see in Cape Town. From the hustle and bustle of Long Street to the vibrant V & A waterfront, from corner pubs to fancy restaurants.
That evening we found an amazing restaurant called the Duchess off Wisbeach. It did get a bit noisy but the food was great and the vibe was fun.
After dinner we returned to Floreal House for a good nights rest.
Day 3: Floreal House to Rouxwil (OverKaap)
After a hearty breakfast at Floreal, it was time to move on and continue our Cape Town Garden Route experience. So we set off on our morning road trip to the next destination, Rouxwil in the OverKaap. Over Kaap is local phrase meaning just beyond the Cape. Apart from the N2, this is not a dull road trip. The route took as past seaside towns and villages such as Strand and Gordon’s Bay. From Gordon’s Bay the R44 marks the start of the whale route. This coastal road snakes along the bottom of the mountain and serves up some amazing and spectacular views across the ocean.
The scenery is exquisite with the Atlantic Ocean stretching beyond the horizon and unique mountainous Fynbos terrain adding to the beauty of this route. After passing the quaint seaside villages of Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay, we stopped in the bustling town of Kleinmond for a light lunch. This seaside village is a popular summer holiday destination for many locals and tourist alike. But then it was winter and although busy, it was not crowded or packed.
Fish and chips seemed to be appropriate for a light lunch in this vibrant fishing town. The ocean views from the restaurant are remarkable and many guests were trying hard to spot whales. A solo artist played rock n roll music and it was a relaxing and enjoyable lunch stop.
After a tasty lunch we continued our road trip to Rouxwil farm estate.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at the Rouxwil farm guesthouse. This is a place of beauty and tranquility. We received a warm welcome and the receptionist showed us to our spacious and well appointed room. Tea, home made biscuits and cake were served . Here farm style hospitality is the order of the day. It is like being in the country side on a farm – in fact you are in the country side on a farm.
We spent the rest of the day enjoying the tranquility of the farm and even played some stick and fetch games with resident sheep dog. In distance we could see some small buck among the sheep.
That evening we met tour hosts – O’Nell and Thys. We spent time around a fire and discussed subjects of common interest. Dinner was 5-star. After dinner we made our way back to our spacious room for a solid night’s rest.
Day 4: Rouxwil to Mooi Plaas
Breakfast was fit for a king and we really enjoyed all the finishing touches that O’Nell took time in preparing. After breakfast we were enjoyed a tour of the farm which was both interesting and informative. Of course who does not know that certain vegetables are specially planted to prepare the soil for the next crop? After out farm tour it was time to continue our road trip – destination Mooi Plaas, Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo (“Little or small Karoo”). Mooi Plaas is a local term that literally means “Pretty Farm”
We had a long journey ahead of us to Mooiplaas so we decided to hit the road. The famous Route 66 saw us home. The journey was very enjoyable as the mountain passes were beautiful and there were spots where one could take photos and enjoy the scenery.
Once we arrived at Mooi Plaas we were greeted by the manager who was very friendly and hysterically funny. He showes us to our spacious and luxurious apartment. It was nice just to sit on the patio and watch the Ostriches in the distance. Little children played on the grass like in a park. Soon it would be dark and time for dinner.
Evening came and we headed off to the dining area. We were very happy to see that there was a fire going and that our food would be prepard the traditional South African way, over hot coals. Here it is called a braai. The atmosphere around the fire was jovial and the chef explained to us about the importance of the Ostridge farms and what it meant to the community.
The night sky was clear and the chef pointed out specific stars and enthusiastically explained details about each one. It was truly amazing as the stars were so bright and visible, something this region is well known for. After an enjoyable dinner we retired to our apartment for a good night’s rest
Day 5: Oudtshoorn Ostridge Farm
Breakfast was a Oudtshoorn experience as there was a choice of Ostridge egg and chicken egg as well as a buffet of different breads, cold meat, cereals and yogurts. After checking out we made our way to High Gate Ostridge Farm for a tour around the farm and to learn about farming activities the important role it plays within the Oudtshoorn community. The farms provide employment for a substantial part of the community. We saw how they made feather dusters, learnt about egg incubators and how they tell if an egg is fertile.
We learnt that Ostridge’s eat stones to help grind the food in their stomachs. Ostridges eat just about anything that shines and we were surprised to see all the different objects recovered from the stomach of an ostridge.
Soon it was time to depart High Gate Ostridge Farm and head off to Knysna. There are many other exciting experiences in the Oudtshoorn area, such as the Cango Caves and the Wildlife ranch. These activities are included in our 10 day luxury Garden Route tour. However, on this staff tour we did not have time for those activities.
This was the end of the Cape Town to Garden Route leg. Our true garden route experience was about to begin.
Part two: Our Garden Route experience.