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South Africa

Garden Route

Lying a half-day’s drive from Cape Town, the Garden Route is celebrated as a natural wonderland that one could spend a lifetime exploring. The towns dotted along the route – Wilderness, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Nature’s Valley – have an unassuming charm that calls many visitors back. Life is slow here, just ask the surfers or local forest elephants, but there are large doses of natural drama, best found in one of the world’s largest bungee jumps, tubing down Storm’s River, kayaking up one of the many rivers or taking a cruise through the Knysna Heads.

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Enjoy beautiful seascapes that contrast with the dense indigenous forests, well laid out walks, hikes, suspension bridges, boat trips and all from within the Storms River Mouth. Choose between the Loerie and Blue Duiker trails or hike to the pristine waterfall.

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Reasons to travel to the Garden Route

  • Go on on a cruise on the Knysna lagoon
  • Visit the unique Robberg Nature Reserve
  • Hike in the Knysna forests, home to mysterious elephants

Scintilla’s Delights

Treat yourself to the best experiences the Garden Route has to offer.

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Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour

A unique eco-wilderness adventure in the magnificent Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest. The first of its kind in Africa, traverse from one platform to another, along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor. Led by experienced guides most platforms are located within giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees and the scenery and birdlife is spectacular.

Hike Robberg Nature Reserve
Hike Robberg Nature Reserve

Enjoy a circular walk in the Robberg Nature Reserve

The ultimate Beach Experience at Simbavati on Sea
The ultimate Beach Experience at Simbavati on Sea

Book a day at the beach and live out your mermaid dreams on a beautiful stretch of the Indian Ocean.

Cruise the Knysna Lagoon at Sunset
Cruise the Knysna Lagoon at Sunset

The most popular way to cruise on the lagoon!

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Experiences in the Garden Route

The Garden Route offers an impressive range of unbelievable things to do.

Knysna Community Upliftment Tour
Knysna Community Upliftment Tour
Plettenberg Ocean Safari
Plettenberg Ocean Safari
Kayak & Lilo Storms River Gorge
Kayak & Lilo Storms River Gorge
Tsitsikamma Snorkelling Adventure
Tsitsikamma Snorkelling Adventure
Fynbos & Rivers on Horseback
Fynbos & Rivers on Horseback

Discover bespoke trips

There are thousands of ways our travellers can experience Africa. Our bespoke itineraries are created to ensure your trip is just right for you.

Cape Town, Karoo, Eastern Cape Safari
10 nights featuring the best of South Africa

Cape Town, Karoo, Eastern Cape Safari

From $9, 900 per person

Ultimate South Africa
12 days off the beaten track

Ultimate South Africa

From $9, 900 per person

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Where to stay in the Garden Route

The Garden Route has some world-class accommodation options.

Simbavati Fynbos On Sea
Simbavati Fynbos On Sea
AfriCamps at Oakhurst
AfriCamps at Oakhurst
Kanonkop House
Kanonkop House
Fairview House
Fairview House
The Old Rectory
The Old Rectory
Tsala Treetop Lodge
Tsala Treetop Lodge

Other destinations in South Africa

One could spend a year travelling in South Africa and not see it all. These places are our best of the best.

Cape Town

Cape Town

The Greater Kruger National Park

The Greater Kruger National Park

Cape Winelands

Cape Winelands

The Overberg

The Overberg

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve

Eastern Cape

Eastern Cape

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Guest Testimonials

Discover why our guests select Scintilla for their travel to Southern Africa.

Hi Cuan.  Just wanted you to know we have had an amazing time in Namibia!  What an experience!  Yesterday we stopped off at a bar in a very remote village after tracking elephants and had beers and danced with the locals which was fantastic.  Between the orphanage, stops in many villages, the kids we’ve gotten to meet, the Himba village and of course all the animals it has just been incredible.  You organized quite a trip for us!  And now, Botswana!!!

The Soloman Family, USA

My week in Namibia was sensational and went seamlessly. From the welcoming pickup from the airport to the beautiful accommodations and fascinating road-trip across much of the country, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Of particular note, the food at Hoodia Desert Lodge was impeccable and the al fresco lunch prepared by the guide after the visit to Deadvlei and Sossusvlei was simply magical. The sundowners at both Hoodia and Onduli Ridge were top-notch, each offering breathtaking views and fabulous Namibian gin cocktails and bites. What made the entire journey so easily enjoyable was the daily itineraries and maps presented to me upon arrival and the overall organization and attention to detail. My solo sojourn was truly flawless, and I will recommend it widely!

Sarah Scott, ZA

Cuan, everything going to plan so far with stunning weather and excellent service and amazing wildlife in Etosha!! Thanks again for your professionalism. Everything has been magical, and we have definitely brought some luck with us being the first group to find the elephants only after 10 minutes of looking !! Really appreciate your help, and I will be recommending you to our friends back home.

Tom Last, AU

Our guide Charlene was out of this world. She was charming, intelligent, and fun and she showed us the best of Cape Town while also educating us on the journey Cape Town has taken from Apartheid through today. We were fascinated, engaged, and overjoyed to spend our final days in Africa with her. She is truly outstanding.

Paul & Wendy, UK

The trip was FANTASTIC, and our guide Marcus was absolutely superb! We took all of his recommendations for our last free day in the city and can’t thank him enough for the stellar suggestions.

Thomas & Mary Louise, Canada

Please convey my thanks to the Cape Town guiding teams! Without a doubt our most memorable moment of the trip was our visit to the Cape Peninsula with our guide, Chizzy. A major positive, thrilling time. The penguins, picnic and swim at the reservoir, continual birthday celebrations for Jack’s 18th Birthday were all home runs.

Suzanne, Jack & Family, USA

The most important thing for me to tell you is that we had a fabulous time with James exploring the Peninsula of Cape Town! Along with our visit to the Zeitz Museum, our day with James was a highlight of the time we spent in South Africa. He was friendly and open about discussing his experiences growing up with apartheid which I really appreciated. I enjoyed the towns we visited, the restaurant where we had lunch, our visit with the penguins, and our hike out to the shipwreck. Thank you!!

Emma & Lori, USA

Well, we finished up Cape Town this evening, heading to safari tomorrow. We loved the country tour and winery tour, absolutely amazing. Also, our guide for both days, was one of the best we have ever had. We couldn’t imagine a better time and she couldn’t be more flexible. Thank you for setting up this first part of the vacation and setting us up with the tours.

Cory & Heather, USA

It was great! Everything worked out perfectly! We absolutely loved the Sidecar experience – wow, was that fun! We loved our guide in Cape Town, Josh, he was the BEST! He was so fun. We took him for dinners and played golf with him! We just thought Cape Town was fantastic. Wine Country was great. Fantastic.

Joseph, Marsha & Family, USA

On Saturday, we met our guide, Charlene, who was OUTSTANDING. We had missed the Zeitz Museum, and she was happy to let us rearrange our schedule so that we could tour it as well as taking me to a beautiful craft market to buy gifts.  On arriving in the wine country, we enjoyed an amazing lunch at La Motte.  With Charlene's background in wines, she was able to recommend the best wineries to visit on the winetram, as well as several good restaurants in the area.

William & Constance, USA

Cape Town was so scenic and beautiful.  Had an interesting visit around town and to the houses of parliament with a very accommodating guide James.  James made that whole experience everything it was and deserves a lot of credit. What a great place to visit!  What phenomenal food!  What masters of hospitality they all are in Africa!

Jeffery & Barbara, Canada
Local Knowledge

Local Knowledge

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Responsible Travel

Responsible Travel

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Boutique Focus

Boutique Focus

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Immersive Experiences

Immersive Experiences

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Exceptional Locations

Exceptional Locations

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Bespoke Trips

Bespoke Trips

Our consultants are widely travelled and vastly experienced, with expert knowledge of Southern Africa.