Monday, 23 April 2018

DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE PART I - FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA


Hello dear friends,

Before I continue with my story, I would like to make a disclosure.  The trip that I am going to tell you about was took place a few years ago.  However, I never came around to blog about it.  The reason you are reading this post right now is because due to the growing popularity and the substantial increase in international visitors going to South Africa every year, I thought that if you have never been there, my story might inspire you to go.
And if you are planning a trip to South Africa, here are two more activities that you might like to add to your already busy itinerary (isn't it always): first is to hire a car and take a drive along the Garden Route which sits pretty high on the must-see list of most visitors to South Africa.  The second is to spend at least two days at one of the many game park reserves this country is proud to offer.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
For those who follow my blog, you know that I am married to a South African and every time we are about to travel, we make sure that we go to Cape Town to visit my in-laws.  And every time while we are mapping our time in there, my husband suggests that we should do the Garden Route, but somehow it never happened. My excuse for not doing it sooner always has been that our prime reason for being here is to visit my in-laws and spend as much time with them as possible.  It took me seven trips to this lovely country before, at long last, we decided to do it.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
The Garden Route is about a 300 km stretch of the South-Western Coast of South Africa between the Western and Eastern Capes.  It lies north of Cape Town and encompasses some of South Africa’s most beautiful beaches, mountains, and rivers. It is due to its natural beauty, that the Garden Route is considered as one of the greatest coastal drives in the world.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
It was during our planning time that my husband came up with another idea.  He suggested that once we reach the Eastern Cape, we should make a short stop and spend a couple of days in a game park.  I liked that idea a lot and we spent couple of hours trying to figure out where should we go.  Our choice fell on the malaria free Shamwari Private Game Reserve that was voted one of the World's Leading Safari and Game Reserve and Conservation Company for many consecutive years.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
And so after we spent a week in Cape Town, we packed a light suitcase and set off on our adventure. 
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
Since we were pressed for time, we decided to bypass the first leg of our journey by flying from Cape Town to George.  I found that this little town is quite ordinary and was not disappointed at all that we missed  it.  There we hired a car and went on to explore the beauty of the Garden Route and beyond.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
This is a magnificent part of South Africa. True to its name and glorious natural beauty, anywhere you look along the road, you see brightly coloured flowers blooming amongst luscious bushes with the dark rich forests rising up the slopes on one side and the sparkly blue waters of the Indian Ocean on the other.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
Our first stop was at Victoria Bay, where we went to have some coffee and a stroll along the beach, popular among locals for its mild surf, soft sand and a big grassed area behind it where they like to cook the braaivleis, a traditional South African barbecue.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA

"IT IS DUE TO ITS NATURAL BEAUTY, THAT THE GARDEN ROUTE IS CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE GREATEST COASTAL DRIVES IN THE WORLD"
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
Our next stop was at Knysna, a small, picturesque town famous for its beaches, lagoons and lush forests and thus a perfect place for water activities, walks and other adventures.  We had a lovely lunch at an Italian restaurant called Cornuti that served us an excellent pizza alongside a breathtaking view over the lagoon.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
After lunch we took a long luxurious walk along the beach admiring the surrounding environment.  It was peacefully quiet, there were no traffic, no shops and contrary to always crowded Bondi Beach, where we live, it was absolutely deserted.  It felt like heaven.
DRIVING ALONG GARDEN ROUTE| PART I| FROM CAPE TOWN TO KNYSNA
We continued our drive and in the late afternoon we reached the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay where we stayed overnight at one of the most magnificent hotels I ever been but that story is for another post.
Until then

Love,
Anna