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Garden Route
from R3,456 p/p sharing
Fancourt is located in the heart of the magnificent Garden Route, at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and 7km from George Airport. Fancourt's original homestead, built in 1859, now finds itself rejuvenated as a new luxury boutique hotel, "the Manor Hou
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The stops along South Africa’s beloved Garden Route can seem something out of a fairytale – enchanted milkwood forests that were once home to hundreds-strong elephant herds, moody river mouths and some of the country’s best hikes, adrenaline sports and wildlife sighting opportunities. Khoi herders who lived off the Garden Route’s fruits considered the area to be heaven on earth. They called it Outeniqua, meaning “the man laden with honey”. The 18th century brought Dutch woodcutters, who were quick to exploit the area’s forests and its original inhabitants. Nowadays, the forests you see are just a shadow of their original splendour – many of the region’s indigenous hardwood trees have been replaced by foreign pine species. Mapping the route will take you from the inlet at Mossel Bay all the way to Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park. Just don’t venture to drive it all in one go – there are too many picture-perfect opportunities to stop along the way. Lucky for travellers, the public transport infrastructure here is some of the country’s best – partly thanks to tour operators along the route who have turned it into South Africa’s most concentrated strip for adventure sports and outdoor activities. The most harrowing? Bloukrans Bridge – the bungee jump here is the world’s highest at 216m. So where should one stop? Knysna exudes a youthful vibe and is a great place to vacation with families. It’s home to an elephant park (if you’d like to get up close and personal with this gentle giants) and several great hiking trails in the area’s multitude of nature reserves. If multi-day hikes or trail runs are your idea of fun, the Garden Route has several: the week-long Outeniqua Trail, the Harkerville Coastal Trail or South Africa’s most popular route – the Otter Trail. Meanwhile, to the east lies Plettenberg Bay, a popular beach town with cozy cafes and curio shops lining its main drag. Best for: Adrenaline Junkies; Backpackers/Budget Travellers; Beach Bums; Couples/Honeymooners; Eco Travellers; Families; LGBTQ-friendly; Nature Lovers; Road Trippers

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