So last week you heard about our trip in Cape Town (including Cape of Good Hope) and now we will continue on the Garden Route and towards our safari experience at Amakhala Game Reserve.
Even though Garden Route is a 300km route from Mossel Bay to the Storms River many start their trip from Cape Town and continue until Port Elizabeth or vice versa ( which is more like 800km).
Day 1 – Stellenbosch wine and dine experience
A must, either from Cape Town as a day trip (it is only 50 km away) or as the first stop on your route. Stellenbosch is a charming little place known for wine yards, restaurants and of course great wine. So book an extra night as you might want to sleep in after that wine degustation ;)
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are well known but the truth is there are other places to see and explore like the ones in Swartland, Wellington and Tulbagh. I haven’t been so I can’t recommend ( reason more to go back to SA and maybe next missadventure blogger event is right there!?).
In Stellenbosch we stayed at Majeka house and we visited Waterford Estate for a beautiful wine tasting. Either way, you could spend easily a week and stroll around the hundreds of wine estates in the region and you would probably only get a small taste of it!
Source: Velvet Escape
In the evening go to the Stellenbosch centre and enjoy at one of the local restaurants. The truth is there are so many to choose from!
Day 2 – Montagu
We had a great night out in Stellenbosch and a late breakfast + a spa at Majeka House. We also decided to explore Stellenbosch as it was such a charming little city so we stayed for lunch.
We arrived late afternoon in Montagu, right about for dinner. However, the town was out of electricity and everything was closed, the great owner of Kokkemans Kitchen took us in and while we were thinking what can we eat, the electricity came back! Great joy when you are hungry, I can tell you! ☺
Except for a great dinner, the town is really nothing special and next time around I would just skip it. So in the morning, we decided to hit the road right after breakfast and disappear from that place.
Day 3 – Oudtshoorn via Mossel Bay
Make sure you stop at Mossel Bay for a view and a coffee on your route to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is known for Cango Caves, Swartberg pass, Ostrich Farms and Meercat tours. We skipped the caves and went straight to the Ostrich farm for a guided tour. Those are some pretty funny animals!
Trying to feed the ostriches :)
Did you know?
- Ostrich doesn't have any teeth so they need to swallow stones to help them digest the food.
- They also love shiny things like jewellery, glasses and rings so don’t wear anything shiny if you don’t plan to leave it there!
- They run up to 70km/h and lay biggest bird eggs.
- Their feathers are super soft and used for fashion ( Rio carnival) or as dusters!
We also decided to do a Meercat tour and for those you need to wake up pretty early ( 4 am, as the tour starts at 5 am!) But boy was that worth it!
Meercats are especially funny waking up, going back to their holes, then coming slowly back up still standing asleep and their head falling heavy. They take care of each other and groom themselves.
Day 4 – Plettenberg Bay
Beautiful Plettenburg Bay is perfect for a day or two at the beach or if you prefer to hike there is the Tsitsikamma National Park that we recommend. You can hike, get to see sea lions or sharks if you are (un)lucky!
Tsitsikamma National Park
Day 5-7 - Safari time!
We checked in early afternoon into the Amakhala Bush Lodge and already at the entrance you are aware you will experience something special.
You check in into the Guesthouse, your ranger welcomes you and gives you necessary safety tips. You change the vehicles and together you go with the Land Rover (which is btw open).
The gate opens and you are in the wild. Pretty weird and exciting feeling, knowing there are cheetahs, leopards and lions everywhere. The ranger has no protection btw.
Photo Source: Amakhala, Amakhala Bush Lodge
Amakhala Bush Lodge was amazing! You go on a safari twice a day and after the evening safari, they prepare a hot bath for you! It was the best experience ever and we stayed 2 nights.
My view when I was having a breakfast! Giraffes came to drink some water!!! The best breakfast ever :)
These rhinos decided to block our way and we couldn't pass for like 30 min! But they said we were very lucky as they are quite rare to see and we had an opportunity take these close up pictures! :)