South Africa's Garden Route (From Heidelberg to Storms River Village)
While its name is a bit misleading (this is no horticultural holiday), South Africa's Western Cape is home to one of the most popular stretches of road in the country. The densely vegetated road passes through ancient forests, secluded villages, seaside resorts, modern malls and golf courses, and it would be easier to overdose on adventure activities than on the sight of manicured gardens. The road takes in some of the best sights in South Africa, and thanks to a temperate climate, there is no bad time to visit. The starting point of this glorious drive is often contested, but TLTB chooses the cute little town of Heidelberg as our official start. Jumpstart your trip on a Saturday with a visit to Heidelberg's farmer's market where you can by all sorts of goodies to nibble on. From here, the road wanders through a collection of scenic mountain and seaside towns before reaching the picturesque town of George, home to the area's main airport. From here, the route heads for the sea passing through (or lingering longer if you so choose) three of the country's best seaside resort towns - Mossel Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Leave the pleasant seaside behind, and enter a bird watcher's paradise as the road winds it's way through National Parks to reach the end of the road in the fairytale-likeTsitsikamma National Park and one South Africa's best stretches of coastline.
Luxury Stay. Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay. This Relais & Chateaux member has got unpretentious luxury down to a tee. Set against a backdrop of ancient trees, the modern lodge is inspired by ancient Africa. Designed to look like a ruin, the lodge is in fact a haven of luxury, with elevated wooden walkways providing access to the suites and expansive balconies for relaxing and bird watching.