HUNTED: { Honeymoon Destination – The Garden Route, South Africa }

South African Honeymoon Ideas

HUNTED: { Honeymoon Destination – The Garden Route, South Africa }

I should make an immediate disclaimer – this is where I went for my honeymoon. It was absolutely magical, so be aware that any bias is entirely intentional.

Where is it? – The Garden Route is the stretch of coast lying between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth in the Western Cape region of South Africa.

How long’s the journey?Flights from London to Cape Town are a lengthy 11 hours direct. On the plus side there is only one hour time difference between London and Cape Town meaning no jet lag, and night flights are common.

When to go? Being a Southern hemisphere, the Summer runs from December to February. Temperatures are on average hotter than you’d find in the UK –   in the peak Summer months 40 degrees celcius and above is quite possible. In Cape Town weather can be erratic. It is common to experience several seasons in a day making layer dressing essential. To avoid the crowds, the spring months (Sept – Nov) are a good time. As well as being pleasant temperature-wise these are the key months for some wildlife related activities such as whale-watching.

What can we do? –  The Garden Route is bursting with activity opportunities. If your ideal honeymoon is you, a beach, and minimal movement, this may be a waste of a destination. At the Western point of The Garden Route you have the lively bustle of Cape Town, overlooked by the magnificent Table Mountain. Weaving your way East – and self drive is highly recommended to treasure the views at your own pace – you pass whale watching and shark cage diving spots, spectacular mountain drives, the lakeside town of Knysna, the bohemian backpacker spot of Plettenberg Bay, and on to the many nature reserves in the Addo area where you have the chance to see the “Big 5.” White water rafting, bungee jumping, ostrich riding, cheetah walking, horse riding and watersports are just some of the many activities along the way. It’s also worth mentioning the food and wine of the region. Good food and an abundance of meat are endemic. Expect to regain any weight you may have lost in the run-up to your wedding. As for the wine, the Stellenbosch region has to be one of the finest areas in the world. Nestled amongst the mountains, with your head in the clouds, and your hands around a glass of Pinotage at one of the dozens of wineries, you might just find yourself in grapey heaven.

Where should we stay? There are multiple budget options, but as I said at the top, this post is biased, so I’ll let you know the best places we stayed. In Cape Town, if you want to treat yourself, stay at Cape Grace. The setting and service are out of this world. Just outside Knysna is the Phantom Forest Eco reserve where you stay up in the trees. They have a renowned 6 course dinner that’s unmissable. If you have some time, stay on the Modgaji reserve and help rehabilitate cheetahs. Finally, when in Stellenbosch, the cottages on the Clouds Estate are gorgeous self contained units, and fair value too.

Where should we eat / drink? It’s hard to go too far wrong. Food across the Garden Route is excellent. The restaurant in the Cape Grace does fantastic food, as does the Phantom Forest. Knysna is not such a great spot for foodies. Cafe Mario was an enjoyable pizza spot. Near Stellenbosch lunch at La Petite Ferme was delicious, with incredible views.

What should we budget? As a long haul destination flights will sit around the £800 return mark. After that, accommodation costs vary significantly. Generally the Rand will get you a lot more than the Pound or Euro – particularly when it comes to fuel, food and drink. Given the wealth of activities available, however, it would be a shame to go on an absolute shoestring.

Summary The honeymoon destination for those who love adventure, great food, excellent hospitality and many glasses of wine.


About theweddinghunter

Hunting weddings since 2011



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