Our mid-winter tour of the Garden Route and Little Karoo ran the gamut of weather from crystal-clear, windless days to fierce storms, from balmy Karoo days to icy nights. We set off to take the roads less travelled and to stay at least two nights in a place to get a sense of it.

The itinerary included:

  • Bontebok National Park, at the quaintly named Lang Elsie’s Kraal Restcamp on the Breede River;
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve, one of my favourite places;
  • The Malgas Pontoon, avoiding the N2 all the way to Mossel Bay via Vermaaklikheid, Gouritz River mouth and Jongensfontein, and to Knysna via the 7 Passes Road;
  • Storms River Mouth Restcamp – a place of memories from my youth – in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park;
  • The Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour, a zipline adventure in the forest;
  • Prince Alfred’s Pass;
  • Eagle Falls Country Lodge in the Kammanassie Valley;
  • and The Retreat @ Groenfontein between Swartberg Pass and Calitzdorp.

We did some gentle cycling around Bontebok, De Hoop, Kammanassie and Groenfontein, taking in magnificent views and wildlife – all this in silence and solitude along deserted dirt roads and jeep tracks. View the photo album.