Africa is like a really big trail map. Cairo to Cape Town. Malaga to Douala. Nairobi to Victoria Falls. Tour companies and travelers alike have realized that those who make it to Africa are there to spend some time and see a good lot of incredible sights. You won't meet many people who travel to Africa and hop around by air to all the different destinations. Everyone overlands. And everyone takes the same paths, whether in an overland vehicle, a fully-loaded Jeep with their families, or a cramped and ancient public bus. They do this because there aren't many distinct "sites" in Africa. Africa is the sight to behold in itself. See the land in between and connect destinations with the open road. Follow along these well-known paths, and you'll often see the same travelers at the same junctions/watering holes on the way. People swap stories and can relate to each other because they all know Ma who works at Snake Park in Arusha and that one fantastic beach bar in Nungwi, Zanzibar where the local boys practice their dance moves. Following these trails creates a community of vagabonds that all move by different means but all move to the same places.
In South Africa, the trail to follow is the Garden Route.
Starting (or ending) in Cape Town, one can experience the endless activities of this harbor city and move on via Baz Bus to a plethora of towns along the southern coast. Whether you want to hit up the winelands in Stellenbosch, the whale watching and cage diving near Hermanus, the beautiful landscapes of Mossel Bay, or the adventure sports of Plettenberg Bay, there are tens of stops to choose from and so many travelers to tell you good advice for your route.
The views are pretty much stunning everywhere, and we were there in the wintertime, when the sun was always at about half-mast and the wind was gentle and cool. Perfect. It can only get better from an already sky-high standard of vacation. And one of the best parts of the Garden Route, especially during that time of year, is the laid-back atmosphere that encourages relaxation and taking your merry time to blaze the trail.
Africa seems like a tough place to begin thinking about visiting, but after a quick glance on the internet, anyone will find a slew of routes and easy ways to digest the birth continent of mankind. And with a name like the "Garden Route", you know you're not going to be disappointed on your tour of South Africa.