The Garden Route, from Cape Town to Pumba by Hallmark Travel’s client, Marion

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by Marion

We had a wonderful time. Flights and transfers went very smoothly, although it is a long flight if you don’t sleep. We enjoyed Winchester Mansions, our hotel in Cape Town, and quickly felt at home. We didn't eat in the restaurant, but had several bar meals which were excellent, and the breakfast buffet was very good, with something for everyone. We enjoyed the buffet lunch in the pretty courtyard of the hotel, with a nice atmosphere. The hotel offers a courtesy car to Victoria and Albert Dock, (just 10 minutes away) which we used on several occasions.

While here in the Western Cape we visited the penguins at Boulders Beach which were fascinating, and, of course, a trip up Table Mountain - wonderful views of the city.

We had our hire car delivered to the hotel and it went without a hitch. So our next stop was Franschhoek Country House. A beautiful hotel and the room was lovely, felt quite palatial, with a large balcony with lounger chairs. Off we went to the Boschendal Estate Winery for a picnic lunch which we had pre booked (excellent value for money) followed by a wine making tour, then the tasting. All in all, a good day. Beautiful buffet/cooked breakfast provided in a lovely dining room. The staff were helpful and friendly. The next day before we continued our journey, we popped in to the pretty town of Franschhoek which is well worth a visit. The hotel also offers courtesy car transport to the town.

We now headed for the coastal resort of Hermanus. We arrived early afternoon at Schulphoek Guest House to be shown to a huge modern bedroom with a large veranda overlooking the ocean. What more could you want? There was also a huge guest lounge overlooking the ocean for those who had garden rooms. The staff were very helpful and obliging. Hermanus is a lively town and there were plenty of restaurants on the seafront.

We had a long drive to our next destination, the De Zeekoe Guest Farm in Oudtshoorn. This working farm accommodation was amazing. Our room overlooked the mountains and had a lovely balcony with seating and a ceiling swing seat (very popular). The rest of my party visited the Ostrich Farm, only a short drive away, which they said was great fun. The Evening meal and breakfast were enjoyable and the staff were great.

Our icing on the cake was Pumba! We had 2 safaris a day and can't praise our ranger, Dean, enough. He was a delightful young man, full of knowledge and fascinating stories. The rooms were gorgeous, we could have stayed there for months! We overlooked the watering hole and I would recommend this, as a good many animals came to drink. The food was good and staff couldn't do enough for us. We saw beautiful white lions, as well as all the other fantastic animals.

Sadly, our holiday came to an end and the long trek home started but with no problems.

Just to mention, that hire car delivery and return were simple. Car parks in South Africa all seem to be free but there is always a little man to direct you to a space, for which you give him 2/3 rands on your return. We went on the 'hop on hop off' bus in Cape Town, which stops outside Winchester Mansions, good value for money and a wonderful way to see the district.

Thank you for all your help arranging our amazing holiday.

Would you like to know more about Marion's holiday? Then call Gaby, who put it all together for her!

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