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Cape Town and the Garden Route for 12 days over Christmas / New Years

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Hi, I'm planning a trip to Cape Town and around (into Cape Town, out of Port Elizabeth) for 12 days around the end of year holidays. [I know things will be super crowded but this happened to be the time we had to take off.] I was hoping that some of you could provide some insight into a possible itinerary.

We arrive on the morning of the 25th (early, 9ish, following an overnight from London), and leave in the evening of January 5th. We'll rent a car at some point, and want to see Cape Town, the wine region and the Garden Route, as well as possible. We like hiking and culture, but probably won't be doing anything super strenuous as my girlfriend's mom will be joining us - so "walking" is probably more like it, and no bungy jumping or whatever.

I was thinking something like the following:

25th: Arrive, acclimatize, Capetown
26th: Capetown
27th: Capetown
28th: Capetown
29th: Capetown
30th: drive wine region, overnight Franschhoek
31st: Franschhoek
1st: Drive to Swellendam via Stanford, Arniston, Cape Agulhas
2nd: De Hoop Nature Reserve and then double back on to Plettenberg Bay
3rd: Plettenberg Bay (hike "walk" in Tsitsikamma)
4th: Plettenberg Bay (hike "walk" in Robberg)
5th: Plettenberg Bay (hike "walk" in Tsitsikamma on the way to Port Elizabeth for an evening flight)

Does that seem reasonable? I'm wondering whether I'm not giving enough time to the Overberg, and whether I'm spending too much of my (unfortunately limited) time in either Cape Town or Plettenberg Bay. At first I'd been thinking of staying in Cape Town for 4 nights and adding a night after the wine country to Hermanus (before Swellendam), but it seems like Hermanus will be crazy crowded at New Years and not necessarily so amazing anyway around the end of December, and since we'll clearly have at least a little jet lag it seemed reasonable to add the day to Cape Town. But I'm really not sure.

The other constraint is lodging, as in, there's not a lot of it. So there isn't really an option to stay in Knysna, for example, during the couple of days that we're in that area. The Fynbos Ridge Country House outside of Plettenberg Bay was available, though, and got good reviews. (It's booked but amendable).

One last thing: I've been on safaris and so I don't have any need to push through a day in Addo, and I don't want to see anything exploitative to animals, so I'm not rushing to plan on the Knysna Elephant farm, or an Ostrich farm, or things like that. I'd love to see animals in their natural habitat (and if there are whales at that time of year I'd go out of my way to try to see them), but I don't need to force it on this trip.

Any thoughts / help would be much appreciated.


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