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South Africa's Garden Route

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We are thinking of spending some time in South Africa on our way to (or back from) Europe next year. We'd be going to Europe in August; returning to NZ in October. Something we might like to do in South Africa is hire a car and drive the Garden Route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Is one of those months (August, October) better than the other for doing this drive? Also, for terrain, impact of scenery, etc, is there a difference between driving the route east to west, as against west to east? (For example, I read that the views coming into Knysna from Cape Town are jaw-dropping - but perhaps they're just as good coming in from the other direction?).

A recommended detour is Oudtshoorn. A travel guide I read describes a beautiful mountain pass drive in from the N2 highway, but Google maps show me two roads in (if coming from the Cape Town end): one via George, and one branching off sooner, near Hartenbos. Are they both beautiful? Might one be more hair-raising than the other? (They both look quite challenging on Google "satellite" view).

Would appreciate any advice and tips from anyone who has already done this drive.

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