Know Before You Go

Here are a few useful snippets of information that you may need before you depart and during your Garden Route Trip.
Out in the Garden Route towns, taxis can be expensive and difficult to find. If you are planning to use taxis it is recommended to book ahead from your hotel using a reputable firm.


Restaurants and tours: Service at restaurants and cafes along the Garden Route is generally very good and often deserves a tip. 10-15% is an acceptable and is usually a greatly appreciated amount. It is also customary to tip golf caddies and tour guides if they have given you good service.

Car Guards: Many places where you park your car have car guards who will offer to watch your car while you are away. A tip of 5 Rand or so is a suitable amount to give once you return to your car.

Petrol stations: Most petrol stations in the Garden Route and Eastern Cape and indeed South Africa are not self-service - usually an attendant will fill your car and even check your oil and wash your windscreen. It is customary to tip petrol station attendants - 5 Rand or so is a good amount.

Opening Hours
Shops and banks tend to close at around 5pm and on are often closed on Sundays; in larger towns or malls they may remain open a little longer. Restaurants and bars within the bigger towns along the Garden Route and Eastern Cape are usually open until fairly late (Midnight) but in the more rural areas your options will be a lot more limited.

Packing tips - what to bring? 
South Africa's Garden Route is very laid-back and dress tends to be pretty casual. Walking boots or trainers and your favourite beach attire are definitely a must for your suitcase as well as a camera to snap all that exciting wildlife. The wind can be quite chilly along the Garden Route, so make sure you bring something warmer for evenings on the coast. You will be able to buy pretty much anything you need along the Garden Route as there are many shops and pharmacies.

Currency and Money
The currency of the Garden Route and Eastern Cape is the South African Rand (ZAR) and it can fluctuate quite often. For an accurate and up to date exchange rate click here.

ATMs are widespread in towns and cities and accept most types of card. Credit cards are also widely accepted. It is advisable to exercise caution when drawing money at cash points.

Safety in the Garden Route and Eastern Cape

Safety is often a concern for people visiting South Africa. Make sure your holiday to the Garden Route is a safe one by following our safety advice.

Time zone
GMT +2.

Dialling codes
Country code for South Africa: +27