South Africa's terrain is varied and constantly surprising, offering diverse landscapes and scenery from one coast to the other. Along the southern coast is a particular area known for its lush vegetation by the name of the Garden Route, which begins in a town roughly five hours from Cape Town and can be an excellent multi-day road trip.
The Garden Route runs from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, a distance of about 134 miles if you were to drive straight through. For a Garden Route road trip, however, you won't just stay in the car—and you'll take plenty of side roads away from the ocean, too.
There's plenty to do and see along the Garden Route, including lots of great inland hiking opportunities, as well as water sports and ocean safaris along the shore. Some of the highlights of a Garden Route trip include a stop in Knysna on the Indian Ocean for the semi-protected lagoon and annual June oyster festival; Nature's Valley, a town that's almost entirely surrounded by the Tsitsikamma National Park, making it worthy of its place on the Garden Route; and Storms River, the town that's known as the gateway to Tsitsikamma Park.
The nearest airport is in George, the largest town along the Garden Route. You'll see different plants blooming depending on when you go, but for the most colors, consider a visit sometime between July and October. The warmest weather in this area is from November through March.