Durban to the Cape: Our 1st Anniversary Road trip, in Highlights

Durban to the Cape: Our 1st Anniversary Road trip, in Highlights

It’s been a little over a year since our Kruger Park bush wedding and all its wonderfulness. So in our true wanderlust character, we took that as an excuse for another adventure and planned a trip around our 1st wedding anniversary.

We did it slowly. We did it leisurely. We did it in our own way. And we did it well.

A 4000 km South African road trip from Durban, all the way along the Eastern Cape coast and into the Cape was our way of celebrating love, real life and our anniversary. It was incredible.


We planned our stays at spots along our route that we’d never really explored or spent time in. We also ticked off a couple of goodies off our travel bucket-list on this trip too like pitching a tent right next to the ocean at Storms River Rest camp in Tsitsikamma and captaining our very own houseboat made for two on the Breede River.

We kept it simple, crowd-free and engulfed in the nature, just the way we like it.

Here’s what made it so memorable, in highlights:


Kenton walk


  • Our darling river cottage with the best address in Kenton: Bushman’s River just beyond our white picket fence and sea views.
  • Dog friendly culture: Moose ran and played himself into a happy-coma each day along the beautiful expanses of coastal dunes and beach and forest.
  • Seeking out and exploring the natural features along the Kenton coast with nicknames like “Mermaids Pool, “Carriage Rock”, “Shelly Beach” and “The Blowhole”
  • We made a day out of it on a beach walk explorer mission from the beach at Bushman’s River to Kwaaihoek and to the Dias Cross monument. The fun was in the freedom we felt as we combed the beach for natural treasures from the deep which had washed up, climbed the dunes, looked out for dolphins and just appreciated it all.

Kenton house view

Kenton walk view

What else made it special:

Kenton was a very sentimental part of the trip for us. It’s the location of my husband, Graham’s childhood holidays and memories I’ve been hearing about since I met him. He’s wanted to show it off to me in reality for just as long and we finally created our opportunity to visit.

Kenton 2

We spent 5 relaxed, blissful days in the little Eastern Cape seaside village as a family.

Family Dias cross

Kenton dunes

Sardinia Bay


  • Family time.
  • Beach walks in the moody PE wind.

Sardinia Bay

What else made it special:

Our stop in Sardinia Bay near Port Elizabeth was a family affair and a happy one. Graham’s parents have just relocated there to retire and live the good life. We planned our route to be able to spend some time with them. Moose also stayed on with his “grandparents” at their house when we moved on with our trip.

Storms River Mouth

Storms River camp


  • Camping basically on the rocks and hearing the ocean crashing from our little tent at night, as if we were sleeping in the sea.
  • A very special setting which is also the start of the famous Otter Trail. Ever since we hiked the Otter Trail a few years ago, we vowed to return someday to camp at that unique seaside location and experience it.

Tick, tick off the travel-wish list.

  • The campsite has the Tsitsikamma forest as a backdrop and the energetic Indian Ocean as a foreground view. The funny little dassies (rock hyrax) that have made the rocks and camp grounds their domain are really comical to watch. They certainly know how to choose the ultimate real estate location too.
The forest behind our campsite

The forest behind our campsite

Storms River Dassie

What else made it special:

The walk to the Storms River Bridge which stretches out over the Storms River Mouth is something worthwhile. It’s impressive. Also the setting and views of the ocean from the restaurant at the Storms River Rest camp are really awe-inspiring

Storms River bridge

Storms River bridge

Knysna Forest camping at Diepwalle



  • This was such a memorable part of our trip. We spent one night on a wooden platform campsite high up in the trees of the Knysna forest at Diepwalle. What a special and unknown treasure.
  • Peace, quiet and birdsong.

We had the camp almost all to ourselves and our platform was kited out with an awesome little “bar” area, complete with barstools, a built in braai and the birds and trees for company up there.

  • During the night from our tent in the trees, we heard snuffling and movement through the forest below. It was a group of bush pigs for sure. We tried to spot them in the darkness of the thick leafiness below but didn’t get a good look. It was brilliant to hear them on their nocturnal feasting journey though. Those woods are very much alive.

What else made it special:

There are a few walking trails that start from the camp and go through the forest. The dense woodlands gently thrive with life, from bushbuck to monkeys and abundant birdlife.

Houseboat on the Breede River

Breede boat view


  • Spending our first wedding anniversary weekend on our own little houseboat on a stunning river. It was simply perfect.
  • Such a unique experience. Leisurely, romantic and just too wonderful.
  • Graham was in his element captaining the houseboat as we cruised up the long stretch of Breede River near to Malgas and close to the river mouth.
  • Lazy afternoons on the deck in the sunshine with the shores and water passing us by. We weighed anchor at any spot we liked the look of, for lunch, or just for a little stop off to take in the surrounds.
  • Lovely birding
  • The best, most peaceful sleeps on the quiet water with views of the night skies swarming with stars from our cabin.
  • There was something special about braaing off the side of our boat at night and watching the sunset with no one else around.

boat deck

What else made it special:

A houseboat is just such a neat, clever and perfect little travel vessel. I loved how compact it was but with all the necessaries and comforts all on board. A bathroom with just a loo inside at first glance turned into a shower room with just a few adjustments and a basin flipped down from the wall. Secret drawers pulled out of unusual locations too. I’m completely sold on the houseboat  idea.

We tried our hand at fishing, caught and released an unlucky little puffer fish and felt so sorry for it we decided we definitely weren’t fishermen at heart. Other folks on boats seemed to be enjoying the great fishing opportunities on the river though.

boat braai



Franschhoek sunset


  • Quality friend time: We met up with our great friends Jeff and Suzanne for the next leg of our road trip and spent 2 glorious, wine-stained, vineyard viewed, good food days in the intoxicating town of Franschhoek in the Western Cape.
  • The wine tram: This is a must do activity when in the historical town of Franschhoek. We made a day trip of it and bought tickets for the hop-on hop-off tram which transports its groups between a selection of wine farms in the area. What fun. The modes of transport we got to ride on included the historical tram, buses and even a tractor.

Our favourite wine farms of that day were Dieu Donne with its sweeping views of the mountains and vineyards… and its yummy wine of course. We also completely fell under the wine-tinged spell of Rickety Bridge– a beautiful countryside-feel wine farm setting with delish wine and food. Let’s just say it was a very merry day indeed.

  • We stayed in a stone cottage on working wine farm just outside town which oozed with ambiance. We were in the vineyard, with the iconic Franschhoek mountains so close and clear it looked like we could touch them from our stoep. The setting was perfection.


What else made it special:

Did I mention the wine?

Betty’s Bay

Penguin sign


  • The cute, funny penguins in their natural habitat. We could have stayed there all day just watching their comical, waddling ways.

We didn’t stay in the quiet and sweet little town of Betty’s Bay but rather stopped at the penguin colony viewing site as part of our stunning scenic drive from Franschhoek to Cape Agulhas.

Penguin to print-Shan edited

What else made it special:

It’s my favourite place to see the penguins in their natural world and it’s not commercialised like Boulder’s Beach. Visitors tread lightly and the walkway along the rocks is not invasive to the penguins. Betty’s Bay is all about the conservation of the penguins of the region as well as the cormorant colony that breeds there.

A R10 conservation fee is charged per visitor.


Cape Aghulas

Agulhas Nat Park


  • We stayed in the Agulhas National Park surrounded by Fynbos and sea views.
  • Lovely sundowners walks down to the sea and the rocks, and one very brave dip in the lagoon by the guys.
  • We bought fresh kabeljou fish from the local fish shop and the jolly owner told us exactly how to cook it best. We braaied it later and it was honestly the most delectable fish we’ve ever had. Proud!
  • We also went to see the shipwreck just offshore of the National Park. Shipwrecks are dramatic and enthralling. This one was the Meisho Maru 38 which ran aground in the Cape of Storms in 1982. It makes for some fantastic photography too.
  • We also visited the Cape Agulhas lighthouse- the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa. We climbed up into it, up tall ladders and through small openings to the very top, just as the lighthouse keepers of old would have done. The views from the top were astounding.
  • We also took the mandatory photo of us at the point where the two oceans meet: The Indian Ocean and the Atlantic.

agulhas lighthouse

heron Cape Agulhas

What else made it special:

The weather was moody and wonderfully changeable. We saw all 4 seasons in our 2 days at Cape Agulhas. It showed us all the faces of the beautiful setting.

We also had a seafood lunch at the harbour in the neighbouring Town of Struisbaai. We watched the boats and seabirds and just loved it.  It came recommended by the dear lady at the info desk at the lighthouse. Thanks for the tip Ma’am.
Aghulas 2 oceans


Arniston view


  • We ended our road trip route in the picturesque seaside town of Arniston, before heading back home. The main event was the beautiful wedding of our friends’ Claire and Shaun. What a stunning location and celebration with friends.
  • A stroll through the neighbouring Kassiesbaai village was a real highlight for me. It is natural heritage site and fishing village where the residents live in the same happy simplicity of days gone by. The white-wash stone homes are iconic and also lure in photographers for obvious reasons. We enjoyed another seafood lunch at Wileen’s Restaurant run in a marvelously home-style way out of one of the white homes in the village. The calamari and sea views are the stuff of legends.
  • Dolphins: Arniston spoilt us to daily dolphin sightings in its aqua-blue ocean.
  • Scenic walks along the coastline and fun exploration of the lively rock pools.
  • The fishing ship yard was in view of the hotel so when the catch of the day came in, we went to watch the bright boats dock, the fishermen unload, gut and sell their wares right there and then. You don’t get fresher than that.

Boats in Arniston shipyard



What else made it special:

Arniston has a charming feel to it and the most exquisite ocean views.


Some Info about our Trip

Our route:

map route of 1st anniversary road trip

Dates:  Our anniversary road trip kicked off on the 18th of April 2015 and we arrived back home in Durban on the 4th of May.

Vehicle: my trusty little economical Hyundai i10, Bubbles up until P.E. She did so well and the roads all along our scenic route were good to her. Then we borrowed my in-laws’ Honda CRV for the rest of the trip so that we could have extra space for our friends and their baggage when they joined us in the Cape.

Where we stayed:

I highly recommend each and every one of them:

Kenton-on Sea
Riverside Cottage
Contact Dave at

Storms River Mouth
Storms River Rest Camp

Knysna Forest
Camping at Diepwalle

Houseboat on the Breede River
Malgas Leisure Cruises

Bo La Motte Farm Cottages

Cape Agulhas
Agulhas National Park

Arniston Hotel