Garden Route South Africa

Overview Garden Route South Africa

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Garden Route
South Africa

South Africa's famous Garden Route started off only encompassing a narrow coastal stretch of 300 km between Mossel Bay and the Tsitsikamma Mountains.

These days, though, you could be forgiven for thinking that it sprawls all the way from Cape Town along the southern Cape coastline to Port Elizabeth.


Garden Route South Africa

The section of the coastline first called the Garden Route is an extraordinary region, blessed with a mild climate, year-round rainfall and unique vegetation.

Forest Capital

Some of South Africa’s most ancient forest remnants are here, evergreen and folded into inaccessible ravines. There is also fynbos, part of a unique floral kingdom recently proclaimed a natural World Heritage Site.

Incredible Coastline

The sensitive coastline is protected from over development by South African National Parks in three areas – the Wilderness National Park, the Knysna National Lake Area, and the Tsitsikamma National Park.

Small-town Splendour

The towns of the Garden Route include Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley – some of South Africa’s most popular tourism towns for locals and foreign visitors.

Make a point of setting aside as many days as you can for the Garden Route, because this area can make time disappear.

Whale Watching

Southern Right whales take over the shoreline between June and November, making the long trip northwards from Antarctica to give birth and loll in the unspoilt bays. They’re often seen leaping and lob-tailing just beyond the breakers.

Elephant Connection

At Knysna you can touch, feed and walk with Knysna elephants. These are not part of the original (and legendary) Knysna forest elephants, but are rescued orphans that have become habituated to people.

Activities and Attractions

There are hikes through magnificent scenery and vegetation, some to be tackled over five to seven days (notably the famous Otter Trail and the Outeniqua Hiking Trail) and a wide variety of trails that can be done over a few hours or a day.

Every morning, the quaint steam-engine called the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe puffs its way along the lakes, estuaries and ravines between Knysna and George.

The golf courses here are among the best in the world, designed by masters and offering spectacular views.

Adrenalin-junkies can go shark-cage diving or fling themselves off the Gouritz River bridge for the highest bungee jump in the world. There is also black water tubing, horse riding, abseiling, canoeing, boating, surfing, diving and deep sea fishing.

Visit some of the atmospheric bars and pubs along this stretch, and don’t forget to sample ales from Mitchells, a delightful micro-brewery in the Knysna area.

And of course, if you blur the boundaries of the Garden Route as almost everyone seems to do, there is even more to see.


Information supplied by SA Tourism

BSA Travel South Africa - Tours South Africa - Volunteers South Africa - Backpackers South Africa
All Africa J Bay Lodge - Info Jeffreys Bay - Addo Coastal Connection

Garden Route South Africa