The iconic South African Garden Route reaches from the Western Cape to Eastern Cape, along one of the world's most breath-taking coastlines. This 200km stretch of unique flora and fauna, enthralling wildlife and shimmering beaches is a must-see during a visit to South Africa.
Starting in the south eastern coast of the country in Mossel Bay and extending all the way until Storms River in the Tsitsikamma, the Garden Route offers a myriad of sites to behold and activities to enjoy.
We've put together a list of 10 reasons why you should explore the Garden Route.
The breath-taking, sleepy seaside town of Hermanus situated along the beautiful shores of Walker Bay is the official Whale Watching Capital of the World. Hermanus is rich in beautiful scenery but also boasts modern infrastructure, upmarket shops and endless adventure options.
Apart from whale watching, Hermanus offers a myriad of activities from horse riding, paragliding, kayaking, shark cage diving, fishing, hiking and swimming and sunbathing at the many gorgeous beaches located in Hermanus.
This section of the garden route has something for everyone. From glowing sandstone cliffs in Plettenberg Bay to the calm, turquoise waters of the Knysna Lagoon(the meeting point of 5 rivers). Enjoy Plett's surf, abseil down cliffs or hike through Featherbed Nature Reserve. This is also the place to discover Xhosa culture, touring Qolweni Township.
The grand region of the Garden Route is famous not only for the iconic wineries you can visit but also the beautiful scenic landscapes which birth the grapes. Many of the wineries here date back to the 1700s with world class Sauvignons and Shiraz. Browse through the scenic vineyards and enjoy a wine tasting at one of the many fine wineries in this region.
The name of this region was given by the indigenous Khoisan people and means 'clear water' as the area has various rivers due to it being a coastal park. The most celebrated and famous rivers in the area are the Storms and Groot rivers. Enjoy a scenic hike along the trails and see breath-taking waterfalls or take a canopy tour, camp out, go horse riding, visit Monkeyland Primate Rescue Centre. Tsitsikamma National park offers a wide array of activities to suit everyone.
The Garden Route is home to a selection of top-class golf courses. There are a number of challenging and well-maintained courses (a total of 13). Indulge in a round of 18 holes while still benefiting from all the other appealing features of the area. Some of the most celebrated golf courses in this region include: St Francis Links, Goose Valley Golf Club and Kingswood Golf Estate.
The Garden Route is home to diverse ecosystems, therefore there is bound to be an exciting array of creatures and critters in the region. In addition to the elephants and monkeys, you'll spot dassies at Storms River Mouth, whales and dolphins along the coast and the Knysna seahorse in the Knysna Estuary. The Garden Route is also well known for Birding with some sought after birds being the Knysna Loerie and the Narina Trogon.
The stunning beaches along the Garden Route are some of the finest in the world and are also one of the major draw cards for visitors. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean and kilometres of pristine sands invite sunbathers and swimmers to soak up the sun and enjoy the shimmering waters. Whether it's an incredible surf session or stunning seaside scenery that you crave look no further than the Garden Route. Some of the most celebrated beaches along the route include: Nature's Valley Beach, Robberg Beach, Victoria Bay Beach and Buffalo Bay Beach.
The word elephant, and there are around 600 of them here, is slightly deceptive with this national park, which stretches all the way to the coast and is also an important protected area for birdlife, penguins, seals and other marine life, not least whales. Given that this park is home to both the largest land mammals and sea mammals, as well as rhino, buffalo and zebra, Addo is not somewhere to dash through.
As one of the more arid regions along the Garden Route, the Klein Karoo is home to an array of different ecosystems favoured by a range of wildlife. Go on a walking safari in Mountain Zebra National Park and spot the majestic mountain Zebra. Enjoy the region's scenic dusty plains and dramatic ravines
Enjoy an adventure out to the Cango Caves at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountain range near the town of Oudtshoorn where can take a guided tour where you will be given the opportunity to explore tunnels and chambers with their unique stalagmites and stalactites.
The Garden Route is home to breath-taking seaside towns, shimmering turquoise waters and a myriad of unique activities to enjoy and sites to behold. From watersports, whale watching and sunbathing to hiking, safaris and birding - the Garden Route has something for everyone.
Explore South Africa's Garden Route in this 10-day tour, which stretches from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, whilst you explore its beautiful countryside, rugged coastlines, the Big Five species and much more.
CAMPING OR ACCOMMODATED. This comprehensive 20-day tour covers the well worn route from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, crossing South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, and ending in Zimbabwe. It's a truly grand African safari.
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