The Garden Route is an attractive stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. The Garden Route extends from Heidelberg in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape.
The name, “Garden Route” signifies the lush, ecologically diverse vegetation and the many lagoons and lakes strewn along this coastline. The Garden Route incorporates famous towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay, Nature’s Valley and George.
The Garden Route’s oceanic climate, with its mild to warm summers and mild to cool winters, make it the perfect all-year-round holiday destination.
Journey down the Garden Route and visit the picturesque Winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Valley. Sample some of South Africa’s most celebrated wines such as Meerlust, Morgenhof and Moreson (to name but a few).
The historic town of Stellenbosch is one of the most beautiful and heritage-conscious towns in Southern Africa. Peruse through “Oom Sammie’s se Winkel” (Uncle Sammie’s Shop). This well-known shop, in the city of Stellenbosch, has seen many thousands of international visitors pass through its doors. “Oom Sammie’s se Winkel” houses an interesting mix of new and old; it is an authentic commercial undertaking that doubles as a museum reflecting the heritage of South Africa.
Franscchoek Valley, nestled between towering mountains, is a breath-taking scene of spectacular rolling vineyards and mountain slopes. This gourmet capital, prized for its rich history and warm hospitality, offers one good food, fine wine and the perfect setting to reconnect with family and friends.
Travel on down the Garden Route, via route 62, to discover Oudtshoorn, located in the heart of the “Ostrich Country”. Tour an operating Ostrich farm and observe large flocks of ostriches at different stages of development, witness an exciting Ostrich Derby or even dare to ride one.
Continuing on down the Garden Route will bring you to the awe-inspiring Cape Cango Caves in Knysna. A leisurely boat ride on the Knysna Lagoon is a must! Knysna is a much-loved destination among tourists due to its year-round warm climate. It has become a favoured destination among golfers, as the town features several world class golf courses including Pezula Golf Course, Simola Golf Course and the Knysna Golf Course.
Progressing down the Garden Route one can enter Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve, home to a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and Temperate Forest. Adventure enthusiasts can take pleasure in the many hiking trails and eco-tourism activities associated with this area. A hike to the Storms River mouth, through the Tsitsikamma National Park, is one such adventure. Bird lovers can marvel at some 300 species of bird life, found in a variety of habitats ranging from forest and fynbos, to wetlands.
The Garden Route, with it’s ten nature reserves, is a paradise of diverse ecosystems and sensational marine reserves. The marine reserves are habitat to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a number of other marine life. People flock from all over the world to view the endangered Southern Right Whale. Spot them from the shore (or take a boat ride and watch them up close) as they move toward various bays, along the Garden Route, to calve in the South African winter and spring months.
A Garden Route experience is not complete without a visit to the infamous Addo Elephant National Park, a short distance from Port Elizabeth. It is recognized as one of the country’s twenty national parks and home to more than 450 elephants, 400 Cape buffalo, over 48 endangered black rhino as well as numerous antelope species and spotted hyena.