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Garden Route

Destination Information

 

The area known as the Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the southern coast of South Africa. It stretches from the town of Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River which is crossed along the N2 coastal highway in the extreme eastern reach of the Western Cape. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature's Valley.

KnysnaThe Route is sandwiched between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges and the Indian Ocean. The area is also home to the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests – which are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and temperate forest and offer hiking trails and eco-tourism activities. Nearly 300 species of birdlife are to be found in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands. In addition, ten nature reserves embrace the varied ecosystems of the area, including unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. Various bays along the Garden Route are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right Whale which come there to calve (July to December).

This area is also the site of Africa's last remaining passenger steam train, the Outeniqua Choo Tjoe (which runs between the towns of George and Knysna), and makes for an excellent day trip.

 

Although the Garden Route is well known in its classic form, we have extended the area to Oudtshoorninclude the stretch from Cape Town all the way to historical Grahamstown, including the inland villages of Swellendam and Oudtshoorn, thus allowing for a more diverse selection of areas, and places of interest, whether for the first time visitor, or for those who have already seen some of the attractions. One of the most popular ways of seeing this area is on a self-drive basis, but having a guide with you can add immeasurably to the overall enjoyment of your holiday.

You can enjoy a continuation of the Winelands, in the Robertson Valley, conveniently close to Swellendam, or spend some time in Hermanus, whale-watching, or perhaps spend some time in the Karoo, at Oudtshoorn, as a contrast to the coast. In the areas surrounding Port Elizabeth, and Grahamstown, there are a number of private Game Reserves, in addition to Addo Elephant National Park. Enjoy some excellent wildlife viewing in a malaria-free setting. As a contrast, but also a fascinating addition to your trip, enjoy an eye-opening historical tour in Grahamstown.