The narrow coastal belt on South Africa's south coast, stretching from the Tsitsikamma Forest in the east ±200 km to Mossel Bay in the west, is generally known as the Garden Route. It is bordered to the inland side by the Outeniqua, Kammanassie and Tsitsikamma Mountains. It is called the Garden Route because of the region's beautiful vegetation and mountainous scenery, making for a breathtaking coastal experience.
The Garden Route is a tourism paradise combining excellent infrastructure with scenic natural attractions. The N2 Highway (coastal road) provides easy access to most Garden Route towns and villages and to the scenic rugged coastline. Long stretches of the coastline are only accessible via hiking trails or mountain bike tracks making it a paradise for adventure and nature lovers.
The Garden route has much to offer the tourist interested in beauty, nature, culture and relaxation. If you are willing, able and have time to wander off the main tourist routes a treasure trove of unspoiled nature awaits you. The Garden Route gets very busy during South African holidays, especially during the summer holiday in December.
This tour covers the highlights of South Africa and is ideal for first time visitors to the country. It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. This is the ‘southbound’ tour version that starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town.
Highlights: Panorama Route , Blyde River Canyon , Kruger National Park , Swaziland , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , Transkei , Hole-in-the-Wall , Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Knysna , Cango Caves , Route 62 , Cape Winelands , Cape Town .
This tour covers the highlights of South Africa and is ideal for first time visitors to the country. It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. This is the ‘northbound’ tour version that starts in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg.
Highlights: Cape Town , Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Oudtshoorn , Route 62 , Garden Route , Oudtshoorn ostrich farms , Cango Caves , Knysna , Storm’s River Mouth , Coffee Bay , Wild Coast , Hibiscus Coast , San Lameer , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , Swaziland , Kruger National Park , Panorama Route , Johannesburg .
This tour combines the scenic Route 62 and Garden Route. Get close to ostriches and elephants, tour the Cango Caves, do a sunset cruise on the Knysna Estuary, an ocean cruise at Plettenberg Bay in search of dolphins, seals and whales, visit the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storm's River Mouth.
Highlights: Oudtshoorn , Knysna , Cango Caves , Buffelsdrift Game Lodge , Knysna Estuary , Plettenberg Bay , Tsitsikamma , Storm’s River Mouth , Storm's River Mouth suspension bridge .
This tour combines the scenic Garden Route and Route 62. Visit the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storm’s River Mouth, do an ocean cruise at Plettenberg Bay in search of dolphins, seals and whales, a sunset cruise on the Knysna Estuary, tour the Cango Caves and get close to ostriches and elephants.
Highlights: Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Knysna Estuary , Plettenberg Bay , Robberg and Robberg Nature Reserve , Outeniqua Pass , Oudtshoorn ostrich farms , Route 62 , Cango Caves , Buffelsdrift Game Lodge .
The town of Knysna is at the heart of the popular Garden Route. There are a host of activities to engage in and attractions to explore. In our opinion the top ones are exploring the surrounding forests and embarking on an excursion to the Featherbed Nature Reserve.
Storms River Mouth is the main camp within the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park. This section comprises a coastal stretch roughly 5 mm wide. It includes the Tsitsikamma rain forest that drops down to the rugged coastline with a marine conservation region of approximately 80 km.
Plettenberg Bay is situated on the shore of an impressive bay of the same name. The town is located ±33 km east of Knysna on South Africa's Garden Route. The Portuguese explorers who first set eyes on the bay named it "Bahia Formosa", the "Beautiful Bay".
The Tsitsikamma National Park is a section of the broader Garden Route National Park, a coastal Nature Reserve that stretches eastwards for 80 kilometers from Natures valley. It is known for its indigenous forests, mountains and rugged coastline. The Park offers a number of accommodation facilities, walking trails and a diversity of adventure activities.
The Storms River suspension bridge spans the mouth of the Storms River and forms part of a popular short hiking trail at the Storms River Camp in the Tsitsikamma Forest Reserve. Apart from the thrill of crossing a suspension bridge, it offers wonderful views up the river gorge and down to the sea.
The Robberg Peninsula, which forms the western shoreline of Plettenberg Bay, is managed as a small nature reserve. The northern shore of the Peninsula consists mainly of steep mountain slopes and cliffs, below which a large seal colony resides. On the southern side it is easier to get close to sea level and to two pristine sandy beaches that can be found here.
The Knysna Estuary is often referred to as the Knysna Lake. It is however an estuary and not a lake - even though it resembles a lake in appearance. Most tourists explore the estuary by ferry. A number of these rides are on offer. The most popular is the outing to the Featherbed Nature Reserve
The mouth of the Knysna Estuary is a narrow channel leading to the Indian Ocean. The channel is often dramatically depicted framed by two huge rocky promontories, known as The Knysna Heads. The Eastern Head is covered by residential development and the Western Head belongs to the Featherbed Nature Reserve.
The mouth of the Knysna Estuary is a narrow channel, which is difficult to navigate for those not familiar with it. The channel is often dramatically depicted framed by two huge rocky promontories, known as The Knysna Heads. The Featherbed Nature Reserve is situated on the Western Head.