Garden Route Attractions and Highlights
The Garden Route is one of the most scenic road trips in the world. The stretch of coastline is home to a number of attractions and highlights sure to excite and enthrall travelers of all ages and interests.
The seaside town of Knysna is a must-see along the Garden Route. Wedged between coastal forests and a tranquil lagoon, this town offers abundant outdoor adventures in spectacular surroundings, fantastic for families and anyone who wants to unwind. The famous Knysna Heads that stand sentinel at the entrance to the lagoon offer dramatic scenery. It is also the unofficial capital of culinary delights, oysters included!
The nearby town of Plettenberg Bay – known to locals simply as Plett - is the ideal spot for a relaxing beach holiday and is also fantastic for outdoor adventures. Walk for miles on its open sandy beaches or take a hike through the nearby indigenous Tsistikamma-Outeniqua forests. Just to the South of Plettenberg Bay is Robberg Nature Reserve which has a history dating back millions of years and is a great stop for nature lovers and adventurers. In Plett, the bay is a highlight - here you are able to enjoy some thrilling watersports, adventure out for some boat-based whale watching, take a microlite flip over the bay, relax in a seaside restaurant and chill out on the beach.
Monkeyland and Birds of Eden
Also near to Plettenberg Bay is Monkeyland. The sanctuary is home to a number of species of free-roaming primates. Experience endearing animal encounters while wondering through the sanctuary on a “monkey safari”. Birds of Eden free flight bird sanctuary spanning 2 hectares. Wonder through this unique sanctuary and marvel at some of the 3500 species of birds. Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, along with Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary make up the award winning South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance.
Situated between Knysna and George on the Garden Route, Wilderness is a naturally beautiful stop along the garden route. The small seaside town is bordered by gorgeous beaches, rivers, nature reserves, lakes and lagoons making it a great destination for water-sports enthusiasts and anyone looking to be surrounded by nature. Map of Africa and Dolphin’s Point offer panoramic views of the surroundings. Wilderness is a tranquil getaway that exudes rustic charm.
Tsitsikamma is a National Parkalong the Garden Route Coast. Tsitsikamma is a paradise for hikers with scenic and unforgettable routes stretching across the park – Storm’s River Mouth hike is a highlight. The forests in Tsitsikamma are as immense as they are beautiful and are home to the well-known Big Tree – a giant Outeniqua Yellowwood. It is also a destination for adrenaline seekers; sail through the trees on a canopy tour or push yourself to the limits by doing the highest commercial bungee in jump in the world off of Bloukrans Bridge. Another charming village to visit in Tsitsikamma is Nature’s Valley. The town is tiny and offers visitors a peaceful and tranquil getaway.
The famous Otter Trail hike traverses the coastline in Tsitsikamma. Starting at Storm’s River and ending in Nature’s Valley, the Otter Trail has been lauded as one of the most beautiful – although still quite challenging – trails in the world.
Nestled at the base of the Outeniqua mountain’s is George. The town sits approximately halfway along the Garden Route and has beautiful natural surroundings. It is also home to world-class golf courses where travelers can relax while hitting a few balls in a beautiful location.
50km to the north of George is the Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is famous for its caves and its ostriches. Travelers can explore the beautifully mysterious limestone formations at the Cango Caves and visit one of the hundreds of ostrich farms in the area, giving them the opportunity to get up close experiences of these large and quirky birds.
The Garden Route also combines excellently with an Eastern Cape safari and easy flight schedules allow you to drive the Garden Route in one direction and return by air in the other.