Family Activities Along the Garden Route
Along with being a beautiful section of South Africa’s coastline, the Garden Route is a great family destination. It has an array of sights, activities and destinations that are fun for the whole family. This is the perfect destination for the independent family traveller, offering excellent, safe road networks for a self-drive holiday as well as an untold amount of activities to keep everyone entertained.
Typically, Garden Route family holidays start in Cape Town and work their way up the coast to Port Elizabeth.
Traveling from Cape Town, the first point of interest is always the seaside town of Hermanus, situated along the Whale Coast. There are various parks in the area equipped with seesaws, slides, jungle gyms and more, to entertain the children. They can also enjoy activities such as whale watching, easy hikes, horse riding, swimming, boat trips, fishing and arts & crafts.
After the ‘offical Start’ of the Garden Route in Mossel Bay, travel on to the town of George. George is the home of world-class golf courses and beautiful spots for hiking, camping and mountain biking. It is also home to the delightful Redberry Farm. Here, the whole family can get involved in some outdoor family fun! Go strawberry picking, explore the largest hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere, and enjoy the farm stall and tea garden. More activities include go carting, paddle boating, pony rides and train rides. Just past George is the charming village called Wilderness. Make a stop here to take a look at the Map of Africa – a valley that has formed the shape of this beautiful continent.
North of George is the Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn which is famous for its ostrich farms and caves. A visit to the Cango Caves is a combination of fun and learning. The family will have the opportunity to view some of the largest limestone caverns in the world.
Further along, near the heart of the Garden Route is Knysna. A day spent at the vibrant waterfront is bound to be full of fun. Explore the lagoon, the striking Knysna heads and the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants dotted along the waterfront’s edge. The nearby Knysna Forest is a fantastic destination for the family to learn about the beauties of nature.
Onward highlights include the Tsitsikamma Forest, which can be viewed during a tree top canopy tour which is a thrilling adventure for the whole family.
Drive further along the scenic coastline and come to Plettenberg Bay. Plettenberg Bay is great for family beach holidays. Enjoy the warm ocean and golden beaches. Embark on a marine safari and visit nearby Monkey Land and Birds of Eden wildlife sanctuaries for memorable animal encounters. Plettenberg Bay is also home to the Plett Puzzle Park which will keep little ones entertained for hours - there are even some challenges which might perplex the adults!
At Storm’s River, the Garden Route officially comes to an end. The Storm’s River Mouth Hike is full of beautiful flora and fauna and is a great way to take in the natural beauty of this section of South Africa. Don’t miss the great photo opportunities while crossing the Storm’s River Mouth suspension bridge.
A great option for finishing off a family Garden Route trip is to add on a safari to the malaria-free game reserves in the Eastern Cape.
The Garden Route’s great beaches (with warm water!) are perfect for swimming, and the spectacular scenery can be enjoyed en route to every activity. The hotels on the garden route are also very well geared for catering for children, offering activities suitable for all ages.