Garden Route, South Africa

Knysna Lagoon on the Garden Route in South Africa.


The stretch of coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth is one of the most popular destinations in South Africa - in particular the section between Mossel Bay and Tsitsikamma. Called the Garden Route for its wonderful scenery, it certainly lives up to its name.

Tangled forests extend up into the heights of purple mountains, dramatic cliffs fall straight to the sea and, in other places, long lovely beaches stretch for miles. Large areas of sunny fynbos are filled with beautiful and aromatic flowering plants. Dolphins and whales frolic in the sheltered bays and extensive wetlands offer a home to a large variety of birds and aquatic animals.

The Garden Route is a region of beautiful coastline, lakes, mountains, rivers, indigenous forests and golden beaches situated along the east coast of South Africa. A wide selection of hotels to suit all needs provide easy access to all the main attractions. There are so many small, pretty towns, each with charming accomodations and places to dine so that visitors need never be bored - or hungry.

Numerous fine golf courses subsidise the natural attractions and there is a range of adventure activities on offer. For a beach holiday or more adventurous pursuits the Garden Route provides a holiday destination of a lifetime. The Garden Route is renowned for its spectacular scenery and safe family beaches, but is also becoming known for the big game viewing on the private game reserves. It is now possible to view the big seven with the added bonus of also seeing whales and sharks on a Garden Route.

Southern Right whale watching (mid June-November) rates as a key highlight at Witsand, Stilbaai, Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Knysna and Plett. Along the Tsitsikamma coastline from Plettenberg Bay to Storms River, whales can often be seen frolicking just beyond the breakers. Be sure to explore marine marvels on a sea kayaking, Scuba or snorkelling exploration, or go surfing it up at Stilbaais Point and the adjacent Groot Jongensfontein, Mossel Bays Peninsula, Georges Victoria Bay, or at Plettenberg bay.

Beach junkies are spoiled for choice. Stilbaai has treasures from the Stone Age and the Khoi people. Mossel Bay and Albertinia share the thrill of bungee jumping with Plettenberg Bay. Mossel Bay prides itself on offering the diverse experience of game viewing and stunning beaches, with activities including shark cage diving. Still along the coast, Wilderness and Sedgefield comprise the Lakes Region, while golf, green coastal scenery, restaurants and shopping malls rate among George and Knysna's attractions