The Garden Route is a famous stretch of coastline that extends all the way from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. Aptly named for its diverse vegetation, numerous lagoons, and glistening lakes dotted along the coast, the coastline meanders through popular holiday towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Nature’s Valley, Heidelberg, Witsand, Riversdale, Still Bay, Albertinia, Hartenbos, Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Sedgefield, and George; the largest city and main administrative centre of the Garden Route.
The Garden Route has an oceanic climate (the mildest in South Africa) with mild to warm summers and mild to cool winters, making it an ideal year-round destination. Temperatures rarely drop below 10ËšC in winter and seldom top 28ËšC in summer. Rainfall occurs all year round, with a slight peak in the spring months.
The Garden Route is an exciting mix of golf courses, ancient forests, adventure activities, shopping malls, craft centres, wildlife sanctuaries, and blissful beaches. Attractions include the Rastafarian community outside of Knysna, Bloukrans Bungee in Storms River, Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours, George Museum, Cape St Blaize Lighthouse, Monkeyland & Birds of Eden, the Oystercatcher Trail, Mitchell’s Brewery, township tours, Timberlake Organic Village, and so much more!
The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a diverse mix of Cape Fynbos and Temperate Forest, offering various hiking trails and eco activities in their midst. Close to 300 species of birds are found in a variety of habitats along the Garden Route, including the elusive Knysna Loerie!
The route comprises 10 nature reserves which feature diverse ecosystems and marine reserves, offering some of the best animal experiences in the world. Walk with a cheetah at Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, watch dolphins and southern right whales frolic near the coast between July and December, or ride an elephant at Knysna Elephant Park – the possibilities are endless!