Destinations & Attractions in the Garden Route

Garden Route Destinations & Attractions

The Garden Route remains one of the most scenic routes in the world, and certainly one of South Africa’s primary tourist areas. Its official borders are Storms River in the Eastern Cape and Heidelberg in the Western Cape. However, it is often used in reference to the entire route between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

As its name implies, this route is particularly green, lush and fertile. It is characterised by dense forests, deep valleys and beautiful mountains and mountain passes. In addition, half of the Garden Route runs right alongside the coast before turning inland to wind its way through the mountains and flat stretches of grasslands. The entire Garden Route area is known for having the second mildest climate in the world. In fact, all year round, the temperatures generally stay between 10 degrees (on a very chilly winter’s day) and 28 degrees (in summer).

One of the main tourist towns along the Garden Route is Knysna. This coastal gem has a long history, thanks to its being flanked by an enormous lagoon that leads out onto the sea on one side, and mountains and forests on the other. These forests have, for centuries provided people with timber, while the ocean provided access. There is an entire community of people that still live in the forest, occasionally coming into town for goods. The natural splendour of the area is magnificent. To cater to the many visitors, Knysna has a plethora of shops, boutiques, quaint cafés with freshly baking breads, harbour-side restaurants, and more.

The Tsitsikamma and Storms River areas are also magnificently scenic and restful. The pace here is slow, unless you choose to go on the adrenalin-pumping options available, such as canopy tours, blackwater tubing and bungy jumping. Bloukrans Bridge is the world's highest commercial bungy jump at an impressive 216 metres. Adrenalin junkies can choose to jump off it, or swing from it. Alternatively, there are guided walks along a suspended pathway that is situated directly beneath the bridge. The Tsitsikamma Forest resembles an enchanted wood, dense with indigenous trees and ferns. There are trails through the forest that are fairly short, manageable for most. For those that love these surrounds, Natures Valley is another exquisite must-see along the Garden Route. There are camping spots, hikes and picnic or barbecue areas. This is perfect for families.

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find that there is no shortage of attractions along the Garden Route. Just some of the recommended attractions include Birds of Eden and Monkeyland (just outside Plettenberg Bay), Botlierskop Game Reserve, Featherbed Nature Reserve, Garden Route National Park, Keurbooms River Reserve, Knysna Elephant Sanctuary, Outeniqua Nature Reserve, Robberg Nature Reserve, and Tsitsikamma National Park.

Albertinia

Albertinia is well known for being one of the Garden Route’s many towns, but is best known for being the home of the Cape Aloe. This pretty succulent’s sap and flesh is used extensively for medicinal and cosmetic applications, ...

Ballots Bay

Ballots Bay is a small coastal neighbourhood nestled in the verdant abundance of the Garden Route in the Western Cape. This area forms part of the magnificent shores of the Southern Cape of South Africa, and benefits from being ...

Belvidere

Real estate agents describe Belvidere as a suburb of Knysna. In reality it is something of a quintessential English village on the west shores of the Knysna lagoon; a far cry from the modern Thesen Island that lies on the ...

Boggomsbaai

Little Boggoms Bay, or Boggomsbaai as it is known, is one of several small seaside villages that fall within the Fransmanshoek Conservancy, on the Garden Route. It lies just south of Mossel Bay, close to the mouth of the Gouritz ...

Brenton On Sea

Brenton on Sea is an idyllic little bay that is encircled by the spectacular Goukamma Nature Reserve and perched on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean. The mountainous landscape and coastal fynbos make for a naturally rich ...

Dana Bay

The conservancy of Dana Bay, lying halfway between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, is known for its gorgeous array of fynbos. It combines mile upon mile of unspoilt beaches with a variety of wildlife, making for stunning backdrops ...

De Vlugt

Roughly halfway along Prince Alfred Pass (R339), as it descends to meet the river, is the historical hamlet of De Vlugt. Also know as Die Vlug, De Vlugt is what remains of the dwellings of Andrew Geddes Bain and his son, Thomas, ...

George

George is the Garden’s Route largest town and is known for being cooler and lusher than most other South Africa towns. It is situated at the foot of the beautiful Outeniqua Mountain Range and within easy access of the Indian ...

Glentana

The little seaside village of Glentana is flanked by the rolling waves of the Indian Ocean and rugged green mountains that boast breath-taking displays of colourful fynbos. It is a peaceful retreat that encourages little more ...

Gouritsmond

The sleepy little spot of Gouritsmond is frozen in time, unaffected by the fast-paced development of the world around it. Situated at the mouth of the Gourits River, it is a hotspot for avid fishermen as well as those that want ...

Great Brak

The Great Brak is the unrivalled retreat of choice for many who appreciate its idyllic abundance and peaceful quality. Boasting both ocean waters and the lagoon, it is perfect for families and other water-lovers that appreciate ...

Harkerville

The beauty of the Garden Route is undeniable, but it is always even more delightful when combined with the serenity and calm of a little seaside suburb like Harkerville. This is a farm area that is situated between Plettenberg ...

Hartenbos

Hartenbos is a small seaside village that comes alive during the summer holidays, when families from all around visit it to drink in its pretty escapism. Beautiful beaches and plenty of wildlife make for a tranquil getaway from ...

Herolds Bay

Herold’s Bay is just outside George and retains its tiny village look and feel. The beaches are quiet and private, the mountains boast abundant trail to explore, and the blue of the African sky stretches on forever ...

Hoekwil

Just 10km inland from Wilderness lies the little village of Hoekwil. What used to be an undiscovered farming community lies in a crook of the Touws River and is described by those who live there as a 'piece of paradise'. ...

Keurboomstrand

Immersed within the splendour of the Garden Route, Keurboomstrand is a picturesque beach that is far removed from the maddening throngs of the city. It is popular for camping and fishing, while young and old alike delight to swim ...

Knysna

One of South Africa’s top holiday destinations, the coastal town of Knysna retains its prettiness and allure while continuing to develop. Knysna is home to some very luxurious lodges and boutique guest houses, and boasts the ...

Lake Brenton

Knysna is one of the Garden Route’s most exquisite towns. The massive lagoon, the towering Knysna Heads that create a dramatic gateway for the Indian Ocean to enter, the forests, the mountains, and the historical buildings of ...

Little Brak

Most of the Little Brak area is dedicated to holiday resorts, thanks to its picturesque qualities of peace and escapism. Although it gives off the feeling of being untouched, there is plenty to see and do in Little Brak, ...

Mossel Bay

Almost exactly halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth is the coastal city of Mossel Bay. The Indian Ocean lies ahead of it and the Outeniqua Mountains behind it for a truly spectacular view, no matter where one looks ...

Noetzie

The conservancy and hamlet of Noetzie has a history that extends to the time of the indigenous Khoi people that once enjoyed the natural wonder of this tucked-away retreat. The lagoon offers awesome swimming opportunities and the ...

Pinnacle Point

There are few scenes as breath-taking and impressive than the vast expanses of the ocean as it undulates in a roaring ballet, crashing on rock faces or lapping the pristine gold of the sands. This is the scene that awaits ...

Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay, fondly referred to as Plett, is a holiday hotspot and peaceful seaside town that has managed to remain relatively quiet and undisturbed. It has an undeniable vibe and is favoured amongst surfers and families ...

Reebok

Reebok is a little seaside village just outside Mossel Bay. It lies between Klein Brakrivier and Groot Brakrivier, one of a handful of beachside holiday hamlets east of Mossel Bay. These towns tend to run into one another, ...

Rheenendal

Along the splendour of the Garden Route in the Western Cape, lies the little settlement of Rheenendal, in close proximity to Knysna. In fact, most consider this hamlet a part of Knysna. Rheenendal is, officially, part of the ...

Riversdale

The little village of Riversdale along the Garden Route is set against the backdrop of gorgeous mountains laden with indigenous fynbos. In addition to its floral wonder, this area also boasts a rich history that dates back to the ...

Roodefontein

Just outside the tourist hub of Plettenberg Bay, along the magnificent Garden Route in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, lies the little town of Roodefontein. This part of the world is famous for its beautiful vistas and ...

Sedgefield

The paradise-like setting of Sedgefield has earned it the love of many a local and international tourist year after year. In addition to its lovely coastline, a series of lakes surrounds the tiny village, as do mountains and ...

Still Bay

Still Bay has become a very popular escape from the city, favoured amongst those who want to immerse themselves in the pace of coastal country living. Occupied mainly by retirees, this little spot is a great whale-watching ...

Tergniet

Tergniet is one of a handful of little seaside villages between Klein Brakrivier and Groot Brakrivier that function at once as suburbs of Mossel Bay and as seaside holiday towns - busy during summer, particularly over the festive ...

The Crags

Perched amongst the idyllic greenery of the Garden Route, just outside the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay and the village of Nature’s Valley, is The Crags. This is a gorgeous area that, while small, offers plenty in the way of ...

Thesen Island

Thesen Islands make safe, tranquil suburban living a reality in a world of urbanisation, hustle and bustle. This secure estate is situated on an award-winning Blue Flag marina in the heart of Knysna, which remains one of the ...

Victoria Bay

Secluded between George and Wilderness, Victoria Bay is picturesque and very little. This is a tiny cove, surrounded by magnificent mountains, with safe swimming beaches and lovely areas in which to relax and play ...

Vleesbaai

Mile upon mile of untouched beach characterises the idyllic little village of Vleesbaai along the Garden Route. It is close to many other local attractions, as well as its own fair share of natural wonder and wealth ...

Wilderness

Flanked by ocean and mountains, Wilderness has a romantic charm that is not easily left behind, even years after one’s visit. Rolling dunes and unspoilt white sands meet the warm blue of the sea, while magnificent homes nestle ...

Bluelilliesbush

Bluelilliesbush is a small area that is perched along the renowned Garden Route of South Africa. Specifically, it is located in Tsitsikamma, which is part of the Western Cape Province and is known for its stunning greenery and ...

De Vlugt

Roughly halfway along Prince Alfred Pass (R339), as it descends to meet the river, is the historical hamlet of De Vlugt. Also know as Die Vlug, De Vlugt is what remains of the dwellings of Andrew Geddes Bain and his son, Thomas, ...

Eersterivier

Eersterivier is a remote little seaside village nestled along the magnificent Tsitsikamma coastline. Its landscape is characterised by rocky outcrops, deep valleys, fynbos, tall trees and spectacular shores and beaches ...

Joubertina

The apple farming village of Joubertina is somewhat rural, surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and orchards. It is small and quiet, with little more to do than tour the farms, visit the welcoming locals, and enjoy the peace ...

Kareedouw

In the heart of Kouga and the Baviaanskloof mountain ranges lies the rural village of Kareedouw. Wide streets are lined with tall trees and old-fashioned homes from yesteryear. This is a haven for those that love the outdoors and ...

Konkie Bay

The Tsitsikamma is one of South Africa’s most exquisite gems. It is lush, verdant, and bursting with natural beauty in many different forms – mountains, rivers, valleys, forests and beaches. It is found in the Western Cape of ...

Natures Valley

The unspoilt Nature’s Valley is an exquisite jade-coloured haven along the Garden Route. The little village within this valley comprises quaint homes and more impressive ones lying side by side, most of which are within a short ...

Storms River

Storms River is an irresistibly charming village that lies on the cusp of the ocean, river, deep valleys and towering mountains. It is a vibrant hub, especially loved by adventurers and those looking for a rush, as they can bungy ...

Twee Riviere

In the heart of the Cacadu district, where the 160 km long Langkloof narrows on its eastern edge, you will find the historical town of Twee Riviere. The Langkloof is the heart of the apple farming industry of the Eastern Cape; ...

Heidelberg

Less than 300 kilometres from Cape Town and at the foot of the awesome Langeberg Mountains is the pretty little town of Heidelberg. It is simultaneously historical and aesthetically lovely, making for a great getaway that is only ...

Herold

Deep within the mountains of the Klein Karoo is the magnificent little hamlet of Herold. The slow pace is quite contagious but, for those who want to explore the surrounds, there are plenty of things to do and see here ...

Oudtshoorn

Known as Ostrich Country, Oudtshoorn is a cultural and natural attraction that continues to lure tourists from all over the world. The farmlands and vineyards are magnificent and the Swartberg Mountain Range impressive. One of ...

Oyster Bay

Home and conservation area of the African Oyster Catcher bird, this tiny village is characterised by pristine white sandy beaches and lazy holiday homes. It is situated just outside of St Francis Bay along the Garden Route ...

Witsand

Known as the breeding and nursing ground of choice for the Southern Right Whale, Witsand is a gorgeous coastal town about three hours’ drive from Cape Town. This is also the point at which the ever-popular Breede River enters the ...
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