Sea, Forests & Fairways
Explore the Garden Route
Incorporating the lush area between Cape Town to the Eastern Cape with Plettenberg Bay and Knysna at the heart. Along the coast you’ll find sandy beaches, warm sea, coastal bush and forested mountains. Over the mountains awaits the vast arid Karoo.
Combine any of the popular towns of Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Oudtshoorn and Hermanus with a visit to Cape Town and a safari. Ideally spend four to six days exploring this region. A fabulous year-round destination for golfers, families and honeymooners. Warm summers and mild winters.
BEACHES & LAGOONS
Enjoy sundowners during a boat trip on the Knysna lagoon, hire a paddleboat or kayak for a day of family fun. Beach favourites include Leisure Isle and Brenton-on-Sea (great for children), Buffels Bay and secluded Noetzie Beach (famous for its 1930’s castles) near Knysna. Plettenberg Bay boasts numerous white sand beaches including the trendy Robberg Beach (land-based dolphin and whale watching), Central Beach and Lookout Beach.
The Garden Route is an eco-tourist’s delight with nature reserves, rivers, estuaries, lagoons, marine parks and mountains. Guided walks and hikes, mountain bike and horse trails offer a great way to experience the area. Water sports and activities include boating, boat-based whale and dolphin watching, river cruises, kayaking, fishing, surfing and great scuba diving. For the adventurous, the world’s highest bungee bridge jump is located at the Bloukrans bridge.
The Garden Route is the best golf destination in southern Africa. Fancourt, Pezula and Simola are all located within 100km of each other and offer superb golfing experiences.
NATURE & WILDLIFE
In addition to the many nature reserves, the Garden Route is also home to Monkeyland primate sanctuary, Birds of Eden bird park, the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary and Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre (protecting Africa’s wild cats). Boat-based whale and dolphin watching is also a must.
FOOD, DRINK & ENTERTAINMENT
A great variety of beautiful sea and water-side restaurants offer great food, especially seafood. Be sure to try the locally brewed beer and oysters in Knysna. During July Knysna holds the annual Oyster Festival, but the town offers lots of relaxed entertainment year-round. For trendy tourists, Plettenberg Bay is a fashionable destination with a busier nightlife and a variety of excellent restaurants.
Top 10 Attractions in the Garden Route
- Beaches (try Brenton-on-Sea, Leisure Isle& Robberg beaches)
- Top golf courses – Fancourt, Pezula and Simola.
- Knysna Heads and Knysna forest eco-region
- Hiking, walking, mountain biking and horse riding.
- Great restaurants – try locally brewed beers & cultivated Knysna oysters.
- Boat trip on the Knysna Lagoon
- Families love Monkeyland primate sanctuary, Birds of Eden bird park and Teniqua Wildlife Awareness Centre.
- Watersports – sea kayaking (sometimes with dolphins), river trips and surfing.
- Bloukrans River bridge, the world’s highest (commercial) bungy jump.
- Art, crafts, markets and shopping.