The famously scenic Garden Route winds along the coast for 200kms with stops for nature reserves, adventure activities, beaches and resort towns.
We loved the self-drive along the Garden Route - stopping off as and when we wanted to enjoy the view, and seaside walks before breakfast including dolphins at Plett and cliffs at De Kelders.
Experience the freedom of a self-drive holiday along the beautiful Garden Route enjoying hikes and bike rides, adventure and watersports and watching whales and dolphins. There is a good choice of accommodation, lots of restaurants and shops and plenty of beaches where you can laze and soak up the sun.
- The Garden Route: From Mossel Bay in the southern Cape, the Garden Route stretches eastwards along the coast to Storms River, about 200km, with the town of Knysna roughly at its centre. Self-drive is the best way to explore, taking a week or so staying in different locations to enjoy the scenery and activities along the way.
- Stunning scenery: As you travel along the Garden Route you are continually amazed by the scenery. Inland mountains, coastal forests, lakes, rivers, dunes and lovely sandy beaches form a beautiful whole, the photogenic backdrop to your self-drive adventure.
- Knysna: Knysna has no beach but a stunning location where a large estuary, also known as the lagoon, flows into the Indian Ocean. On land there are forests, lakes and mountains to explore on foot, horseback and bike and excellent coastal walking trails. You can take a boat trip out of the lagoon to the twin Knysna Heads to see impressive cliffs and caves. The 150-hectare Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Head is accessible by ferry and here you can see some wonderful flora and fauna. Wildlife lovers will also relish meeting orphaned elephants at Knysna Elephant Park. Knysna Waterfront with its many restaurants is the perfect place to relax, buy gifts and watch yachts in the marina.
- Plettenberg Bay: Plett is a large playground where you can go hiking, horse riding and biking, take boat tours to see whales and dolphins and enjoy a full range of watersports from the sandy beaches. At nearby Robberg Nature Reserve you can view a variety of birds and a colony of Cape fur seals. Plett is a wine region and you can tour local vineyards for an insight into vine cultivation and wine production. Due to its popularity it’s little wonder that there is no shortage of places to eat and stay.
- Tsitsikamma: At the Storms River end of the Garden Route, this was Africa’s first marine national park and encompasses coastal forest as well as ocean. Go kayaking and snorkelling in Storms River, watch dolphins and whales, enjoy short walks and longer hikes such as the five-day Otter Trail. Thrill-seekers won’t want to miss the Bloukrans Bridge bungee jump or the Tsitsikamma Falls zipline across the Kruis River.