From the wild coastline to tropical paradises, the Garden Route is definitely one of South Africa’s gems. Measuring 300 km long, this picturesque stretch of coastline runs from Witsand in the Western Cape to the border of Tsitsikamma Storms River in the Eastern Cape.
People from all over the world visit the southern-most tip of Africa just to visit the Garden Route which boasts gorgeous little towns such as Wilderness, Mossel Bay, George, Plettenberg Bay as well as Sedgefield.
Thinking about a trip to the Garden Route? Here’s what you’ll see!
Robberg Nature Reserve
At number 1 on Planet Ware’s must-see things on the Garden Route is the Robberg Nature Reserve. Situated quite close to the favourite beach-side destination of Plettenberg Bay, this reserve is a national monument and extends out along a peninsula for about 4km. It boasts many hiking trails. So, if you’re an avid hiker, Robberg needs to be on your itinerary.
The nature reserve is a breeding ground for water birds. Hikers may also see dolphins and whales in the bay (this is only when they’re in seasons). Seals have also been spotted as has the great white shark. Other local inhabitants include:
- Rock rabbits (which are also known as hyraxes or dassies),
- The Cape clawless otter, and
- A number of small antelope.
Knysna is by far one of the most popular towns on the Garden Route and is known for its lush green forests in addition to its sparkling lagoon. The Knysna Heads are two craggy rocks which guard the mouth to the lagoon. Animals in the forest include:
- Vervet monkey
- Blue duiker
Speaking about the lagoon, if you’re an oyster lover, Travelstart suggests that you take an oyster cruise on the Knysna Lagoon. Serious oyster lovers should not miss out on the annual Knysna Oyster Festival, which happens towards the end of June every year.
While you’re checking out the forests and lagoon that this part of the world has to offer, why not take a trip to the Knysna Elephant Park. This park has been in operation for more than 20 years and was the first park of its kind to take in baby elephants.
If you thought that, when you were in the Tsitsikamma Forest, you were actually in the Amazon, you’d be forgiven! With its lush green flora as well as its array of birdlife, Tsitsikamma has it all. Bird watchers will delight in seeing these birds:
- Half-collared Kingfisher
- African Finfoot
- Knysna Loerie
- Emerald Cuckoo
- Narina Trogon
- Knysna and Olive Woodpecker
- Chorister Robin
- Grey Cuckooshrike
If you are a lover of the South African outdoors, then the Garden Route is something that you can’t miss out on! You can fly into either George or Plettenberg Bay from major airports in South Africa. If you are an overseas visitor, you will have to fly into one of the airports in the major cities – such as Cape Town or Johannesburg – and then catch a connecting flight from there.