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Why you Need to Visit the Garden Route - Paradise in Africa

Updated on June 19, 2013

There's a little piece of paradise in South Africa called the "Garden Route". It's a beautiful, scenic route that stretches between Heidelberg and the Storms River on the South Eastern part of South Africa.

Interesting Facts About the Garden Route

  • It has the 2nd mildest (oceanic) climate in the world, following Hawaii
  • Temperatures range between 10°C and 28°C
  • Home to the worlds highest bungy jump bridge - Bloukrans Bridge Bungy
  • An important part of the Cape Floral Kingdom - the smallest of the world's six floral kingdoms
  • Over 300 different bird species and over 6500 indigenous plants can be found here
  • The region includes breathtaking scenery of lakes, forests, the ocean, wide open land spaces and large mountain ranges
  • Golfer's paradise with over 5 top class golf courses to try out
  • The Garden Route has something for everyone whether it's relaxing on a beach, taking in the beautiful scenery, exploring the wildlife and forests, learning about the culture of the people that used to live here, sampling some of the best multi-ethnic food in the world, or giving in to your adventurous side - there is no limit of activities to do or things to see when visiting this special place.

Where is the Garden Route?

Map of the Garden Route
Map of the Garden Route | Source
Watching the sea and a para-glider in Wilderness
Watching the sea and a para-glider in Wilderness | Source
Beautiful pond in Knysna
Beautiful pond in Knysna | Source

For the Adventure Seeker

There is no shortage in the list of adventure activities to try when you're in the Garden Route. You could bungy jump off the worlds highest bungy jump bridge in Tsitsikamma, explore the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn, walk on platform tops next to high trees in the forest - Treetop Canopy Tours, scuba dive, surf, canoe, black tube down rivers, hike, bike or fish!

For the Scenic Traveller

If you're looking for somewhere tranquil to relax, explore, unwind or "find yourself" - the Garden Route is the perfect paradise and escape from reality for this. Read a book while lying on the beach, explore the natural beauty of the flora and forests, meditate next to a waterfall, capture the beauty of the mountain ranges in a painting or photograph.

For the Romantic Couple

A popular Honeymoon destination, the Garden Route overflows in romance! Book a sunset cruise, watch the ocean from your bed, enjoy a picnic in the forest. There is no limit of romantic things for couples to do.

For the Animal Lover

You will be in for a treat if you're an animal lover and you visit the Garden Route! Home to natural wildlife such as baboons and birds, there are also an abundance of National Wildlife parks. Get up close and personal with monkeys in Monkeyland, feed Elephants at the Knysna Elephant Park, visit Wolves at the Wolf Sanctuary, walk amongst Zebras at Jakani or enjoy seeing flamingos, swans, parrots and doves in their tropical paradise - Birds of Eden.

Walk with Elephants at Knysna Elephant Park
Walk with Elephants at Knysna Elephant Park | Source
A walk in the forest in Knysna
A walk in the forest in Knysna | Source
Stunning flowers everywhere!
Stunning flowers everywhere! | Source

Towns of the Garden Route

Mossel Bay

Beautiful beaches, rich architecture and history culture. Visit the Diaz statue when here.


Home to the famous Cango Caves (try the Adventure tour) and over 600 Ostrich farms!


A cute seaside little village. The perfect to unwind in a quiet place and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.


The main city of the Garden route, George is the perfect base point and includes a large mall and an airport.


A peaceful little holiday resort that is surrounded by lakes and forest.


A blissful town surrounded by rivers and lakes. Their restaurants provide top quality food. Canoe through the forests when here.


Possibly the most popular tourist destination on the Garden Route, Knysna is surrounded by lakes and boasts an abundance of culture, scenic beauty and activities.

Plettenberg Bay

A fashionable holiday destination, that includes 20km of beaches, coffee shops - this is a shoppers paradise.

Visiting the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn is a must!
Visiting the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn is a must! | Source

What is your favourite place to visit in the Garden Route?

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    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Great article! Just came back and every time we discover new places like Stilbaai.

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      7 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      It is, isn't it dommcg? We were in Wilderness but missed out on canoeing. I was so disappointed, but we'll make a trip there again soon I'm sure. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment :)

    • dommcg profile image


      7 years ago

      I had a few wonderful days in Wilderness, the highlight for me was canoeing up the river to the waterfall where i swam and sunbathed for the afternoon. Spectacular.

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      8 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      LetitiaFT - I've just come back from a holiday in the Garden Route and am already having withdrawal symptoms! I can't get over how beautiful it is there, the nature - the wildlife, it's simply breathtaking. My dream is to one day take a trip to Europe and see Italy, and after your description of the southern coast of France - this is a must too! Thanks for reading :)

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      8 years ago from Paris via California

      The Garden Route in South Africa. Sounds dreamy. Reminds me of parts of the southern coast of France, especially around Menton, the only place in France with citrus crops. That's Mediterranean mind you, not tropical, but lush and lovely all the same. Hope to take the S.A. Garden Route one of these days. Will hang on to this. Thanks.

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 

      8 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks MelChi for the added detail. This would make any trip to this beautiful country a little more less stressful - and I will avoid Joburg!

    • MelChi profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Chisnall 

      8 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Michael, you won't be disappointed when visiting the Garden Route when you come to Africa - if I could live there, I would!

      Regarding the safety on the roads / cities - we had no problem at all on our holiday. The routes we travelled were frequented by travellers, and the rural roads were quiet and breathtakingly beautiful. The thought of hijakers didn't even cross our minds.

      I will be honest in saying that the majority of car jackings take place in Johannesburg and I tend to avoid that area completely if I can. There's little (same as in any other country around the world) to no problem in any of the other cities in SA, including Cape Town.

      If you come to SA, I would suggest flying to Johannesburg's Airport and taking a connecting flight to George's Airport. From there you can hire a car and do a road trip of the Garden Route.

      Thanks so much for reading :)

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 

      8 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks you MelChi for sharing this 'adventure'. At some point I am very keen to visit Africa to observe the natural beauty and wildlife.

      I am interested to find out if it is safe to drive alone along this route. You hear of car jackings and violence in the big cities, so is rural a lot safer?

      Shared and voted up! Cheers Michael


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