> Things to do
> Suggested Itineraries
> Accomodation / Travel
> General / Other
No visit to the Western Cape is complete without at least a few days spent in the beautiful Garden Route region. Incorporating the picturesque stretch of coastline between Mossel Bay and Nature's Valley, the Garden Route is aptly named for its lush greenery and the vast Tsitsikamma Forest. The coastal route includes the towns of Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay and Nature's Valley- each with their own charm and attractions.
The Garden Route is ideal for a self-drive holiday and can be easily reached from Cape Town via the N2 through the farming regions of the Overberg, or alternatively via Route 62 which travels through the Breede River Valley towns of Robertson and Ashton and then on to Oudtshoorn before joining up with the N2 at George.
Relaxing, active, romantic or family fun - the Garden Route offers it all. Hiking, walking and swimming are plentiful, or simply relax and take in the scenery. The Outeniqua Choo Choo chugs between George and Knysna offering spectacular views. Dine on fresh seafood and oysters and take a boat trip on the lagoon in Knysna or, soak up the sun on long stretches of white sandy beaches in Plettenberg Bay.
Mossel Bay - Garden Route
The first stop on the Garden Route stretch is Mossel Bay. With plentiful beaches on the shores of the mild Indian Ocean, the town is popular with families, locals and tourists. The town was first founded in 1488 by Bartolomeu Dias and is now home to a Maritime Museum, Shell Museum and Aquarium. Mossel Bay also offers boat-based whale watching, hiking and walking and plenty of water and outdoor activities including golf.
George - Garden Route
George is the heart of the Southern Cape and is its main business centre - set in beautiful surroundings and with a mild all-year round climate it is a popular destination. Attractions include two of South Africa's top golf courses, the George Museum dedicated to the history of the timber industry around which the town originally developed, and the nearby beaches of Victoria Bay and Herold's Bay. The Outeniqua Transport Museum houses an interesting display of locomotives and coaches and is also the departure point of the Outeniqua Choo Choo which travels between George and Knysna.
Wilderness - Garden Route
Stretching from the Kaaimans River to the borders of the Goukamma Nature Reserve, the seaside resort of Wilderness includes the expansive Wilderness National Park, five rivers, five lakes and long streches of beach.
This is the ideal destination for a relaxed, outdoors holiday. There are plenty of opportunites for walking, mountain biking and canoeing. Look out for the elusive Knysna Loerie, the Cape clawless otter and bushbuck.
Wilderness offers a host of accommodation from guesthouses and a few hotels to camping, as well as a selection of restaurants.
Sedgefield - Garden Route
With the lagoons, rivers and the ocean Sedgefield is a water lovers paradise. The opportunites are endless from canoeing to windsurfing, fishing, diving and surfing. The small seaside village is alongside the Swartvlei Estuary and borders the Goukamma Nature Reserve making it rich in birdlife, flora and fynbos. George and Knysna are both within easy driving distance for day trips and there are a host of guest lodges and B&B's to choose from.
Knysna - Garden Route
The popular and picturesque town of Knysna is located on the shores of the Knysna Lagoon - the lagoon is a protected area and is home to over 200 species of fish, including the rare Knysna seahorse.
Regular guided lagoon cruises will introduce you to the area as well as the spectacular cliffs at the Knysna Heads which lead out to the Indian Ocean. Outdoor activities abound from canoeing, hiking and horse riding to beach walks at Brenton-on-Sea or the romantic Noetzie Beach.
Dining in Knysna is also a pleasure with a host of restaurants to choose from - try some fresh Knysna oysters washed down with champagne.
Plettenberg Bay - Garden Route
Plettenberg Bay is a holiday-makers paradise with many locals spending the long summer holidays in this sun-filled town. Surrounded by a backdrop of the majestic Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains, Plettenberg Bay offers miles of white sandy beaches and clear, warm waters. Ideal for long beach walks, swimming and other outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking and boat-based whale and dolphin watching trips.
Plettenberg Bay offers a host of hotels, guest houses and lodges from luxurious to rustic and a wide variety of restaurants, cafes and beach bars.
Within easy driving distance are a number of golf courses, Monkeyland and a selection of private game reserves. An ideal base from which to explore the Garden Route and surrounds.