Cape Town and Kruger may steal the limelight when it comes to South African travel, but there’s a whole new world to discover on the southern coast. With an amazing array of things to do, see and experience, the Garden Route is the ultimate South African destination and is a great way to make the most of your time in the country. Here are some of our favourite parts of any trip to this unique region of South Africa.
The Big 5 in the Garden Route
A South African Big 5 safari often conjures images of the bushveld in the heart of the Kruger region, but it’s not the only region to offer game viewing. The Garden Route houses several private game reserves that offer a different twist to the usual safari experience. Expert guides and the exclusivity of these lodges ensure that your sightings are intimate and memorable. The vastly different scenery and spectacular mountainous backdrops set the scene for sensational game viewing that thrills and delights guests.
The Garden Route has beautiful beaches
Some of South Africa’s best beaches are along this stunning stretch of coastline. Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and Mossel Bay offer some of the most popular options to take a dip, catch a tan and feel the sand between your toes. The temperate seas mean the only shivers you’ll get are from ice cream after your swim. Those with strong sea legs can enjoy boat trips through the spectacular Knysna Heads (an experience in itself) before going in search of whales, dolphins and the abundance of marine life on these sunny shores.
Endless adventure & activities
Blessed with a wealth of activities and outdoor pursuits, the Garden Route often leaves a lengthy list of must-do’s for the next visit! For the more adventurous at heart, there are the twin attractions of the worlds highest bungee jump at Bloukrans and the world’s longest over ocean zipline in Mossel Bay to get your adrenalin pumping. If a bit of a splash is more to your taste then paddle through this paradise on a kayaking adventure, or alternatively enjoy the sublime surf at Jeffrey’s Bay, home to one of the best point breaks anywhere in the world. However, the most famous of the attractions of the Garden Route is its selection of golf courses. The region offers 12 championship golf courses, but there is little doubt that Fancourt stands out as the jewel in the crown of them all. Boasting three courses designed by golfing legend, Gary Player, this is simply “the Mecca of South African golf”, where you’re sure to be treated like a pro, even if you don’t manage to play like one.
A Seafood Foodies Delight
The home of South Africa’s oysters, Knysna is a must for fans of these shellfish. The annual Oyster Festival is hosted during July in this quaint coastal town and should not be missed. For those who like their food less fishy, there is a wealth of opportunity to sample other local treats and fine dining in equal measure. Whether it is ostrich fillet from local farms or local takes on classic dishes, there is no shortage of culinary delights to tickle your palate.
The most enduring and alluring feature of the Garden Route is its breathtaking natural beauty. At every turn, there are picturesque vistas and scenery that astounds. Lush forests and jagged cliffs tumbling into the sea characterise the Garden Route and are unlike any other region of South Africa.
So if you’re looking to do more with your South African soiree, stumble along the Garden Route and be dazzled and delighted by its charms. A region blessed with so much to offer and share with guests, has something to stir the soul of any African adventurer who sets foot on its mesmerising path.
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