The Garden Route in the Western Cape is one of South Africa's main tourist attractions and is generally thought to stretch from Mossel Bay to St Francis along the Indian ocean and also includes parts of the inland.
The central part of the Garden Route is formed by the coastline of the Indian ocean. To the north it is bordered by the Little Karoo, a semi-desert region.
The Garden Route is easily reached from
The N2 is the main highway that passes through the Garden Route, connecting Cape Town with Port Elizabeth.
As local public transport between the towns is rare (except minibus services), the best way to tour the Route is by car. You can hire a car all along the Garden Route, be aware though that there is a fee if you drop the car off somewhere else from where you have picked it up.
Substantial roadworks are in progress on the N2 with the current single lane sections being upgraded to double lanes in both ways. Imagine the intro photo on this article with two extra lanes being constructed on the left of the current road. Some sections are restricted to single direction traffic flow with manned stop/go control points. Typical delay at these points are 20 minutes each. Expect delays and plan your travel accordingly.
As a main tourist destination there are many restaurants for every taste. Enjoy superb fish from the ocean ; Knysna is the place to taste some oysters.
There is no shortage of all kinds of accommodation but book ahead on weekends / holiday. Especially during the summer the Garden Route is a popular holiday destination, not only for foreign tourists but also for South Africans. If you are backpacking, the area has numerous hostels. Find a listing of most of them on the Coast to Coast website . Campers will find excellent facilities at sites like the Ebb and Flow campsite in Wilderness, . The Tsitsikamma sites at Storms's River mouth and Nature's Valley are also places of scenic beauty, and out of season can be havens of peace where otters appear on the beach . If its Elephants that you after then the best place to stay in is the Main Camp [www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/] located in the Addo Elephant National Park.
Compared with the larger cities the towns along the Garden Route are quite safe. As always use your common sense. Driving at night is fine.