Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : South Africa : Western Cape : Garden Route
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.
- George, the largest town along the Route
- Knysna, one of the most popular tourist destinations
- Storms River, the Gate to the Tsitsikamma National Park
- Plettenberg Bay
- Mossel Bay, this is where Bartolomeu Dias set foot ashore in 1488 and South Africa`s first post office was founded in 1500
- Nature's Valley, One of the few remaining areas of truly outstanding natural beauty along the Garden Route
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.
- New Fusion, ☎ +27 (0)21 555-1600, . Garden Route travel services including a range of itineraries; Safaris;accommodation venues; car rental and private guiding services.
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.
- The Big Tree, (In the Tsitsikamma forest, just off the N2 between the Storms River Bridge and the Storms River Village turn-off. You will see the signboards). One truly massive old yellowwood tree. Note: due to the roadworks is the Big Tree closed until December 2009. The nearest Big Tree is situated near the Khoi San Village at the Bloukrans Bungy site.
- Visit Tsitsikamma National Park and hike the Otter trail
- Surf in Plettenberg Bay or Vic Bay
- Bloukrans Bungee, ☎ +27 (0)42 281-1458, . Daily 8AM-5PM. Do the world's highest commercial bungee jump Bloukrans Bridge. Bungy jump R620, DVD footage R130, Flying Fox R170, Flying Fox Tandem (2 persons) R260, Bungy + Flying Fox R750, Bridge Walking Tours R90..
- Wolf sanctuary, ☎ +27 (0)82 33-9799, .
- Go on a ride with the famous Outeniqua Choo-tjoe Train , the last steam train in Southern Africa, from George to Mossel Bay or back and enjoy the coastal scenery.
- Quad Adventures, ☎ +27 (0)723 03-9011, . Camp under the stars in the wild after a day of winding through dramatic mountain terrain of the Garden Route to the vast open spaces of the Little Karoo. Choose between 4 wheels or 2 and enjoy hours or even days of adventure. Tours range from a 25 minute introductory route through beautiful valleys to overnight all-out action deep in the wild. The adventure is here – you decide when.
- Tsalanang Township Walk, Stormsriver, ☎ +27 (0)84 801-6274, . Get acquainted with the locals of the Tsitsikamma and share their lives with your personalized guide, Geraldine Damons. R75.
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.
- Go ahead for Cape Town or Port Elizabeth.
- Jeffreys Bay is a well-known for its surfing grounds.
- Visit the Little Karoo just to the north of the Garden Route
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