+27 31 572 422
info@southerncircle.com
20 Years Experience You can Trust*
info@southerncircle.com
20 Years Experience You can Trust*
+27 31 572 422
info@southerncircle.com
20 Years Experience You can Trust*
+27 31 572 422

#1 Garden Route Tours in the country

R16500

6 Day Durban to Cape Town Guided Tour (Code: SCDP)

DAY 1  South Coast – Wild Coast (Durban – Cape Town) The drive from Durban along the South Coast takes you through lush subtropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. You visit the scenic Oribi Gorge and some beautiful little beaches. You turn inland and enter the Eastern Cape Province, the former homeland of Transkei, and traverse over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads, through valleys and clear streams. You travel via  tiny hamlets on the rugged Wild Coast and check into our hotel on the edge of the sea. Overnight Mbotyi Lodge. DAY 2 Wild Coast You travel to Umtata, the capital of the former homeland. After a visit to the Nelson Mandela museum You travel further south to and towards the beach again. You travel to our lodge nestled in the middle of the beautiful Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast, surrounded by rolling hills, lush tropical beach forests and overlooks the warm Indian Ocean. Overnight Crawford Beach Lodge. DAY 3 Addo Elephant National Park – Port Elizabeth After breakfast overlooking the simmering Indian Ocean you depart and this morning’s journey takes us to East London, the only river port in South Africa, and the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938. Then travel along the coast and you enjoy the lush vegetation and rugged coastline. You visit Port Alfred, an outstanding holiday village situated on the Kowie river mouth and travel to Grahamstown. The small cathedral city is considered the art capital of South Africa and is steeped in history. At the Addo National Elephant Park game reserve You have an excellent chance of an encounter with these giants of the bush amongst other animals. This afternoon you reach Port Elizabeth, the fifth biggest city in the country, set on the shores of the Algoa Bay and also called the “Friendly City”. Overnight

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R10980

4 Day Guided Cape Town Garden Route Tour (Code: SCCH)

Day 1.  Cape Town – Mossel Bay – George – Knysna Depart from Cape Town on the Garden Route tour and drive eastwards via Sir Lowry’s Pass. Travel through the famous apple country of Grabouw to Swellendam and Mossel Bay. Here you visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree. This is the site where the Portuguese explorer, Bartholomeu Dias, made first landfall in 1488. From here you truly enter the Garden Route and travel past George via the Wilderness Lakelands to Knysna. Overnight at Augusta Bay Lodge. Day 2.  Knysna – Plettenberg Bay – Tsitsikamma National Park You explore Knysna and travel further to Plettenberg Bay for a short visit. Then you traverse through magnificent scenic river valley passes. You visit the Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for ‘The place of much water’). Stretching over one hundred kilometres of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys, the parks impresses! Your next stop is Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge, towering 139 m above the valley. We return to Knysna via the “Big Tree” and spend the last part of the afternoon exploring the Heads at Knysna.   Overnight at Augusta Bay Lodge. Day 3.  Knysna – George – Oudtshoorn After breakfast you board a boat for a short trip on the Knysna Lagoon. Depart from Knysna and travel to George. From here you drive via the scenic Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn. The town is known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world as we find the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world here. We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprises an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites.  Overnight at La Plume Guest Lodge. Day 4.  Oudtshoorn – Montagu –

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3 Day Garden Route Guided Tour from Cape Town (Code: SCCA)

DAY 1. Route 62 Drive the beautiful Garden Route whilst on tours from Cape town to Oudtshoorn Depart from Cape Town and drive eastwards towards the Garden Route via the beautiful Du Toit’s Kloof Mountains and the Breede Valley Wine region, heartland of South Africa’s Brandy producers as well as via the Robertson and Montague wine regions.You visit one of the many Wine Estates one the first day for wine tours throughout Cape Town South Africa for a wine tasting. Continue via Route 62 through the Little Karoo with its many unique mountain ranges and vegetation to Oudtshoorn.  We visit an Ostrich Show Farm for some exceptional experiences with these strange birds! Overnight at La Plume Lodge outside Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here. DAY 2.  Cango Caves – George – Wilderness – Knysna You visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. You can do an optional visit to the Cango wildlife ranch. The Ranch encompasses of over 90 different species of animals. They provide guided tours which are fundamental in educating the public. It provides each species with a voice, and highlighting animal and environmental issues. You travel past Oudtshoorn, over the Outeniqua Mountains via George and Wilderness along the Wilderness National Park lakes area. We skirt around the lakes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the lakelands and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc.

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R10850

4 Day Garden Route Guided Tour from Cape Town (Code: SCCD)

DAY 01. Cape Town – Hermanus – Swellendam – Mossel Bay (Cape Garden Route) Depart on the Cape Garden Route tour at around 09h00. We continue eastwards towards the Garden Route. The road takes us via a beautiful coastal route between Gordon’s Bay and the beautiful seaside town of Hermanus. (Hermanus is also arguably the best place in the World to spot Whales from land – July to Dec). After lunch you continue to Mossel Bay and visit famous Cape Town tourist attractions such as the oldest post office in Africa.   A huge hollow tree was used to hide the post at the site of the first landfall, made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias in 1488. Overnight  at Bar -T-Nique Guesthouse in Mosselbay. DAY 02.  Mossel Bay – Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves – Ostrich Farm. Travel over the scenic Outeniqua Mountains to the Little Karoo and we visit an Ostrich Show Farm for some unique experiences. Here we learn about these amazing flightless birds and may see some ostrich racing. A ride on a back of an ostrich is not for the fainthearted. You visit the Cango caves regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Afterwards; you visit Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, because  we find over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms here. Overnight at La Plume Lodge outside Oudtshoorn. DAY 03.  Oudtshoorn – Cango Wildlife Ranch – Garden Route – Knysna After breakfast you visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of Ancients, an endangered species breeding facility. Then depart for George and Wilderness National Park. You skirt around the lakes with stops at scenic viewpoints en-route to Knysna. The town is situated on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two hills known as the “Heads”. The area also falls

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R7340

3 Day Garden Route Tour – Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (Code: SCCB)

DAY 1 Port Elizabeth – Garden Route – Knysna You depart from Port Elizabeth, also called the ‘Friendly City’ towards the Garden Route and along the N2 national route. Arrive at Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer bridge across the valley towering some one hundred and thirty- nine metres above the river. Now truly in the Garden Route, our next stop is at Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for the place of much water). The park stretches over one hundred kilometres of wild and rocky coastline characterized by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches, and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. You can do a relaxing walk/hike to the suspension bridge stretching over the mouth of the Storms River. You now travel to The Bloukrans Bridge, 216 metres (709 feet) above the Bloukrans River. The Bloukrans Bungee is the world’s highest commercial bungee bridge and is the highest commercial natural bungee jump in the world! You visit Birds of Eden. This unique two hectare dome (the world’s largest), spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. It is currently home to over 3,500 birds from over 220 species, with the main focus being African birds. Travelling past Plettenberg Bay to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the ‘Heads’. The area also falls within a National Park of the Garden Route proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the Lakeland and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc. We overnight at Augusta Bay Lodge in Knysna. DAY 2 Garden Route – George – Oudtshoorn You travel along the lake areas and the Wilderness National Park, a picturesque part of the Garden Route. It leads us to the scenic Outeniqua Pass and to Oudsthoorn, also known

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R8990

3 Day Garden Route Guided Tour from Cape Town (Code: SCCA)

DAY 1. Route 62 Drive the beautiful Garden Route whilst on tours from Cape town to Oudtshoorn Depart from Cape Town and drive eastwards towards the Garden Route via the beautiful Du Toit’s Kloof Mountains and the Breede Valley Wine region, heartland of South Africa’s Brandy producers as well as via the Robertson and Montague wine regions.You visit one of the many Wine Estates one the first day for wine tours throughout Cape Town South Africa for a wine tasting. Continue via Route 62 through the Little Karoo with its many unique mountain ranges and vegetation to Oudtshoorn.  We visit an Ostrich Show Farm for some exceptional experiences with these strange birds! Overnight at La Plume Lodge outside Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here. DAY 2.  Cango Caves – George – Wilderness – Knysna You visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. You can do an optional visit to the Cango wildlife ranch. The Ranch encompasses of over 90 different species of animals. They provide guided tours which are fundamental in educating the public. It provides each species with a voice, and highlighting animal and environmental issues. You travel past Oudtshoorn, over the Outeniqua Mountains via George and Wilderness along the Wilderness National Park lakes area. We skirt around the lakes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the lakelands and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc.

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R10850

4 Day Garden Route Tour – Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (Code: SCCE)

DAY 1 Port Elizabeth – Garden Route – Knysna You depart from Port Elizabeth on the Garden Route tour along the N2 national route to the Storms River. This is the beginning of the Garden Route – with the impressive Paul Sauer bridge across the valley towering some one hundred and thirty- nine metres above the river. Your next stop is at Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for the place of much water) stretching over one hundred kilometres of wild and rocky coastline. It is characterized by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches, and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Here you can do a relaxing walk/hike to the suspension bridge stretching over the mouth of the Storms River. You now travel to The Bloukrans Bridge, 216 meters (709 feet) above the Bloukrans River. The Bloukrans Bungee is the world’s highest commercial bungee bridge and is the highest commercial natural bungee jump in the world! Just before entering Plettenberg Bay, visit the Birds of Eden. This unique two hectare dome (the world’s largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. Currently more than 3,500 birds from over 220 species, with the main focus being African birds, live. Then a short visit to Monkeyland, the worlds first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary. On this visit you can expect to see a variety of primates, ranging from the Gibbons of Asia to the Lemurs of Madagascar. More than 700 primates live at the sanctuary. Travelling past Plettenberg Bay to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the ‘Heads’. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the Lakeland and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc. Overnight in Knysna at the Augusta Bay Lodge.

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R17900

6 Day Cape Splendour Guided Tour (Code: SCCN)

Day 1.  Cape Town – Route 62 – Oudtshoorn Depart from Cape Town and drive eastwards via the beautiful Du Toit’s Kloof Mountains and the Breede Valley Wine region, heartland of South Africa’s Brandy producers as well as via the Robertson and Montague wine regions. You visit one of the many Wine Estates in these areas for a wine tasting . Continue via Route 62 through the Little Karoo with its many unique mountain ranges and vegetation to Oudtshoorn. Visit an Ostrich Show Farm for some exceptional experiences with these strange birds! Overnight at La Plume Guest House or similar, in Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here. Dinner included today. Day 2. Cango Caves – Garden Route – George – Knysna Our first stop is at the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. An optional visit to the Cango wildlife ranch can be done. The Ranch encompasses of over 90 different species of animals. They provide guided tours which are fundamental in educating the public, giving each species a voice, and highlighting animal and environmental issues. Travel further past Oudtshoorn, over the Outeniqua Mountains via George and Wilderness along the Wilderness National Park lakes area. We skirt around the lakes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary beauty of the lakelands and indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc.  Overnight at  Augusta Bay Lodge or similar. Breakfast and dinner included. Day 3.  Plettenberg Bay

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R14200

5 Day Cape Nature Highlights Guided Tour (Code: SCCS)

DAY 1.   Mossel Bay – Garden Route – Knysna (Garden Route and Karoo) The Garden Route and Karoo contrasts is highlighted in this tour!  Depart from Cape Town and drive eastwards via Sir Lowry’s Pass and the famous apple country of Grabouw to Swellendam and Mossel Bay on the edge of the Garden Route. Here you visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree.  Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias made a landfall here in 1488. From here you truly enter the Garden Route and travel past George via the Wilderness Lakelands to Knysna. Overnight at Augusta Bay Lodge DAY 2.   Plettenberg Bay – Tsitsikamma National Park – Knysna You explore Knysna and travel further to Plettenberg Bay for a short visit. Then you traverse through magnificent scenic river valley passes. You visit the Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for ‘The place of much water’) stretching over 100 km kilometres of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Your next stop is Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge across the valley, towering 139 m above the river. Return to Knysna via the “Big Tree” and spend the last part of the afternoon exploring the Heads at Knysna.  You join a Dinner/sundowner cruise (weather permitting) on the lagoon to end this day. Overnight at Augusta Bay Lodge. DAY 3.   Garden Route – George – Oudtshoorn You depart after breakfast and travel via the scenic Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, also known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world.  One finds the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world here. You visit an ostrich show farm for some unique experiences, including ostrich racing and the Cango Wildlife Ranch. Overnight at La Plume Guest Lodge. DAY 4.   Cango Caves – Swartberg Mountains – Beaufort West – Karoo National Park You visit the Cango Caves, regarded

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R16500

6 Day South African Coastal Experience Guided Tour (Code: SCCP)

DAY 1.  Cape Town – Route 62 – Oudtshoorn (Cape Town to Durban Tour) Depart from Cape Town and drive eastwards via the beautiful Du Toit’s Kloof Mountains and the Breede Valley Wine region, heartland of South Africa’s Brandy producers as well as via the Robertson and Montague wine regions. We visit one of the many Wine Estates in these areas for a wine tasting. We continue via Route 62 through the Little Karoo with its many unique mountain ranges and vegetation to Oudtshoorn, visiting an Ostrich Show Farm for some exceptional experiences with these strange birds! Overnight in Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here. Overnight La Plume Lodge. DAY 2.  Cango Caves – Garden Route – Knysna We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. An optional visit to the Cango wildlife ranch can be done. The Ranch encompasses of over 90 different species of animals. They provide guided tours which are fundamental in educating the public, giving each species a voice, and highlighting animal and environmental issues. We travel past Oudtshoorn, over the Outeniqua Mountains via George and Wilderness along the Wilderness National Park lakes area. We skirt around the lakes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the lakelands and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc. Overnight in Knysna. Overnight Augusta Bay Lodge. DAY 3.  Garden Route – Tsitsikamma National Park – Port Elizabeth You

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R24650

8 Day South Africa Touch of Wildlife and Scenery Guided Tour (Code: SC-01)

DAY 1. Johannesburg – Kruger National Park (Commencing on the touch of wildlife and scenery) This tour specializes in the major wildlife and scenery areas of South Africa! We start off with a drive eastwards via Witbank and Middelburg to Nelspruit and enter the Kruger National Park in the south. Our encounter with the wildlife starts here. Tonight we enter our camp for dinner and overnight. The accommodation in the camps are free-standing round ‘rondavel’ type rooms with air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom. DAY 2.  Big Five Kruger National Park Tour Today is completely devoted to game viewing as we search for the ‘Big Five’ amongst other animals. We reach our camp at sunset for dinner and overnight. Some may want to do a night drive in an open game viewing vehicle utilising high powered spotlights to find the nocturnal animals (optional). DAY 3. Kruger National Park – Panoramic Route – Hazyview After a final game drive and breakfast, we exit the park and drive via Klaserie and the Abel Erasmus Pass to the Escarpment where we enter the Panoramic Route. Visit the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and Pinnacle Rock. Travel via Graskop and Sabi to our hotel. Overnight at Ligna Lodge. DAY 4. Pilgrim’s Rest – JNB – Port Elizabeth After breakfast and a visit to the Lone Creek Falls, we travel to the national heritage town of Pilgrim’s Rest. Take a walk through the main street and get transferred to the late 19th century when this little village was bustling with activity as a result of the alluvial gold found here. From here we return via Robber’s Pass and reach Johannesburg International Airport late afternoon for your flight to Port Elizabeth where you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Fifth

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R26400

8 Days Touch of Wildlife Cape Town to Johannesburg (Code: SC-01C)

DAY 1.  Cape Town – Hermanus – Swellendam – Mossel Bay This wildlife and scenery tour highlights the diversity of South Africa. Depart from Cape Town at around 09h00 and drive eastwards via the beautiful coastal route between Gordon’s Bay and Hermanus, a seaside holiday town (Hermanus is the best place in the World to spot Whales from land – July to Dec). After lunch we drive on to Mossel Bay. Here we visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree.  The Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias made landfall here in 1488. Overnight at Bar -T-Nique Lodge. DAY 2.  Mossel Bay – Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves – Ostrich Farm. Over the Outeniqua Mountains in the Little Karoo to visit an Ostrich Show Farm for unique experiences including ostrich racing. A ride on a back of an ostrich is not for the fainthearted. We visit the Cango caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Visit Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as one finds over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms here. Overnight La Plume Lodge. DAY 3.  Oudtshoorn – Cango Wildlife Ranch – Garden Route – Knysna After breakfast we visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of Ancients, an endangered species breeding facility extraordinaire. Then depart for George and Wilderness National Park. We skirt around the lakes with stops at scenic viewpoints to Knysna. The town is situated on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the lakelands and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc. We

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Garden Route Tours

Stretching 300 km, the Garden Route is South Africa’s botanical nook.

There is no place in South Africa quite like the Garden Route. It includes one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that South Africa has to offer and crosses through numerous small, picturesque coastal towns. Named for its immensely diverse vegetation, most of which are indigenous to the area, the Garden Route is a myriad of lagoons, lakes, forests and mountains.

The route is quite a popular attraction, and when travelling our beautiful country, you cannot miss this rich landscape of quiet beaches, dense forests, and unique attractions. The journey begins 4 hours from Cape Town and winds its way up the Eastern Cape coast ending at the fairy tale Tsitsikamma Forest.

Mountains feature heavily on a tour of the Garden Route, with the rolling green hills being one of the major characteristics of the route. The mountains lie close to the windy beaches and bays, making guests feel as though they are in a different world. When travelling through the Storms River and Heidelberg, the route runs alongside the coastline and is dotted with lakes, golden beaches, indigenous forests and those magnificent mountains.

The Garden Route has a longstanding fascination with all who visit and the best way to get the most out of your time here is to enjoy a Garden Route tour. Garden Route tour packages take you to the most popular attractions along South Africa’s most popular coastal route.

With Southern Circle, you can look forward to the best safari on the Garden Route. Our Garden Route holiday packages will take you on a journey to the Congo Caves, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Post Office Tree and various other extraordinary Garen Route tourist attractions. You will be amazed when you see South Africa’s clear oceans, forests and the Little Karoo.

Whether you book a 3 Day Garden Route Guided Tour or 19 Day Grand South African Tour, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore all that there is to offer along the Garden Route. The magnificent Tsitsikamma National Park and beautiful town of Knysna never fail to impress our guests.

Some of the longer tours, such as the 10 Day Taste of South Africa Tour, will include Kruger National Park excursions as well as tours of KwaZulu Natal.

All those who travel the Garden Route can agree on one thing; it’s a mystical place unlike any other you will come across in South Africa. Our country boasts wonderfully unique landscapes that differ around every twist and turn. The Garden Route is no exception. The route has an oceanic climate, with mild summers and mild winters making it the perfect place to travel regardless of the time of year. You can drive for long stretches without seeing a soul, and the small towns that dot the path are famous for their hospitality and genuine warm vibes.

Some of the small towns you can stop over in along the way include Mossel Bay, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Nature’s Valley and Little Brak River. George is the largest city on the route and it serves as the administrative centre. Before you get the impression that you will spend most of your time here driving, you’ll be happy to know that there are numerous activities to do along the way. Along with hiking in the valleys, kayaking in the rivers that meander through the mountains and spending some downtime at the beach, more adventurous guests can go on tree top excursions through the forests. There is something for everyone along the way!

The Garden Route is South Africa’s biggest botanical garden and guests will never forget their travels here. You can explore the area with one of our Garden Route Tours.

A Brief History of the Garden Route

There are no political tales or something about how human history has transformed the Garden Route itself, into what it is. The history of the route is 100% natural. Those who discovered the beautiful path through the mountains did only that, discover. The rest is Mother Nature’s beautiful hand at work. Some of the attractions do, however, have some kind of history attached to them, whether it is a town sprung up from necessity or a natural attraction used as a shelter for the earliest inhabitants.
Guests enjoying a Garden Route tour will learn all about the history behind each attraction they visit.

Garden Route Highlights

The gorgeous, sometimes misty and cool, Eastern Cape weather adds to the adventure that guests can look forward to here. With a Garden Route tour, you will miss nothing and leave with a head full of memories and a heart full of love for the Cape. These are just a few of the big Garden Route attractions.

The Knysna Heads

The Heads have a fascinating history, and they have over the years become a fabulous attraction. These rocky peaks stand as sentries, dominating the landscape and giving guests the impression that these rocks are guarding the coastline and the small towns close to them. And guard they have, in their own way, as many fishermen and ships have met their untimely demise, dashed on the jagged rocks. For seafarers, the route past the Knysna Heads is a place where only brave men dare tread.
You don’t have to get up close to see The Heads. They can be viewed from numerous restaurants and those indulging in water sports in the area will find that The Heads are always in view. If you want to climb to The Heads, the East Head is the more accessible of the peaks and there are signposts along the way to guide you to it.

Whale Watching

Between Storms River and Mossel Bay, guests can do a bit of whale watching. A boat ride is the best way to get a good look at the whales, while land-based whale watching is also possible, albeit not as effective as when on the lookout from other locations. There is also quite a large Cape Fur Seal population living close to the area, and if you plan your boat trip properly, you could see the seals along the way.

Pinnacle Point Caves

The ocean along the route has carved out a number of overhanging caves all along the coastline. On a small piece of the headland, close to Mossel Bay, there is a collection of such caves. These caves show evidence of human habitation some 40 000 to 150 000 years ago, making the caves an important historical attraction. The caves are breathtaking and can be explored to great depths. From the months of July to December, whales can be spotted from the cave. Booking a tour to the caves is a must, and booking will need to be done in advance.

Bloukrans Pass

Any adrenaline junkie has heard about Bloukrans Pass but you don’t have to chase the thrill of bungee jumping to see the pass for yourself. Home to what is considered the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, the Bloukrans Pass is also a beautiful attraction for those wanting to get a better view of the forests and winding rivers. The views you will encounter when travelling the pass are indescribable.

Tsitsikamma

Named by the Khoisan because of the abundance of water, the Tsitsikamma National Park is situated in the heart of the Garden Route. About 30% of the park is covered in Fynbos while the rest of the park is characterised by indigenous plants. One could say that the Tsitsikamma National Park is a collection of everything the Garden Route is about; white tipped ocean breakers beneath cliff faces, rivers cutting through massive mountains, dense forests to explore, and so much more to see!

See the Garden Route for yourself when you join us on a once in a lifetime tour. Book your Garden Route Tour today.

Your Ultimate Guide to the Garden Route

A World of Experiences in one Garden Route trip

The Garden Route is an exquisite stretch of road between the Storms River in the Eastern Cape and Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. This winding journey has created one of the most exciting and beautiful ‘road trip’ experiences in the world. The variety of mind-blowing scenic beauty, from sun-drenched winelands to lush, ancient forests, majestic mountains, semi-arid desert and pristine beaches and seascapes is unsurpassed.

It’s not just the scenery that delights, it’s the opportunity to interact with wildlife such as elephants, whales, penguins and more. It’s the adrenaline junkie’s dream with bungee, scuba diving, ziplining, surfing, sandboarding, abseiling, paragliding, white water rafting, fishing and horse-riding opportunities. It’s the nature lovers dream too. The Garden Route in the Cape has been added to UNESCO’s World Network of biosphere reserves, with plenty of opportunity for tranquil river canoeing and forest hikes amongst an abundance of flora and fauna. The culture vulture is not forgotten – quaint and historic villages line the route.

Then there are wonderful opportunities for fine dining, and gorgeous Garden Route accommodation options every evening, from vibey backpackers, to cosy lodges and B n B’s, to world-class luxury hotels and spas.

You can self-drive the Garden Route or go on one of the excellent Garden Route Tours that operate seamlessly year-round. You can take it slow and meander, or whiz through, depending on your time frame. You can stay in different towns every night or base yourself in one place and take day trips. There are so many things to do and see along the way, so you can tailor your Garden Route trip to your favourite experiences.

The official beginning of the Garden Route is in Mossel Bay, but many travellers start from Cape Town on the N2. There are many routes, starting points and detours that you can take to customise your Garden Route experience according to your tastes, time limit and budget.

Map of the Garden Route

Towns and Attractions on the Garden Route

The order in which you will travel the route depends on how much of the route you will cover, how many detours you take, and where your starting and ending point will be. So, in no particular order, here are some of the gorgeous towns, attractions and activities you can enjoy on the Garden Route.

Knysna

Knysna is a charming town that puts the beauty of nature front and centre. The town is nestled next to a beautiful lagoon that is a marine reserve, full of diverse fish species and the unique Knysna seahorse. It’s the perfect spot to drink in the great outdoors, with lakes, mountains and beach.

The famous indigenous forests in Knysna are the largest closed canopy forests in South Africa, and home to a diversity of Fynbos vegetation that includes 8000 plant species. There are wonderful, demarcated hiking routes in the forest. The forests used to be home to many elephants, but sadly, very few are left in the forest. However, the Knysna Elephant Park has brought orphaned elephants from the Kruger National Park back to Knysna and is also worth a visit. You can even walk with the gentle giants in the park.

The Knysna Heads are two dramatic cliffs that stand and protect the mouth of the lagoon and are well worth a visit with your camera.

The town of Knysna has a central street that is part of the N2, and lined with individually owned small shops and boutiques, full of original art and hand-made items.  The narrow streets are surrounded by hills and mountains, all beautifully covered in indigenous vegetation. Restaurants and coffee shops abound, and you will have to choose carefully, as the dining is delicious! Artists and crafters are drawn to this exquisite natural scenery, and small studios and galleries provide opportunities to peruse original artworks.

For a spot of nightlife, the Knysna Waterfront boasts trendy bars, restaurants and clubs. It’s quite something to enjoy an evening cocktail while watching the sun set over the Knysna Heads.

Adventure seekers will not be disappointed staying in Knysna, as abseiling, canopy tours, sky diving and scuba activities are all available close to the town. Golfers will be in heaven with several world-class golf courses in Knysna and in neighbouring towns.

If you visit during August or September, the chances of seeing Southern Right whales on their migratory journey is very high.

Plettenberg Bay

When you hit Plettenberg Bay, you’ll know it’s time to kick back and spend some time on the beach. The pristine, white sand and clear, azure water will have you spending hours next to the waves, just lazing, or trying your hand at surfing.

The town is very popular with tourists during the high seasons and has a buzzing nightlife to boot. Even during the daytime, the town is a mecca of interesting shops and boutiques. There is lots to do for the adventurer – parachuting, bungee jumping, mountain biking, sand boarding and horse riding are very popular. Sixteen wine estates close by, a township tour or tavern tour and lots of seasonal events mean there is always something new and exciting to do when you come off the beach in ‘Plett’.

George

The historic town of George is nestled into the foot of the magnificent Outeniqua Mountain Range, surrounded by beautiful scenery. George is one of the largest towns of the Garden Route but it does not scrimp on charm and beauty.

The town centre is sophisticated, with a mall and all commercial amenities, but the wide streets and tranquil ambience make sure its attraction stays intact. Lovely shops, restaurants, outdoor cafes with mountain views, theatres and cinemas cater to all different tastes.

There are historical landmarks, excellent golfing facilities and stunning beaches and bays just outside of town, including Victoria Bay, known for its perfect surfing waves, great fishing and whale and dolphin sighting.

Other interesting and different activities can include strawberry picking, cheese tasting, a tour of a traditional Xhosa Village with singing, dancing, storytelling and home-brewed beer. There is a bird-breeding farm, the Outeniqua Country Hop (full of farm products, arts and crafts) and plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring.

As with all stops along the garden route, adventure is never far away! You can go caving, climbing, abseiling, rafting, paragliding, angling and 4 x 4’ing, all within a few kms of the town.

Mossel Bay

Mossel bay is steeped in maritime history, from when Portuguese explorer Bartolemeu Dias landed here and named it ‘The Bay of Cowherds.’ It was renamed by a Dutch explorer later, who seemed to be delighted with the delicious mussels that were added to his crew’s diet. The Mossel Bay mussels are considered to amongst the finest in the world and must be sampled.

Staying with the explorers in history, one of the major town attractions is the ‘Post Office Tree’. An unfortunate Portuguese sailor lost his fleet in a storm, and recounted his woes on paper, which he then ‘posted’ in an old shoe and hung from a milkwood tree. This old shoe served as post office for years. The shoe is no longer there, but a shoe-shaped post box has been built under the tree, which is around 800 years old and has been named a National Monument. Post a letter or postcard here on your travels and it will be stamped with a special commemorative stamp.

Mossel Bay is sunny nearly all year round, and home to around 60kms of warm, golden beach stretches. Museums, archaeological excavations, bushman rock art, golf, boating and yachting, game reserves, shark cage diving and shipwreck diving are all available, making your Mossel bay adventure a full and exciting one.

Wilderness, Sedgefield and Nature’s Valley

Even the names of these small towns echoe the natural beauty of the towns and surrounds.

In Wilderness, bird calls fill the air, the beach is dazzling and the fynbos is everywhere. It’s a nature-lovers paradise, a place to take your walking shoes, binoculars, camera and mountain bike and get deep into the wilderness of rivers and forests. This is the place to breathe in the freshest of clean, pure forest air, kick back, ramble, bird watch or pull out a book and laze amongst nature’s glory.

Nearby, the pretty town of Sedgefield sits next to a lagoon. More gorgeous beaches, hidden nooks and crannies and gorgeous nature walks await. If you can, opt for a Saturday morning in Sedgefield, and potter around the fresh-produce markets, like The Mosaic Market, The Scarab Village Market or The Wild Oats Farmer’s Market, sampling home-grown fresh produce and life at a pace that you could certainly get used to.

Wildlife rehabilitation is a big part of the Sedgefield Community. Injured birds of prey are cared for at Radical Raptors, where amazing flying displays are held daily at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

In Nature’s Valley, you can be forgiven in thinking you are one of the only people to have set foot in the tangled forests and wild beaches, such is the untouched nature of this reserve. There are many sanctuaries within a short drive from this town consisting of around 10 streets in total.

Storms River and Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve

Here is another wonderfully scenic town situated by a powerful river that snakes through the dramatic Tsitsikamma Mountain Range on its way to the Indian ocean. Adventure sports beckon, amongst the lush forests, indigenous trees and crashing waves and stormy seas. A suspension bridge above the steep cliffs and dramatic, thundering waves gives incredible lookout views.

Short walking trails in the Tsitsikamma National park appeal to some, while others opt for the strenuous but unforgettable 5-day Otter Trail along the rugged and wildly beautiful coastline. There are canopy tours, the world’s highest bungee from the Bloukrans River Bridge, fishing, tubing, kloofing and more for the thrill seeker.

Other Garden Route Road Trip Attractions

Oudtshoorn, Ostriches and the Cango Caves

Experience a change of scene and move away from the coast on a winding road through the Langkloof Mountains and emerge into the austere beauty of the Klein Karoo. This is ostrich country, and the giant, awkward birds are everywhere.

Ostrich farms and colourful farm stalls full of show-worthy plumes line your road, along with grand and extravagant Sandstone homesteads built in the old days from farmer’s ‘feather-fortunes’. You can look straight into one of these creature’s small, beady eyes at the Cango Ostrich Show Farm, and learn a bit about ostrich farming.

The Cango Caves limestone Chambers deliver a mystical underground world of stalactites, stalagmites and historical Khoi San paintings. A relaxed Heritage Tour is perfect for an informative exploration of the geological wonders and their evolution, as well as a chance to experience the amazing sound quality and natural cave acoustics. The Adventure Tour is for those who are happy to twist and wriggle into the limestone chimneys themselves. Time in Oudtshoorn would not be the same without sampling the delicious ostrich steaks for dinner.

Route 62

For another change of scene on the Garden Route, you can head on to the Route 62. It’s the lekker, local version of the famous Route 66 in America. This one winds through the longest wine route in the Cape. Everywhere you look there are vintage burger bars, fabulous farm stalls and ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ towns, each with a unique story and a charm. Wine stops are an absolute must!

Your Garden Route Trip

Driving the Garden Route in South Africa is a pleasure, with well-kept roads and polite road users. You can DIY the journey or get a Garden Route Travel Guide or Garden Route Tour Package to suit you, leaving you free to just enjoy the scenery. When planning your Garden Route holiday, you can rest assured that Garden Route accommodation is plentiful, varied, friendly and world-class. You can travel the Garden Route on a budget or travel the Garden Route in luxurious style. Either way, the real star of the Garden Route show is nature in all her finery and glory, lovingly preserved by the custodians of the

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