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Garden Route Travel Guide

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Plettenburg Bay © SATOUR

The stretch of southern coastline between the town of Heidelberg and the Tsitsikamma National Park makes up South Africa's well-travelled 'Garden Route', scattered with popular resort towns. The coastal plain is backed by spectacular mountain ranges, offering scenic lakes, indigenous forests, golden beaches and secluded bays.

The main cities on the route are George and Mossel Bay. George is a bustling commercial centre with some good hotels making it a good central point from which to explore the coastal region. From George it is also a short drive inland over the Outeniqua Mountains to Oudtshoorn, site of the world-renowned Cango Caves and home to several ostrich farms that welcome visitors to enjoy their entertaining and educational tours. Other popular holiday towns on the Garden Route include Knysna, Wilderness, Nature's Valley and Plettenberg Bay.

The Garden Route encompass a wide variety of attractions from historic sites to scenic vistas, with the spectacular beaches and nature reserves the main highlight. There are ample opportunities to interact with nature, and you may spot whales, dolphins, seals, baboons, and nearly 300 species of bird. To make the most of the area one needs to stray from the national N2 highway and explore the towns, villages and resorts en route. A fun way of enjoying the scenery is to ride on the Outeniqua Choo-Choo vintage steam train between George and Knysna. There are also great recreational opportunities to enthrall active holidaymakers, from bungee jumping and water sports, to hiking trails and canopy tours.

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