Garden Route Travel Guide
A Garden Route Scene, South Africa © Conrad88
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. Spectacular mountain ranges backs the coastal plain, 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 convenient 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 encompasses 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, but this major highway does make roadtripping easy. 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 enthral active holidaymakers, from bungee jumping and water sports, to hiking trails and canopy tours.
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