Discover why the Garden Route is one of South Africa’s top tourist destination
From Mossel Bay to Storms River, you will find a necklace of bays, beaches, cliffs and rocky capes strung together along a line of pounding white surf. The mountain ranges of the Garden Route crowd close to the shoreline and with an average rainfall of 2500mm a year on the peaks, there is a plentiful supply of water to the narrow coastal gorges. Every square metre of soil seems to nourish some form of plant-life. The Gorges and mountains are covered in a dense jumble of trees and shrubs that a cultivated garden would fail to master. A perfect destination for a hiking tour. This 227km of coastline has become known as the Garden Route. a region of eternal freshness and greenery.
Climate of the Garden Route
The climate is mild and predictable. rainfall is scattered throughout the year with most of it falling at night. this is in comparison the rest of South Africa where rainfall is concentrated into shorter seasons followed by months of extreme dry conditions.
History of the Garden Route
From its first discovery, the Garden Route this coastal terrace has delighted visitors. the French explorer, Franscois Le Vaillant, passed this way in 1780 and the description he left might well apply 240 years later. “The land bears the name Outeniqua, which in the Hottentot tongue means a man laden with honey. The flowers grow here in the millions with the mixture of pleasant scents, variety and colour. The pure air which one breaths makes one think nature has made an enchanted abode of this beautiful place.”
The Indian Ocean which hugs the coastline seldom gets colder than 20 degrees Celsius. The ocean is teeming with game fish and sharks. If you are a scuba diver, dive into the depths to find a magical world of brilliantly coloured sea plants, molluscs, sea horses in Knysna and shoals of little fish.
Surfing at Victoria Bay!
Among the rocky shorelines of The Garden Route you will find a secluded, sandy beach known as Victoria Bay. This surf spot is world renowned. Come and try out your waterman skills on a surfboard or just kick back at the quaint restaurant at Lands End and watch the surfers.
Rivers and lagoons
The rivers, deeply stained with the amber colour of the soil, have lovely stretches navigable by small boats or kayaks. our favorite is the secluded Wilderness estuaries. And then there is the chain of lakes and the great lagoon of Knysna. A great place to swim. scuba dive, fish, boat and hike. The wild flowers and high forests offer long cool drives through tunnels of shade made by the trees. There is even a mining ghost town to explore.
No dangers to man besides his own folly
A Garden Route tour is indeed a rare pleasure. There are no malarial mosquitoes (only smelly toes). No bilhazia in the rivers. No crocodiles or other predatory animals except for a few elusive leopards which like to abide to social distancing rules of a few kilometres. Covid has a few things to learn from the leopards. A few elephants can still be found in the Knysna forest but have taken a page out of the leopards book and are seldom seen. Either that or they have taken to wearing camouflaged clothing.
Best points of interest on the Garden Route
Some of the best spots to visit on your tour of this magical part of South Africa includes the following:
- Elephant walk in Kynsa
- Golfing at Fancourt, Pezula and Oubaai
- Groot Brakrivier
- Herolds Bay
- Passes Route
- Outeniqua Hiking Trail
- Plettenberg Bay
- Robberg Nature Reserve
- Storms River
- Victoria Bay
- Tsitsikamma National Park