If images of plush greenery and vast rolling hills come to mind then you wouldn’t be half wrong, just with so much more!
The Garden Route is a 300 kilometer stretch of the south-western coast of South Africa which extends from the tiny and historical town of Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern. Lying sandwiched between the glorious Outeniqua Mountains and the warm currents of the Indian Ocean. The Garden Route offers something for everyone, from modern golf courses and shopping malls, ancient forests that look like a fairyland of giant trees, ferns and birdlife, where walking hand in trunk with elephants is a possibility along the way, to mountain hideaways and plenty of fun filled beach holidays with every conceivable kind of adventure activity is possible; scuba diving, abseiling, fishing and more.
The name comes from the fascinating and enchanting mix of verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Wilderness, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley; and George to name but a few.
High on the must-see list of most travellers to South Africa, and with good reason.
Three of South Africa’s top hikes take place here – the Otter Trail, the Tsitsikamma and Dolphin trails, and man’s footprint has made little impact on the rugged and sometimes inaccessible coastline. Meandering trails are followed by hikers, the forests invite long, leisurely drives, and the lakes and rivers lend themselves to swimming. While the scenery is enough to make you stop and stare, it is the hidden gems that can be found tucked away on the sides of the roads and hill sides that are the real allure of this spectacular route.