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Garden Route, South Africa

Quick Overview

Who is this Trip For?

You want to go on an Epic Roadtrip through some of the most beautiful parts of South Africa’s Western & Eastern Cape!

The Garden Route is a must-see for nature and outdoor enthusiasts.

From Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, see stunningly diverse landscapes, with lush forests, a rugged coastline, and picturesque towns.

Come home with amazing stories of Bungy jumps, Safari tours, and interesting people!

Suggested Activities

Also referred to as a Safari, drive (with a guide or alone) through a game reserve, where you can spot a variety of African wildlife, including the BIG 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and African buffalo)!

The Garden Route is home to several great game reserves, with one of the most popular being the Tsitsikamma National Park.

The park also offers many different activities such as hiking, swimming, and snorkeling.

These limestone caves are one of the oldest tourist attractions in South Africa and offer a unique underground experience.

See stalactite and stalagmite formations that are millions of years old!

Located near the town of Oudtshoorn and offering different hikes for all fitness levels, these caves are worth a visit!

The Garden Route is home to several estuaries and lagoons, where you can take a boat ride and spot lots of marine life, including dolphins and seals.

A popular place to start is the coastal town of Knysna.

There are several popular towns along the route, including Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, and George, where you can learn about local culture, dine and explore!

Many of these have a fascinating history linked with the development of South Africa as a country.

If you want the ULTIMATE Adrenaline Rush and face your fears, then jump off the Bloukrans Bridge; the highest commercial bridge bungee jump in the world!

Imagine standing on the edge of a 216-meter-high bridge and looking down at the stunning Bloukrans River below, before taking the ultimate leap of faith, feeling the wind and freefall!

This unforgettable experience will stay with you for a lifetime!

This iconic trail takes you through the Tsitsikamma National Park and offers breathtaking views of the coast.

It is a 5-Day Trail (so keep in mind your other planning), and will take you through the Park (which also offers lots of other activities) and give you the chance to see some wildlife and beautiful nature!

Top Tips

The Garden Route is very popular (especially during the main tourist season, in December) so it’s best to book your accommodation and activities in advance.

Also, the nature of a Roadtrip requires more planning, since you want to visit more destinations, than a regular city trip.

The Garden Route can have very unpredictable weather, even in summer. So pack for both rain and sun.

If you want to experience a game drive in the most enjoyable way, consider visiting a lesser known national park (such as the Wilderness National Park between George & Mossel Bay), since these are less busy, and often have more pristine nature!

Make it Unique

Townships are areas in South Africa that were created during the Apartheid era and are mostly inhabited by non-white South Africans.

Visiting Townships helps directly support local community aid organizations working to empower the locals there that live in poverty, as well as giving you the opportunity to learn about the impact of Apartheid on the country’s people.

When you take a township tour, make sure it is with a reputable and responsible company. Stay Safe.

A Braai is a traditional South African barbecue and is a great way to experience local culture and cuisine.

There is a variety of endangered species in this region, and by volunteering with a conservation group, you can help make a difference and have an unforgettable experience.

How to get There?

Flying: Most people fly into Cape Town International Airport, and then rent a car to start the trip from there.

How to get Around?

Public transportation is very limited in this area, so renting a car is by far your best bet and the most convenient.

How to get There?

Flying: Most people fly into Cape Town International Airport, and then rent a car to start the trip from there.

How to get Around?

Public transportation is very limited in this area, so renting a car is by far your best bet and the most convenient.

Safety Concerns

The Garden Route is a fantastic destination for experienced travelers, but South Africa has a very high level of Crime.

Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution.

Here are some specific tips:

  • The main tourist areas are the safest in terms of violent crime,
    and here you must mainly be aware of pickpockets and petty crime.
  • Avoid walking alone at night.
  • DO NOT Drive at Night.

Where to Stay?

  • Hostels: There are many great options for affordable hostels. Hostelworld is a great resource to find and book beds along the route. This is the best value option and ideal for solo travelers.
  • There are many Airbnb offerings, and this option may be the best value for families or groups.
  • Hotels are also good option for families.