The garden route in South Africa links the Western and Eastern Cape, it extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name comes from the lush and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast.

The enchanting beauty of the drive begins as you leave Cape Town on the N2 highway that will delight and amaze you all the way.

 

Gordon’s Bay:

Garden Route

Gordon’s Bay is a harbour town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, it’s located 50 kms. to the west of Cape Town. The road that stretches along the Gordon’s bay Fauremarine DR and Clarence DR is locally called as a scenic route for its enchanting beauty.

To Stay:

Sleepy Backpackers houses visitors for an affordable price. Its located just 200m away from the main beach of Gordon’s Bay. Sleepy backpackers is surrounded richly by cozy restaurants, taverns and pubs.

Hermanus:

Garden Route

 

Hermanus is a popular retirement town, which makes it the best place to relax and unwind. Hermanus is famous for whale watching during the winter and spring. The Old Harbour Museum contains several exhibits that explains the whaling industry and the De Wetshuis Photo Museum houses an exhibition of photos by T D Ravenscroft that depicts the history of Hermanus. The Whale Museum houses a skeleton of a whale and shows an audio-visual presentation of whales and dolphins twice daily.

Hermanus is located 121 kms. to the South east of Cape Town.

To Stay:

Zoete Inval traveller’s lodge  organizes tours in and around Hermanus. “Zoete Inval” in dutch means “Sweet drop in”. Zoete Inval offers 2 TV lounges, fireside library, balconies, sun-deck with outdoor Jacuzzi and shady courtyard.

Caledon:

Caledon

 

Caledon is located 113 kms. to the east of Cape Town on the N2 route and to the north of Hermanus. Caledon is known for its hot mineral springs. The largest flower show of South Africa “Caledon Flower Show” is held during September every year in the Victoria Hall.

To Stay:

Caledon could be explored in a day by staying in Hermanus.

Heidelberg:

Garden Route

Heidelbers is 274 kms. away from Cape Town. It’s often refered to as the beginning of the Garden Route. Heidelberg is situated on the banks of the Duivenhoks river, between the stunning Langeberg mountains and warm Indian ocean. Heidelberg lies in one of the most scenically preserved regions of the Western Cape.

To Stay:

Lemon tree cottage offers a free horse riding service. The traditionally decorated cottage is equipped with a double bed, TV and has a private bathroom with bath and shower.

Riversdale:

Garden Route

Riversdale is known as “the floral paradise of the garden route” due to abundance of indigenous flora. Located 304 kms. away from Cape Town, Riversdale has a lot to offer to its visitors from Historical Buildings, wine tasting and traditional food.

The Langeberg Mountains offers plentiful of activities like hiking, fybnos trails, bird watching, horse-back safaris, para gliding and rock climbing.

To Stay:

Kweekkraal Guest Farm is located in within 8.5 kms. from the center of Riversdale. The accommodation has a patio, seating area and an outdoor pool. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including fishing and hiking. The property also offers free parking

Mossel Bay:

Garden Route
St.Blaize Trail In Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay or Mossel Baai as the locals refer to it as is located exactly halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, both are 400 kms. away.
The calm waters of the bay make this an ideal place to relax and unwind. There are wealth of activities like Skydiving and Dune Riding.
The Pinnacle Point Caves have revealed the evidence for modern human behavior including the earliest use of ochre for colors and symbols.
Trips to the cave is organized by Human Origin (visit their website)

To Stay:

Bay Vista Guesthouse is 1 km from Santos Beach, 1.5 kms. from Mossel Bay Golf Club and a 10-minute drive from the Garden Route Casino. The guest house also offers a free shuttle service to the Langeberg Mall and nearby restaurants. Most of the rooms have a seating area that offers the stunning view of the mountain and sea.

Glentana:

Garden Route

Glentana is located half way between Mossel Bay and George. Glentana’s remarkable seaside village has its beaches topped by fybnos covered cliffs that plunge precipitously into the Indian Ocean.
The shipwreck in the beach is the popular attraction among the visitors.

To Stay:

Glentana is 17 kms. from George, it could be visited on a day’s trip.

George:

Garden Route
Outeniqua Railway Museum

George lies 420 kms. from Cape Town and 320 kms. from Port Elizabeth. Lying in a fertile, rich valley, surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountains, forests, rivers and prosperous farmlands. George has abundant of things and activities in store to its visitors which includes – visit to Khulani Xhosa Village, Outeniqua Railway Museum, the Garden Route Dam and Botanical Gardens, Outeniqua country hop and Dutch Reformed Church.

To Stay:

De Plaashuis is 4.1 kms. from Outeniqua Pass. It offers Free WiFi and free on site private parking and has an outdoor pool.

Victoria Bay:

Garden Route

Victoria Bay has gained a reputation as “The Gem of The Garden Route”. This charming bay of the Southern cape is snuggled between the towns of George and Wilderness. The waves of the gently sloping beach make it an ideal place for surfing.

To Stay:

Victoria bay is at a close proximity from George, it could be visited from George on a day’s trip.

Wilderness:

Garden Route

Located 15 kms. east of George, Wilderness is a peaceful village surrounded by sea, lakes, lagoons, rivers and pristine forests. The Wilderness National Park is a rare eco system that includes lakes, estuaries and 18 kms. stretch of coast line. Wilderness is a paradise to bird lovers with more than 262 species of birds who are housed in the park.

To Stay:

Wilderness on the Sea offers comfortable and spacious B&B.  The guest house has elegant surroundings with a golden sandy beach that beckons from 30 meters away. It is only a few minutes walk to nearby Wilderness village where there are shops and a choice of 8 outstanding restaurants. Milk-wood’s open markets for unique gifts and rare finds every Friday evening.

Oudtshoorn:

Garden Route
Ostrich Farm

This Ostrich capital of the world is an ideal place to rush your adrenaline by taking a crocodile cage dive. Oudtshoorn is also home to the world-famous Congo Caves (the largest cave system in Africa). Though Oustshoorn is a little off the Garden Route, it could be reached roughly in 2 hours from Mossel Bay through Route 328 (R328).

To Stay:

De Oude Meul Country Lodge is situated at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains about 14 kms. outside of Oudtshoorn on-route to Cango Caves. It is a working Ostrich Farm. Spot the Fallow Deer walking in front of the Self Catering Units and Restaurant at night where the Grobbelaars River flows.

Sedgefeild:

Garden Route

The natural beauty and peaceful pace has given the reputation of being known as “slow town” of the route. The farmer’s market sprawls every Saturday morning and is a popular spot to experience the local atmosphere. The Scarab village offers a wide range of arts and crafts.

To Stay:

Tiffany’s B&B is set in Sedgefield 10 kms. from The Lakes Area National Park, an area popular for golfing. Tiffany’s B&B features free WiFi throughout the property.

Knysna:

Garden Route

Knysna is one of the best destinations in the Garden Route. Trip Advisor recognized Knysna in 2014 as the destination of travelers choice.
Indigenous forests, fynbos, mountains and lakes combined with the stunning coastline makes Knysna a natural Eden.

To Stay:

Laguna Grove Holiday Rentals is the best place to stay and explore this vibrant city.The hotel offers fantastic facilities like golf course and water sports.

Plettenberg Bay:

Garden Route

This Jewel of the Garden Route is best known for its tranquil and charming surroundings. Miles of sweeping unspoiled golden beaches, intriguing lagoons, stunning views over the Indian Ocean makes Plettenberg Bay a perfect place for lazing.

To Stay:

Bayview Hotel is a great base to explore the vibrant Plettenberg Bay.  Staying in Bayview would give an easy access to all the attractions of the city . The hotel’s recreational facilities include fishing, water sports (non-motorized). Bay view also offers bicycle on rent.

Tsitsikamma National Park:

Garden Route

Tsitsikamma is the paradise for water lovers with sea, rivers and water cascading down towards the Indian Ocean. Tsitsikamma National Park is South Africa’s first marine reserve that incorporates Nature’s valley and Storms river where the country’s one of the most beautiful scenic trails Otter Trails runs.

Storms river is the hub for adventurists, one of the best ones is jumping off the world’s tallest bungee bridge at 216 meters.

To Stay:

Serenity Retreat is a calm and relaxed escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The location is ideal for exploring the area around The Storms river and is close to the Bloukrans Bungee Bridge, Natures Valley and Storms River National Park.

Port Elizabeth:

Garden Route

Port Elizabeth also known as “The Windy City” is one of the largest cities in South Africa. Port Elizabeth is a home to Route 67 – a collection of 67 art pieces celebrating the years Nelson Mandela devoted to public life. Locals of Port Elizabeth proudly proclaim that everything lies within 15 minutes drive from the airport. The city is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, that offers boat cruises; diving opportunities; a visit to the Seaview Predator Park and an excursion to Bayworld. Not to forget  the lush forests of the Kragga Kamma Game Park, where white rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, nyala, bontebok, lechwe and other animals roams freely.

To Stay:

Lungile backpackers is one of the most recommended places to stay by the locals in Port Elizabeth. It is nestled at an 8 minutes walk away from the beach and has an outdoor pool and a campsite. The Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) is 3 kms. away from Lungile backpackers, which makes this a perfect place to end the Garden Route Drive.

3 comments on “Garden Route Guide

  1. I absolutely ADORE South Africa. Haven’t been since 2004, but my next trip is finally scheduled for June 2017! Thank you so much for posting this wonderful overview of locations.

  2. This is a great insight into some amazing places which are a little off the beaten track, SA is a great place with a treasure trove of naturally beautiful places to explore. Your post gives a wide angle perspective of this beautiful country.

  3. What a beautiful and thorough description of the Garden Route! I love how you included a place to stay for each location you described–that is so helpful. Your photo of Victoria Bay made me wish I could go right now. Well done!

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