Size: ca. 1,210 square kilometres
Established in: 2009
Location: from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape
One of the most popular travel destinations in the country, the Garden Route comprises a 300km stretch of natural beauty along the southwestern coastline. Small fishing communities, picturesque villages, lush forests and beautiful hiking trails make up the Garden Route. Along this route, you find the Garden Route National Park.
This coastal park along the south coast of the Western Cape contains the Tsitiskamma National Park, Wilderness National Park, the Knysna lake area, Soetkraal as well as the Robberg and Goukamma Nature Reserves. The lush landscape of the Garden Route includes indigenous forests, mountains, rivers, lagoons and beaches.
It is popular for self-drive road trips, starting in Cape Town and ending in Port Elizabeth with the option to add a Big Five wildlife experience in Addo Elephant National Park. Popular stops along the Garden Route are the small towns of Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. If you enjoy surfing, stopping in Jeffreys Bay is a must.
Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts feel right at home at the Garden Route. There are plentiful options to kayak, dive, swim and surf in the waters of the Indian Ocean and streams. Hiking through dense forests and along pretty beaches is one of the most popular activities along the Garden Route.
The most famous of the many hiking trails being the 42km-long Otter Trail, starting at Storms River and ending at Natures Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park. As numbers of hikers allowed on the trail are strictly limited, make sure to get in touch and reserve your opportunity to hike along the stunning South African coastline well in advance.
There are many accommodation options along the Garden Route, ranging from basic log cabins and campsites to family-run B&Bs and up-market hotels. It gets busy during June and July and December when locals take advantage of school holidays to spend time in nature. The coastal climate is temperate all year round and you can expect rainfall throughout the year.