Garden Route South Africa

Garden Route


Garden Route Information

South Africa's well-known Garden Route lies on the southern Cape coast between Mossel Bay in the West and Tsitsikamma in the East and between the sea and the mountains. The Garden Route is special for a number of reasons.

Firstly, purely as a road for getting to and from Cape Town, the Garden Route is a pleasant drive with the Outeniqua and the Tsitsikamma mountains on the landward side and the Indian Ocean to the other side and seldom out of view. The road also boasts some spectacular engineering works such as the Blaauwkrantz and Storms River Bridges. The Blaauwkrantz bridge, by the way, offers the highest bungy jump in the world from a bridge.

Some of South Africa's last indigenous forests are to be found along the Garden Route around Knysna and at the foot of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains. These forests combine both temperate forest species as well as fynbos and are popular with hikers and birders.

Much of the Garden Route's coastline is rugged but in parts there are also extensive, sandy beaches and water sports of all sorts are big news.

The Garden Route enjoys South Africa's mildest climate, seldom being either too hot in summer or too cold in winter. This, combined with a plethora of accommodation to suit all tastes as well as a wide range of activities, also makes the Garden Route a popular destination in its own right.

Click on the following links for accommodation in and around Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Tsitsikamma and Storms River.

The Garden Route also offers some interesting day trips such as :

Outeniqua Pass

This is the main route of the N9 from George to Oudtshoorn and is usually easy motoring.  It can be used for a side trip to Oudtshoorn or made into a round trip by staying on the N9 as far as Avontuur and then descending the

Montagu Pass

This is the old pass from George over the Outeniqua Mountains.  Bear in mind that it is not easy or fast motoring as it is a dirt road, precipitous in places and mostly just one car wide with occasional passing places.  Not recommended if you are in a hurry or in adverse weather conditions.

Seven Passes

This is an alternative route between George and Knysna, well inland from the Garden Route itself and closer to the Outeniqua mountain range.  It winds through farmland and forest and crosses seven rivers in the process (hence the name).  By the way, the Phantom Pass is named for a butterfly, not a ghost!

Prince Alfred's Pass

This provides a couple of alternative options.  You may treat it as a circular route from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay and back via the Garden Route (or vice versa); you may make it a 'there-and-back' trip as far as the R62 or you may decide to continue on from there (a short distance through an attractive "poort" or gap) to Uniondale for lunch and to explore this small, out-of-the-way little town.  Alternatively, if you want a still longer trip, you can turn left at the top of the pass and travel along part of the Langkloof and descend again via either the Montagu or Outeniqua passes.


Garden Route Map


Garden Route Points of Interest

  • Tsitsikamma Segway Tours
    Tsitsikamma Activities
    Tsitsikamma Segway Tours offers unique and fun outdoor experiences on their 2 wheeled, self balancing, personal transporters - SEGWAY. Discover the technology, Explore the possibilities, Experience a Segway 1 and 2 hour Guided Segway Tours More Info
  • Knysna Forest Tours
    Knysna Activities
    Knysna Forest Tours offers a variety of hiking tours ranging from an easy 3 km through 7, 8, 9, 11, 15 to a 21 km hike to George Peak. More Info
  • Dolphin Trail
    Tsitsikamma Activities
    “Hike the Tsitsikamma coast in luxury!” For those hikers who know the rigours of the Otter Trail, and for those who have never had the luck or the courage to hike it, why not take a well earned break and come and enjoy the unrivalled... More Info
  • Knysna Heads Cruise
    Knysna Activities
    The Knysna Heads Cruise offers exclusive sailing on the Knysna Lagoon, through the world-famous Heads and out into the Indian Ocean on our luxury catamaran yacht. A tranquil and relaxing sailing experience for the whole family. More Info
  • Garden Route Fishing
    Knysna Activities
    Garden Route Fishing offers deep sea and lagoon fishing from Knysna for enjoyable family outings or for angling enthusiasts visiting the Garden Route. More Info
  • Uniondale Architecture
    Uniondale Tourist Attractions
    Uniondale is a charming little town which has mercifully escaped an excess of 'development'. Visitors are struck by the beautiful buildings, seven of which are declared historical monuments. More Info
  • Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour
    Tsitsikamma Activities
    The original canopy Tour. Enjoy the unequaled beauty of the indigenous forest high up on ten treetop platforms. Gently glide along in a harness, on steel cables 30 meters above the forest floor. More Info
  • Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures
    Tsitsikamma Activities
    Enjoy a birds eye view of not 1 but 3 waterfalls as you zipline back and forth across the Kruis river in the garden of garden route. The zipline tour consisting of 8 slides is done in a harness fitted with a patented braking system. Suitable for all... More Info
  • Gideon Scheepers Memorial
    Uniondale Tourist Attractions
    On the corner of the De Hoop turnoff on the R339 between the R62 and Uniondale is a memorial to what is rather grandiloquently termed "Gideon Scheepers Last Battle". This skirmish took place on 19th August 1901. More Info
  • Bartholomeu Dias Museum
    Mossel Bay Tourist Attractions
    The building as originally erected in 1901 to serve as a grain and sawmill. It has now been adapted to serve as a unique Maritime Museum. A life-sized replica of Bartolomeu Dias’s caravel is on display together with all aspects of the maritime... More Info
  • John Benn Lagoon Cruise
    Knysna Activities
    This unique vessel has carried many local and international travellers on the Lagoon over the last 25 years and offers daily cruises to the Knysna Heads. If you have not cruised on the John Benn you have not enjoyed all of Knysna. More Info
  • Cadeau Adventure Trails
    Tsitsikamma Activities
    Cadeau Hiking Trails along the Garden Route offer two one-day guided trails - The Bloubaai coastal hiking trail and the Elands River Coastal hiking trail. These two new hiking trails are partly in the Tsitsikamma National Park, one of South Africa's... More Info
  • Springtide Sailing Charters
    Knysna Activities
    Departing daily from the popular Knysna Waterfront, Springtide Charters offers a variety of different sailing charter options against a backdrop of exceptional beauty, sailing across Knysna’s expansive liquid landscape on Springtide... More Info
  • Knysna Canoeing
    Knysna Activities
    Knysna Canoeing offers a variety of canoeing or walking and canoeing trips. More Info
  • Pinnacle Point Golf Club
    Mossel Bay Activities
    When Pinnacle Point Golf Club opened in 2006, the American publication Golf Travel & Leisure selected Pinnacle Point as one of the top ten new courses in the world and has since been rated among the top twenty courses in South Africa. Darren... More Info
  • Ocean Odyssey Whale Watching
    Knysna Activities
    Knysna is one of South Africa’s best whale watching destinations and Ocean Odyssey, Knysna’s only permitted close encounter whale watching operation, skilfully showcases these sentient animals during their whale watching tours. More Info
  • Knysna Kite Surfing
    Knysna Activities
    Knysna Kite Surfing provides comprehensive training for people new to kite surfing and kite surfing tours for the more experienced. More Info
  • Trip Out Surfing
    Knysna Activities
    Surfing has never been so fun and easy. Surfing in Knysna with Don will guarantee you standing on your first lesson and also experience the beauty of the Knynsa beaches. With years of experience and surfing in Knysna and Buffalo Bay's fantastic surf... More Info
  • Garden Route Trail
    Wilderness Activities
    Rated as the most diverse and spectacular coastal walk in South Africa, Garden Route Trail traverses two nature reserves, the Wilderness National Park and Goukamma Nature Reserve. Come and enjoy the diverse indigenous flora of the region. More Info
  • Cape St Blaize and Pinnacle Point Caves
    Mossel Bay Tourist Attractions
    Cape St Blaize Cave and Pinnacle Point Caves are both important archaeological sites that reveal some of the earliest evidence of human behaviour. Pinnacle Point Caves are visited on an tour guided by the archaeologist who discovered them. More Info
  • Hog Hollow Horse Trails
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Experience the Tsitsikamma on horseback... Choose between a one hour meadow trail with wildlife, a two hour forest trail or a three hour Cruise The Crags Trail, riding on horse back to attractions such as Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, the Mill Craft... More Info
  • Wild Oats Farmers Market
    Sedgefield Tourist Attractions
    Wild Oats is a weekly Saturday morning market for local farm and homemade food products only. We promote the freshest and best the Garden Route producers have to offer at prices below average retail to attract customers from afar. More Info
  • Knysna Elephant Park
    Plettenberg Bay Tourist Attractions
    Since 1994, the Knysna Elephant Park has dedicated itself to providing a home to elephants from all over South Africa and beyond. More than forty elephants have been rescued from culls, closures and re-locations, More Info
  • Eden Adventures
    Wilderness Activities
    Eden Adventures specialises in outdoor adventure tours as well as team building activities and tailor made tours of the Garden Route. More Info
  • Skydive Plettenberg Bay
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Live life to the full! Experience free-fall over one of the most scenic drop zones in the world. Enjoy a 20 minute plane flight to 10,000 feet, over the Knysna forests and Plettenberg Bay coastline. Exit the plane with your Tandem Master and... More Info
  • Kingswood Golf Club
    George Activities
    The international award winning Kingswood Golf Estate is an urban lifestyle golf estate with a championship golf course in George, the centre of the Garden Route’s golf Mecca. The 18 hole Sally Little signature golf course designed by Danie... More Info
  • Oystercatcher Trail
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Meander and explore the peaceful sea shore. Hiking across unspoilt, spectacular golden beaches and along the wonderful green coast line of the Western Cape's Garden Route near Mossel Bay. We guide you past ancient stone age caves along the route at... More Info
  • Oubaai Golf Club
    George Activities
    The Ernie Els 18 hole Championship course is kept in mint condition and it is one of the most beautiful settings that can be seen anywhere in the golfing world. The layout of the course is a traditional links type layout where veld grasses line the... More Info
  • Harkerville Market
    Plettenberg Bay Tourist Attractions
    Harkerville Market is rural and rustic, but vibey and vital - not a flea market, not just a craft market, not only a farmers' market - but definitely all you could ever hope for in a typical South African Saturday market. More Info
  • Bloukrans Bungy
    Tsitsikamma Activities
    We are here to give you the most amazing experience of your life! That pretty much sums up why we are doing what we do. How we do that is by keeping everyone safe, treating everyone with respect and helping people have fun! We do all this with a... More Info
  • Loose Goose Cruises
    Sedgefield Activities
    The twin-hulled ferry class boat, the Loose Goose, operates guided cruises for between 2-12 people from Pine Lake Marina on Swartvlei Lake, the largest of the lakes in the Garden Route lakes district. More Info
  • Electrodive
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Electrodive has been training divers and dive professionals since 1985 and additionally offers recreational sport diving, scuba and snorkelling guided tours, diving charters and equipment rentals. More Info
  • Outeniqua Moon Percheron Stud
    Mossel Bay Activities
    This magical 100 hectare mountain farm is guaranteed to take away all those inner city blues and delight the whole family, young and old. Step out of your door and into a beautiful world of mountains, birds and horses, with fabulous carriage drives,... More Info
  • Knysna MTB Tours
    Knysna Activities
    Knysna Mountain Bike Tours offers guided mountain bike tours on magnificent routes with various landscapes, beautiful indigenous forest, awesome single track, sea views and loads of downhill fun. More Info
  • Knysna Paddle Boarding
    Knysna Activities
    Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP as its better known, is the fastest growing watersport in the world. Stand Up paddling is a refreshing, easy, and exciting way to get in shape. More Info
  • Black Horse Trails
    Wilderness Activities
    Black Horse Trails lies at the base of the majestic Outeniqua mountains in the Wilderness with the most lovely horses in the land. The beautiful Friesian horse is our breed of choice for trail riding due to their friendly, easy going temperaments... More Info
  • Whale Watching Plettenberg Bay
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Plettenberg Bay has the possibility of sighting whales throughout the year thanks to our resident Brydes Whales. The official whale watching season runs from July to November and this is the best time of the year to go whale watching and view... More Info
  • Knysna Three Legs Rivercat
    Knysna Activities
    The Knysna Three Legs Rivercat is a fun and adventurous 75 minute shorter cruise to and into the Knysna Heads between the cliffs (ocean conditions permitting), visiting Otter Cove, Island Rock and passing the beachcomber caves. More Info
  • Pletttenberg Bay Ocean Sailing Charters
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Ocean Rhythm, our locally built sailing catamaran explores the beautiful bay once called Baia Formosa (Beautiful Bay) today known as Plettenberg Bay and the mysterious rocky coastline as far as the Knysna Heads. More Info
  • Redberry Farm
    George Tourist Attractions
    Redberry Farm is a commercial strawberry grower and popular family entertainment venue. We offer family and child friendly activities such as pick your own strawberries, the largest hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere, a tea garden and farm... More Info
  • Garden Route National Park
    Tsitsikamma Tourist Attractions
    Along the South Coast of South Africa lies one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, home to the Garden Route National Park. A mosaic of ecosystems, it encompasses the world renowned Tsitsikamma and Southern Cape indigenous... More Info
  • Birds of Eden
    Plettenberg Bay Tourist Attractions
    Birds of Eden, is the Garden Route's very own world class free flight bird sanctuary. The unique two hectare dome (the World’s largest) spans a gorge of indigenous forest with over 200 different species and more than 3000 birds. More Info
  • George Golf Club
    George Activities
    The George Golf course is a beautifully manicured, 72 par, 18 hole course, with bent greens, set in the heart of the Garden Route. The course rating for men is either 68 (forward – 5 542m), 70 (club – 5 862m) or 72 (championship –... More Info
  • Ocean Blue Adventures Whale Watching
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Ocean Blue is a licensed permit holder, enabling us to approach whales to 50 metres. Should whales approach our vessel we do not have to move away. The guests therefore get an up close experience with these majestic mammals. More Info
  • Adventure Boating
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Go up to 100 km/h on the open ocean. Suitable for ages of 12 years and up. Trip duration is approximately 20 – 30 min. More Info
  • Robberg Nature Reserve
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Robberg is not only a nature reserve, but also a national monument. The three circular walking/hiking routes on offer vary in terms of distance and difficulty. More Info
  • White Shark Africa
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Great White Sharks have always fascinated humans for various their imposing size, their graceful beauty their perfectly adaptation to their environment. If you would like to come just that little bit closer, to experience the Great White Shark in... More Info
  • Scarab Village Market
    Sedgefield Tourist Attractions
    Scarab Village is Sedgefield’s one-stop arts and craft market: hand made paper products, beading (wooden, glass and acrylic), indigenous and exotic plants and succulents, functional and decorative wood and rock art, hand made jewellery,... More Info
  • Sedgefield Golf Club
    Sedgefield Activities
    The Sedgefield Golf Club is a short course and offers a good challenge to both lower and higher level handicap golfers. With four water hazards and numerous bunkers the course was designed to challenge all. More Info
  • Eden Mountain Biking Tours
    George Activities
    At Eden Mountain Biking Tours we offer fully serviced mountain bike holidays and tours. This includes all meals and accommodation as well as a back-up vehicle with a bike trailer, first aid guide (level 1) and basic bike maintenance. Our routes... More Info
  • Mossel Bay Golf Club
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Famed for having a view of the Indian Ocean from every tee, this 18-hole links-style course, with its large undulating greens, makes for an idyllic yet challenging round of golf. The golf club was founded in 1905 and the golf course relocated to its... More Info
  • Monkeyland
    Plettenberg Bay Tourist Attractions
    Monkeyland presently houses 18 different primate species, 11 being free roaming in the main 12 hectare Monkeyland forest while another 7 are in large cages within in the main forest. More Info
  • Herold Wines
    George Tourist Attractions
    On the northern slope of the Outeniqua Mountains, Herold Wines is the perfect destination for an outing or weekend getaway in the George area of the Garden Route. More Info
  • Avontuur Steam Engine
    Uniondale Tourist Attractions
    A railway through the Langkloof to carry produce to Port Elizabeth for export was approved in 1897 but the second Anglo-Boer war delayed the project. More Info
  • Fancourt Golf Club
    George Activities
    Since opening in the early 90's with just 27 Gary Player-designed holes, Fancourt’s Outeniqua and Montagu golf courses have matured and developed into two of the finest 18-hole parkland layouts in the country. A round on either is a special... More Info
  • Goose Valley Golf Club
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    The Goose Valley Golf Club is situated in pristine surroundings, only 4km from Plettenberg Bay, bordering on the Keurbooms Lagoon, access to the Club is from the N2. This magnificent golf estate offers a splendid Gary Player designed 72 par, 18-hole... More Info
  • Mossel Bay Historical Walk
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Mossel Bay is a town with a rich historical heritage. Start at the Tourism office, get a map and take a walk around the heart of Mossel Bay. More Info
  • Outeniqua Power Van
    George Tourist Attractions
    Outeniqua Power Van has been offering enjoyment for young and old, individuals, families, corporate groups, locals and overseas tourists since February 1999 and operates according to rail safety regulator guidelines. More Info
  • Romonza Boat Trips
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Romonza Boat Trips has been operating for more than 25 years in Mossel Bay. Romonza offers Seal Island Trips (all year round), Eco Ocean Trips (all year round), Sunset Cruises (November to April) and Boat Based Whale Watching with permit (July to... More Info
  • Simola Golf Club
    Knysna Activities
    At Simola Golf Club Fairways merge seamlessly with lush indigenous vegetation and forests creating an evocative vista of undulating green hills and dales descending gently down to the Knysna River. More Info
  • Fijnbosch Riding School & Trail Rides
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Fijnbosch offers both a riding school as well as a variety of trail rides in the vicinity of Plettenberg Bay. More Info
  • Peter Ginn Birding Safaris
    George Activities
    Peter Ginn Birding Safaris, located in the town of George, Southern Cape, South Africa, pride themselves on arranging tailor-made, personalised tours for individuals, couples and groups of up to 10 people who wish to observe African wildlife in its... More Info
  • Wild Cat Experience
    Plettenberg Bay Tourist Attractions
    Come walk with the cheetahs of Tenikwa through indigenous Tsitsikamma Forest and Cape Floral Fynbos on their daily exercise walk. More Info
  • Acrobranch Tree Adventures
    Wilderness Activities
    Go from tree to tree at Acrobranch aerial outdoor adventure park. Here tarzan swings, zip lines and canopy tours take you deep into a forest adventure. Swing from high ropes and other fun obstacles and satisfy the adventure junky in you. More Info
  • Paradise Adventures
    George Activities
    Paradise Adventures are adventure guiding specialists based in George. We offer personalized adventure holidays and day trips. The outdoors is our playground and there is no one that knows it better than us. More Info
  • Garden Route Sailing
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Garden route sailing Academy in Mossel bay is equipped to teach sailors of all ages and experience. The sailing academy offers SAS recognised sailing courses on dinghies and catamarans from beginner Level through to advanced levels. Come to Mossel... More Info
  • Cheetah Walks
    Plettenberg Bay Tourist Attractions
    Come walk with the cheetahs of Tenikwa through indigenous Tsitsikamma Forest and Cape Floral Fynbos on their daily exercise walk. More Info
  • Mossel Bay Helicopters
    Mossel Bay Activities
    At Mossel Bay Helicopters, we have flights and services to suit any budget. We offer services such as scenic tours, shark & whale viewing, mountain flying, VIP charters, special occasions, filming and photography as well as tailor made flights. More Info
  • Africanyon Kloofing
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    AfriCanyon – Enjoy kloofing and canyoning adventure near Plettenberg Bay. More Info
  • Knysna Paddle Cruiser
    Knysna Activities
    For a unique cruise and dining experience the Knysna Paddle Cruiser offers both lunch time and evening cruises. More Info
  • Pezula Golf Club
    Knysna Activities
    Pezula Golf Club offers a breathtaking, award-winning 18-hole golf course, designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA, offers visitors who wish to play the ultimate golf course in Knysna, an unsurpassed golf experience, and rates... More Info
  • The Kayak & Lilo Adventure up the Storms River Mouth is an up close and personal encounter with Tsitsikamma’s famous Storms River. Starting on the Kayaks we paddle up the river, passing the bats cave, steep cliffs and majestic views. At... More Info
  • Plettenberg Bay Country Club
    Plettenberg Bay Activities
    Plettenberg Bay Country Club has an 18 hole golf course set in a private nature reserve. The highly rated course is a very popular tourist destination. The course is easy to walk, and the 2 main inclines can be observed from the veranda. More Info
  • Swim With Seals
    Plettenberg Bay Tourist Attractions
    Get up close and personal with Fur seals. Suitable for six years and older. All equipment (mask, snorkel, fins and wet suits provided). More Info
  • Botlierskop Private Game Reserve
    Mossel Bay Activities
    Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is situated between Mossel Bay and George on the Garden Route. Day visitors can enjoy activities such as guided game drives, horseback safaris, spa treatments and bush walks. More Info
  • Uniondale Watermill
    Uniondale Tourist Attractions
    The old watermill in Uniondale was built some time between 1852 and 1854 by a James Stewart. This mill has an unusually large wheel, in fact the largest known in South Africa. More Info
  • Garden Route Horse Trails
    Wilderness Activities
    Garden Route Horse Trails offers remarkable horse riding trails into the stunning indigenous forest of the Garden Route National Park. Rides are suitable for all ages and previous experience is not necessary. More Info
  • Uniondale Fort
    Uniondale Tourist Attractions
    During the Anglo-Boer War there was a British garrison at Uniondale and a number of "forts" were built on the hills around the town (five according to some accounts, and six according to others). More Info
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