Mossel Bay, Wilderness & Knysna
Some Garden Route tours take a detour to ascend the rugged Prince Albert Pass, whilst others opt for the more direct route across the stunning Outeniqua Pass to George, renowned for its Fancourt golf estate. A beautiful stretch of Indian Ocean coastline extends from Mossel Bay, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama erected a cross, to Port Elizabeth, past the expansive beaches of Wilderness and lakes of Sedgefield, to the artists’ town of Knysna set on a vast lagoon. Here the must-do on any Garden Route holiday is a visit to Featherbed Nature Reserve by ferry, followed by a nature walk and lunch under the milkwood trees.
There is also good access to wildlife, with Knysna Elephant Park offering interactions with these gentle giants. At Tenikwa Wild Cat Sanctuary you can observe cheetah, caracal and serval, while at Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, you can see primates and bird species in their natural habitats.
If it’s beaches you long for, head for Plettenberg Bay, which has four of the best in the country. Most Garden Route holidays include some time beside the ocean and Plett makes the perfect base. Known as the playground of the rich and famous, golfers will be spoilt for choice too, with a wide selection of world famous championship courses. Adventure seekers should head to the Tsitsikamma Forest, where you can glide through the treetops in a harness, black water tube down the Storms River or bungy jump from spectacular Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bungy jump in the world.
St Francis, Graaff Reinet & Camdeboo
At the northern end of the Garden Route the beach resort of St Francis is located, and beyond this is the city of Port Elizabeth, which is the gateway to Addo Elephant Park and the malaria free big-five game reserves of the Eastern Cape. Heading inland to Graaff Reinet, you can find Camdeboo National Park and the aptly named Valley of Desolation, as well as smaller wildlife sanctuaries such as Mountain Zebra National Park.
Addo & Eastern Cape Safaris
Complete your Garden Route tour with a thrilling safari in the private game reserves of the Eastern Cape, which are malaria free, or explore Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth.