7 Tourist Attractions on the Garden Route

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The Garden Route, one of South Africa’s top scenic drives, offers a little bit of everything that this sun-drenched country is famous for. Here is Attractions on the Garden Route  spectacular scenery, fascinating wildlife, and adrenaline-fueled adventure. The route runs for more than 200 kilometers from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. Passing through soaring mountains and surf-thrashed Indian Ocean beaches.

Sail on sparkling lagoons, hike through lush coastal forests carved by rivers, explore caves and panoramic mountain passes, and bungee jump into a plunging gorge along the way. There are numerous attractions for animal lovers, ranging from elephant encounters, cheetah encounters, and bird sanctuaries to ostrich farms and whale-watching trips. Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are the most popular towns along the route, but Mossel Bay has a fascinating museum complex, and George is the largest town and transport hub.

 

A minimum of four days is recommended to tour this stretch, but with so many diverse attractions, visitors could easily spend weeks exploring this region. Travelers should book accommodations well in advance during the busy summer months (December through February).

 

With our list of the top attractions on the Garden Route. You can discover the best places to visit and the best things to do along this famous drive. If you want to visit different part of South Africa you can book a South Africa trip or stay in a South Africa safari lodge. Live your best life today.

 

1.Attractions on the Garden Route | Plettenberg Bay’s Robberg Nature Reserve

 

The magnificent Robberg Nature Reserve, located about eight kilometres from the popular coastal town of Plettenberg Bay, is a national monument and a hiker’s paradise with a variety of trails and other activities. It is located on a four-kilometer-long peninsula at the foot of the Mountain of the Seal, where some of the rocks date back 120 million years and caves reveal prehistoric man’s presence.

 

Many water birds breed in the reserve, and hikers may see whales and dolphins (in season), as well as seals basking on the beach and bobbing in the crashing surf. The great white shark, their awe-inspiring predator, also lurks in these waters.

 

Visitors should stop by the visitor centre at the parking lot before beginning a hike to learn about the local flora and fauna. Hiking trails wind their way through the peninsula, ranging in length and difficulty from a gentle two-kilometer stroll to a challenging 10-kilometer trek around the rocky and rugged point, past pristine beaches and along precipitous sea cliffs.

 

Hikers should wear appropriate footwear and bring binoculars, sunscreen, plenty of water, and a picnic to enjoy while admiring the spectacular coastal scenery. Hikers who wish to stay overnight can do so in a hut.

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2. Attractions on the Garden Route | Storms River Suspension Bridge

 

The Storms River Suspension Bridge is a highlight of the magnificent coastal reserve Tsitsikamma National Park (now part of Garden Route National Park). The 77-meter-long bridge spans the swirling waters of the river mouth as they meet the Indian Ocean. Visitors can feel the exhilarating force of nature all around them while standing on the bridge, less than seven metres above the water.

 

The hike to the bridge is also lovely. The path winds through bird-filled forests, waterfalls, and breathtaking sea views. Keep an eye out for dassies (rock hyrax), which can be found among the rocks near the bridge. The 42-kilometer Otter Trail runs between Storms River Mouth and Nature’s Valley, with overnight accommodation in huts along the way for those looking for a longer walk.

 

This area of the Garden Route National Park is also home to numerous bird species, as well as monkeys, smaller antelopes, and a variety of marine life. Off the coast, dolphins and whales are frequently spotted. The Big Tree, located near Storms River, is a massive yellowwood tree that is said to be 800 years old, making it both South Africa’s oldest and largest tree. A Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour provides visitors with an adrenaline rush by providing an aerial view of these ancient forests.

3. Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, Monkeyland, and Birds of Eden

 

Animal lovers can enjoy educational wildlife experiences at three affiliated sanctuaries owned by the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance about 16 kilometres from the beautiful beaches of Plettenberg Bay.

 

The world’s largest dome shelters two hectares of indigenous forest at Birds of Eden, where birds representing over 280 species from around the world fly free. The birds can be seen from two kilometres of boardwalks, including a canopy walk. Many of the birds, particularly the parrots, were once pets and have no fear of humans, allowing for close-up views and fantastic photo opportunities. Knysna loeries, channel-billed toucans, blue cranes, crowned cranes, and the stunning blue and gold macaw are all popular sightings.

 

Monkeyland, located next door, is a sanctuary that has rescued and rehabilitated more than 11 species of previously captive primates. Monkey safaris take visitors on a 128-meter canopy walk and viewing deck to see lemurs, languors, squirrel monkeys, and a variety of other charismatic primates. There are also multilingual guided tours available.

 

Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates big cats in as natural an environment as possible. Visitors can get a guided tour of these graceful creatures and learn about their history and distinct personalities. White lions, cheetahs, tigers, and beautiful black leopards are among the highlights.

4. Attractions on the Garden Route | The Knysna Heads and Knysna Forest

Knysna, situated on a lagoon between lush forests and the sparkling sea, is one of the most popular Garden Route towns. The lagoon’s mouth is flanked on the seaward side by two massive crags known as the Knysna Heads. Visitors can explore the area on a cruise or along walkways with panoramic views of the treacherous sea below and the jagged multi-hued rocks along the shore. Cafés have scenic patios where you can take in the scenery, and seafood lovers should try some delectable local specialties while in Knysna.

Scenic trails lace along rivers and waterfalls in the lush forests surrounding Knysna, where large herds of elephant once roamed. The flora includes giant yellowwood trees. Some of which are 400 to 800 years old, stinkwoods, and the lovely pink-flowered Cape chestnut. Hikers may also see antelope and a variety of birds, including the endangered Knysna loerie.

The Circles in the Forest trail, the 3.4-kilometer Jubilee Creek trail. And the 5.6-kilometer Millwood Mine Walk, which leads to the remains of a gold diggers’ settlement, are all popular hikes.

 

5. Knysna Elephant Park

Animal lovers can enjoy a rare wildlife experience with a herd of rehabilitated elephants at Knysna Elephant Park. Visitors can walk with the elephants, feed them, and interact with them under the careful supervision of experienced handlers.

 

The park, which has been open for more than 20 years, was the first in South Africa to house orphaned African elephants. The staff rescued many of the residents from culls or circuses and rehabilitated them. The experience starts with an educational presentation and a safety briefing before visitors interact with the elephants. At their own level, as long as the elephants are willing to cooperate. This is a must-do for wildlife enthusiasts.

6. Knysna’s Featherbed Nature Reserve

Visitors can take a daily ferry from Knysna to the delightful Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Head. A visit to this lovely private sanctuary includes a 4WD trip with stops at panoramic lookout points.  As well as a guided 2.2-kilometer hike filled with fascinating information about the local flora, fauna, and history.

 

After exploring the reserve, visitors can enjoy a delicious buffet lunch under a canopy of trees.  At the alfresco dining area. Cruises to Knysna Heads aboard their double-decker floating restaurant are also available. As are sailing trips and sundowner cruises on Knysna Lagoon.

7.Attractions on the Garden Route |  The Swartberg Pass

The Swartberg Pass is one of the world’s most beautiful mountain passes, with stunning rock formations and panoramic views. Beyond the Cango Caves, the road climbs over the Swartberg range.  Which divides the Little and Great Karoos and stretches for 200 kilometres, rising up to 2,326 metres in some places.

 

From Oudtshoorn in the south to Prince Albert in the north, the 27-kilometer pass zigzags and snakes. The road was built with convict labour in 1881-88 by Thomas Bain. A South African road engineer, and is mostly gravel, but it is passable by 2WD in dry weather.

 

Travelers are greeted with breathtaking views around every turn, and the vegetation is equally stunning, with a profusion of proteas. Views from lookout points along the way are spectacular. Before you leave, bring a camera and check the road conditions.

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