It is not hard to imagine how the Garden Route got its name. South Africa’s most popular tourist destination is sandwiched between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Indian Ocean and is an extension of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The region is world-renowned for its unique combination of Cape Fynbos (fine bush) and Temperate Forest, boasting over 750 species of fynbos and 300 species of birds.

Some describe it as the Garden of Eden with striking contrasts in scenery; from magnificent mountain ranges to endless stretches of sandy beaches and bleak grassland plains where the arid Karoo merges with the lush coastal vegetation. The Garden Route is made up of diverse eco-zones and is home to an array of indigenous wildlife, birds and marine life found in ten protected nature reserves, a variety of marine reserves and soft coral reefs. Certain bays along the Garden Route are nurseries for the endangered Southern Right Whale which go there to calve in the winter and spring periods (July to November).

The Garden Route is located on the south-western coast of South Africa and extends some 300-kilometers from Mossel Bay. It is about 380 kilometers east from Cape Town, in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. A good point of departure is the collection of quaint coastal towns that includes Witsand, Stilbaai and Albertinia.

From here, the Garden Route winds its way some 200-kilometres through the towns of George, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna; passes through Plettenberg Bay and the magnificent Tshisikamma Forest and ends as one crosses the awe-inspiring Storms River Bridge. Between Heidelberg and Storms River, the Garden Route runs parallel to a coastline featuring crystal-clear coastal lakes and majestic mountain ranges. Oudtshoorn is the “Capital of the Little Karoo”; known for its ostriches and the Cango Caves. Between the two major tourism hubs are an array of towns; each with their own character and rich in history.

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Garden Route Safaris