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The Garden Route

Knysna lagoon

The Garden Route, spread out along the coast like a giant natural theme park, is a rich tapestry of very large trees, freshwater lakes and deep gorges.

Whether you’re paragliding over sandy white beaches, spotting dolphins and whales or exploring the indigenous forests, it’s a place where nature rules and it does so beautifully. Just inland is the starkly beautiful Little Karoo region, centre of the world’s ostrich farming industry.

It is very easy to combine the Garden Route with an African safari. At the Garden Route’s far end is the Eastern Cape province – malaria-free, Big Five safari country with luxurious lodges.

The beautiful Garden Route on South Africa’s southern coast boasts pristine beaches, lakes, lagoons and indigenous forests. Lush with evergreen vegetation, beaches, rivers, lakes and friendly towns, the Garden Route is a region of extraordinary natural beauty. Play golf, dine, sunbathe and experience one-of-a kind marine, nature and adrenaline sports activities amid its dramatic mountain scenery and ancient forests. This is a not a collection of formal, landscaped gardens, as many assume, but more a wild “garden of Eden“.

The main highway through the Garden Route runs parallel to a coastline featuring lakes, mountains, tall indigenous forests, amber-coloured rivers and golden beaches. Meandering trails are followed by hikers, the forests invite long, leisurely drives and the lakes and rivers lend themselves to swimming, boating and fishing.

The region provides a stirring study in contrasts from the lush coastal strip to the arid Klein Karoo to the north, with its towering mountains and sheer gorges. The coastal drive links a series of charming towns interspersed with natural beauty. Along the way, every kind of adventure activity is possible; mountain biking, abseiling, scuba diving, fishing and more. Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s most dramatic protected areas, combining marine and land attractions.