The Garden Route
meanders along the Southern Cape coast of South Africa and derives its name from its lush indigenous forests, abundant Fynbosch and temperate climate. Use our Garden Route map
to guide you to beautiful headlands giving way to the inviting beaches of the Indian Ocean. Wetland lakes, forests and mighty mountains wait to be explored behind the sand dunes. Garden Route Hotels
offer solitude and relaxation as well as activities such as cycling, and for the adventurous, bungee jumping, abseiling, canoeing, kloofing (canyoning) and hiking.
There are many things to see and do along the Garden Route
; no wonder it is a haven of inspiration for writers and artists, who give the region a trendy flavour for visitors.
As you drive along this enchanting coastal corridor, you will encounter many delightful villages often with beautiful scenic vistas. You can take breaks on the way to indulge in all kinds of adventurous activities such as scuba diving, deep sea fishing, bungee jumping
Despite its dryness, you'll find that the weather is cooler in South Africa than in other countries at the same latitude (such as Australia
). This is because South Africa
has a higher elevation which makes for unexpected weather patterns. This coastal area of South Africa warm winter days.
The Southern region is full of surprises like the Klein Karoo Kannaland,
a semi-desert dotted with lush river valleys. Here, the Calitzdorp
and De Rust
areas produce excellent wines and port wines. The region's major town, Oudtshoorn
, is known as the world's ostrich capital. The area also has the country's first German Angora Rabbit Show Farm, the Swartberg Nature Reserve and Pass
and the Cango Butterfly Farm
. All of these places are worth visiting. Every year, over the Easter Holiday the Klein Karoo National Arts
festival is held in Oudtshoorn. About 26 km from this town are the amazing Cango Caves
, a network of magnificent subterranean limestone caverns. It is clear that this wonderland of 30 caves was once inhabited by the early San (Bushman) people
. The caves are famous for their spectacular dripstone formations and are visited by thousands of people every month.
The Klein Karoo region has a rich culture and history. Thousands of art lovers flock to the annual Klein Karoo Kunstefees
for a feast of theatre, music and dance. Paintings by local Bushmen artisans are a huge draw.
The sunny climate of The Garden Route
produces incredible port wines, raisins, cheese and honey-sweet fruits. The welcome sunshine also motivates people to spend time outdoors. Popular activities include hiking
, 4x4 excursions
, mountain biking, caving, rock climbing, bird watching, horseback riding and fishing. The main highway that traverses the Little Karoo
Kannaland is the R62. It is known as the ‘Great Alternative Scenic Route
', and stretches from Cape Town through Worcester
, and Oudtshoorn to reach the coast at Port Elizabeth. The entire journey takes about 4 h.
The locals of Klein Karoo Kannaland
are open hearted, and the town's picturesque scenery provides you with an experience to remember and treasure.
The mountains are never far from the beaches and bays, and the eye delights in brightly coloured wild flowers everywhere. The Garden Route between Heidelberg
and Storms River
parallels a coastline dotted with tall forests unique to this region, lakes, mountains, rivers the colour of amber and beaches with golden sand. Hiking is a pleasure here on the meandering trails, and you can take a long leisurely drive through the forests, and swim, ride on a boat and fish in the lakes and rivers. You can do so much on a Garden Route tour
, or do nothing at all, and just soak in the spectacular scenery and the pleasant climate. Whatever you choose, the Garden Route guarantees an unforgettable South Africa holiday
This region is rich in contrasts, which makes it extremely interesting. There is the lush greenery of the charming town of George
(called the ‘Gateway to the Garden Route
') that lies on a fertile coastal plateau at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains
. On the other hand, there's the desert-like ambiance of Oudtshoorn
(‘Capital of the Klein Karoo') which lies ensconced in a semi-arid valley. The weather in Oudtshoorn is just perfect for ostriches, and numerous ostrich farms are found here.
Make sure you stop by the Tsitsikamma National Park
, which is one of South Africa's protected areas. The park offers dramatic landscapes as well as seascapes. Bird watchers will adore the varied bird life in its forests. And of course, there's the geological wonder of the Klein Karoo, with its soaring mountains and deep gorges.