With a coastline over 1800 miles, there are several adventures you can enjoy in South Africa. If you want to compact everything into a brief week trip, there is no better destination than the Garden Route.

The expansive coastline of the Garden Route, South Africa.
The expansive coastline of the Garden Route, South Africa.
Photo by Flickr

What is the Garden Route?

The Garden Route is a unique stretch of coastline in the Western Cape of South Africa. It has become a must-see for tourists because of the variety of adventures, wildlife, and scenery it offers. It’s popular in South Africa, as you can do just about everything the fantastic country has to offer on the Garden Route.

The Garden Route is a one-stop-shop for your adventure or holiday. If you are looking for a vacation to relax and unwind at the beach, or adventure and explore, safari, or sip on some world-class wine, the South African Garden Route has it all, and more.

Where The Journey Begins: South Africa

Once you land in Cape Town, South Africa hire a car and begin the adventure. To fit it all in, you need a minimum of a week, ideally longer for this adventure. The idea is to spend a night or two in the quaint South African towns along the Garden Route.

If you are short on time, pick one place (Knysna is a perfect mid-point), and you can do a micro tour of the route in just three days.

Visit George, South Africa

While the Garden Route technically starts in Mossel Bay, South Africa, the next town over, George is a brilliant place to begin. This picturesque town offers a unique seaside experience and a great round of golf.

Victoria Bay Beach, George, South Africa.
Victoria Bay Beach, George, South Africa.
Photo by George Herald

Explore Wilderness, South Africa

As you drive over the mountain pass from George, South Africa and catch sight of Wilderness, you will know why it makes the list. Pull over at Dolphin Point and marvel at the expansive coastal view.

Wilderness, South Africa usually falls under the radar for tourists, but the slow-paced town has a lot to offer. With both a beach, lagoon, and forest, there is so much to do here. The best thing to do here is to rent a canoe in the Garden Route National Park and adventure the lakes.

Knysna, South Africa on the Garden Route

Pronounced ‘nize-na’ the South African town is famous for many things. Its Oyster festival and beautiful marathon run in July bring visitors each year. But its scenery makes people come back time and time again. The topography of the town is incredible. Forest meets lagoon at the famous Knysna Heads, which are two sandstone headlands forming a narrow channel where the lagoon meets the ocean.

It is a bustling town with tourists and locals alike during the holiday season in December. If you are staying over, a quick drive to the Sedgefield Market is a must. It claims the top spot as the best market in the country each year.

Find Adventure at Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay is the perfect place to relax by the seaside. There are plenty of white sandy beaches to catch a tan or swim in the warm Indian Ocean.

Another activity to add to your list is a hike along the Robberg Hiking Trail. For your wildlife fix, visit the elephant sanctuary where you can get up close and personal with the gentle giants, or visit Birds of Eden, a free-flight bird sanctuary in the surrounding an indigenous forest.

This is where wine lovers can get their fix in South Africa. For an afternoon on the Garden Route, swap adventure for relaxation at one of the local wineries just outside of town. Bramon wine farm on the Garden Route is the perfect place where you can enjoy a wine tasting and tapas lunch.

Tsitsikamma & Storms River in South Africa

If you haven’t had enough adventure yet, this is where you can get your adrenaline rush on South Africa’s Garden Route. We know the last stretch of the route for treetop canopy ziplines, canoeing, bungee jumping and hiking.

The Otto Trail hike is a world-renowned 5-day hike along the coastline. With a waiting list of up to a year, plan far in advance if you want to add this to your vacation. Otherwise, you can take one of the many shorter trails in the area and enjoy some spectacular scenery and wildlife along the rugged coastline and adjacent forest.

Tsitsikamma forms part of a national park that you will pass when driving between Plettenberg Bay and Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is definitely worth adding to your itinerary if you are the adventurous traveler.

Ending off the Garden Route at safari near Port Elizabeth, South Africa means you have done just about everything South Africa offers. Every adventure in South Africa is different, but you will love the Garden Route. From there, you can fly to your next adventure.

How would you like South Africa to be your next adventure? Would you check out the Garden Route in South Africa? Let us know in the comments down below!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Travel Aroono newsletter so you don’t miss out on travel ideas and tips to make the best out of your adventure in South Africa!