Garden Route

by Cristina  

Garden RouteGarden Route is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in South Africa. Comprising mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, forests and beaches, this paradise is located at 280 km/174 miles from Cape Town. Between July and December, the wildflowers are in bloom, creating one of the most magnificent views in the world.

Location

Garden Route stretches from Mossel Bay (in Western Cape) to Storms River.

Climate

The area has a maritime climate, with moderately hot summers and mild winters.

Exploring Garden Route

Towns

Some of the most important towns and villages on Garden Route include:

  • Mossel Bay: sandy beaches, hiking trails in the mountains and lots of historical sites
  • George: a picturesque town, the administrative capital of Garden Route
  • Knysna: enjoy both the mountains and the sea, a very popular tourist destination
  • Plettenberg Bay: surrounded by mountains and trees, this beautiful place offers both sun bathing spots and hiking trails
  • Nature’s Valley: a very popular tourist resort offering both sandy beaches and hiking trails in the Tsitsikamma National Park

Diving

There are four regions within Garden Route famous among divers:

  • Plettenberg Bay: you can dive at Groot Bank, Redbait Reef, Deep Blinders, Shallow Blinders, Dolphin Column, Jacob’s Poort and Whale Rock and MFV Athina wreck.
  • Knysna: you can dive at Dagleish Bank, East Cape Reef, Bruce’s Bank and the Pinnacle (where there are several wrecks to explore)
  • Mossel Bay: you can dive at Klein Brak River Mouth, Stingray Reef, Mitch’s Reef, the Santos Reef, Dolosse and Windvogel Reef.

Whale viewing

On the Garden Route, whale viewing is possible at:

  • Still Bay
  • Mossel Bay – especially on the St Blaize’s hiking trail
  • Great Brak River
  • Ballot’s Bay
  • Herold’s Bay
  • Victoria Bay
  • Gouritzmond
  • Vleesbaai
  • Dana Bay

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