South Africa’s popular Garden Route is a must for travellers embarking on a trip down to the Rainbow Nation, with vast amounts of wildlife, placid sandy beaches, rugged mountain passes, and an overwhelming sense of endless natural beauty awaiting them.
Named the Garden Route simply because of the diverse range of vegetation located in this region, the expedition stretches hundreds of miles from Heidelberg, Western Cape to Storms River in the East.
The route experiences the mildest climate in the country, with a pleasant sea breeze coming off the waters of the Indian Ocean.
The possibilities are endless on South Africa holidays, but you may want to take in the splendour of Mossel Bay to start with, a small harbour town and a favourite amongst tourists setting foot on this iconic journey.
It was this very location where the first Europeans landed on their great voyage to South African shores and you can be certain of a deeply cultural experience that doesn’t compensate on natural beauty and fantastic hospitality.
During your stay in the town, a trip to Bartholomeu Dias is a popular activity. The museum is named after the master mariner who first set foot in the area and houses a botanical garden, a life size replica of the Dias Caravel ship he travelled on, and the famous 500 year old Post Office tree where Pedro de Ataide, Commander of one of Cabral’s ships left a letter of vast importance.
A Portuguese sea captain navigating the Indian Ocean in the 1500’s, de Ataide is synonymous with the region.
Further east along the coast from Mossel Bay is Knysna, described as the pearl of the Garden Route. Around 500 km from Cape Town, Knysna is part of the Tsitsikamma National Park and is distinguished by its green forests and wide array of hiking opportunities.
If adventuring is not for you, and you prefer to soak up the sun’s rays instead, Plettenberg Bay will cater for all your cravings. Located closer to the shore of the Indian Ocean than Knysna, long stretches of sand are perfect to relax on, whilst surfing and marine encounters can also be nearby.
Following on from your relaxing stay in Plettenberg Bay, why not travel east to sample the outstanding scenery of Nature’s Valley.
Surrounded by the Tsitsikamma National Park and distinguished perfectly by the Grootrivier lagoon, the flora and fauna in the nearby Platbos Reserve boasts UNESCO world heritage site status.
A further variety of activities can be sampled here, notably canoe trips on the lagoon, or if you are a daring soul, the world’s highest bungee at Bloukrans Bridge is just a short trip away.
Completing the series of closely located resorts on the route, Storms River is the natural gateway to Tsitsikamma and is set off by the suspension bridge that spans the mouth of the river the town is named after.
A number of guided walks are available during your stay in Storms River but the best day trip is arguably the treetop canopy tour that lets you witness spectacular views of the forest.
Most trips involve a meal, a trusted tour guide and some great photographic opportunities can be exploited during these particular outings.
Holidays to South Africa boast an incredible array of things to see and do, catering for a variety of tastes during your stay on the Garden Route.