Interactive Map of The Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa
The Garden Route
South Africa's famous Garden Route started off only encompassing a narrow coastal stretch of 300 km between Mossel Bay and the Tsitsikamma Mountains.
These days, though, you could be forgiven for thinking that it sprawls all the way from Cape Town along the southern Cape coastline to Port Elizabeth.
The section of the coastline first called the Garden Route is an extraordinary region, blessed with a mild climate, year-round rainfall and unique vegetation.
To many who have
visited it, the Garden Route has a mysterious allure. A most unusual
part of Africa, it is also the sunny corner of the Cape where evergreen
forests, verdant fields, tranquil inland lakes, sparkling bays and pristine
beaches languish in a sultry Mediterranean climate.
Stretching along the southern Cape coast from Heidelberg in the west
to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River in the east, the region's
entrance to the interior is barred by towering mountains breached by
breathtaking passes and gorges. The silence evoked by its ever-changing landscape carries on its still,
fragrant, sea-scented air a sense of the spiritual. With so much of the
Garden Route's beauty unspoilt, visitors may feel they have been set
free to play in God's backyard.
A well-developed tourist infrastructure has strung the region's towns
along its coast like a string of pearls. In all of them, artists, writers, naturalists and nature lovers co-exist
with those devoting their time and energies to catering to the whims
and special fancies of the area's year-round visitors.
This is where the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe still steams its way between George
and Knysna every day. And where the whales come to calve and mate in
the many unspoiled bays. Importantly, it's an area boasting two National
parks - Tsitsikamma and Wilderness - as well as numerous other provincial
and private nature reserves.
A treasure trove of history, culture, food, sport and entertainment
awaits you between Heidelberg and Plettenberg Bay. Indeed, the Garden
Route is a veritable playground, offering every sport imaginable -
from golf to scuba-diving, abseiling to mountain biking.
Beyond this, there are those unforgettable wild and lonely reaches that
will touch your soul and revive your spirit.
Make a point of setting aside as many days as you can for the Garden Route, because this area can make time disappear.
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the Cape: Cape
tourist information and activities in the
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