Things to do on the Garden Route

14 December 2020

The Garden Route offers a little of everything - spectacular scenery, wildlife, and adrenaline-fueled adventure. The route stretches for more than 200 kilometers from Mossel Bay to the Storms River.

Along the way, travellers can hike through lush coastal forests sliced by rivers, explore caves and panoramic mountain passes, and bungee jump into a plunging gorge. Animal lovers will find many attractions ranging, from elephant experiences, cheetah encounters, and bird sanctuaries to ostrich farms and whale-watching trips.

Robberg Nature Reserve, Plettenberg Bay

About eight kilometers from the popular coastal town of Plettenberg Bay, the magnificent Robberg Nature Reserve is a national monument and a hiker's paradise with a variety of trails and other things to do. It sits on a four-kilometer-long peninsula. The reserve is an important breeding area for many water birds, and hikers may also spot whales and dolphins, as well as seals.

Cango Caves

In earlier centuries, these dripstone caverns were occupied by Bushmen, who left rock drawings, little of which can now be distinguished. Visitors can choose between a Heritage Tour or Adventure Tour. Both take visitors into a series of huge chambers with impressive stalactites and stalagmites enhanced by spectacular lighting effects. Advance bookings for the tours are essential.

Birds of Eden, Monkeyland, and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary

About 16 kilometers from the beautiful beaches of Plettenberg Bay, animal lovers can enjoy educational wildlife experiences at three affiliated sanctuaries

At Birds of Eden, the world's largest dome shelters two hectares of indigenous forest, where birds representing more than 280 species from around the world, fly free. Visitors can view the birds from two kilometers of boardwalks, including a canopy walk.

Monkeyland is a sanctuary that has rescued more than 11 species of primates and rehabilitated them in a natural forested habitat. Monkey safaris take visitors to see lemurs, languors, squirrel monkeys, and a host of other charismatic primates along a 128-meter canopy walk and viewing deck.

Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary rescues big cats and rehabilitates them in natural surroundings.Visitors  can learn about their history and unique personalities. Highlights include the white lions, cheetahs, and leopards.

Knysna Forest

In the forests surrounding Knysna, you can take to the trails that wind along rivers and waterfalls, where large herds of elephant once inhabited. Hikers may also spot antelope and a diversity of birds, including the Knysna loerie.

Knysna Elephant Park

Operating for more than 20 years, the park was the first sanctuary in South Africa to accommodate orphaned African elephants. Many of the residents were rescued from culls or circuses and rehabilitated by the staff.

Wilderness National Park

The national park is a paradise for water birds Campsites and stilted log cabins are available for visitors, as well as facilities for water sports on the lakes, which include canoeing, fishing, windsurfing, and sailing.

Gondwana Private Game Reserve

The 11,000-hectare private game reserve is just 48 kilometers from Mossel Bay and can be visited on a day trip or overnight stay. There are guided safari drives through the reserve, which is home to the Big 5)
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