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Garden Route

Waiting to be king - a young male lion Waiting to be king - a young male lion
The Knsyna Heads viewed from the lagoon at low tide The Knsyna Heads viewed from the lagoon at low tide
A slice of paradise - Noetzie beach (Knsyna) near Pezula A slice of paradise - Noetzie beach (Knsyna) near Pezula
Aloes are  a trademark feature along the Coastal Route Aloes are a trademark feature along the Coastal Route
The rolling green moutains common to the Route 62 area The rolling green moutains common to the Route 62 area
The original African handshake - elephants on the Garden Route The original African handshake - elephants on the Garden Route
Try your luck at spotting the legendary Knsyna Forest Elephants Try your luck at spotting the legendary Knsyna Forest Elephants
Stormy winter skies and raging rivers along the Garden Route Stormy winter skies and raging rivers along the Garden Route
Snow capped peaks of the Swartberg along Route 62 Snow capped peaks of the Swartberg along Route 62
The world biggest bird - luckily they dont fly The world biggest bird - luckily they dont fly
Warm blue waters and long white beaches at Plettenberg Bay Warm blue waters and long white beaches at Plettenberg Bay
A malaria free safari in the Garden Route Safari area A malaria free safari in the Garden Route Safari area
Deep underground  in the Cango Caves on Route 62 Deep underground in the Cango Caves on Route 62

Take a Journey through Eden

Made up of a narrow belt between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains, the Garden Route extends from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth and is a favourite self-drive destination.

Gaining its name from the indigenous Yellowwood Forests and abundant wild flowers, the Garden Route is an enchanting shoreline of lovely bays, high cliffs and wide estuaries with a hinterland of mountains, spectacular passes, rivers, waterfalls and wooded ravines, lagoons and malaria free Big Five safari areas. Further inland, over the Swartberg Mountains, is Oudtshoorn and the Little Karoo, a land famed for its ostriches, caves and snow capped peaks.

Along the Coastal Route you’ll find excellent lodges, world class golf courses, eateries, quaint villages (like Knysna)and colourful marinas. The warm Indian Ocean beckons bathers, anglers, surfers and divers and is teeming with schools of dolphins and hordes of barking, cliff climbing seals.

This area is also the adventure capital of South Africa. Bungy ropes swing freely, with the Bloukrans Bridge near Plettenberg Bay having the highest commercial Bungy in the world at 216 meters (708 feet) and abseiling, paragliding, tree-top canopy tours, extreme mountain biking, sky diving and blackwater tubing await adventure seeking souls.

Made up of a narrow belt between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains, the Garden Route extends from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth and is a favourite self-drive destination.

Gaining its name from the indigenous Yellowwood Forests and abundant wild flowers, the Garden Route is an enchanting shoreline of lovely bays, high cliffs and wide estuaries with a hinterland of mountains, spectacular passes, rivers, waterfalls and wooded ravines, lagoons and malaria free Big Five safari areas. Further inland, over the Swartberg Mountains, is Oudtshoorn and the Little Karoo, a land famed for its ostriches, caves and snow capped peaks.

Along the Coastal Route you’ll find excellent lodges, world class golf courses, eateries, quaint villages (like Knysna)and colourful marinas. The warm Indian Ocean beckons bathers, anglers, surfers and divers and is teeming with schools of dolphins and hordes of barking, cliff climbing seals.

This area is also the adventure capital of South Africa. Bungy ropes swing freely, with the Bloukrans Bridge near Plettenberg Bay having the highest commercial Bungy in the world at 216 meters (708 feet) and abseiling, paragliding, tree-top canopy tours, extreme mountain biking, sky diving and blackwater tubing await adventure seeking souls.

The Garden Route Safari area is a malaria free area made up of a number of different game reserves, all offering a Big Five safari experience. The area itself is reminiscent of Africa as depicted in movies like ‘Out of Africa’ and the lodges are smaller and more personal and often owner run and managed. This is an excellent beginning or end point to a self-drive along the Garden Route.

Route 62 offers a harsher beauty than the coastal areas. Narrow passes wind through high mountains before dropping into the wilderness of the Karoo where dusty summers give way to rich golden fields of wheat and emerald green fields of lucerne, tobacco and grapes. Route 62 is an explorers dream. The hidden gems of Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn are beautiful in their remoteness and offer isolation and peace. Ostrich rides, spelunking (exploring the Cango Caves) and trips to the crocodile farm are firm favourites.

Garden Route tours are a popular amongst those looking for the ideal self drive holiday destination in South Africa and whether you want to spend your time in a luxury safari lodge, idyllic seaside guesthouse, or high in the mountains or forest the accommodation we have selected along the Garden Route will not disappoint you.

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Highlights

Malaria Free Safaris »

On game drive at Shamwari

A perfect way to add a Big Five safari onto your beach holiday is to venture into the Garden Route Safari area. Only an hours drive from Port Elizabeth airport, or the beginning or end point on your Garden Route travels, this area offers top class safari accommodation in temperate mediterranean climates. With most of the lodges being child friendly and owner managed, this is a favourite for families, honeymooners and couples.

Knysna »

The Knsyna Heads viewed from the lagoon at low tide

Voted South Africa's favourite town, Knysna easily lives up to its name. Celebrated for its fresh oysters, festive waterfront complex on the lagoon, and its beautiful beaches and forests Knysna exudes a special holiday magic. Days exploring the coast and surrounds and nights eating and drinking champagne at the waters-edge restaurants make this a highlight on any Garden Route trip.

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Recommended Garden Route Tours and Lodges

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Tsala Treetops Lodge »

Tsala Treetop Lodge is quite simply unique and very desirable, resting high above the forest floor in the treetops of the forest of the Garden Route. The Lodge has elevated walkways that lead you to your romantic suite where intimate luxury awaits you with your private rim-flow pool and exquisite views.

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Hog Hollow Country Lodge »

Hog Hollow Country Lodge is a 4-star lodge set on the edge of an indigenous forest in a private nature reserve with panoramic views of the surrounding indigenous forests, valleys and mountains, in one of the most beautiful parts of Africa - the Garden Route.

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Bay Lodge »

Bay Lodge is an exclusive six suite luxury boutique beach lodge in Plettenberg Bay, featuring the latest in designer trends and the highest standards of barefoot luxury lodging and hospitality. The Lodge has amazing views over the Indian Ocean and is a short walk to the beach.

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Shamwari Eagles Crag »

Shamwari Eagles Crag Lodge is a top big five safari lodge nestled in a valley and provides the ultimate luxury for the most discerning of travelers looking for privacy and tranquility. Each of the suites are extremely private and boast a deck with plunge pool in the most relaxing setting.

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Blaauwbosch »

Blaauwbosch Private Game Reserve is an exclusive big five private game reserve in the malaria free Eastern Cape. The reserve offers a unique and private African wildlife safari experience where you can relax in comfort and stay in luxurious chalets with beautiful mountain views.

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Hlosi Game Lodge »

Hlosi Game Lodge invites you to share understated luxury, to warm to true African hospitality, and find a restful intimacy in the Eastern Cape bushveld. Enjoy a safari experience where elephant herds line the horizon and cheetah settle silently in the long grass.

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SA Boutique Luxury »

Staying at some of the most beautiful & premium properties in South Africa, this tour offers you an amazing experience including a safari, a visit to the Garden Route and Route 62 and ending with a stay in Cape Town. This is a truly remarkable trip.

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The Very Best of the Coast »

Staying at the cream of the crop, this exceptional self drive trip allows you to explore Cape Town then onto the Whale Route before traveling up the Garden Route. Your tour finishes with a big 5 safari at one of the top safari lodges in South Africa.

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