South African Garden Route is one of the most beautiful destinations of Africa, if not of the whole wide world. The magnificent scenery can be connected with beautiful places of interest and the experience of the Indian Ocean just in front of it. These highlights draw more and more tourists who travel the Garden Route along the N2.
Starting point of the Garden Route is Hermanus in the Western Cape, a province in South Africa. Hermanus is a former whaling place, founded in 1879. Today travellers can start into quite a special adventure: The watching of whales in the wild. Even from the coast the animals can be observed, what is so possible at only a few places on earth. Every year in September the Whale Festival takes place in Hermanus. Also the Cliff Path in Hermanus is worth a visit. It offers the best view over the coast and the ocean.
The Garden Route ends in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province. South Africa’s fifth-biggest town has about a million residents (this includes the suburbs as well). P.E. has a coastal line of 16 kilometres along the Indian Ocean. For centuries Port Elizabeth was a journey point for explorers from all over the world, after presumably Bartolomeus Diaz had landed there in the 15th century. Later the Britons took over the rule. Even today travellers can see the British buildings in the colonial style.
Next to Port Elizabeth lies Jeffreys Bay. This place is a dream of all surfers who travel along Garden Route. Special highlight is a wave which belongs to the best surfing spots of the world.
The Tsitsikamma National Park in the district Cacadu is one of the nicest nature reserves in South Africa. Here is one of the last primeval forests of the country with very old trees – some of them are about 40 meters in height. Also the waterfall on Otter Trail is worth a visit, as well as the part of the national park which extends to the coast. In this area of the Garden Route you can also get to know the local animals, as for example antelopes, monkeys and a variety of birds.
Also Mossel Bay in the Western Cape belongs to the special places on the Garden Route. On the coast of the bay – discovered by Bartolomeus Diaz – many mussels after which the place was named originally can be found, even today.
Oudtshoorn, approx. 65 km in the north of Mossel Bay, was a centre of the South African ostrich breeding about 100 years ago. On the extensive farms regular industries were established and the “ostrich barons” belonged to the richest men in the country. The “C. P. Nel museum” brings close this time to the visitor. When travelling the Garden Route and Oudtshoorn you can visit the farms and see the ostrich breeding at that time and today.
Near Oudtshoorn you can find the Cango Caves, one of the most beautiful cave systems of the world. If you have time to visit this limestone cave with several chambers, you should miss it by no means. And you also shouln’t miss the Swartberg Mountains, which primarily consists of red rock. Today the Swartberg Mountains belong to the world nature heir of UNESCO. The mountain passes offer a unique view about the South African scenery along Garden Route.
On both sides of the Swartberge there are the half deserts sceneries “Great and Little Karoo”. In the ariden climate you will find especially succulents and midday flowers plants which are typically for the scenery. In winter you can find a true garden in the Karoos with some luck, when the wild plants shows their blossoms.
Last but not least you can visit Knysna on your trip along the Garden Route. Knysna is called by many “pearl of the Garden Route” and offers a wonderful lagoon scenery. In front of the Outeniqua mountains you will find the lagoon in the Indian Ocean as well as a fantastically well-balanced, pleasant climate.
Sceneries, culture, relaxation and experience – all this offers Garden Route. It is worth a visit with these and many other highlights.
Once you are done with the garden route, you can also explore other places in Africa. Maybe you want to join a wildlife safari in Tanzania? Tanzania has a lot to offer from wildlife to cultural safaris. It is time to visit this unique wildlife sanctuary. We can offer your safaris in Massai Mara and the Ngorongoro Crate and don’t forget the Serengeti .