Highlights of South Africa

The Garden Route

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The c.200km Garden Route is a world-famous scenic drive through verdant and diverse scenery with various stops of interest. There are ten nature reserves, protecting varied ecosystems and natural features such as lakes, lagoons, tall indigenous forests and Cape fynbos flora, mountains, rivers and sandy beaches as well as marine reserves. Southern right whales make the long swim from Antarctica to breed and calve near this coastline between July and November.

The Garden Route is sandwiched between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Indian Ocean coast. Various towns vie for the title of westernmost point of the Garden Route (i.e. Heidelberg, Stilbaai, Witsand etc) but the easternmost point is generally agreed as Storms River Mouth. The classic journey would be to take the scenic Route 62 from Cape Town, through the lovely winelands region and over the Little Karoo semi-desert to Oudtshoorn, then cross the Outeniqua Mountains via a winding pass to Mossel Bay or George (or simply fly to George) and join the Garden route there, travelling to Port Elizabeth in the East (perhaps also taking in some Big 5 reserves). There is an argument for reversing this and travelling east to west so that the sun isn’t in one’s face whilst driving in the afternoons. Adrenaline sports such as abseiling, bungee jumping, zip-line and mountain biking….and even ostrich riding…compete with the natural attractions throughout its length making this a popular route for all.

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