A Journey Through The Garden Route South Africa

The Garden Route

The Garden Route is an incredible stretch of scenery in the south-eastern coast of South Africa. The route stretches from Mossel Bay, Western Cape, to the Storms River which is crossed on the N2 coastal highway, over the Paul Sauer Bridge within the Eastern Cape.

The route is abundant with ecological diversity and vegetation, with numerous lagoons and lakes found along the way. Towns on the route include Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Plattenberg Bay, and Nature’s Valley. George is the largest city found on the Garden Route and is the administrative center of the scenic attraction.

The Garden Route South Africa

The Garden Route South Africa

The Garden Route has well developed tourist infrastructure along with way, with incredible towns to visit along the coast. There are also two national parks to be found on the Garden Route, Tsisikamma and Wilderness, not to mention many other private and provincial nature reserves.

Taking The Trip

Making the decision to take a journey along the Garden Route is a decision you will never regret. It is one of the most memorable routes in the world, and has to be explored to the fullest.

Here are the towns and scenery to enjoy along the way, travelling from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth (west to east)


This is a tranquil little village found on the banks of the Duivenhoks River.


This is a popular sea-side resort that offers a whole range of water sports such as angling, whale watching and deep sea fishing.


Riversdale is a treat for those who love the outdoors. It has incredible flora, fauna, rivers, mountains, and hiking trails.

Still Bay

This is a navigable river and estuary that spills onto kilometers of beautiful, unpolluted sandy beach with watersports of all kinds on offer.


Albertina offers up scenic views of the Gouritz River and has an old-world, enchanting atmosphere. It is found midway between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay has a temperate climate which offers visitors pristine beaches, mountains and a rich cultural and archaeological history which dates back nearly 350 thousands years.


This small town is close to Mossel Bay. It is incredibly popular holiday resort with ATKV lovers.

Little & Great Brak River

This is a quiet village which boasts a beautiful beach. Nearby, the Great Brak River enters into a lagoon, both offering unspoiled nature with excellent bird watching opportunities and watersports.


George is the administrative center of the Garden Route. It is a wonderfully picturesque town that has streets lined by oak trees. It is a great base to use to explore the Garden Route.


Wilderness is situated on the banks of the Touws River Estuary. It has sparkling white beaches, rivers and lakes. The Wilderness National Park is a must for ecotourists, it has a blissful peace and enchanting beauty.


This is a small town found on the banks of the Swartvlei Estuary, which is the largest natural inland saltwater lake found in South Africa. It is the ideal place for a peaceful retreat, surrounded by abundant forest.


Knysna is situated between the sea and the Outeniqua Mountains. It is surrounded by plantations and indigenous forests. The lagoon in Knysna opens into the sea, falling between the famous Knysna Heads. It is a popular tourist attraction and the town is full of arts, crafts and history. The endangered Knysna seahorse can be found in the lagoon. 230 bird species wait to be found by birdwatchers.

Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay is surrounded by the Tsitsikamma and Outenique mountains. It is engulfed by indigenous forests. The town has many hotels, shops and restaurants to keep tourists busy. It has 20km worth of beaches, and is one of the most fashionable holiday attractions along the Southern Cape coastline.

Nature’s Valley

This picturesque holiday village sits between the Groot River lagoon and enchanting indigenous forest. Sunbathers flock to the sandy beaches, and the De Vasselot area of the Tsitsikamma National Park offers many different day walks.

Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma covers over 100km of the coastal area. The reserve of Tsitsikamma is known internationally for its sprawling forests. It also has Africa’s oldest and largest marine reserve. The nature reserve is sought after by hikers from all over the world who come to enjoy its unspoiled, rugged coastline.



The Garden Route is most enjoyed between the months of July and December each year. This is when the tranquil and scenic areas form an incredible backdrop for a wide variety of blooms, with flora such as Proteas, Ericas, Vygies, Bluebell, Aloes, Tubers, Pin-Cushions and other different types of Fynbos. This floral kingdom is among the most varied in the world and makes the Garden Route come to life.

The Garden Route forms part of the Cape Floral Heritage Site.

Driving along the route, surrounded by spectacular Fynbos, enchanting forests and sprawling coastlines, one can only imagine the true magnificence of the Garden Route.


Garden Route
View of the harbor of St. James South Africa

With vast stretches of beaches, looming mountains, valleys, lakes, nature reserves and the deep-blue sea, this eco-destination is one of the most excellent destinations in the world for those who want to immerse themselves in the beauty of all things nature.

For holiday makers, there is so much to do. From watersports, lounging at the beach, swimming, surfing or fishing, to air-flips and helicopter rides showing views of the majestic surroundings.

If you are looking for something more on the wild side, why not go bunji-jumping, black water rafting or tubing in one of the incredible rivers.

Find yourself in love with glorious natural beauty, along the stretch from Mossel Bay to Storms River, 200km of unfiltered wildlife, scenery and breathtaking views that seem to go on forever. The wildlife, topography, vegetation and outdoor activities are nearly endless. This makes the Garden Route a dream destination for so many around the world.

You can choose to plan your own trip through the Garden Route, or go on a guided tour which will highlight the best of the route. Villages situated along the way are quaint and so intriguing. These are full of culture and history, which only add to the spectacular feeling of the Garden Route.

About the author

Rebecca Brown