Garden Route Travel Options
Few coastal stretches in the world can claim the beauty of the Garden Route, so named for its lush, green, indigenous forests, golden beaches and rushing rivers. An abundance of bird species and wildlife can be found here and the area’s pristine beaches, lapped by azure waters, are home to seals, dolphins and whales (the latter from June to October to calve in the warm Indian Ocean).
Occupying a slender coastal plane from the Gouritz River near Mossel Bay in the west to the Storms River mouth east of Plettenberg Bay, the Garden Route meanders for 350km along the N2, its main arterial road.
While often compared to the Lake District in England, the Garden Route’s climate is considerably more temperate. Summer temperatures average 27 Celsius and the winter average is 14 Celsius in the daytime. The region’s Mediterranean climate and natural splendour are complemented by excellent amenities catering for the most diverse and discerning of travellers.
Nature lovers will be in the their element. Hikes along the craggy coastline takes you through pristine forests and remote beaches with shimmering rock pools and waterfalls along the way. The popular Otter Trail is a five day hike that follows the coastline from Storms River Mouth to Nature’s Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park. It’s essential to book well in advance as places are limited.
If hiking is not for you, there are many other ways to experience the natural splendour of the Garden Route from horseriding in the Plettenberg Bay mountainside to paddling canoes around the Robberg peninsula. More sedentary options include packaged safaris offered by a variety of game lodges and dolphin and whale watching boat trips.
Needless to say, the Garden Route offers something for everyone and its accommodation is equally varied. Whether its a wooden tree house in indigenous forest, surrounded by monkeys and bird life, a rustic beach house, or a sunny penthouse suite, you’ll find what you are looking for and so much more.
A popular option to see the Garden Route is to hire a car in Cape Town and drive up the coast, stopping at charming seaside towns along the way.