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Garden Route South African Safaris
SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARIS AND THE GARDEN ROUTE
The Garden Route refers to a scenic stretch of coastline along the south-western coast of South Africa. The entire area of the Garden Route stretches from Mossel Bay (Western Cape) to the Storms River (the most eastern part of the Western Cape). The main areas along this coastal garden route include; Mossel Bay, George, Plettenberg Bay, Oudsthoorn and Natures Valley. The Garden Route is the area between the Outeniqua Mountains (including the Tstitiskamma Mountains) and the warm Indian Ocean!
There are 10 nature reserves along the Garden Route (ecosystems and marine reserves) making the Garden Route a popular South African safari destination. Most famously, the Garden Route is known for the best “road-trip” route to see the Southern Right Whales – whale watching is very popular along this coastal region!
The 4 main cities of the famous South African Garden route are; George, Mossel bay, Knysna and Plettenberg bay. George is the administrative and commercial hub of the Garden route and boasts the highest rainfall levels along the Garden Route. George was developed in 1776 as a timber town – to meet the high timber demands for furniture, building and transport. Nowadays, George is a popular modernized area with shopping centres, conference facilities, great accommodation and world-class golf grounds (Oubaai, Le Grande George and Fancourt).
Knysna is situated east of George and is very close to Plettenberg bay. This little town was built on the shores of the Knysna River estuary - commonly referred to as ‘The Head’; many fisherman and fishing boats were lost here trying to sail through this river mouth many years ago. Knysna is also home to the fabled Knysna Elephant … and is well-known for the annual oyster festival in July.
Plettenberg Bay was once named ‘Bahia Formosa’ (means a beautiful bay) by Portuguese Explorers and is commonly referred to simply as ‘Plett’ - a great place to view the whales along the coast. Plett contains the largest seagull breeding colony which is located at the base of the Keurbooms River – named after the indigenous Keurboom tree. Stroll along the beaches of Plettenberg Bay and find famous the ‘pansy shell’ which looks like a delicate little flower!
Mossel Bay is east of the Cape of Good Hope and is the last of the 4 main towns that make up the Garden Route. In 1488 Bartholomeu Dias arrived at Mossel Bay proving to the world that it is possible to sail all the way from Europe to India… Mossel bay derived its name, simply, from all the mussels (abundant) in the bay, today this bay is still known as a little fishing village and is now a working harbour for oil operations (close to offshore natural gas source).
The Garden route boasts a Maritime climate with hot summers and cold winters. The Garden route is commonly known as the “nicest all year rainfall stretch”, with most of the rain falling in the cold winter months (June – August).
Have a look at our South African safaris that include the Garden Route below. There are also other South African attractions beneath that you might want to visit on your South African Safari.
More Safari Attractions in South Africa:
- Kruger National Park
- Cape Town
- Addo Elephant National Park
- Greater St Lucia
- Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park
- Pilanesberg National Park
- West Coast
- Table Mountain
- Cango Caves
- Cape Point, Cape Agulhas
- Gods Window
- Kapama Game Reserve
- Madikwe Game Reserve
- Pilgrims Rest
- Robben Island
- Sun City
- Karoo South Africa
- Wild Coast
- V&A Waterfront
- Valley of a 1000 Hills
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
- The Battlefields
Safaris that pass through the Garden Route:
Experience the Garden Route on a Self-Drive Family tour with Jenman African Safaris, this self-drive family tour will take you from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. Read more…
Experience a Cape Nature Garden Route Safari while staying in a quality Guest House in and around Cape Town, Albertinia, Oudtshoorn, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Read more…