Along the Garden Route, travellers on South African safari can choose from the 10 nature reserves that are dotted along the route. The Garden Route is also known as the best “road trip” route to see the Southern Right Whales, with whale watching ranking as a popular activity among locals and tourists alike!
The four main cities along the Garden Route are George, Mossel Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, each providing a unique delight and unique experiences during stops along the Garden Route whilst on a South African safari.
George is the commercial hub of the Garden Route, and it boasts the highest rainfall levels in the area. The area is both popular and modernised since its beginning as a timber town, and visitors can enjoy the shopping centres, great accommodation and world-class golf grounds.
Knysna lies just east of George and very close to Plettenberg bay. Built on the shores of the Knysna River estuary, the area is also home to the fabled Knysna Elephant and annually hosts the Oyster Festival in July.
Plettenberg Bay, once referred to by Portuguese explorers as ‘Bahia Formosa,’ which mean Beautiful Bay, is a great place to stop over during a South African safari and view the whales. It contains the largest seagull breeding colony, and the beaches provide kilometres of pristine white sand along which to stroll and look out for the famous “pansy shell”.
Mossel Bay is the last of the four main towns that make up the Garden Route, and it derived its name from the mussels in the bay. Still known today as a little fishing village, Mossel Bay provides an insightful look back into the history of the country as the destination where Bartholomeu Dias landed in 1488 after proving that it is possible to sail all the way from Europe to India.
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). A beautiful and magnificent stretch of coastline, no South African safari can be complete without time spent traveling along the Garden Route, discovering the sights, sounds, activities and culture that make it a truly unique South African experience.
Read about our range of safari packages that include the Garden Route, or discover other South African attractions that you may want to include whilst on your South African safari.