The Garden Route, South Africa
The Garden Route is one of the most scenic drives in the Western Cape and the whole of South Africa. It begins in Mossel Bay and continues all the way to the Storms River. The lush green surroundings is what earned this route its name and there are many lovely seaside towns that you will pass along the way. The drive is fairly easy and most of the route is along main roads and highways. There are plenty of places to stop off and this is the perfect route to take when traveling from Cape Town to Durban or Johannesburg. If you consider making your way along this route, you can even opt for a one way car rental to get you from A to B and, should you need to return to your starting point, other options include scenic train routes and flying of course.
Getting to Mossel Bay, start of the Garden Route
The trip from Cape Town to Mossel Bay is an adventure in itself. You can choose to drive or even take a train and pick up a rental car in this lovely seaside town in order to complete the rest of your journey.
If you decide to take the train, you won’t be able to enjoy any of the stops. However, with a car, you can take a detour via Chapman’s Peak to Cape Point and back before making your way to Cape Agulhas. Somerset West, the Strand and Gordon’s Bay are all fantastic swimming spots and there are many hotels, inns and B&Bs for you to reserve a room at. Pringle Bay, Kleinmond and Hermanus are next on the list whilst making your way to the southernmost tip at Cape Agulhas. If you visit during whale season, you can enjoy the fabulous Oyster Festival in Hermanus.
Cape Agulhas is not just the southernmost tip but it is also where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet so make a plan to stop here! From here, your next stop will be Mossel Bay where you will officially begin your Garden Route adventure.
Mossel Bay to Storms River
Mossel Bay is a popular fishing town and the residents are wonderfully friendly and most hospitable. You might be tempted to stay longer than originally planned before heading on to the George, Knysna and Wilderness Area. Here, you can enjoy some fantastic horse rides on the gorgeous beach and the Knysna Elephant Park and Monkey Land are great places to visit. Get up close with nature and feed these gentle giants.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a detour and visit the inland town of Oudtshoorn. The Cango Caves are the main attraction in this area and there are various tours to choose from. You can also dare to go for an ostrich ride and enjoy a taste of crocodile meat.
Shortly after leaving Knysna, you will reach Plettenberg Bay and the Tsitsikamma National Park followed by the 216 meter Bloukrans Bungee Jump and, finally, Storms River.
There is no need for your journey to end at Storms River. You can continue further along the coast and head for Cape St Francis and Jeffreys Bay (or J Bay) which is a great surfing spot.
Shortly hereafter, you will reach the friendly city of Port Elizabeth. Enjoy your stay here in one of the country’s most hospitable locations and take full advantage of the lovely beaches! Of course, the warm waters of East London and Kwa-Zulu Natal await and Johannesburg isn’t too far from Durban either.