The beautiful and dramatic Garden Route really is a brilliant family destination catering for a wide range of interests. The Garden Route stretches from around Mossel Bay to Storms River Mouth and is an area dense with forests, beaches, lakes, rivers, kloofs and hardwood trees. This area is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions in South Africa and is home to a multitude of enjoyable activities and things to do, outdoor adventurers and shoppers alike can bond over a memorable meal of fresh-off-the-line seafood of locally-cultivated wine. Added to this is the ability to encounter elephants, lions, Cape Fur Seals, a variety of bird species and a Great White Shark all in just one day.
A trip to the Garden Route offers the opportunity to make connections – meet the makers, the ceramicists, the artisans, the conservationists. Slow things down, catch your breath, take in the invigorating salt air and every sunset and let the Garden Route work its magic. Try one of these exciting activities on your next trip to this majestic destination:
– A Kayak & Lilo Tour: An amazing opportunity to enjoy a two to three-hour activity on the magnificent Storms River in Tsitsikama. During this time you will explore the deep, hidden world of the serene Storms River gorge by gently meandering along the extensive, bottomless pools, caves, ancient forests, and pass underneath the suspension bridge surrounded by the quiet sounds of nature and skyscraping rocky cliffs. At the low-water point, the kayaks are exchanged for relaxed floating lilos specially designed to access the narrow parts of the gorge.
– Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour: Try something different and take a canopy tour in the beautiful Tsitsikamma rainforest. You will have an amazing time zip lining through the trees, from platform to platform, 30m above the forest floor. You will be as close as possible to all of the lush greenery and bird life, while the professional guides will give you interesting information about the forest’s ecosystem. This is an unforgettable experience that gives guests a truly unique perspective.
– Bloukrans Bungy Jump or Bridge Walk: At 216 metres high, the World’s highest commercial bungy jump takes place from the top of the arch of Africa’s biggest bridge. To get out to the jump point you will be sent out on a zipline from the bank of the arch. From there it’s time for your bungy jump. To get back to land, two more unique experiences happen, first of all you will get a winch ride back up to the top of the arch after your jump. Then you get to walk the suspended skywalk back off the bridge. The walkway is bolted to the underside of the road deck above the Bloukrans River with spectacular views and a final exposure to the full height of the bridge. Visitors can also experience the skywalk without doing the bungy jump.
– Cango Caves: The regions iconic attraction and some of the most spectacular dripstone caverns in the country. These caves are the only show caves in Africa that offer a choice of two different tour types, both lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves Guides who will conduct visitors along the magic paths of the world’s finest stalactite cave. All tours are offered in English but Afrikaans, German, French and other language options may be available (these options can be checked when we make a reservation). The two tour types to choose from are either the easy going Heritage Tour stopping at several points of interest or the Adventure Tour ideal for adventure seekers, you will be lead deeper into the cave where you will experience narrow crawl spaces adding to a thrilling adventure.
– Safari Ostrich Farm: Cross the Oteniqua Mountains and head to Oudtshoorn for an unforgettable Klein Karoo experience. Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the world’s largest bird will not be disappointed, as ostriches are a common sight in the area. Take an ostrich tour and get up close to these magnificent creatures. The Ostrich Farm Tour is an unforgettable experience on Safari Ostrich Farm. During the tour you will learn more about these remarkable birds and their fascinating nature.
– Addo Elephant National Park: A diverse wildlife conservation park situated close to Port Elizabeth, Addo is one of the country’s 20 national parks. It currently ranks third in size after the Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Addo is home to one of the densest African elephant populations on earth, roughly 550 of them. Addo is also the only park in the world to lay claim to Africa’s ‘Big 7’ – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark.
– Featherbed Eco Experience: Experience the stunning Featherbed Nature Reserve as you take the ferry across the Knysna Lagoon to the Western Head. From here you will be taken up a beautiful 4×4 trail into the Reserve, stopping to take in the scenery and for your guide to give you all the information on the various plants and animals. There is also an optional short guided tour through the coastal forest into nearby sea caves. The Knysna Heads and Estuary are also home to a variety of options such as boats trips, dinner cruises, sunset sails, marine eco tours and boat-based whale watching.
– Route 62: The longest wine route in the world, meandering from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn, through a series of fascinating small towns and breath-taking scenery. Lush greenery and fertile valleys form a stark contrast against the semi-desert of the Klein Karoo while towering mountains and their rivers and streams provide an awe-inspiring backdrop throughout. Some of the renowned attractions visitors will spot as they follow the route are the Winelands of the Breede River Valley, the majestic Swartberg Mountains, the Cango Caves and ostrich farms of Oudtshoorn, and the fruit orchards of the Langkloof Valley.
– Ocean Odyssey SUP in Knysna: Explore the waterways of Thesen Island with the world’s fastest growing water sport, Stand-Up Paddling. Stand-Up Paddling, or SUP for short, is easy, fun and guaranteed to keep you fit whilst enjoying the spectacular scenery of our waterways & lagoon. The calm waters of Thesen Island are ideal for beginners and the many inlets and coves are perfect for the more adventurous or experienced paddlers. Eight top quality rigid boards and paddles are available for rent by the hour. This activity is perfect for children, couples and families.
– Swartberg Pass: Ascent of nearly 950 metres up the Swartberg via the world-renowned Swartberg Pass. This gravel pass, a national monument, was constructed over a four year period and opened in January 1888. Get close to nature and explore the spectacular sandstone formations dating back more than 300 million years. Feast your eyes on the splendour of diverse fynbos species, including proteas. The tranquillity and serenity of this unique experience reflects the essence of a bygone era where wagons and riders on horseback was a familiar sight. At the summit of the Swartberg Pass, enjoy a panoramic view over the Great and Little Karoo. From here you can enjoy a leisure scenic hike on a Swartberg hiking trail enjoying the diverse fynbos and bird species endemic to this protected vegetation biome.
– Amakhala Game Reserve: Located between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown the Amakhala Game Reserve is an ideal choice for Big Five Safaris. Featuring spectacular topography created by the Bushman’s River, the reserve is home to a huge array of animal species – including the Big 5, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, plenty of antelope species, and many other smaller interesting animals. Amakhala also boasts fantastic bird watching opportunities. Other highlights include a variety of fantastic game drives, guided walks, and horse trails. Just outside the park, there are plenty of attractions to discover, including the Amakhala Craft Centre, and the Bushman Sands Golf Course and Health Spa.
Other adventure activities include paragliding, hang gliding, Scootours, canyoning, cliff jumping, kloofing, rappelling, abseiling, sandboarding, sailing, kayaking, shark cage diving, horse riding, quad biking, kiteboarding, sky-diving, tubing… there are very few adventure activities not available also the Garden Route! There is a vast variety of activities on offer for all ages waiting to be explored on the Garden Route. Looking to try one of these activities or any others? Contact us to let us discuss the best option suited to your needs or for sample packages showing how the magnificent Garden Route can be incorporated into an itinerary.