Experience The Garden Route Tour in South Africa
The Garden Route stretches along the captivating southeastern Cape coast, encompassing renowned destinations like Mossel Bay, Sedgefield, George, Knysna, Wilderness, Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay, and Port Elizabeth. True to its name, it’s a genuine paradise. AfricanMecca travelers can embark on their Garden Route journey by arriving at either Cape Town or George International Airports, embracing the entire route through a self-drive adventure or a guided tour with multiple stops, depending on their preferences. Pristine beaches, serene lakes, enchanting lagoons, and lush forests coexist harmoniously with splendid golf estates and rich cultural attractions. Known as South Africa’s adventure sports hub, the Garden Route offers an abundance of thrilling activities, from extreme bungee jumping and sea kayaking to treetop canopy tours.
The Garden Route National Park sprawls across an impressive 121,000 hectares, encompassing the existing Wilderness and Tsitsikamma National Parks, the Knysna Lakes Area, and approximately 52,000 hectares of newly designated land. As one of the country’s most significant conservation areas in terms of biodiversity and natural splendor, it magnetizes a multitude of tourists, both local and international. Notably, the Knysna estuary and Wilderness lake areas are ranked first and sixth, respectively, in terms of ecological significance. These areas encompass 60,500 hectares of indigenous forest, constituting the largest continuous expanse of such forest in the nation. The fynbos of the Garden Route falls within the Cape Floral Region, recognized as a global hotspot for biodiversity.
The Garden Route National Park is so expansive that it spans across both the Eastern and Western Cape provinces, offering an array of tourist amenities and activities. Visitors can enjoy camping areas, cozy chalets, hiking and mountain biking trails, forest walks, canoeing, diving, and more. To the west of Swellendam and northeast of Heidelberg lies a vast wilderness expanse known as Boosmansbos, reputedly named after a hermit who dwelled there in the early 19th century, scaring away anyone who approached his beehives.
The Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, encompassing 14,000 hectares, is nestled within the sprawling Langeberg Mountains and is part of the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, a haven for hikers. Grootberg stands as the tallest peak in Boosmansbos, reaching 1,637 meters. This wilderness area has remained relatively untouched by human intervention, allowing its 70 kilometers of footpaths and roads to remain virtually uninhabited, providing an uninterrupted communion with nature. The forest is a testament to the remnants of an ancient indigenous kloof forest nestled within the Cape montane fynbos, situated on the slopes of Grootberg. Diverse tree species, including stinkwood, yellowwood, Cape holly, red alder, and beech, thrive alongside white alder and candlewood trees. Tree enthusiasts will also spot a section of mountain cypress, one of the few indigenous softwood species in the country, growing on a neighboring ridge.
With all these natural wonders and diverse attractions, the Garden Route continues to stand as one of South Africa’s most captivating, beautiful, and extraordinary visitor experiences.