Eastern Cape Garden Route Travel
The Garden Route is not named for cultivated gardens as many travellers expect, but rather for the magnificence of its wild, unspoilt coastline and natural “gardens”, as described by the French explorer, Le Vaillant, in the 1780s. The Khoi San people called it “Outeniqua” meaning “a man laden with honey”, a reference to the scent from the wild flowers. The magnificent forests at Tsitsikamma, sweeping beaches of St Francis Bay and beautiful Plettenberg Bay, the bustling town of Knysna and lovely Lake District of Wilderness and Sedgefield are all to be found along the way.
The Garden Route includes one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of coastline. Officially extending from Mossel Bay to the Storms River, its starting point is constantly contested with towns such as Witsand, Stilbaai and Albertinia affiliating themselves to the route so that winds its way for some 200 km via George, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna on to Plettenberg Bay and culminating in the Tsitsikamma Forest - a fairyland of giant trees, ferns and bird life.
Use our Garden Route map and the informative tidbits of info below to plan a fairytale visit to this exquisite part of South Africa.
In the Eastern Cape Province, the Garden Route extends from Nature’s Valley to St Francis Bay. Use our Eastern Cape Garden Route map and information below to plan a magical trip through this wonderful part of South Africa – don’t miss the following places: Bafiaanskloof, Cape St Francis, Nature’s Valley, Oyster Bay, Storms River and St Francis Bay.
The “Valley of the Baboons” is a 180 000 hectare conservation area – the third largest in South Africa. Spectacular scenery including rugged passes, towering gorges and flowing rivers make this a photographer’s dream. Cape Buffalo, Mountain Zebra and (rarely) Cape Leopard and, of course, baboons aplenty can be seen here.
Bloukrans River Bridge
Bungee jumping - Try the highest jump in the world from the spectacular Bloukrans River bridge. Not for the faint-hearted!
Situated on a headland, Cape St Francis is renowned for clean beaches and excellent surfing opportunities. Visit the Penguin Rescue and Rehabilitation Center as well as the Seal Point Lighthouse. Stroll through the Irma Booysen Floral Reserve, home to many species of flowers and plants.
Not officially on the Garden Route, J-Bay is world renowned for its incredible waves. The international surfing community flocks here year round especially to encounter the clean surf at Supertubes. Visit the surf clothing factory stores for great deals on branded surfer clothing.
On the border of the Western Cape. The scenic drive is worth it on its own, and an additional reward is the fresh fish at Rafiki’s, on a deck on the beach, with a sundowner to end the day.
Situated between St Francis Bay and the edge of the Tsitsikamma Forest, Oyster Bay is a beautiful enclave renowned for natural beauty - long sandy beaches, wooded hills, sand dunes, wetlands and of course the African Oyster Catcher – a protected bird that lives on the beaches.
Walk across the dramatic suspension bridge over the Storms River to the Lookout and spot whales and dolphins in the ocean. Black-water-rafting from here.
Storms River Village
For a breathtaking Tree Top Canopy Tour through the tree tops of the indigenous forests.
Around 8km of river and canals offer excellent boating and birding. Explore 4kms of golden beaches ideal for scuba diving, fishing and sailing, or hike and cycle through pristine nature reserves.
Portfolio offers a wide range of quality Garden Route accommodation options in the Eastern Cape including B&Bs, guest houses, boutique hotels and country houses in Baviaanskloof, Cape St Francis, Jeffrey’s Bay, Nature’s Valley, Oyster Bay, Storms River, St Francis Bay and Tsitsikamma. Contact us for all your Eastern Cape Garden Route accommodation requirements.