Many of us are aware of the Garden Route which runs along the beautiful Western Cape coast from Cape Town through to Port Elizabeth. It is known for its abundant plant life. One of the Nature Reserves, named Grootbos, has over 750 species of Fynbos. The Garden Route is situated between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains and the Indian Ocean. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests offer hiking trails and numerous eco-tourism activities. Nearly 300 species of bird are found in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.
Ten nature reserves embrace the varied ecosystems of the area as well as unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. Various bays along the Garden Route are homes to the endangered Southern Right and Humpback Whales which come there to calve in the winter and spring (July to December).
The Garden Route has an oceanic climate, with mild to warm summers, and mild to cool winters. Here’s a fun fact, the Garden Route has the mildest climate in South Africa and the second mildest climate in the world after Hawaii. Temperatures rarely fall below 10°C in winter and rarely climb beyond 28°C in summer. Rain occurs year-round, with a slight peak in the spring months, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean rising and releasing their precipitation along the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains just inland of the coast. Summers are ideal for the beach, but we love visiting in the winter months as well when it’s normally warm and sunny during the day, and a little chilly at night meaning that you can curl up around a log fire with a nice bottle of red wine.
Oysters are a big deal in Knysna. Be on the lookout for festival which take place every July! For all the seafood lovers, oysters, fresh linefish and shellfish feature on most menus in restaurants. The farms of the Little Karoo provide fresh ostrich meat and organic mutton or lamb. There are also many fantastic vineyards popping up along the Garden Route which is definitely worth a try. Walker Bay and Elgin (along the Whale Route) are renowned for their Sauvignon Blancs, whereas Route 62 is well known for producing distinct brandies and ports.
The Garden Route is home to various natural wonders; the Cango Caves, Knysna Heads and some of the mountain passes in the country. The landscapes range from Karoo scrub land to lush coastal forests.
The Garden Route Tour has a litte bit of something for everyone, young and old. Whether you’re into surfing, bathing in the sun on the beach or bungee jumping. It’s a great place for friends and family. With attractions such as Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Canopy Tours in the Tsitsikamma Forest. There are many festivals as well. What are you waiting for, embrace mother nature, sip on some wine and have a good time!