The garden route is a sort of choose-your-own-adventure along the Southern shoreline of South Africa, punctuated with mountainscapes, shorelines, and culture. ‘Garden’ refers to the magnificent natural flora of South Africa called fynbos, many species of which are unique to the country. There are plenty of ways to explore the Garden Route and something to entertain everyone.
The Best Spots To Visit
Fortunately, there is not a bad way to do the Garden Route. The only proviso is to plan and book accommodation and activities during the school holidays and peak seasons. Other than that, jumping in your car and going where your heart takes you is a legitimate way to enjoy the route.
Home to stunning forests where you can marvel at different types of plants and flowers in different seasons and even jump into a cool forest pool. The scenery doesn’t stop there; drive to Knysna heads and find the best spots to look out over the lagoons and watch the sunset. For the local vibe, visit the restaurants and other shops, boutiques and bars.
The Otter Trail
This is a must do, but you have to book far in advance because the sweeping landscapes and breathtaking views get booked up quickly. South Africa’s oldest and most popular hike follows the coastline for 45 kilometers and takes five plus days to hike or ten plus hours to run.
The vineyards in South Africa are some of the best in the world. Don’t believe us? Then try one of the many wine tasting menus found at many vineyards along the garden route. If you are a self-proclaimed wine fanatic, then check out more of the wine clubs that oenophiles love.
With beautiful beaches, Plettenberg Bay is a treat. You can also explore Nelson bay caves which date from the stone age and follow walking trails along the peninsula. For a nature fix, visit the bird sanctuary which is a free-flight haven for visiting and resident birds.
The village of Storms River is a coastal reserve that is surrounded by precious indigenous forest. Here, you can imagine how the entire region used to look as these forests used to be everywhere. Perfect for a casual to adventurous hike, there are trails here for everyone. Perhaps you might even have the courage to cross the suspension bridge that connects two sides of a ravine and look out at the verdant view.
The Right Vehicle
Fortunately, the roads along this route are excellent and you will not need to go offroad. Choose a car based on the amount of luggage you are planning on taking. If you want to follow some off-road trails, then a 4×4 is a sensible option.
Make sure you download some music or podcasts before you head out for the long drive as data can be spotty between the mountain peaks. And prepare a method of playing your music through your car speakers for the best sound with these 4 ways to play digital music in the car.
If you want to skip on hotels, bed, and breakfasts and checking in and out of accommodation, then a tented van might be the best option for you. These vehicles have a canvas that pops up on top of the roof that you can sleep in. This is a good option for anyone who can’t get enough of the outdoors. Plan ahead so that you know where there are good campsite options for added convenience.
With a driving-intensive holiday such as this one, it is important to have a good insurance quote for your vehicle. Make sure you have roadside recovery that will take you to any final destination so that you don’t find yourself towed to an unplanned town and no further. Protection against scrapes, knocks and other general hazards that you find on roads with lots of gravel and rocks is also a sensible option.
With these planning tips, you are certain to have an unforgettable time on one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The Garden Route is a low-risk option for stunning landscapes, incredible cuisine, and memories that will last forever.