The Western Cape Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the southern coast of South Africa. The Garden Route stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River which is in the extreme eastern reach of the Western Cape. The region has a maritime climate, with moderately hot summers, and mild to chilly winters. Ten nature reserves embrace the diverse ecosystems of the Garden Route, and it is also has unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life.
The Garden Route of the Western Cape's starting point is the Western Cape towns of Witsand, Stilbaai and Albertinia. It then winds its way for some 200 km via George, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna on to Plettenberg Bay and culminating in the Tstisikamma Forest. Between Heidelberg and Storms River, the Garden Route runs parallel to the coastline which features lakes, mountains, forests, rivers and golden beaches.
The Western Cape Garden Route is sandwiched between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains and the Indian Ocean. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and temperate forest and offer hiking trails and ecotourism activities. Nearly three hundred species of birdlife are found in a wide variety of habitats ranging from forest to wetlands to fynbos. Various bays along the Garden Route are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right Whale which come there to calve in the winter and spring.
The Knysna National Lake Area in the Western Cape is known as the Jewel of the Garden Route. The area has a large lagoon bounded at its entrance by two sandstone heads the lagoon is home to the famous Knysna Seahorse and the Pansy Shell. The Knysna Elephant Park offers a unique chance to get to see these magnificent animals that once lived in these forests. Just along the coast from Knysna lies the popular resort of Plettenberg Bay. Several species of whale can be seen here - the Southern Right, the Humpback and Bryde's whales as well as Orca, the killer whale. Boat based whale watching tours are available here.
Information on Western Cape Garden Route Towns
Albertinia, George, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Wilderness