The Garden Route is one of the top 5 destinations in Southern Africa on par with the Okavango Delta, the Victoria Falls, the Namib desert and Table Mountain in Cape Town. It is no wonder. This stretch of coastline is adorned with the finest beaches, virgin forests, fascinating history and alluring resort villages that dot the coastline like jewels. This is definitely South Africa's best kept secret.
It's very simple, you book our vehicle and tour guide for the day and we take you to wherever you would like to go. The base rate covers the vehicle and the guide and you choose the activities you are interested in. We are happy to assist you in finding or recommending the activities you would like to visit that is not already mentioned in our tour options below. Let us take you on a memorable journey today.
Founded by royalty?
His name was George Rex and he founded the settlement we now know as Knysna. It is said he was banished to the Cape colony as he was a child born out of wedlock of King George III who had a passionate love affair with a Quaker woman called Hannah Lightfoot , or was he? Then came the Thesen family from Norway, who developed the timber trade. Many were attracted to the Knysna forest with its towering woods that provided the then Cape Colony with much needed timber. Many sailors perished sailing through the notorious heads entering the lagoon from the sea. Today Knysna remains South Africa's favourite town to live, work and play. It doesn't take visitors long to found out why.
They called it "Baia Formosa"
When their ship, the São Gonçalo, sank here in 1630, the survivors of the Portuguese vessel were astounded by this incredibly beautiful bay, which provided them with all the essentials for survival until they were rescued by a passing ship. Almost 400 years later and this resort town still draws many visitors to its hauntingly beautiful bay and pristine beaches which are matched nowhere else on Earth. The marine life is abundant with whales, dolphins, orcas, seals, sharks and many sea birds making this bay their breeding grounds and permanent home. Affectionately known as "Plett" by South Africans, this town has many culinary and cultural delights. Its charm is definitely worth exploring!
Where giant waves crash on rocks
Since the dawn of mankind, this stretch of coastline, with its lush forests and crystal clear waters cascading down steep cliffs, has provided adequate drinking water, food and shelter for humans. Hence the origins of the name from the ancient Khoekhoe language, "tsi" (clear) "gamma" (waters). The frequent storms that rage here send massive waves crashing against jagged rocks. Part of the Garden Route National Park, this stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline offers breathtaking hikes to suspension bridges, kayaking through gorges and forest walks to trees centuries old. Nearby tucked deep in the forest one can zipline through the canopy or trek forest paths searching for free-roaming species of endangered monkeys and birds protected in world renown sanctuaries.
Feathers and port wine
Oudtshoorn & Klein Karoo
It all started back in the 1860s when European nobility began wearing lavish hats adorned with ostrich feathers. It was so much in fashion that when a feather boom flourished, one pound of feathers was equal in value to one pound of diamonds! The so called "feather barons" build their opulent palaces in a semi-arid region that became the home of the largest ostrich population in the world. Then bust and booms came in waves during and after the world wars. But whatever was thrown at Oudtshoorn it always seem to bounce back with its resilient farming community. Apart from feathers and ostrich eggs, the region is also famous for its Port wine production dotted on the scenic Route 62 that snakes through valleys and stunning open arid vistas synonymous with the Klein Karoo. You can cool off from the heat in awe inspiring prehistoric caves.
While chances are pretty slim of finding the elusive wild forest elephants wondering in the dense Knysna forest, there are plenty game reserves in the Garden Route to choose for photo safari opportunities. Nothing beats a day out on a safari jeep probing the bush for free roaming wildlife. While the park ranger explains the fascinating lives of the wild animals spotted, you have plenty opportunity to snap up the perfect photograph. And it's all about luck and the exhilaration of what to expect next on your game drive. Whether you are seeking the "big 5" or are an avid birdwatcher, there is myriad of species to see that will match the interest of all nature enthusiasts. Don't forget to bring your binoculars, camera, a hat, some sunscreen and perhaps a rain jacket just in case.
Perhaps not as long established nor as heavily marketed as the wineries near Cape Town, the wines in the Garden Route are a wine lovers best kept secret. The cool wet winters and temperate summers make perfect conditions for the cultivation of white, red and rosé as well as sparkling wines. In fact many of the wines in this region have won accolades as attested with the trustworthy Diners International Platters Wine Guide. With a backdrop of the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains, lush green forests and fresh ocean breeze, wine tasting is a unique experience in the Garden Route. Cheese platters or picnic baskets can be arranged with tasting sessions. Our tours include up to three wine tasting establishments that starts in the latter part of the day.