South Africa’s Garden Route

South Africa’s garden route is beautiful and world renowned as a great road trip. We drove from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, with stops in between, and the views were gorgeous.

About South Africa’s Garden Route

Technically, The Garden Route begins west of Stellenbosch, our first stop after Cape Town, and runs from Mossel Bay in the west to Storms River in the east, so we covered that and then some.

South Africa's Garden Route map
Garden Route map

Between Stellenbosch and Port Elizabeth, there are a lot of beautiful stops to make!

Oak Valley Wines

Oak Valley Estate on South Africa's Garden Route
Nice view with some wine at Oak Valley

Oak Valley was one of those fortuitous stops along South Africa’s garden route because we needed a break from the car. Plus, we had driven to the fringes of the wine region, and we wanted to visit another winery while we could. This was a good choice: the estate has beautiful grounds and some nice wines too!

On the way back to the highway, we stopped at an incredible “farm stand”/tourist attraction, where we stocked up on picnic foods and local craft cider.

Knysna Heads

The town of Knysna (pronounced Naizna), where we stayed the night after Stellenbosch, was cute, but even better were the Knysna Heads. At the southern point of the town is a lagoon flowing from the Indian Ocean flanked by sandstone cliffs on the east and west, forming a beautiful natural attraction.

Visiting Knysna Heads was the #1 thing to do in Knysna, so we checked out of our hotel and headed straight there in the morning. We drove and hiked a bit around these seaside cliffs. The views – and weather – did not disappoint! The beaches in Kynsna are world-renowned. Look at that water!

Knysna Head South Africa's Garden Route
View from Kynsna Head
Kynsna Heads views South Africa's garden route
The surf at Kynsna Heads

Robberg Nature Reserve

Another day in South Africa, another hike! Yes, we needed a break from driving to do another difficult hike. This one, at Robberg Nature Reserve, right along the coast, was gorgeous – and we got to see more seals.

A view of the seals from above, Robberg

The Robberg Nature Reserve is a historic site – some of the rocks are over 120 million years old!   We hiked for a couple of hours and it was the middle of the day and quite hot, but the views were absolutely beautiful.

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Part of the hike was climbing along the cliffs, but we also went down to the beach (climbing down sand dunes) and back up again. It was a good break from the car but we really should have worn our bathing suits to cool off in the ocean.

After Robberg, we stopped into nearby Plettenberg Bay, a busy beach resort town, for some groceries and a visit to a cute beach to contemplate nature without hiking.

Nature’s Valley

We took the chance to swim at this paradisiacal beach in Tsitsikamma. We had options for swimming here at the junction of The Groot River and the Indian Ocean.  It was a very hot afternoon, and after our hikes we were happy to cool off in the refreshing water.

Nature's Valley SA
Lagoon at Nature’s Valley
Nature's Valley South Africa's Garden Route
At Nature’s Valley

On the way out of Tsitsikamma, which is a national park, we stopped at the local brewery for a taste.

Tsitsikamma Brewery
Brian enjoying craft beer at Tsitsikamma Brewery

The Tsitsikamma brewery is attached to a retro diner with vintage posters (they really like Elvis!), a jukebox and a few automobiles. Definitely an interesting place!

We drove a lot – and stopped a lot – that day, so our final stop was our Airbnb in Port Elizabeth. We relaxed, cooked dinner and didn’t leave until our flight to Botswana the next morning. I know nothing about Port Elizabeth except that there’s an airport there.

All of these places we visited on the Garden Route would be wonderful to visit. I wish we had more time! Each stop demands a trip of its own.

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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