The Garden Route is an area of natural wilderness with endless expanses of untamed forest and pristine beaches. Imposing mountains line the roads and waterfalls cascade into blue-green seas from dramatic cliffs. Perched on the edge of a lagoon, the town of Knysna was established in the gold rush of 1804 and is a hub of local arts and crafts. Vibrant and bohemian, Knysna is surrounded by indigenous forests which are inhabited by the Knysna Loerie, the endangered Dwarf Chameleon, the Brenton Blue Butterfly and the elusive Forest Elephant. The smallest antelope, the blue duiker, and South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane can also be viewed here. Waterfront restaurants and exciting activities keep visitors endlessly entertained – perhaps go for a paddle-boat cruise and dinner.
The Robberg Nature Reserve, just outside of the seaside resort of Plettenberg Bay, and the Garden Route National Park (encompassing Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks) are ideal for birding, hiking and biking. Perhaps visit Monkeyland and the Elephant Sanctuary while in the region, and adrenaline junkies shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to attack the highest bridge jump from Bungi Bridge.