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Published on : Wednesday, January 27, 2016
South Africa’s coastal playground, The Garden Route is a mix of modern golf courses, ancient forests, secluded artist communities, retirement estates, modern malls, craft centres, mountain hideaways and beach holidays.
A large number of interesting and creative people have come to live down here, drawn to this magnificent stretch of coastline.
If you are planning for a trip this year with a unique experience, then The Garden Route would probably be the best choice. While the Garden Route road is extremely scenic, it is the hidden destinations on its side roads that are the secret of this region.
The main arterial highway of the Garden Route in South Africa – a highlight on most visitors’ itineraries – is the N2 stretch running from Heidelberg in the southern Cape to Storms River Village on the Eastern Cape border.
Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, has found its way onto the Garden Route. In reality, both early inhabitants and elephants have been crossing the Outeniqua Mountains from Oudtshoorn to the coast for many centuries.
Other towns well worth visiting include Calitzdorp, Sedgefield, The Wilderness, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
A classic example of a new addition to the area is the Bramon wine Farm just outside Plettenberg Bay, an empowerment project bringing wine making to this new region. But over the ages old woodcutter clans, fishermen, artists, businessmen and top chefs have all found their niches along the Garden Route in the Western Cape.
The Garden Route is famous for its hardy fynbos floral kingdom, its secluded little bays and its year-round holiday frame of mind. And it’s conveniently accessible from Cape Town.
Don’t forget to look seawards for the Southern Right whales, the humpback, bottlenose and common dolphins, and even killer whales that frolic close to shore, especially near Plettenberg Bay.
The Garden Route National Park, which weaves together the existing Tsitsikamma National Park’s ancient forests and wild coastline with the Wilderness National Park via a chain of lakes and preserved sections of fynbos, is a fascinating mix of ecosystems. And don’t forget to look out for the raucous cry and vivid scarlet wings of the Knysna turaco.
Tags: South Africa