Welcome to the Garden Route: The Coast and The Klein Karoo

The Western Cape is home to an incredible contrast within close proximity to one another: The lush Garden Route vs the parch Klein Karoo. It’s a truly fascinating place to visit!

Along the Garden Route, the mighty ocean pounds the coast, dolphins are seen frolicking in the waves, whales find shelter in bays giving birth to their young, lakes and rivers run into the sea, waterfalls cascades through forests and mountains circle the surrounding landscape. Deep indigenous forests, peaceful estuaries, diverse fynbos, lakes, rivers, mountains and beautiful coastlines create a natural Eden, hence the nickname given ‘The Garden of Eden’.

The coastline has a wonderful semi-Mediterranean climate, making both indoor and outdoor attractions accessible all year round. Whether it’s a visit to one of the flagship beaches, cola-colored lagoons, majestic mountains or lush valleys & forests, visitors will find the climate mostly pleasant.

Knysna is the hub of the Garden Route, with its neighbors Plettenberg Bay & Sedgefield boasting great attractions within themselves. Wilderness, Kaaimans, Victoria Bay, George & Mossel Bay can be found to the West, with Tsitsikamma to the East. Wilderness is a bird-watchers paradise where wetlands, forests, mountains, beaches, open fields and fynbos provide ideal habitats for 200+ species.

Whether its relaxation, high-energy adventure, trendy shopping or fine cuisine you’re after, the towns along the Garden Route offer something for all!.

In contrast, the semi-arid Klein Karoo is characterized by ostrich farms, spectacular mountain passes, hot springs and world-renowned caves. It’s home to Route 62, possibly one of the longest wine routes in the world.

The Klein Karoo is also a year-round destination; however it does have higher Summer (December to March) and cooler Winter (May to July) temperatures than that of the coast.

Outshoorn is the hub of the Klein Karoo and lies nestled between the Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountain Ranges. It’s a scenic 1 hour drive from either Mossel Bay or George.

One of the main attractions of this quaint town is the Cango Caves. A single visit makes it easy to see why it was declared One of the Natural Wonder of the World. With its underground network of spectacularly colourful limestone caverns, even a day visit is worth your while!

There are a number of game reserves in the Klein Karoo and Garden Route areas, some home to Africa’s Big Five – lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. You can also get up close and personal with cheetahs, enjoy an elephant-back safari, be brave and plunge into a crocodile cage dive or try the unusual: an ostrich ride.

Getting to the Garden Route is easy: By air, you could travel from Cape Town International Airport to George Airport, 7km from the city centre. Shuttle services and taxis are available at the airport to transfer visitors to any part of the city, or region. Alternatively, the N2 links Cape Town to the Garden Route.

 

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