Monday, October 24th, 2016

Road Tripping South Africa’s Garden Route

View from the Suite

My time on South Africa’s Garden Route was limited — I only had a few days in Knysna before I had to move on — but it was just enough to whet my appetite.  When I return to South Africa, I know exactly what I want to do — book a car hire in South Africa and drive the length of the Garden Route.

While some people refer to the Garden Route as the entire length of southwestern South African, from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, it’s actually a smaller portion of that, stretching from Heidelberg to Storms River.

What’s there to love?  Dramatic coastline.  Incredible coastline.  You might think that California or Croatia might be home to the best coastline in the world, but that will fly out the window once you see what South Africa has to offer, with its rocky, multicolored coast.

Because of that, the area is ideal for a road trip — if only because you’ll want to constantly stop and take photos!  So, where should you go on your Garden Route road trip?


If you want to explore the forests of South Africa, Knysna is the best place.  There are so many great areas to hike.  I loved my stay at Phantom Forest Eco Reserve, where I was living in a treehouse that had an outstanding view of the bay in the distance.

This is a wonderful place to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the smell of the woods.  Though if you want more civilization, there’s a lot going on in town!


I only got to see Wilderness from the window of my bus, but I was impressed — the beach had wild and crashing waves, some of the biggest ones I have ever seen!  The white sand beach stretches for miles and is covered with colorful beach shacks.  It’s the perfect South Africa destination to get some sun.

Wilderness is also a great destination for adventure sports, whether you’re into skydiving, jetskiing, or even shark cage diving.


In short, wine.  Wine tourists from all over the world come to the Swellendam Wine Region to taste the fantastic South African wines.  This is where you’ll find the more serious wine aficionados, as the wine towns closer to Cape Town like Stellenbosch and Constantia attract wine amateurs on day trips from Cape Town.  And where there’s wine, good food follows!

Swellendam is also home to gorgeous inland wilderness, like the Marloth Nature Reserve and Bontebok National Park.  These are great places to hike — showing there’s more to the South African wilderness than just safari.

Where on the Garden Route would YOU like to go?