Garden Route

A spectacular coastline of dramatic headlands and white sandy beaches backed by verdant mountains. A natural paradise for families, honeymooners and couples.


The Garden Route thoroughly deserves its reputation for enchanting beauty. Garden Route holidays are perfect for those wanting to relax in beautiful surroundings. The name refers to a superb stretch of coast between Mossel Bay and the Storms River. It offers a spectacular coastline of dramatic headlands overlooking white sandy beaches. Behind are soaring mountains covered by indigenous rainforest, magnificent twisting passes, waterfalls and wooded ravines. In other areas, the bird-filled lagoons and wetland lakes lie behind the fynbos-covered sand dunes.

Garden Route holidays are equally good for those seeking adventure. There are walking and hiking trails by the lakes, along the coast and in the mountains. Adrenalin-junkies are spoilt for choice with bungee jumping, bridge swinging, tubing and Great White Shark cage diving. Hhorse-riding, canoeing, mountain biking and golfing are all on offer.  Indeed there’s a vast amount to see and do on the Garden Route. So filling your days will not be a problem. Choosing what to leave out may be more difficult!

The Garden Route is also an ideal self-drive destination. There are good roads and signage. And lots of fun activities and country restaurants are easily accessible from the road. However, we can also arrange guided touring on request.

Kayaking in Goukamma lake

Adding onto the Garden Route

You can also enjoy a safari, either at one of the Garden Route-based safari lodges. Or in the Eastern Cape which is only a easy scenic drive away.


Why you may love it

  • Whale and dolphin-watching by boat in Plettenberg Bay.
  • Cruise the Knysna Lagoon to Featherbed Nature Reserve for a guided excursion & walk with glorious views.
  • Visiting the primates & birds at Monkeyland & the Birds of Eden.
  • An alfresco lunch of champagne and oysters in Knysna.
  • Enjoying the walking trails in the forest, on the coast or through the wetlands.
  • Swimming and surfing off the Garden Route’s glorious beaches.
  • Canoeing or boating up the Keurbooms river.
  • Exploring the Tsitsikamma forest on the innovative treetop canopy tour.
  • Plenty of adrenalin activities from bungy jumping to tubing to kayaking.

When to visit Garden Route

Mid-Nov to mid-March

Summer in Garden Route

The Garden Route broadly shares the Mediterranean climate of the rest of the Western Cape. But the Southern Coast generally has a slightly more temperate climate with more variable weather. This means that there could be passing rain even in the Summer, but its usually in the evenings and night. Summer is the perfect time to visit the Garden Route, especially for sun-seekers aiming to escape the worst of the northern hemisphere winter. Being by the coast, it rarely gets unbearably hot. There is a slight micro-climate difference within the Garden Route with Plettenberg tending to have slightly less rain than Knysna and Wilderness.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

Mid-March to April

Autumn in Garden Route

This is also a lovely time to visit and it’s a great time to be active as the sun is not so hot. Plus, there are fewer visitors.
MAX TEMP 22 ℃ / 72 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

May to August

Winter in Garden Route

This is our “winter” and yes, it does feel wintery, with sweaters needed. But this is a gentle winter. You may have rain, but it rains an average of only 2-3 days in every 2 weeks. And the rainy season tends to arrive later and stay later on the Garden Route compared with the Cape. Most of the hotels offer winter rates from May onwards and so you’ll find your money goes a little further during this time.
MAX TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉
MIN TEMP 8 ℃ / 46 ℉

September to mid-Nov

Spring in Garden Route

The spring is a lovely time to visit, but it tends to be more rainy during this time than in the Cape. Spring is also a variable season. It could be sunny and warm. Or there could be late-season showers. As it is not hot, it’s a great time for sight-seeing and being active such as hiking or sea-kayaking.
MAX TEMP 21 ℃ / 70 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

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Kanonkop House – staff review

Kanonkop is perched high above the town with views in all directions through wooded hillside. You can just drive in with easy parking and then walk through the very well-tended gardens, past the pool to the house. It is tempting to just stop at the pool...Then straight into the comfortable and modern living area with a view over the lagoon. Very clearly a family house with homely dog and family photos but very beautifully done and very welcoming. The rooms/suites are in in various buildings over the site. All the rooms are much better than the photos. Very carefully designed.

Cedarberg : Ian Russell

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Did you know
  • AcclaimOne of UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves
  • LengthMore than 300km long

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Natasha Jantjies

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I’m Natasha, I’m here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

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