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The Garden Route is one of South Africa's most scenic, main tourist attraction areas, generally stretching from Mossel Bay to St Francis along the Indian ocean and also including parts of the inland. The name 'Garden Route' names comes from the ecologically diverse vegetation along this route. This Route is along the sunny South African coastline which is home to many species of whales and dolphins. The Garden Route is one of the best places in the world for shore-based whale and dolphin-watching, particularly between July and October. You can find extreme adventure, tranquil retreats, plenty of arts and crafts galleries, good restaurants and good accommodation. The best way to tour the Route is by car. * Interesting Garden Route towns to visit
Known as the 'Jewel of the Garden Route', Plettenberg Bay is a small coastal resort where you can find fantastic beaches and nature trails. Every year Plettenberg Bay receives thousands of visitors from around the world who come to enjoy the absolute beauty of the area which is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, horseriding, canoeing, abseiling, Skydiving, bird watching, blackwater tubing, bungee jumping, kayaking, forest tours, game viewing, gliding, golf, lagoon and river cruises, whale watching and 4x4 trails.
Beautiful rivers, pristene beaches and the bay offer ideal conditions for most watersports, including sailing, fishing and scuba diving and surfing. Top surf spots include Victoria Bay, Buffalo Bay and Plettenberg beach.
For those who prefer to relax, a long walk along the clean stretches of beach is a perfect choice.
Wilderness National Park (00 27 12 428 9111, www.parks-sa.co.za) is situated in the heart of the Garden Route with fantastic combinations of rivers, estuaries, beaches, forests and mountains. The Park is found between the towns of Goerge and Knysna which are both well known tourist destinations on the Garden Route. The Wilderness carries many Fynbos species and also historic archaeological sites.
Fees to enter the Park ::South African Citizens and Residents (with ID) pay R18 per person, per day. SADC Nationals (with passport) pay R36 per adult, per day (children R18). The Standard Conservation Fee for Foreign Visitors: R72 per adult and R36 per child, per day. Visitors can follow the many beautiful nature trails which wind through the densely forested areas and along peaceful rivers.
There are 2 rest camps and numerous camp sites for accommodation.
A Surfers Paradise nationally acclaimed as being on of the worlds top ten surf spots!
Jeffreys Bay is known for spectacular surfing spots, endless summers and shells the huge quantity and the quality of shells that can be found on the beaches. Surfers from around the world gather at 'Kitchen Windows' and 'Surfers Point' to catch the perfect wave.
The Billabong Pro surfing competition is held here. The town is bordered on both sides by nature reserves and rivers - the Kabeljous & Seekoei Estuaries and the Noorsekloof nature reserve.
Jeffreys bay has an excellent choice of restuarants for all tastes.
Enjoy friendly accommodation from comfortable Backpackers and Bed & Breakfasts to luxury game farms and guesthouses.
The Addo Elephant Park is home to over 300 Elephants and also Cape Buffalo, Lion, Warthogs, Antelope such as Kudu, Hartebeest and Eland.
The Park offers many outdoor activities including hiking, 4x4 trails and horse-riding. The beautiful area lends itself to perfect picnics.
Accommodation in the surrounding area offers hotels, Guesthouses, Lodges, Game Reserves, Bed & Breakfasts.
Image above with permission :: Photographer John David Purakal USA
Noetzie is one of the Garden Routes hidden treasures.
About 10km's east of Knysna you can find eccentric holiday homes built like medieval castles situated in a cove. Noetzie's castles border on the Sinclair Nature Reserve where you can enjoy an idyllic location on a lovely surf beach. The sea is dangerous for swimming but there is a sheltered lagoon.
Otters, bushbuck, whales, dolphins and numerous bird species inhabit the area. Nearby Knysna (a 20 minute drive) offers numerous activities from golf to an unforgettable train journey along the coast, as well as boat trips and canoeing and a morning spent with the Knysna elephants is highly recommended.
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