The Garden Route and Klein Karoo known as Eden, spans South Africa’s Western Cape coastal belt from Witsand’s whale birthing haven in the west to Plettenberg Bay’s beach, polo and party-going pleasures.
Slightly inland are a series of mountain ranges that form the border with the Klein Karoo. These ranges include the Langeberg, Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains and add to the varied landscape of the prestine Garden Route.It’s all about an abundance of blue skies, white sand beaches, rolling oceans, dramatic mountain scenery, indigenous fynbos, ostrich antics and local hospitality.
The Klein Karoo is a semi-arid region with untold beauty. Known for its ostrich farms, spectacular mountain passes, clear streams and some amazing flora to be found in this georgeous area. Quite a few winemakers make a living from vines grown close to the rivers, and Oudtshoorn is a favorite destination with its Cango Caves, ostrich farms, musuems and the yearly KKNK (Karoo National Arts Festival), offering showcases of South African art forms from serious drama to farce and includes music, fine arts, festive food, poetry, theatre and dancing.
The Klein Karoo also plays host to Route 62, reputedly the longest wine route in the world, along which South Africa’s ‘port wine capital’ - Calitzdorp - is situated. Make sure you enquire at the Tourism Office about the many tours on offer that include Wine Route and Brandy Route excursions.
This region forms an important part of the Cape Floral Kingdom – the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms and the only floral kingdom that is confined within the borders of a single country. This region boasts more than 6500 indigenous plant species and many bird and wildlife species offering the visitor a memory of a lifetime. Indigenous plants are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and Forest Species and offer a range of eco-tourism activities in the way of hiking, bird watching etc. Nearly 300 species of birdlife are to be found in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetland. Ten nature reserves embrace the varied eco systems of the area as well as a unique marine reserve home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life.
Beach junkies are spoiled for choice. Stilbaai’s assets include treasures from the Stone Age and the Khoi people. Mossel Bay and Albertinia share the pleasure of bungee jumping thrills with Plettenberg Bay. Mossel Bay prides itself on offering the diverse experience of game viewing and that of stringing a hammock along beaches that serve up the world’s second most temperate climate. Still along the coast, Wilderness and Sedgefield comprise the Lakes Region, while golf, green coastal treasures and malls a-plenty rate among George and Knysna's endless offerings.
Southern Right whale watching (mid- June-November) rates as a key highlight at Witsand, Stilbaai, Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Knysna and Plett. Be sure to explore marine marvels on a sea kayaking, SCUBA or snorkeling exploration, or get stoked surfing it up at Stilbaai’s Point and the adjacent Groot Jongensfontein, Mossel Bays Peninsula, Georges Victoria Bay, or at good olPlett.