- Western Cape
- Garden Route National Park
The Garden Route National Park stretches along the Southern Coast of South Africa. The park consists of three sections:
- Tsitsikamma National Park
- Wilderness National Park
- Knysna National Lake Area
These areas are collage of landscapes covered in South Africa’s unique fauna and flora and seascapes with unforgettable views. The park covers about 1,210 km² of land.
It would take a lifetime to experience all the Garden Route National Park has to offer. Mountains fall to forests and the forests run onto sandy beaches! The park offers hiking, relaxing on pristine beaches, birdwatching, whale and dolphin sightings, canoeing and Kayaking over silver lakes and various other activities.
The Tsitsikamma National Park is at the heart of the Garden Route with the very popular Storms River entrance leading to the famous Otter Trail which also has shorter trails for day visitors.
The Knysna National Lake Area is a tidal lagoon and an open estuary that links the previous two sections together. Where the lake waters meet the Indian Ocean you will find the Knysna Heads.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see:
- Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours
- Bloukrans Bungy – highest bridge bungy in the world 216 meters
- Storms River Suspension Bridge
- Kingfisher Trails
- Outeniqua Hiking Trail
- Harkerville Forest
- Noetzie Beach and Castles
- Knysna Heads
- Wilderness Horse Trails
The Park is managed by the South African Parks Board, SANParks, and offers a variety of accommodation options. Two Camps, Natures Valley and Storms River Rest Camps can be found in the Tsitsikamma section, one in the Wilderness section namely, Wilderness Ebb-and-Flow Camp and one in the Knysna lake section, Tree Top Chalets.
Recommended best time to visit – September to May
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 12˚C and 28˚C
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 8˚C and 21˚C
Commercial Airlines offer flights into Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province and George Airports, Western Province, the closest Airports to this region. The N2 from both the East and West will lead you into the Garden Route and car hire facilities are located at both Airports.
May – Elvis / Rock-n-Roll Weekend: Held at Marilyn’s 60’s Diner in the pretty little Village of Storms River.
July – Knysana Oyster Festival: One of the most popular events in the Western Cape with Oyster catching competitions and other sports events.
August – Storms River Traverse: A 3-day bike ride through mountains, plantations and coastline alongside the Storms River Village
December – Wilderness Beach Festival: A fundraiser hosted by the Wilderness Sea Rescue, this event is filled with fun sports and beach related activities.
Approximately 20 000 years ago the San people first arrived in the area. The Khoi followed about 1 500 to 2 000 BC. In the 17th Century the first Europeans arrived and this saw the destruction of the San and Khoi peoples’ cultural and economic structure.
The first Europeans were hunters and made their livelihood from the ivory. In the 19th Century more settlers arrived, Woodcutters who exploited the wood from the lush forest areas.
The Tsistikamma national Park was proclaimed first, in 1964. The Knysna Lake Area and Wilderness National Park followed in 1985 in order to protect the natural beauty of these surroundings.
Inside Garden Route National Park
Knysna Lakes Section
Knysna Lakes Section in the Western Cape of South Africa forms the middle of the Garden Route National Park, linking the Tsitsikamma and Wilderness areas together. Situated about 70 km from George it is surrounded by picturesque forests and…More
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