1. Brenton Blue Butterfly Nature Reserve

Brenton Blue female butterfly

The Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve is situated in Brenton On Sea in the Western Cape, South Africa. Just outside Knysna along the heart of the Garden Route, the little village of Brenton On Sea is home to a very unique reserve, unique in the sense that it came into being solely for the purpose of preserving one of the rarest butterflies in the world, the Brenton Blue Butterfly. The Reserve is marked by a single signpost with knee-high poles indicating the boundary of the reserve. The site is approximately 2 hectares and came into being as a reserve in 1998 and declared a Special Nature Reserve on the 4th July 2003. The Brenton Blue shares its home with a large number of other…

2. Brenton-on-Sea

Brenton-on-Sea's beautiful beach

Brenton-on-Sea in the Western Cape of South Africa, lies just on the other side of Knysna’s Western Head, 16 km from Knysna and approximately 60 km from George. This little, quiet and serene town offers the tourist clifftops covered in fynbos with ample whale and dolphin watching opportunities in season. It is virtually surrounded by the Goukamma Nature Reserve and offers hiking trails for those feeling more energetic. Paragliding is a popular pastime and Brenton on Lake provides a jetty and slipway for boats and canoes. The beach is safe and very popular for sunbathing and swimming and was voted one of the top-twenty beaches in South Africa.Enjoy a slow walk to Buffels Bay for a…

3. Featherbed Nature Reserve

The Featherbed Nature Reserve is situated in Knysna in the Western Cape, South Africa. The reserve is a unique, privately owned reserve that has also been declared a Natural Heritage site. It is located on the Western Head of the famous Knysna landmark known as “The Heads”. The reserve is only accessible by ferry and many visitors make a day of it with a four hour long tour which includes a trip across the lagoon, a drive and walk through the reserve and a lunch under Milkwood Trees before heading back across the lagoon. Shorter trips are available, but visitor numbers are restricted to ensure the maintenance of the reserve and trips are only allowed with a reserve guide. Visitors to the reserve may even spot the beautiful, but elusive, Knysna Loerie or the Blue Duiker, one of…

4. George

Police in George

George is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa. Located at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, George finds itself as a perfect stopover from which to explore the Garden Route. It has reformed itself from an industrial town to that of a tourist hotspot and is often referred to as the “Golf Capital of the Garden Route”, not surprising as it is home to two of the Top Ten golf course in the country, plus many more appealing courses throughout the area. It lies in close proximity to other popular tourist towns such as Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna. George is a place of exquisite natural beauty, surrounded by mountains, forests, lakes and the ocean on your doorstep.…

5. Goukamma Nature Reserve

The Goukamma Nature Reserve is situated between Sedgefield and Knysna in the Western Cape, South Africa. The Reserve is approximately 2 500 hectares which includes a 14 km coastline making it not only a nature reserve, but also a marine reserve. The coastline extends from Buffalo Bay to just outside Sedgefield and 1 nautical mile out to sea. The Reserve is fairly unknown, despite being on the popular Garden Route, making it the ideal hideaway holiday destination. The area is rich in coastal fynbos and coastal forest which includes Milkwood, Candlewood and Yellowwood Trees, while the extensive dune field boasts some of the highest vegetated dunes in the country. The vegetation is home to Vervet Monkeys, Bushbuck, Grysbok, Bushpig, Porcupine, Mongoose and…

6. Groot Brakrivier

Groot Brakrivier is predominantly a holiday destination with its beaches and lagoon being the main attraction. Two 'brak' ('brackish') rivers, the Klein-Brak and the Groot-Brak, reach the sea at Mossel Bay and both have holiday resorts on their lower reaches. Groot-Brakrivier has a lagoon at its mouth and a cluster of bungalows built on an islet. The island residential area is still linked to the mainland by its original, single lane bridge. The town was founded by the Searle Family in 1859 and the footwear and timber industry they established there still thrives. Other attractions include a local history museum, historic buildings built between 1852 and the mid 1930s, the Wolwedans Dam and a restored power staion dating back to the early 1900's. The 4-star Botlierskop Private Game…

7. Herolds Bay

Herolds Bay lies 15 km West of George and has always held an allure for holiday makers with its beautiful and secluded bay, making this a favourite destination for those looking for a complete break and a chance to unwind. The small village of around 100 houses is situated on a ridge overlooking the bay with lots of lovely trees. Dolphins and whales can be spotted while hiking along one of the coastal walks amidst the fynbos and chatter of birdlife making it also a popular spot for birders and nature-lovers The wide stretch of sheltered beach makes it an ideal spot for surfing and fishing and there is a popular seawater swimming pool. Musselcrackers are prolific in the bay. Herold’s Bay was named after the first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, Tobias Herold, from the town…

8. Keurboomstrand

Keurboomstrand in the Western Cape of South Africa, is a resort town 12.5 Km from Plettenberg Bay.From the beach you have a spectacular view of the Robberg Peninsula and Nature Reserve. The area is popular for swimming, fishing and hiking. The Keurbooms River meets with the Bitou River to form a Lagoon with its own island. This lagoon is popular with holiday makers for water-skiing and boat cruises. Nearby is the Matjies River Cave where late Stone Age relics have been found. The upper reaches of the Keurbooms River are roofed with trees, notably at Whiskey Creek.Keurboomstrand is perfectly situated on the Garden Route for you to explore many attractions in the surrounding area.Places to VisitThings to do and see: Keurbooms River Nature ReserveMatjies River CaveKeurbooms River FerryThyme…

9. Knysna

Knysna Heads

Knysna is situated in Western Cape, South Africa. The town surrounds the extensive Lagoon of the same name and can be found along the famous Garden Route. Knysna boasts breathtaking natural scenery complete with golden beaches, tranquil lakes, indigenous forests and of course the lagoon. The town is most famous for its’ Oyster Festival and the Knysna Heads, a striking geological feature made up of huge cliffs, flanking the treacherous waters at the entry point into the lagoon. From the eastern head there is a lookout with spectacular views of the Lagoon, Knysna and Leisure Isle, while the western head is a privately owned nature known as Featherbed Nature Reserve. The Lagoon is a…

10. Mossel Bay

St Blaize Terrace 1909

Mossel Bay is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa. Set against the backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains, Mossel Bay is a bustling holiday town and port. It is the obvious stopover when visiting the Garden Route as it is exactly halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, 400 km in each direction. Second only to Hawaii, Mossel Bay is known for having the mildest all-year climate in the world and so makes the town an ideal holiday destination in both summer and winter. Mossel Bay boasts 60 km of sandy white beaches, warm Indian Ocean waters, hiking trails and water sports is just considered a way of life here offering surfers an experience to rival that of Jefferys Bay. It is…

11. Nature's Valley

Kayaking in Nature's Valley

Place of peace and serenity Nature’s Valley is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa. This small undiscovered village is possibly one of the most beautiful parts of the famous Garden Route coastline. Only 32 km from Plettenberg Bay it forms part of the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park, the only residential area in the country to be within the borders of a National Park. Its’ beach is the final pit stop of the popular Otter trail, one of South Africa’s flagship hikes. The village was well named as it is encircled by the magnificent Tsitsikamma National Park and is within walking distance of pristine beaches, tranquil lagoons…

12. Pledge Nature Reserve

The Pledge Nature Reserve is situated in Knysna in the Western Cape, South Africa. It is hard to believe that this 10 hectare local nature reserve was once a dumping site for builders’ rubble and refuse. It is now registered as a non-profit organization after being rescued by a group of people who cleared it of alien species and declared it a reserve. It is a fairly unknown reserve therefore offering peace and tranquility to visitors, along with over 90 species of birds as well as grysbok, mongoose, porcupine and spotted genet. The reserve is made of fynbos, wetland and forest filled with small ponds, streams and and approximately 250 species of indigenous plants creating an exceptional beauty. Pathways and benches provide peaceful retreats throughout the reserve. Various trails are…

13. Plettenberg Bay

Central (Main) Beach in Plett

The place to be or be seen Plettenberg Bay can be found on the N2 between Storms River Village and Knysna on the Garden Route, 240 km from Port Elizabeth and 520 km from Cape Town.  It is the place to be or be seen and was voted the most exclusive town in South Africa. This beautiful and popular coastal holiday village has many sandy, safe beaches, a lagoon and a river mouth, and is backed by mountain ranges and the prominent Cape Seal, at the end of a promontory known as Robberg or 'mountain of seals’. The coastline is magnificent and the long walks on the beach or refreshing dips in the ocean are a given, but don’t forget to look out for the distinctive flower-shaped Pansy Sea…

14. Rheenendal

The beautiful Rheenendal country district, ten kilometres west of Knysna is home to many prominent artists and crafters. Spend some time exploring all the attractions along the Rheenendal Ramble, where you will come across ceramicists, painters, woodcarvers, bowl turners, screen printers, plant nurseries, tea gardens and restaurants. The Rheenendal water-mill was planned in 1864 by Frederick Jacobus van Eeden. In the same year it was granted water rights and building commenced in 1870. Parts for the mill had to be brought from Europe and the mill started its water-powered grain-milling operation in 1880. The mill continued to produce flour until 1937. Between 1937 and 1969 the mill served as a sub-station for generating electricity, a home for farm labourers and even a fodder store. In…

15. Seal Island Mossel Bay

Seal Island is home to about 3000 Cape Fur Seals, the largest of the Fur Seal species. Bulls can grow up to 2.5 m in length and can weigh between 200 and 350 Kg. The cows are much smaller, approximately 1.5 m and 40 - 60 kg. The seals have small, somewhat comical, round ears and are also referred to as eared seals. They are fairly agile on land and climb rocks surprisingly well. A unique way to meet these clown-like residents of Seal Island is to take a boat trip out to the Island. The boats leave from the Mossel Bay harbor, on the hour every hour, weather permitting. On leaving the harbor passengers can admire the surrounding bay and learn about upcoming sights from their guides’ commentary. On the trip out to the Island, keep an eye out for dolphins and sharks. The Island is…

16. Sedgefield

Sedgefield beautiful beach

The Tortoise sets the pace Sedgefield is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa. Sedgefield, the secret gem of the popular Garden Route, is Africa’s first ‘Slow Town” affiliated to the founding organization, Italy’s Cittaslow. Evolving from the new concept, “conservation without boundaries”, the quaint town now falls within the Garden Route National Park. It is also a stone’s throw from other coastal towns along the Garden Route such as Knysna, Wilderness and George offering any holiday maker an abundance of activities. In Sedgefield, visitors cannot help but, slow down to the speed of nature. Laze on the long stretches of golden beach, picnic next to the lagoon,…

17. Stormsrivier

Paul Sauer (Storms River) Bridge

Storms River Village is situated in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. At the foot of the breathtakingly beautiful Tsitsikamma Mountain Range, along the scenic Garden Route, lies the quaint little village of Storms River. The village provides the perfect holiday destination for both guests, those looking for a peaceful and tranquil hideaway or for those thrill seekers looking for adventure. The Storms River is a key attraction of the area. It is a scenic and powerful river that flows through the Tsitsikamma Mountain Range and into the Indian Ocean, providing much entertainment to visitors in the area from scenic attractions, tubing, kayaking, snorkeling and hiking. Other key…

18. The Crags

The Mill Mohair & Decor Centre

A Destination with a Difference! The Crags is such a 'happening' place; a destination with a difference. It is bang in the middle of the Garden Route embraced by the popular coastal town of Plettenberg Bay and the quaint village of Nature’s Valley. There are 22 activities and 16 accommodation establishments packed into a 30km radius! Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary, Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, The Elephant Sanctuary, Kurland Polo, Ingwe Forest Adventures, the Big Three (whales, dolphins, seals) at Ocean Blue Adventures and the delightful boat trips up the Keurbooms River at the Plett Angling Club. All the shopping you can do at Langa Lapu, Women on the Move (a…

19. Victoria Bay

wide view from the back

Victoria Bay is one of the smallest, most secluded and most beautiful bays on the Garden Route in the Western Cape. It is 3 km off the N2, on the way to Wilderness at the start of the Kaaimans River pass, on the George side. The Bay is surrounded by cliffs and the resort consists of a number of cottages and accommodation establishments lining the water front. The gentle sloping beach makes for safe bathing and the big, long, waves make it a surfers’ paradise.

20. Wilderness

Romantic seaside resort

Wilderness, in the Western Cape of South Africa, is situated a short distance outside the city of George, down the Kaaimans River Pass on the N2 Highway. Honeymooners have long favoured Wilderness, a romantic seaside resort of international reputation. It is known for its long sandy white beaches, approx. 8 km long, and many look out points for whale and dolphin watching. It is surrounded by mountains, forests, rivers and lagoons – a watersports enthusiasts dream destination. Wilderness is also a perfect holiday venue for birdwatchers as many types of water birds breed here. Other types of recreational activities include hiking, ferry cruises, paragliding, horse riding and mountain…

21. Wittedrift

Wittedrif is a small village in the Eden District Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is a semi-rural village 5.5 km from the N2 road and 30km from Knysna.