The Garden Route is one of South Africa’s most enticing destinations to explore, thanks to its beautiful coastline, temperate climate, charming coastal towns and broad range of accommodation to choose from.

Along the Garden Route you can do everything from sample fresh oysters to interact with elephants – it’s a playground for local and international visitors alike, especially in the summer months.

Here are some of our favourite attractions not to be missed on a trip up the Garden Route.

things to do in the garden route

Visit the penguins at Stony Point

Boulders Beach and Robben Island aren’t the only places to see African penguins. Stony Point is home to a thriving colony and you only have to take a slight detour after Somerset West on your way up the Garden Route.

See the whales in Hermanus

Considered the best land-based whale watching destination in the world, Hermanus is a must-stop for intrepid adventurers along the Garden Route.

Take a stroll along the famous Cliff Path to spot whales or book a boat-based tour. Whale watching by boat is carefully controlled in Hermanus to ensure the whales and their calves are never stressed or disturbed.

Marvel at the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn

The Cango Caves are Africa’s most-visited cave system, and the sights range from the impressive Botha’s Hall to narrow inlets known as the Devil’s Chimney and the Letter Box that you can squeeze your way through.

Play Golf at your choice of Championship Courses

Fancourt in George might be the stand out golfing destination along the Garden Route (although this is up for debate amongst locals). Fancourt has several courses, two designed by Gary Player as well as a links course. Knysna and Plett are also home to some excellent courses including Simola, Pezula and Goose Valley.

Take a cruise around the Knysna Heads

A ‘must’ when visiting Knysna. A cruise around the Knysna heads takes you out into the lagoon and into Featherbed Nature Reserve to two massive outcrops of rock guarding the inlet to the Knysna Lagoon. You can potentially see whales, dolphins and plenty of birdlife while sipping on a sundowner.

Walk with elephants at Knysna Elephant Park

One of the Garden Route’s most popular attractions, at Knysna Elephant Park you can walk with elephants and gain a new perspective of their sheer size, strength and intelligence.

Jump the world’s highest bungee at Bloukrans

The Garden Route boasts one of the highest bungee jumps in the world. At a pulse-raising 216 metres (708 feet), this jump is not for the faint of heart. If you prefer to remain a spectator, you can grab a bite to eat and watch others take the leap from the comfort of the cafe.

Swing Bring at Storms River Mouth

The Storms River marks the official end of the Garden Route. Take a walk across the magnificent suspension bridge to mark the end of your journey.

Big 5 Safari at Addo Elephant Park

Although not technically part of the Garden Route, if you’ve come this far – it’s worth visiting the area’s largest national park, Addo. Here you can see all of the Big 5 – as well as southern right whales and great white sharks along the coastline.

Best Garden Route Accommodation

The Garden Route offers some of the best luxury hotels, quaint B&Bs and quirky cottages to choose from. Among some of the finest, The Turbine Hotel & Spa is conveniently located on Thesen Island in Knysna, offering a perfect base from which to explore the attractions of the Garden Route.

We offer a selection of regularly updated accommodation specials to help you make the most of your time in Knysna, as well as weekly food and drinks specials on offer at the restaurants in our hotel.

Find our special offers here and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly reservations team via email at

Alternatively make use of our convenient online booking engine here. We look forward to welcoming you to Knysna in the near future.



Image credits:
Southern Right Charters
Sikeleli African Safaris

Ben Haeringer
Bradclin Photography
Pezula Golf Course
Cango Caves 


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