Things to do in
Garden Route

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Our most recommended things to do in Garden Route

Garden Route National Park: Tsitsikamma Zipline Canopy Tour

1. Garden Route National Park: Tsitsikamma Zipline Canopy Tour

This is a unique eco-wilderness adventure that takes place in the magnificent Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest. Most of the platforms are located in giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees. The scenery and bird life is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology during the 2.5 to 3 hours. The concept of guiding people through the upper canopy of a rainforest originated in Costa Rica, where adventurous biologists devised new methods for accessing the forest canopy in order to conduct research on the undiscovered canopy ecosystem. The idea soon developed into a breathtaking form of eco-tourism which allowed people to enter and experience a previously inaccessible natural environment. The tour begins with a detailed safety briefing followed by a kitting up session where full body harness, pulleys, and climbing equipment is issued and checked. A short drive into the Tsitsikamma forest and it is time to monkey around. From the start on the launch platform, a new world unfolds as one gently glides on a steel cable to the first tree platform. All groups are escorted through the forest canopy by a lead guide and a follow guide to ensure your safety as you slide from tree to tree. The platforms are built high up in the giant Outeniqua Yellowwoods and provide an unbelievable view of this enchanting new world, any fear of heights is soon lost as you gather in your new surroundings.

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2-Day Safari Experience at Garden Route Game Lodge

2. 2-Day Safari Experience at Garden Route Game Lodge

On the first day, you will depart Cape Town and drive along the scenic coastal road through to Cape Agulhas via Hermanus, the whale watching capital of the world. Visit the southernmost tip of Africa and its beautiful lighthouse before heading on to the Garden Route Game Lodge.  At the lodge, enjoy a Big 5 sunset safari on an open-air vehicle, followed by a huge all-inclusive buffet dinner. Stay in beautiful 4-star wooden chalets under the clear African skies with excellent views of the stars. The next day, join the early morning game drive to see some of the animals you might have missed the evening before. Breakfast follows, and after you’ll visit the local reptile park. Finally, you'll make your way back to Cape Town for arrival around 7:00 PM.

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Botlierskop Private Game Reserve: 3-Hour Guided Game Drive

3. Botlierskop Private Game Reserve: 3-Hour Guided Game Drive

Take a 3-hour guided game drive at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, and experience close encounters with rhinos, lions, giraffes, buffaloes and more. Situated in spectacular mountains near Mossel Bay, the reserve boasts a great diversity of habitats and 26 different species of wildlife.  The 4,200 hectare reserve is a paradise for bird watchers, with more than 200 species to be seen. In an open game viewing vehicle, your guide will take you to the best locations to spot lions, zebras, elephants, and other animals. After the game drive, spend some time enjoying the facilities, including a restaurant and an open-air swimming pool.

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Plettenberg Bay: Guided Sea Kayak Tour

4. Plettenberg Bay: Guided Sea Kayak Tour

After a thorough briefing on kayaking techniques and safety, paddle from Central Beach and back. The direction will be dependant on winds, swells and paddling abilities. The knowledgeable guide will explain the wonders of the ocean, as you take in the views of the Tsitsikamma mountains and the Robberg Nature Reserve. Enjoy sightings of Cape fur seals, bottlenose and humpback dolphins, whales (July – October), cormorants, and other sea birds and marine mammals. Whatever time of the year, this is an experience not to be missed by beginners and experienced kayakers alike.

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Plettenberg Bay: Swim with Seals

5. Plettenberg Bay: Swim with Seals

Go swimming with seals in Plettenberg Bay, a fun and playful experience for all involved. Meet at the local office to take care of the paperwork and pick up all your equipment. Your group will depart by boat from Central Beach aboard the Robberg Express for an exciting beach launch. Head towards Robberg Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area, home to approximately 6000 Cape fur seals.   Accompanied by a qualified divemaster, hop into the water and enjoy 30 minutes of amazing animal interaction among bundles of playful, inquisitive fur seals. Have the ultimate wild animal encounter in their natural environment and without altering their natural behaviours.

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Plettenberg Bay: Canyoning Trip

6. Plettenberg Bay: Canyoning Trip

Check in at the base camp to pick up your wetsuits, harnesses, life jackets and helmets. Once the group is ready, leave base camp for a short drive to the start of your canyon adventure. First, start your ropes course with a gentle 25-meter abseil into the canyon. Then, kick off with your first jump into the river followed by a short swim. Next, if you choose, try your hand at some cliff jumping. For this part of the activity, the highest jump is around of about 7 meters, and lowest 1 meter above the water level, so there are many options if your nerves are getting the better of you. Continue swimming and hiking down the river to The Rush, a waterfall abseil, and seasonally a controlled zip-line over the waterfall. Carry on swimming and hiking down the river until your next adventure, a 55-meter zip-line over a waterfall and into the river below. On completion of the trip, you will be collected from the pick-up point and transported back to the base camp for a nice hot shower, and to collect your pictures of the canyon trip.

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Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

7. Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

Get back to nature on a 5-day tour of the beautiful Garden Route and look for wildlife in nature reserves including Tsitsikamma National Park and Addo Elephant Park. Day 1: (D) Depart Cape Town and head towards Oudtshoorn in the semi-desert of Little Karoo with a stop at Ronnie’s sex shop for a refreshing drink! Explore the magnificent Cango Caves and visit an ostrich farm, where you can try to ride one! Spend the night in Oudtshoorn and enjoy a delicious ostrich braai dinner. Day 2: (D) Cross the mountain range to reach the coast and famous Garden Route. Get panoramic views from the Map of Africa lookout before visiting the charming town of Knysna. Continue through Plettenberg Bay to spend the night at Storms River village. Day 3: (B, D) Get back to nature in Tsitsikamma National Park. Walk the coastal route to the hanging bridge over Storms River Mouth. Continue to Addo Elephant National Park to spot huge elephant herds, antelope species and more. Alternatively, go straight to the surfing capital of South Africa at Jeffrey’s Bay, where you will spend the night. Day 4: (B, D) Head back towards the Garden Route to brave the world's highest bungee at Bloukrans. Your accommodation is in Mossel Bay. On arrival, enjoy the Bay of Diamonds, so called for the sea that shines night and day. If you upgraded to the Garden Route Game Lodge (guesthouse option), you will enjoy a night in luxury accommodation. Go for a late afternoon safari drive to look for rhinos, lions, buffalo, cheetahs and antelopes. Day 5: (B) Take an early morning safari drive to look for animals when they are most active. Depart for Hermanus, where Southern Right whales have returned after almost 50 years of being near extinct. Arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon via the stunning False Bay coastline.  

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Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve: 2-Hour Game Drive

8. Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve: 2-Hour Game Drive

Arrive at the Safari Center at the Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve and embark on a magical 2-hour safari game drive through the reserve. Travel with a knowledgeable game ranger who will enthrall you with interesting facts about the wildlife and reserve. During the safari, try to spot 4 of Africa's 'Big 5', and other wildlife including elephants, buffalo, rhinos and leopards, different species of antelopes, birds, and more. At the end of the tour, return to the Safari Center where your tour will end.

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Oudtshoorn: 2-Hour Open Game Drive with Refreshments

9. Oudtshoorn: 2-Hour Open Game Drive with Refreshments

Make the most of your trip to Oudtshoorn with a visit to Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, located just 6 km outside of the city. With an experienced game ranger, enjoy a 2-hour bush safari around the private reserve to learn about and admire native African animals in their natural habitat. On the drive, see an array of African vegetation, flora, and fauna, and learn about the ecosystem of the reserve. The highlight of the ride is the chance to admire hippos, giraffes, elands, zebras, buffalo, springboks, and many more, up close. Your dedicated guide will ensure you see as many animals as possible, and tell you everything you need to know about these amazing creatures. Midway through the drive, enjoy a refreshment stop at one of the reserve's scenic lookout points. As you relax, admire incredible 360 degree views of the area as well as the breathtaking Swartberg Mountains.

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Plettenberg Bay: Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife

10. Plettenberg Bay: Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife

This ticket will give you access to one of 3 sanctuaries: Explore Monkeyland, the world’s first and largest free roaming primate sanctuary hosting 11 species and over 550 primates. With a 1-hour guided tour into the 12-hectare forest with a professional guide. In Birds of Eden, the world's largest single dome free flight aviary, discover over 200 species and nearly 3,500 birds. Go on a self-guided tour or go with a guide for no extra cost. The Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary is the first sanctuary of its kind, with enclosures built especially for the animal’s needs and personality, hosting apex cats and other predators and wildlife Animals. Go on a tour with a professional and trained guide into the sanctuary. Walk past the enclosures while the guide shares interesting facts of the animals you see.

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What people are saying about Garden Route

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 874 reviews

The experience was excellent. The guides were good and well experienced. The only issue was the photos they took since we aren't allowed to bring along our cameras. For R250 the fotos are horrible and weren't allowed to see them when we paid. We were told that they will be emailed only to find out they are horrible that's why we are not allowed to see them at the premises which sound like a scam.

A unique experience to get up and close with the animals. Amazing guide!

We had a great experience and it was safety first all the way.

Super. I enjoyed myself. The instructors where friendly.

It was absolutely incredible. Fun for the whole family