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Garden Route

Nature & Adventure

Our most recommended Garden Route Nature & Adventure

Hermanus: Boat Based Whale Watching Experience

1. Hermanus: Boat Based Whale Watching Experience

Board your vessel for the day and receive a safety briefing before starting your whale watching adventure. In good weather conditions travellers will be allowed on the top-deck before departure for great unobstructed views, otherwise they will be allowed on top only after the whales have been found. Travel out onto the ocean taking in great views as you go.  Once the whales have been spotted, the vessel is allowed to move closer to the whales where it stops and the engines disengage is to prevent the whales from being injured by the propellers. Experience for yourself the astonishment of being so close to these majestic creatures.  As the whales are curious creatures, they might move up to the vessel for some 'people watching'. See a variety of other marine wildife such as dolphins and seals as you coast along the water. As you travel through the day and spot these beautiful creatures learn more about them from your crew, before they take you back to land after a once in a lifetime experience. 

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve: 3-Hour Guided Game Drive

2. 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.

Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

3. Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

Launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders. Enter a nature reserve with the highest concentration of whales in South Africa. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and sharks. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, False killer whales and enchanting African penguins. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

Garden Route National Park: Tsitsikamma Zipline Canopy Tour

4. 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.

Plettenberg Bay: Whale Watching Boat Cruise

5. Plettenberg Bay: Whale Watching Boat Cruise

Start your 2-hour adventure with an adrenaline beach launch into the sea on a 400 horsepower speedboat. The purpose-built cat style boat has been designed to conquer the ocean without compromising on safety or comfort. Knowledgeable guides and skippers will treat you to close encounters with some of the whales that visit the shores during the months of June to November. You could be graced with sightings of the Southern Right Whale in the Bay or Humpback Whales travelling along the coastline. You may experience the joy of seeing them breach or even view a mother and calf as they enjoy the safety the bay offers. Take a closer look at a vast seal colony and the many pelagic and coastal birds. Other possible sightings include sharks, big fish, penguins, and octopus in their natural habitat.

From Cape Town: 2-Day Safari at Garden Route Game Lodge

6. From Cape Town: 2-Day Safari at Garden Route Game Lodge

Get the chance to see lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and more on a 2-day safari tour from Cape Town. Enjoy 2 game drives and an overnight stay with included dinner and breakfast. On the first day, depart Cape Town and drive along the scenic coastal road to Cape Agulhas via Hermanus, the whale watching capital of the world. Make a stop at the southernmost tip of Africa to admire the beautiful lighthouse. Continue on to Garden Route Game Lodge. Here, embark on a sunset safari in an open-air vehicle. Observe a variety of native animals, including elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, and more. After the safari, settle in for a three-course dinner. Spend the night in one of the beautiful 4-star wooden chalets and admire the clear skies over the lodge. In the morning, head out for another game drive to see some of the animals you might have missed the evening before. After your drive, tuck into breakfast. Make your way back to Cape Town in the evening.

Plettenberg Bay: Canyoning Trip

7. 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.

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.

Plettenberg Bay: Seal Colony Viewing Excursion

9. Plettenberg Bay: Seal Colony Viewing Excursion

Head out to Robberg Marine Protected Area to view a colony of 6,000 Cape fur seals. Meet at the office on Hopwood street to fill out the necessary paperwork before making your way to the boat. Board the Robberg Express at Central Beach and head out through the surf to the seal colony. On the way, take in beautiful views of the coast’s sandy beaches and rocky platforms.   Experienced guides on board will be able to answer all your questions and take great pictures of your experience. Observe these wild animals lazing in the sun, swimming, and playing with each other — they may even come up to the boat to say hello.

Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

10. 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. Enjoy a night in luxury accommodation at the Garden Route Game Lodge (guesthouse option). 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.  

Frequently asked questions about Garden Route Nature & Adventure

What are other things to do than Nature & Adventure that are worth visiting in Garden Route?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Garden Route

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What people are saying about Garden Route

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 550 reviews

Best naturalist and gamedrive ever in the name is Selas. Very knowledgeable, respectful and good mannerd. He was spoiling us with good coffee and hot chocolate. Treated us with warm water bottle and ponjo. Very good value for money and saw 4 if the big 5.

This is a must do activity whilst you’re in plett! Not only was the canyon beautiful but Darren and Steph were amazing guides and such good fun, they pushed us out of our comfort zone. We had a great day and couldn’t recommend it enough!

Brilliant day and truly humbling to see the whales close up. Everyone at Ivanhoe was great and their passion rubbed off on us all.

Peter our Guide was superb. Really great with our grandchildren. Simply excellent

The game drive was excellent the guide was sooo knowledgeable, Marlon Brandon !!