Garden Route
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Garden Route Nature & Adventure

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.

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.

2-Day Safari Experience at Garden Route Game Lodge

3. 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 3-course 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 with breakfast to follow. Finally, you'll make your way back to Cape Town for arrival around 7:00 PM.

Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

4. 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.

Plettenberg Bay: Canyoning Trip

5. 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: Whale Watching Boat Cruise

6. 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.

Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve: 2-Hour Game Drive

7. 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: Fair Trade Accredited Dolphin & Marine Tour

8. Plettenberg Bay: Fair Trade Accredited Dolphin & Marine Tour

Arrive at the marina in Plettenberg bay where you will board the boat. Prior to departure, get equipped with life-jackets (and ponchos, if necessary) then listen to a short safety briefing. Once passengers have boarded their boat, begin the trip with an exciting beach launch through the surf. While the routes may vary, depending on weather, animal distribution and sea conditions, the typical trip runs as follows: First, head East past the bird sanctuary and make your way along Keurbooms Beach towards Arch Rock. Along this stretch,  encounter Bottlenose and the rare Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins, as well as some shark species. From Arch Rock, cross the bay where you might see pelagic seabirds which are normally found some 7km from the shore. Keep your eyes peeled for Bryde’s Whales as well as Common Dolphins. Having crossed to the point of Robberg Peninsula, venture out to the Wild side, occasionally seeing groups of whales and pods of dolphins. After this, cruise back along the inside of Robberg to see the unique geology from an unusual perspective. Also, observe the growing Cape Fur Seal Colony. At certain times of the year, it is also possible to see numerous Great White Sharks, which frequent the area. Finally, head back along Robberg Beach as you listen to a brief run-down on the history of the area. After passing the Beacon Island Hotel, built on the site of an original Whaling Station, conclude the tour with an exhilarating James Bond-style landing on Central Beach.

Wild Cat Experience 1-Hour Tour

9. Wild Cat Experience 1-Hour Tour

Join a guided 1-hour tour to get up close to the indigenous wild cats of South Africa, including servals, caracals, cheetahs, lions and leopards. Catch a glimpse of other animals such as meerkats, marabou storks, and many more. Enjoy this unique opportunity to see incredible wildlife, as you learn about conservation efforts in the region from your informative guide.  Follow your guide through the various habitats of the different cats as you listen to interesting facts about each species. See and photograph the wild cats at close range from a raised walkway. Your tour includes a visit to the penguin pool, where you'll discover more about marine conservation and wildlife rehabilitation as you watch these playful animals.

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

4.5 / 5

based on 550 reviews

The staff were all so friendly and called us several times before our trip to make sure we had not forgotten about our booking and that we made it on time for canyoning. They provided DRY wetsuits for us to wear and also gave us the option to rent shoes so we didn't get ours wet and muddy. I would definitely do this again and recommend the longer canyoning trip to anybody looking to do this.

Very long walk but excellent guide who made it seem easy. I certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to stretch their legs. Hope for a nice day as it makes all the difference. No animal life and very little bird life. It’s just a good hike in the forest.

We felt very comfortable and had an incredibly attentive and kind-hearted guide who was there to help us with any problems or questions. We had an incredible week and felt very well looked after. We would do it again and again.

Lots of impressions, great accommodation, good food, but unfortunately we often ate lunch quite late due to the long journey times

Loved it! And the crew were fantastic. A wonderful experience!