Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.
Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.
Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.
Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.
Below is a list of restaurants and other food and beverage outlets on this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.
Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.
The Garden Route is South Africa's Garden of Eden. It is a combination of long, deserted beaches, tranquil lagoons, lush green forests and mountain ranges. It stretches along 227km from the Slang River near Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and the Storms River.
This narrow temperate zone is wedged between the mountains and the sea and here nature has created a spectacular garden. The route covers the south-western reaches of South Africa’s high interior plateau the Great Karoo. This stark region takes its name from the Khoi word meaning 'land of great thirst'.
South Africa is known to be a land of great contrasts and the Mothers of Creation Experience Route, which parallels the Garden Route, showcases some of these contrasts: the lush coastal region and the stark Karoo; the despair of poverty and unemployment and the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of the local people; and even the difference of starting off a mere tourist to become a welcome guest in the community.
Reasons to visit:
Between the town of George and the Tsitsikamma forests, the ruggedly beautiful Outeniqua and Langkloof mountains drop down from the interior plateau to the coastal plain. The mountains capture the rain clouds that rise from the sea and in turn fill the many streams and rivers, providing life-giving water to large tracts of forest. The name Outeniqua comes from the Khoi word meaning ‘People with Honey’, as the Khoi people collected honey from bees feeding on the region's wild flowers. The flowers of the Outeniqua Mountains form part of the fynbos, which makes up 80% of the Cape floral kingdom.
Some of South Africa’s largest trees are found in the forests dotted throughout the route, including the massive Outeniqua Yellowwoods (Podocarpus) which reach heights of up to 50m (a tree of this size would probably be over 800 years old with a trunk at least 3m in diameter). In both the Tsitsikamma and Knysna forests pathways have been cut through the forests to allow visitors to see some of these majestic “‘Big Trees”. Sadly, the great forests of indigenous hardwood trees have lost much of their former splendour as a result of ruthless exploitation during the 18th and 19th centuries. Nevertheless, the Garden Route’s 65 000 hectares of surviving natural forest makes up the largest indigenous forest reserve in South Africa.
For centuries, herds of elephant roamed the plains and wetlands of the Southern Cape. By the beginning of the 20th century however, they had all but lost access to the coastal plain as a result of increasing human settlements. The elephants sought sanctuary in the depths of the Knysna forests, even though these woodlands are not the most ideal of habitats for the giants.
Within this region are eight communities fighting to keep their land. Their struggle has given rise to the community-based Sustainable Women's Tourist Route (The Mothers of Creation Route). On this route tourists have the opportunity to meet local people while directly supporting the community to create a sustainable economic future. Other communities have also joined the route, enlarging and adding value.
What to expect when visiting the communities and enjoying a homestay:
This is a different experience. Leave behind running water, electricity, flushing toilets and preconceived ideas. Choose the excitement of the unknown and the opportunity to share the reality of other people’s lives.
As far as possible, directions are supplied for most communities and local establishments. However, once you arrive in the community, locals can usually give you further directions. As the communities are generally quite a distance from established towns, your hosts need at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare for your stay.
This is not a route for the hurried or impatient traveller. It is a route to be cherished as it engulfs an area of incredible beauty and incredible people. The local people want to welcome visitors into their communities, their homes and their lives. You are invited to enjoy every aspect of the scenery, the culture and the people. Visitors will be treated to exceptional hospitality and warmth.
Klein Karoo Arts Festival (KKNK) is an Afrikaans arts and culture festival in the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. Ten years after the first festival, the KKNK starts its second decade with a shift of emphasis to the classical, without changing its winning recipe drastically.
Knysna Oyster Festival
When: 2016 dates TBC
A fun filled event including oyster braais, oyster tasting, oyster-eating competitions and other molluscular activities; live entertainment and lots of sporting events - cycling, running, canoeing, downhill racing and sailing.
When: 2016 Dates TBC
Where: Redberry Farm, Geelhoutboom, George
Contact Person: Fiona Villiers
Tel: +27 44 870 7123
A wide variety of stallholders exhibiting good food, local wines and cheeses, fresh veggies, herbs and arts and crafts. Plenty of entertainment to keep both young and old busy from the beer tent, to the exciting miniature steam train, the 'strawberry express' and 'bubble balls' on the dam.
An Afrikaans arts and culture festival in the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn.
For more information about this route, fill out the form below.
A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.
The Garden Route is South Africa’s Garden of Eden, a combination of long, deserted beaches and tranquil lagoons, lush green forests and mountain ranges. Tourists can enjoy the abundant natural resources and meet local people while directly supporting the poorer communities and contributing to their sustainable future.Enquire Now
+27 44 382 5510
+27 79 956 5056
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