The Garden Route or Game Route is a relatively narrow stretch of road that is located in the Eastern Cape, at the tip of the Great Karoo, and follows a winding course north. The route follows the range of hills that form the Garden Route, and is approximately 2 kilometers wide. A unique feature of the Garden Route is that it follows the shortest road in South Africa: an overland track that leads from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay. This overland track has provided a safe route for animals, wild fires and people wanting to experience the local vegetation for centuries.
The Garden Route is currently (2008) served by the N2 freeway, and has become a popular route for visitors from the Western Cape, and visitors and locals alike take the Garden Route in their cars, campervans or on foot. If you want to experience thegalore of South African scenic beauty, you should reserve some time early in the year, as the routes gets crunched in the winter, and even less in the summer.
To the north of the Garden Route, known locally as the ‘Garden Route’, is the influence of the Danish culture. Farmers in this area exchange their homemade beverages such as k interceptor with a glass of wine from the local wine estate. The wine estates have a tavern or restaurant, and during the summer months a Cascade beer festival is held every Saturday. The number of farmers markets and shops accessible at this location is fantastic, and it is a central point for the community. The Garden Route is easily accessible from Knysna, and if you are coming from Plettenberg Bay or Hermanus, it is a one hour drive north.
During the winter months, the Garden Route is the place to be on a Sunday afternoon market, with colourful fruit and vegetable stalls and the bright blue sky reflected from the Mini Euro put up on the roadside. In the warm afternoon the stalls are filled with fresh and locally made food, and with a fresh sky, locals and tourists sip on a cold cosmo. The Winter Solstice is celebrated in the area at a special location north of the Rainbow Bridge, and on New Years day, a parade begins from there, winding through the streets to be held in the late afternoon, the early afternoon or evening.
The area is well known for its sunny and warm climate, and famous for a factor that has to be experienced by one, to really experience the area. The Garden Route’s weather is quirky, and tricky to describe. The seasons are interesting, and there is almost the sensation of two seasons. Temperatures range from -4 degrees in winter to 32 degrees in summer.
The area is small, but very beautiful and once you have visited, it’s easy to see why! The area has a unique beauty and charm that is all its own. Local wildlife abounds, from ostrichs and anteaters to bunnies and noisy fish. The area has seen a rise in popularity as a destination of accommodation in recent years, with the added bonus of stunning scenery and superb viewpoints.
To the north of the Garden Route, a land bridge leads to the Shangaan Hills and a spectacular site easily accessible by road from anywhere in the area. accessible by helicopter, and only a few kilometers away from Knysna, makes the trip memorable. Once you’ve been here you won’t look back, but you may Gorge in wonder at the huge sand dunes, stark cliffs and wonderful cloud forest below!
The famous AfricanAdventure theme park is less than a 40 minute drive away, offering a great day out for families with the family. If you are an adventure fan, get out and about to enjoy the outdoors and a campfire under the stars, around a campfire in the dunes. Enjoying a spot- meal in a campfire, with the family around you creates memories that will last a lifetime.
Knysna, the Garden Route’s commercial centre, has much to offer the holiday maker. Here you will find the best of local cuisine and stunning waste management facilities.
The nearby town of Plettenberg is known for itsurnedearth poolsand stunning beachesand is a stone’s throw fromKnysna.
In contrast to the commercialisation of the commercial centres, you will find much more about Knysna. Theoutdoor pursuit market is growing strong and people looking for that perfect meal at the local bush dinner areriving in to local restaurants. Theatta morning is the most popular, attracting a stream of people from variousareas searching for the perfect cup of tea.
A variety of accommodation is available inKnysna, with the Fransie Pienaar Camp offering luxury accommodation and superb service, and theinforest lodge is ideal for families or groups with a loved one.