Here is our list of the Top 10, ‘must-do' activities and attractions when staying in the Garden Route National Park.
Started in 2005, Birds of Eden is located outside one of the Garden Route's most popular town Plettenberg Bay, on the N2. Home to over 3 000 birds from 220 different species; Birds of Eden is the World's first free flight bird sanctuary. A visit to the popular attraction will take visitors through the sanctuary which is situated in a gorge with a two hectare dome covering the entire indigenous forest within.
Visitors will be able to explore the forest, walk behind the waterfall and across the 128 metre bridge that hangs suspended in the clouds of spray, all the while interacting with and spotting a range of beautiful birds that are all free to fly where they please within the confines of the dome.
Located next-door to Birds of Eden, Monkeyland is the first primate sanctuary in the world where multiple species of primates are able to roam freely. An hour long guided tour will take visitors through an indigenous forest where more than 450 different primates roam. Guests can enjoy wandering through the forest while monkeys, gibbons, lemurs and others species all scurry about on the ground or swingthrough the trees above. This is a particularly popular activity for families with children.
There are a number of adventures to enjoy while visiting Storms River Mouth. Guests can book a canopy tour, racing through the trees suspended high about ground on the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours, or enjoy an informative guided tour through the magnificent forests while learning about the trees in the area and the woodcutters that once worked here. Read more about the flora of the region.
There are a number of excellent hikes and walks within the area and the rest camp located here is the official start to the well-known Otter Trail. Guests can also head out across the suspension bridge or up towards the beautiful waterfall. The beauty of the surroundings offers fantastic photographic opportunities and enthusiastic bird-watchers should also keep a look out for a number of different species including the KnysnaLoerie.
The Knysna area was once a dense forest where African Elephants roamed freely. Today, visitors to the area can enjoy a visit to the Knysna Elephant Park where they can have the opportunity to interact with these graceful giants, walking with them through the fields, feeding them or riding on their backs.
The Knysna Lagoon is known for producing delicious oysters and any food lover venturing to the area must not miss the opportunity to enjoy a plateful of this delicacy. The annual Knysna Oyster Festival occurs every July and is combined with popular Knysna Marathon and Cycle tour into a two week celebration of good food, good friends and good times. Guests to the area can enjoy a cruise out to the Knysna Heads to learn more about the lagoon and these tasty treats.
The Garden Route area is home to the highest bungee jump location in the World and offers a jump of 216m. Located 40 kilometres (24.8 miles) outside of Plettenberg Bay on the way to Storms River, visitors can choose to enjoy an exhilarating bungee in beautiful surroundings.
The Featherbed Nature Reserve is located on the western side of the Knysna Heads. Visitors can take a ferry boat out across the lagoon to the reserve and then enjoy a 4X4 ride up to the headland stopping along the way to take in the spectacular views. The tour ends with a delicious buffet meal at the restaurant under the Milkwood trees. This is a fantastic activity that the whole family will enjoy.
Visitors to the Garden Route area should not miss a stop at the Outeniqua Transport Museum in George. The museum is home to 13 locomotives, as well as a number of carefully restored old cars and other forms of transport. The Transport Museum is home to what was South Africa's last remaining scheduled steam train.
The Robberg Nature Reserve is located along the peninsula just 8 kilometres (4.96 miles) from Plettenberg Bay and is considered the most popular hiking spot in the area. Visitors can head out along the coast on one of three circular routes taking around 4 hours to complete. Beautiful views and wonderful natural scenery a wait as you step out to explore this magnificent piece of Africa. Some lucky hikers may even spot Whales or Seals playing in the surf as they hike along the shoreline.
The waters along the coastline of the Garden Route are known for being excellent locations for Whale and Dolphin watching. Spend some time watching the waves from land, or head out on an ocean safari where dedicated guides will accompany you out to see in search of these magnificent creatures of the sea.