Garden Route
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Garden Route Outdoor Activities

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.

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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.

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Plettenberg Bay: Guided Sea Kayak Tour

3. Plettenberg Bay: Guided Sea Kayak Tour

After a thorough briefing on kayaking techniques and safety, paddle from Central Beach and back. The direction will be dependant on winds, swells and paddling abilities. The knowledgeable guide will explain the wonders of the ocean, as you take in the views of the Tsitsikamma mountains and the Robberg Nature Reserve. Enjoy sightings of Cape fur seals, bottlenose and humpback dolphins, whales (July – October), cormorants, and other sea birds and marine mammals. Whatever time of the year, this is an experience not to be missed by beginners and experienced kayakers alike.

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Plettenberg Bay: Swim with Seals

4. Plettenberg Bay: Swim with Seals

Go swimming with seals in Plettenberg Bay, a fun and playful experience for all involved. Meet at the local office to take care of the paperwork and pick up all your equipment. Your group will depart by boat from Central Beach aboard the Robberg Express for an exciting beach launch. Head towards Robberg Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area, home to approximately 6000 Cape fur seals.   Accompanied by a qualified divemaster, hop into the water and enjoy 30 minutes of amazing animal interaction among bundles of playful, inquisitive fur seals. Have the ultimate wild animal encounter in their natural environment and without altering their natural behaviours.

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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.

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Tsitsikamma Guided Hikes

6. Tsitsikamma Guided Hikes

Wander through the ancient Tsitsikamma forest as you travel back in time to when the forest was home to hunter gatherers and learn more about their daily existence beneath the canopy. As you hike beneath the treetops, discover how the forest lives and breathes to the sounds of birds like the Knysna Loerie and Green Hoophoes—you will be amazed. Hike the Tsitsikamma's indigenous forest and discover the secrets of the spectacular forest: choose your own adventure with a variety of routes to choose from. As you enter the forest you will encounter Hard Pear trees, Giant Yellow Woods and other interesting forest flora for an experience you'll never forget. The routes start at the Stormsriver Adventure Centre. The hikes are relatively easy and an average of 3 km/h can indicate the time needed to complete the various routes.

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From Cape Town/Stellenbosch: 3 Day Garden Route and Safari

7. From Cape Town/Stellenbosch: 3 Day Garden Route and Safari

Day 1: Oudtshoorn (Distance traveled: about 400 km) Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town and Stellenbosch areas. Set off along the famous Route 62, where you'll capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, vast Karoo plains, vineyards and orchards. Pop in at one of the many farm stalls along the way, stocked with locally crafted delights before arriving in Oudtshoorn, ostrich capital of the world. Delve deep underground to the magical Cango Caves’ limestone chambers, alive with drip formation stalactites and stalagmites and remnants of Khoikhoi paintings. Opt for the easy-going guided Heritage Tour to test the cave’s acoustics and gain insights about the dripstone evolution. By contrast, the Adventure Tour allows would-be contortionists to squeeze, twist and wiggle their way through limestone chimneys on a rather more daring underground route. You’ll spend the evening in Oudtshoorn at leisure. Either head to town to enjoy a top restaurant meal or join locals for an optional outdoor braai (similar to bbq) including South African favourites, such as ostrich kebabs, boerewors or potbrood. Overnight in Oudtshoorn - Choose between Budget Backpacker or ensuite Guest house packages to stay at: Backpackers Paradise or 3-Star Yamkela guest house B&B or 4-Star Buffelsdrift Lodge and 4-Star Surval Botigue Olive Farm. Day 2: Wilderness, Sedgefield (Distance traveled: about 450 km) As the dawn breaks in the dusty Klein Karoo, opt for a close encounter with Mother Nature and join rangers on an optional Elephant Bush Walk. Gentle giants, Jabari, Malaika and Bulelo made Buffelsdrift their home after their parents were poached in the north of South Africa. Join these three rescued elephants, as they walk to the nearby waterhole. Following in their footsteps and make memories you'll never forget.  Then, take to the water for a leisurely afternoon paddle along the reed-lined banks of the Touws River, deep in Wilderness National Park. Indigenous forest and campgrounds line the river. It’s not until you stop paddling and let the gentle current guide you, that the abundance of birdlife becomes apparent.  The adventure continues as you reach Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest commercial bridge bungy jump. The bungy bridge itself is fairly unassuming as you drive over it, but it’s pretty clear from the squeals and screams that this isn’t your average photo stop. Seemingly normal people hurtle face first down the 216 m drop only to spring back up on an elastic cord like a yoyo. This region is a playground for the outdoors and those who'd prefer to keep their feet on solid ground will visit the nearby forest in the Tsitsikamma area. Spend the evening soaking in the slow town way of life in Sedgefield. If you decide to stay overnight in the nearby Wilderness or Knysna areas, check out the rustic beach restaurant and feel the white sand between your toes as you sip on cocktails, or venture into town for a more intimate dinner. Overnight in Sedgefield - choose between: Afrovibe Backpackers, 3-Star Purple Heron guest house, 3-star Dune Beach House, 4-Star Dover On Sea guest house, or 4-star Beach Villa. If an overnight stay at Sedgefield is not possible, accommodation will be arranged in the Wilderness or Knysna areas. Day 3: Garden Route (Distance traveled: about 400 km) Start the day in the heart of the African bush. On your first stop of the day, spot some of Africa’s wild animals from the back of an open 4x4 vehicle in the malaria-free Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. Search for giraffe, white rhino, kudu, lion, elephant, zebra, and wildebeest, just to name a few. The game drive is led by an experienced game ranger, sharing his knowledge of the local wildlife; including antelope species, birdlife, and insects. When your guide finds the perfect spot, you'll hop off your safari vehicle for an even closer connection to nature on a tranquil bush walk. Follow your game ranger as you look for wildlife through the coastal renosterveldt and Cape fynbos, keep an eye out for animal tracks, and learn about the medicinal value of the plants as you walk. End off the day with a journey through the landscape rolling farmlands as you pass through the heart of the Garden Route on your way back to Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

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Cape Town/Stellenbosch: 5-Day Garden Route Tour & Addo Park

8. Cape Town/Stellenbosch: 5-Day Garden Route Tour & Addo Park

Enjoy a memorable 5 days visiting some of South Africa’s top national parks and admire the scenery of sunsets, beaches, and the lush forests of the famed Garden Route starting from Cape Town or Stellenbosch. Expect a generous dose of the great outdoors, where nature and adventure combine in one perfect playground. Country roads perfectly frame both the rolling farmlands and endless flora and fauna. The landscape dramatically changes — from wine farms to untamed wilderness, Tsitsikamma forest to mountain ranges — as the kilometers pass. Day 1: Cape Town or Stellenbosch to Wilderness Area (travel route is about 450 kilometers) • Start with a morning pickup from your accommodation in Cape Town or Stellenbosch to reach the Garden Route section by early afternoon. • Paddle through the staggering scenery and abundant bird life of Wilderness. Wilderness features 18 kilometers of beaches cooled by sea spray, 5 lakes, 5 rivers, and 2 estuaries. Canoe in the beautiful Wilderness region and watch the bird life while gliding over the water in a pure encounter with nature. • Overnight in Sedgefield and Knysna - subject to availability of accommodation and your selected rate option, select between budget backpacker or en-suite guest house stay tour package options. Choose between Afrovibe Backpackers, 3-star Greywood Hotel, or 4-star Protea Hotel Knysna Quays. Day 2: Wilderness to Jeffrey's Bay (travel route is about 200 kilometers)  • Hike along walkways to soak in the views of Knysna from the imposing sandstone Knysna Heads nestled between forested mountains and the sea, and curving around a big lagoon.  • Choose between optional Bloukrans bungy and zipline, waterfall zipline, or explore the surrounding forest. • Face your fear and jump from the world's highest bungee jump (optional activity at an extra fee) or watch the adrenaline junkies as they scream through the air.  • Zipline through dramatic scenery and over waterfalls in the Tsitsikamma forest. Multiple slides, of which the longest is 211 meters, zigzag along cables across the river gorge, as high as 50 meters above the water in some places (optional activity, at an additional fee).  • If you don't want to do the zipline or bungee jump, this region is an outdoor playground and for those who'd prefer to keep their feet on solid ground. A visit to the lush forests of the area provides the requisite photo opportunity. • Spend time in Tsitsikamma National Park — Explore paradise as you trek along boardwalks to the suspension bridges in this marine reserve with its unique combination of dramatic coastal and forest landscapes. • Overnight in Jeffreys Bay — choose between Island Vibe Backpackers, 3-Star Mandyville Guest house, or 4-Star On the Beach Guest house. Day 3: Jeffreys Bay & Addo National Park (travel route is about 250 kilometers)  • Addo Elephant National Park — take a 2-hour drive in the tour bus, through the 3rd-largest national park in South Africa. This park conserves a wide diversity of biodiversity, landscapes, fauna and flora. The original elephant section of the park was dedicated to providing a safe haven for the few wild elephants that survived government-sponsored culling in the early 20th century. The lush vegetation provides protection and a rich food source, supporting what is now the most densely populated area of wild elephants on the planet. This finely tuned ecosystem is a sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra, and other species. • Head to the beach or shop in Jeffrey's Bay. Enjoy early morning surfing or just chill out on the beach. You can rent surfboards and wetsuits for an additional fee.  • Overnight in Jeffreys Bay. Choose between: Island Vibe Backpackers, 3-Star Mandyville Guesthouse, or 4-Star On the Beach Guesthouse. Day 4: Jeffreys Bay to Oudtshoorn (travel route is about 400 kilometers)  • Tour a working ostrich farm to learn more about the largest flightless bird in the world. • Head deep underground to the illuminated wonder world of the Cango Caves. On the tour, you’ll explore the narrow passages and vast halls filled with colorful ancient stalactites. Choose between the easy-going heritage tour or the adventure tour where you'll need to squeeze, twist, and wiggle your way through limestone chimneys on a rather more adventurous underground route.  • In the afternoon, return to the wild for an optional 4x4 game drive with a knowledgeable game ranger at Buffelsdrift Private Game Reserve for a possible sighting of resident rhino and giraffe (this is subject to availability). • Overnight in Oudtshoorn. Choose between Backpackers Paradise, 3+Star Yamkela guest house B&B, or 4-Star Buffelsdrift Lodge Day 5: Oudtshoorn to Cape Town or Stellenbosch(travel route is about 400 kilometers) • Rise early for an Elephant Bush Walk Experience. Fall in love with these giant and lovable creatures. Learn about their background, behavior, and character as you walk along with orphaned African elephants in a natural setting (optional activity at an extra fee). • Route 62 — along South Africa's famous country road, also known as the longest wine route in the world. You'll capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, rugged Karoo plains, vineyards, and orchards. A quick wine tasting stop along the way is the perfect way to end this journey and take in spectacular views. • Return to the Cape Town/Stellenbosch area, arriving by late evening.

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Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

9. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas The tour departs from Cape Town/Stellenbosch and heads to Hermanus. The tour follows the scenic coastal road and includes a stop at Betty's Bay to see a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for playing home to hundreds of Southern Right whales from July to November. The town also features many shops, restaurants, and markets. In the afternoon you'll drive on to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, where you'll see the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Day 2:  Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn Travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the ostrich capital of the world, via scenic Route 62, South Africa’s longest wine route. Sample local wines before experiencing the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided tour. Day 3:  Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield After breakfast head over to Outeniqua Mountain Pass, where you'll explore Wilderness National Park by canoe. Enjoy an easy paddle up the Touw River through the indigenous forest, admiring the diverse local birds along the way. After about 40 minutes, leave your canoe behind for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk that leads to rock pools and a lovely waterfall. Afterwards, head to the famous town of Knysna via the beautiful Garden Route Lake District. This small, upscale town is filled with curios and restaurants, and also features a waterfront where you can grab lunch and do some shopping.  After leaving Knysna, head to the Knysna Heads viewing point to enjoy views of the Knysna River estuary and the Indian Ocean. Spend the late afternoon exploring the beaches of Sedgefield. Day 4: Sedgefield- Tsitsikamma - Addo After breakfast, head off to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route, you'll stop at Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s tallest bungee jump bridge, standing at 216 meters tall. You'll spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, which features a unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The park has a wide range of activities on offer, including hikes of varying lengths, a walk across a suspension bridge, and swimming. In the late afternoon, depart the Garden Route for Addo. Day 5: Addo-Wilderness/Mossel Bay Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. You'll get up to 2-3 hours to roam the 28,000-hectare national reserve, home to approximately 600 elephants and various other animals, including cape buffalo, lions, black rhinos, warthogs, zebras, elands, kudus, hartebeest, and many more. After an exciting morning of game viewing drive back to the heart of the Garden Route where you will stay overnight in Wilderness or Mossel Bay. Day 6: Wilderness –Mossel Bay - Cape Town After enjoying breakfast, stop in Mossel Bay to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail along cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean, and visit the famous Diaz Museum complex, which commemorates the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa. Return to Cape Town/Stellenbosch in the early evening.  The more adventurous can try a 10,000 foot tandem skydive or sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa. Arrive back at Cape Town/ Stellenbosch in the early evening.

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Robberg Nature Reserve Hiking Trails

10. Robberg Nature Reserve Hiking Trails

Enjoy a day immersed in beautiful nature with a hiking trail trip along the Robberg, one of the most popular and well known trails in the area. Travel this circular route along the Robberg Peninsula with a comfort level that is appropriate to your fitness level - easy or moderate.  With your professional guide who is an expert on the local area, you will set-off on your journey along the Peninsula, taking in the beautiful scenery along the way. Be amused by the sight of bathing and resting Cape Fur Seals as they lay on the rocks. This is a fantastic site to witness even more animals, such as the Grey Buck, Duiker and Bushbuck. On some occasions, even Cape Clawless Otters and mongooses can be seen. Robberg is also an ideal vantage point to spot marine life such as Killer Whales, dolphins, whales and Orcas. There are also numerous bird species like Cape Robins, Cape White-Eyes, Red-Winged Starlings, and Orange-Breasted Sunbirds to name but a few.  Stop for a moment and admire the majestic Tsitsikamma Mountains. This is the ideal location to stop for a bite to eat and watch the large numbers of Swift Terns and Kelp Gulls. Your guide will provide you with knowledge on the natural fauna and flora whilst on route to explore a cave.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Garden Route

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What people are saying about Garden Route

The experience was excellent. The guides were good and well experienced. The only issue was the photos they took since we aren't allowed to bring along our cameras. For R250 the fotos are horrible and weren't allowed to see them when we paid. We were told that they will be emailed only to find out they are horrible that's why we are not allowed to see them at the premises which sound like a scam.

We had a great experience and it was safety first all the way.

Super. I enjoyed myself. The instructors where friendly.

It was absolutely incredible. Fun for the whole family

I would say those 3 days were the greatest in my life!