Golf Courses on the Garden route
There are 11 great golf courses in the Garden Route, five of which are championship courses. Of these courses 5 Local golf courses are in the Top 100 World Ranks! George boasts 6 golf courses.
George Golf Course
Voted one of the best courses in by the Golf Digest Magazine with excellent weather conditions, this stunning 110 year old park-lands course is playable year round. This is highly recommendation with long narrow fairways and easy rough & incredible mountain views. Bookings are essential.
Set in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route, with its three Gary Player-designed golf courses and the only TaylorMade Performance Lab in Africa, Fancourt is a premier business and leisure destination.
It offers three golf courses ranked in the Top 20 in South Africa.
The Links is ranked No. 1 in South Africa by Golf Digest SA and No. 34 in the world by the USA Golf Digest.
The Montagu is ranked No. 6
The Outeniqua No. 17 by Golf Digest, SA. course and has been ranked as the number-one golf course in South Africa
Oubaai is situated some 18kms from George on the coastline at Herolds Bay. Designed by 3 times Major Championship Winner Ernie Els you could scarcely wish for a more dramatic location on which to create a golf course.
Designed to maximize the impact of its natural, rugged and beautiful surroundings Oubaai Golf Club was sculpted in accordance with the landscape, ensuring that the surrounding environment is enhanced and not hindered.
Set amidst rolling fairways in the heart of George, Kingswood golf course offers superb greens and high vantage points along the course afford dramatic views of the surrounding Outeniqua Mountains. It is the perfect blend of design and scenery. The estate itself is perfectly placed between the Fancourt Links and George Golf Course at the very heart of the Garden Route’s golf hub.
- Knysna golf course:
- Goose Valley
- Plett Golf course
- Pinnacle point
Beaches on the Garden route
Victoria Bay (or "Vic Bay" as it is called by those in the know) is one of the smallest bays on the Garden Route. Traveling along the N2 National Road, Victoria Bay is 3km off the N2 and situated between George and Wilderness.
Basically a cove enclosed by cliffs, Victoria Bay is a small resort made up of a number of cottages clustered around the water front. The gently sloping beach makes bathing safe and big waves from far out give surfers a particularly long ride.
Victoria Bay beach has a safe bathing area and it's own tidal pool and jetty, is also close to some beautiful areas where there are walks and trails for the whole family to enjoy. Victoria Bay Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the vicinity for safe bathing and is ideal for angling and a challenge to top surfers.
The ever popular Herolds Bay is nestled in a sheltered rocky cove along the spectacular Indian Ocean 15 Km from George .It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy sunny days on the beach or play in the waves. Dolphins visit the bay in the warmer months and whale watching is a must in winter. There are also walking trails, great for spotting birds living in the unspoiled coastal fynbos.
The Buffalo bay:
Buffelsbaai is a small seaside town 20 kilometers from Knysna in the Eden District Municipality in the Western Cape province ..It is a very popular beach and has awesome swimming & surfing in this sheltered bay . Ideal for long beach walks.
Wilderness beach :
The Wilderness is a seaside town on the Garden Route of the southern Cape in South Africa.
It is situated a short distance east from the city of George, on the N2 down the Kaaiman's River Pass. It is known for its long white sand beach and lagoons. Ideal for long walks where you can stroll back to the village.
Situated only 8 km outside of George, the Redberry Farm offer family-friendly activities such as pick your own strawberries, the largest hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere, mini train rides, a large outdoor playground, pedal go carts, bumper boats, paddle boats and bubble ball on the dam as well as pony rides. Basically kids paradise.
This beautiful setting with great mountain views and lush gardens is a perfect stopover to relax for breakfast / tea or lunch in the tea garden or Red shed Coffee & berry Bar & to stock up with their delicious strawberries in the farm stall or fresh from the bushes.
Commercially, over 400 tons of strawberries are produced each year and supplied to stores across the country. Strawberry jams, syrups and other exclusive strawberry products are produced on the farm.
Garden Route Game Lodge
Set against the backdrop of the majestic Langeberg mountain Range, the Garden Route Game Lodge guards the entrance to South Africa’s world famous Garden Route Coast. It is 88 km from George near Mosselbay.
This malaria free, family owned and operated private game reserve is home to an abundance of animal and bird life including the Big 5. Home to lion, white rhino , giraffe, elephant, buffalo , cheetah and an abundance of antelope and smaller mammal species.
Close up sightings of wildlife, exquisite sun.
Visitors to the Garden Route Game Lodge can enjoy game viewing in open Landrovers and a memorable dining experience in one of our African style restaurants.
29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley, lie the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo - the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well-known Swartberg Mountains, you will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.
Cango Caves is the only show cave in Africa which offers a choice of Heritage (easy) or Adventure Tours. All tours are lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited CavesGuides. All tours are offered in English but Afrikaans, German, French and other language options may be available (please check language availability when making reservations).
Local mountain passes
The Swartberg Pass is for many South Africans, the rubicon of gravel road passes. There is an allure and a mystique around this old pass, coupled with its status as a national monument, which elevates this pass to the very top of the list. It was Thomas Bain's final and best piece of road building. Most of the historical points of interest are signposted along the pass. There are names like Die Stalletjie (Small Stall), Witdraai (White Corner), Fonteintjie (Small Fountain), Skelmdraai (Devious Corner), and of course Die Top.
This was the first road between George and Oudtshoorn. The Montagu Pass was opened in 1848, having taken 3 years to build by some 250 convicts at a cost of 36,000 Pounds Sterling. It lays claim to being the oldest, unaltered pass still in use in South Africa and covers 7,4 kms of magnificently scenic narrow, gravel road driving, ascending to the tiny hamlet of Herold, on the northern side of the Outeniqua Mountains. The pass was built to replace the highly dangerous and extremely difficult Cradock Pass, which still exists today, but as a tough hiking trail. The pass was named after Sir John Montagu, who was the colonial secretary of the Cape at the time.
A delightful detour off the N2 coastal highway on the Garden Route is known as the Seven Passes route between George and Knysna. It's a scenic route which passes guest farms, tiny wooden settlements,a gold rush town called Millwood,passes the Big tree picnic site and whisks visitors through the dramatic Phantom Pass, named for a butterfly and not a ghost.
The Seven Passes route is a 75km trip that takes you past seven gorges cut deep by rivers flowing to the sea. Legendary engineer Thomas Bain designed the road in 1883, the seven rivers you will cross are: the Swart, Hoogekraal, Homtini, Karatara, Silver, Kaaimans and Touw.
Prince Alfred pass:
Back in the mid-1800s, the main Garden Route settlements were Knysna and Plettenberg Bay – and they needed to be connected by a good mountain road to the Langkloof and the interior towns of Uniondale and Graaff-Reinet. There was a jerry-built wagon route over the Paardekop Mountains, but it was treacherous in the extreme.
So in 1857 Andrew Geddes Bain and his son Thomas went to have a look. They mapped out a whole new route that would go through dense forests and cost more than 15 000 pounds – a fortune at that time. The authorities accepted their proposal and young Thomas took up the project.
In his painstaking manner of cutting, planning and dry-walling, and with his ubiquitous gang of Cape convicts, Thomas Bain spent four years of his life building the Prince Alfred Pass. As with most of his mountain pass work, Thomas Bain surpassed himself and built a mountain road that is safe and scenic.
Knysna Elephant Park
The Knysna Elephant Park (est. 1994) was the first facility in South Africa to house and care for orphaned African elephants. Today, it has become a world class facility, having cared for and raised more than forty elephants. These animals include relocated animals, orphaned calves, elephants rescued from culls and ex-circus animals. Some have become part of the resident herd, others have moved onto other reserves and facilities in the Western and Eastern Cape, depending on their personalities, bonds with other animals and welfare needs.
Visitors to the park are privileged to have a personal encounter with our gentle giants, and leave having gained a new-found respect for these animals, as well as a better understanding of the African elephant and its plight across the continent. Most importantly, by visiting the Park and experiencing our elephant herd, guests make a direct contribution to elephant husbandry and care. Visitors to the Park enable us to give our elephants the best possible facilities, nutrition and care. They also allow us to offer other elephants in need the chance of a better life.
Monkeyland / Birds of Eden
Birds Of Eden
Birds of Eden's unique two hectare dome (the World’s largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. The sanctuary has its own mysterious ruin, which incorporates a walk-behind waterfall. Another feature is its amphitheatre, which has the ability to seat over 200 visitors.
The decision to develop Birds of Eden stems from the need to create a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds, miniature monkeys and the sanctuary also enables bird owners to apply to release their pet birds into the sanctuary, after undergoing rehabilitation.
Birds of Eden opened its doors to the public in December 2005. Currently over 3,500 birds live at the sanctuary.
The largest single span free-flight aviary in the world, an experience you will find nowhere else. Encompassing an area of 2.3 hectares of forest and waterways with 1.2km of walkways, enjoy the thrill of spotting an abundance of birds flying free and living natural lives at your own pace. A home to over 3500 birds of some 200 species of previously caged birds which include several species of parrot, turaco, waterfowl, finches, crane, hornbill and many more.
Monkeyland is a roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary, located in The Crags near Plettenberg Bay in Western Cape, South Africa. The sanctuary comprises over 12 hectares of indigenous forest, with a protected greenbelt of 4 hectares.
The world’s first free-roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary. Covering an area of 12 hectares of indigenous forest and providing ex-captive primates a healthier, more natural lifestyle. Home to over 550 primates including gibbons, howler monkeys, vervet monkeys, langurs, sakis, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs and the critically endangered black and white ruffed lemurs. An Eco-Tourism experience that will stay with you a lifetime.
Cango wildlife ranch
Cango Wildlife Ranch is situated just 3km outside of the picturesque Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, offering sanctuary to some of the world’s most endangered species and a haven to visitors.
Cango Wildlife Ranch, is the oldest and largest cheetah contact centre worldwide where you can see and feel a huge variety of animals including Africa’s spotted king, the cheetah. From the slithering snake to the majestic lion, you will find all you want here.
It is is home to a variety of cats such as lion and jaguar. The thrill of Valley of Ancients and Natural Encounters add a thrill element to learning about crocodiles and making the Cango Wildlife Ranch one of the most interactive, exciting tourist attractions worldwide.
The Cango Wildlife Ranch is uniquely designed to comfortably host more than 40 species of animals, giving visitors the opportunity to view and, in some cases, even interact with a variety of endangered animals.
It includes all of the following:
- A tropical house with giant fruit bats, shy duiker, birds of paradise and a breathtaking underwater viewing section where rainbow-colored fish will dazzle you.
- A Malawian forest exhibit filled with Red River hogs and giant monitor lizards.
- A Vulture exhibit with endangered Cape vultures.
- Lemur island where you can glimpse the rare Madagascar ring-tailed lemurs and pink flamingos.
- The only Croc Cage Diving pool in the world.
- Pygmy Hippo Village where Herbert and Hilda will keep you company.
- Otter Waterfall with our two spotted-necked otters frolicking in the water.
- Marabou stork exhibit where you can look these large birds in the eye.
- Cheetah land where white lions, cheetah , jaguar & Bengal tigers can be viewed.
- Kids play area
Sport in the Garden Route
Garden Route Trail Park MTB Trails - Knysna
The Garden Route Trail Park gets top marks for quality trail-building. It lies in the heart of mountain biking kingdom (the region boasts a few iconic trails, like Harkerville's Red Route) in the Knysna area.
Harkerville MTB Trails - Plettenberg Bay
The Harkerville MTB trail near Knysna is 24 km of 72 per cent single track trail though forest, coastal path and plantation; an incredible ride. The red route qualifies as iconic.
Hiking in the Garden Route :
Easy hike through plantations and forest...
- Groeneweide Hiking Trail.
- Pass-to-Pass hiking trail.
- Tierkop hiking trail.
- Brown Hooded Kingfisher trail.
- Goukamma Blombos and Cape Clawless Otter trails.
- Goukamma Bushpig Trail.
- Ratel forest trail.
The garden route is not only picturesque but scattered with great places in which to surf. Here are five worthwhile places to surf on your next trip down the garden route, what’s also nice is most of these spots are situated within close proximity to the mother city so getting there is a breeze.
- Victoria Bay
- Buffelo Bay
Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours - Storms River
'Me Tarzan, you Jane.' Swing from the treetops across the forest canopy of the place named by the ancient San, Tsitsikamma (place of abundant water). The abundant water has birthed abundant South African wildlife.
Paraglide with Cloudbase Paragliding - Wilderness
Jan Minnaar and Khobi Bowden apply their extensive local and international knowledge to enable you to fulfill your dreams in this on-going skill development sport. Cloudbase Paragliding offer paragliding tuition, license courses, powered paragliding tuition, tours, and equipment sales and rental.
Skydive Knysna - Knysna
Knysna's finest activity is of course Tandem Skydiving. This is a thrilling, adrenaline pumping, exciting and incredibly fun activity and is well worth the jump!
Abseiling in the Kaaimans Gorge - Wilderness
The serene Kaaimans Gorge holds one of the most beautiful abseil sights you will find. You have a chance to do two 45m abseils right next to a magnificent waterfall. The first abseil is an easy one to get you used to the idea of trusting the ropes and the second one is slightly more technical, however just as exhilarating.
Shark Cage Diving - Mossel Bay
Dive with the Great White Sharks in Mossel Bay around Seal Island. The island is populated with over 2500 cape fur seals and is a primary hunting spot for the respected predator of the ocean, the Great White Shark. With very good sightings you will have a experience of a lifetime viewing these magnificent animals from within their own world. Very Safe and no training is needed. This is garuanteed to be one of the biggest highlights of your life. If you are lucky, you might even see one breach the water's surface..
Bloukrans Bridge Bungee Jump - Tsitsikamma
Situated along the Garden Route at the Tsitsikamma Forest Village Market, just 40km east of Plettenberg Bay along the N2 Highway you will find the highest single span arch bridge in the world. You can experience the thrill for yourself!
Kloofing - Wilderness with Eden Adventures
Kloofing, also known canyoneering, is a popular summer activity. The fun starts as one negotiates one's body into a wetsuit. After kitting-up we go boulder hopping and swimming down narrow canyons with lush indigenous forest on either side. For the brave there are always the optional jumps off the cliffs into the cola coloured water below. The Half day Cappuccino Canyon (Kaaimans Kloof) is the most popular kloofing trip as it is a fantastic kloof for beginners, yet there are many jumping possibilities for the brave. The deep pools with towering cliffs offer spectacular scenery and an amazing introduction to kloofing.
Kitesurfing - Elemental Sport, Opposite the Lake Pleasant turn-off, Sedgefield, Garden Route.
The lakes, estuaries and pristine beaches of our area offer kiting opportunities as diverse as anywhere in the world and is suitable for beginners through to expert kiters.
At Elemental Sport we offer introductory lessons, equipment sales and advice on local spots and conditions.
- Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Museum
- Outeniqua Hop tourist route
- George Museum
- Botanical gardens
- Outeniqua Power Van
- Ostrich farms
- Tree top tours
- Featherbed Nature Reserve