Garden Route, South Africa

garden route south africa

Perhaps I need to explore more parts of South Africa, but I’m sure many would agree with me that the Garden Route – situated along the coast of the Western Cape – has got to be one of the Top 5 destinations in the country.

There’s the lush green forest of Tsitsikamma, the infamous suspension bridge by Storm’s River, and all the little coastal towns to make memories by. Traveling along the Garden Route is nothing new for me; my family and I have experienced many road trips between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, and our most recent 7 day holiday after Christmas was in the area. So this blog post shares info on where we went and stayed during our trip along the Garden Route.

Accommodation

Premier Resort The Moorings – Knysna

This was only a one night stay but if you prefer a little luxury resort living, then The Moorings is for you. Our family made Knysna the central place for accommodation and The Moorings was the first for our overnight stay.

It’s on the banks of the Knysna Lagoon which guests have private access to. There’s 5 different room offerings to cater for families, couples or larger groups. With a restaurant available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a pool for moments to relax, The Moorings makes for a great place if you want to stay in Knysna comfortable and in style.

Gooderson Knysna Chalets

The Gooderson Knysna Chalets are found just outside of the town, and is a self catering, family friendly place to stay with a pool, jacuzzi and games room. Each chalet has its own braai area and can sleep 4 people per chalet (2 in a queen sized bed and 2 on sleeper couches).

These chalets are great if you’re looking to save some extra coin and are comfortable with catering for your own food. Especially if you’re also planning on being away and doing activities during the day, the Gooderson Knysna Chalets can make for a great place to put your head down and recharge.

Protea Hotel Knysna Quays

Another luxury-style accommodation that’s right next to The Knysna Quays and on the steps of the Knysna Lagoon, the Protea Hotel Knysna Quays is another family friendly accommodation that offers comfort, a pool and restaurant that does buffet-style breakfast.

If you’re looking for a place that will be convenient and in the heart of the town, then this is the place for you. It’s one of the top rate hotels in Knysna, and care is definitely taken in ensuring that you enjoy your stay here. The infamous Marriott standard is not lost here so you can expect cleanliness and top notch service.

Activities

There is plenty to do in the Garden Route – but be prepared to spend some time on the road to get to a few of the destinations for some activities.

For those wanting a little shopping, there is The Knysna Quays, which is the town’s version of a waterfront. You’ll find unique shops and restaurants and boat rides here so make the most of your time and book a boat ride on the lagoon (preferably one that will take you right to the Knysna Heads). My family used to always ride the John Benn double-decker floating restaurant but this time around, we opted for the Paddle Cruiser, which is South African’s only paddle-driven vessel. It’s definitely worth taking a ride because it also has food to offer while cruising along the lagoon towards the Knysna Heads.

For those who wan a bit more of a sporting vibe for activities, you have enough options to satiate your adrenaline thirst. Golfing is available in Sedgefield,at the Sedge Links golfing course, which forms part of the Pine Lake Marina Waterfront Resort.

The course is about a 40min drive outside of Knysna towards George. It was my first time trying out golf on a professional course with proper clubs. Fun? Oh yes! But because members get preference in terms of using the course, if you’re coming in for the day, finishing all the holes can take longer than usual just because it’s a case of you having to wait your turn or letting other people play before you do.

If golf isn’t your vibe, there’s also quad biking to give a try. Closer to Wilderness (which is about an hour outside of Knysna), Wild X Adventures is one of the more popular quad biking spots along the Garden Route. You have enough to get down and dirty, and can either choose to quad bike or segway.

I personally don’t think that you can come to the Garden Route and not do one trip to the strawberry farm in George. Perhaps I find a simple joy in seeing strawberries that are literally mine for the picking, but I don’t ever grow tiring of coming to the Red Berry Farm (even though I’ve only ever been here twice).

Even during the off-season, there are always strawberries available to pick of buy in punnets. Compared to what you get in grocery stores, you get so much more strawberries (in terms of weight) for an inexpensive price. Plus, you’re able to pick a variety of strawberries that differ in colour and size. Outside of the strawberry picking, there’s other family friendly activities (like pony rides and a hedge maze) as well as a restaurant that specialises in serving the best (you guessed it) strawberries in a variety of ways.

The Garden Route is such a beautiful part of South Africa to visit, especially in the summer season. I think it’s always the best idea to be along the coast during the warmer weather, and my trip to the Garden Route around the last week of December 2019 proved it all the more. If you ever have the chance to, come and explore the Garden Route for yourself. It’s lush, beautiful and most certainly a sweet escape from the larger city life that you won’t regret.

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