5 stops along the Garden Route of the Western Cape, South Africa

Meander along South Africa's famous Garden Route, visiting Witsand, Mossel Bay, Knysna, the Tsitsikamma National Park and Plettenberg Bay.

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The Garden Route of the Western Cape, South Africa officially starts at Mossel Bay. However, most people start out on their trip from Cape Town. As the N2 winds along the coast, there are several small towns worth visiting and many adventures to be had [VIDEO].

Witsand is a little off the Garden Route, but the perfect stopover point [VIDEO]on the way to Mossel Bay, Knysna and the exciting Tsitsikamma National Park, all the way to Plettenberg Bay.

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Witsand, Western Cape, South Africa

Halfway between Cape Town and Knysna, Witsand is a tiny, seaside village a little off the N2 and nestling at the mouth of the mighty Breede River. The town has lovely golden sand beaches with water sports available, while the river is great for fishing. Sit on the bank with your fishing rod, or enjoy fishing from a small boat. In season, watch the Southern Right whales breeching in San Sebastian Bay, known as “The Whale Nursery of South Africa.”

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Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

The harbour town of Mossel Bay is well-known for the Cape St. Blaize lighthouse, which has stood there since the 19th century. Climb up to the top for amazing views across the bay. The wide, sandy Santos Beach offers the chance to swim, tan and enjoy water sports. While in town, visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex, with its Maritime Museum, a Shell Museum and some pretty botanical gardens to explore.

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Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa

Knysna is located in the heart of the Garden Route and is famous for the Knysna Heads which stand tall over the entrance to the lagoon. Enjoy exploring the forests surrounding the town by mountain bike or on foot, or go whale watching, paragliding, surfing or bungee jumping. The many restaurants and markets in town serve local dishes and tasty craft beer. There are a number of wildlife sanctuaries close to town where you can get up close and personal with elephants and other animals.

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Tsitsikamma National Park and the Storms River Mouth, South Africa

Tsitsikamma National Park is a fascinating place to explore with many adventures to be had. Cross the suspension bridge over the Storms River mouth, go canopying, zip-lining and hiking in the forest and enjoy seeing Big Tree, a yellowwood that towers over the other treetops. Take the Otter trail to Nature’s Valley, with many native birds to be seen, including the Cape batis.

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Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

Next stop is Plettenberg Bay, with its sandy Lookout Beach and Central Beach, both perfect for surfing. Explore the trails of the Robberg Nature Reserve and visit the Nelson Bay Caves, dating from the Stone Age. Bird lovers will enjoy Birds of Eden, a bird sanctuary set in an indigenous forest, or you can stand on the coast in migration season and watch the arrival of the Southern Right whales.

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