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  • Writer's pictureBushtracks

Explore Cape Town and the Garden Route in South Africa

There’s no greater road trip that showcases the best of the Western Cape. This epic journey starts in Mossel Bay and ends in Storms River, with 124 miles in between.

The activities and sights are endless, making this trip easily stretched over several weeks. However, the distance is short enough for this trip to still pack a punch over a few days.

Your starting location is Mossel Bay, also known as the western gateway to the Garden Route. Soak in the seaside town of Betty’s Bay, and all the stunning views surrounding. The town is full of cafes serving delicious, fresh food and snacks for your road trip to the next stop on the journey. If you feel like some extra adventure, hike the St. Blaize Trail. The entirety of the trail is nine miles one way, but you can adjust how long you walk to suit your preferences and still relish in this extraordinary coastal experience.

The next stop is only 30 minutes down the coast: the town of George. The Garden Route Botanical Garden is a must-see and a UNESCO site. There is no greater single location of biodiversity. The Western Cape only covers less than one percent of Africa but is home to 20% of the continent’s plant species. On your way to the next destination, drive the Seven Passes. Stare in awe at the Outeniqua Mountains, wind through breathtaking canyons, and admire what’s below over high bridges as you journey to Knysna.

You won’t leave Knysna hungry, as it is an incredible culinary-focused town. It is the home of the famous 10-day Oyster Festival, which can be experienced in late June. You won’t be starved of stunning views, with the beauty of the lagoon and ocean at sunset. This town is worth taking a day or two for. The delicious food is endless, and the activities, such as mountain biking, offer a multitude of ways to explore the surrounding environment.

Next on the route is Wilderness National Park, a place to satisfy active adventurers. Activities include camping, hiking, and kayaking. For our bird lovers, many exotic birds call this park and its epic forests home. Take a walk along trails that thread between waterfalls. Take a trip to one of the most extraordinary beach towns along the Western Cape, Plettenburg Bay. Full of surfers and marine life, such as dolphins and whales, there’s always some action to witness as you overlook ocean. Explore the Robberg Nature Reserve, home to seal colonies and a perfect place to stop for a picnic. It is only a 5.6-mile round-trip hike to The Point. While you’re here, don’t miss the Birds of Eden. As the world’s largest free-flight aviary, more than 3,000 rescued exotic birds call this place home.

Storms River village concludes this incredible journey only 50 minutes from Plettenberg Bay. Experience the mountainous Tsitsikamma Forest full of zip lining, kayaking, and the world’s highest bungee jump for the daredevils. Don’t miss Tsitsikamma National Park, located along the coast. More epic hiking awaits along the five-day Otter Trail, which begins at Storms River Mouth, meanders through the park’s stunning forests, and finishes on the clifftops of Nature Valley.

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