Lush indigenous forests, serene lagoons, wild sandy bays and green valleys make up the delightful Western Cape.

The Garden Route is so called because of the diverse and verdant forests and lakes and bays that cover this stretch of coastline. Running almost 300km along the coast from Heidelberg to the Storms River, this is an exceptionally beautiful part of South Africa. Take in charming towns such as Heidelburg and Oudtshoorn, 10 marine and nature reserves and two national parks as you explore along the Garden Route.

The climate here is particularly mild which has created a diverse range of flora throughout the landscape. The rainbow of colours on show when everything is in bloom is a special sight. The rich forests and rolling mountains are home to a variety of fauna and the wild bays, salt lakes and lagoons to marine life, all of which firmly cements this stretch of South Africa as a top destination for nature-lovers.

This exquisitely pretty, pleasant and popular strip of South Africa’s Western Cape and coastline is a nature lover’s paradise and a horticulturist’s dream. This, combined with its proximity to Cape Town and the route to safari spots in the north-west means that the Garden Route is an easy and delightful addition to any holiday to South Africa.

This scenic stretch includes the towns of Heidelberg, Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenburg Bay, George and Nature’s Valley, as well as 10 nature and marine reserves such as the Tsitsikamma and Wilderness national parks.

The Garden Route isn’t just about scenic beauty; it’s also a hub for adventure sports such as paragliding, bungee jumping, and zip-lining. The area’s moderate climate makes it a year-round destination, although summer (December to February) is the most popular time to visit.

The Garden Route is a destination that captures the essence of South Africa’s natural beauty, from its tranquil beaches to its dense forests and abundant wildlife. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, the Garden Route offers a truly unforgettable South African experience.


Our favourite luxury hotels

The Plettenberg, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

The Plettenberg – Plettenberg Bay

The Plettenberg is a stunning five-star Small Luxury Hotels of the World property, with 35 beautifully appointed rooms and two family-style villas, showcasing the most breathtaking views of the ocean, mountains and endless stretches of golden sand. Located on the famous Garden Route above a beautiful bay, the Plettenberg is real luxury with bright and airy rooms that echo its marine setting. Swim in the infinity pool or look for whales and dolphins in the ocean below before enjoying world-class cuisine at the restaurant where fresh seafood is the order of the day.

Morukuru Beach Lodge South Africa

Morukuru Beach Lodge – De Hoop Nature Reserve

A luxury beach lodge facing the ocean, this property comprises five bedrooms and is perfect for couples or honeymooners. Part of the exclusive Relais&Chateaux group, this is a gorgeous lodge in an exceptional location. The lodge is situated in the De Hoop Marine Reserve and offers an idyllic off-grid experience and the perfect opportunity to get away from it all. The service here is excellent and guests can explore the local area with the lodge’s local guide to experience the best that this part of South Africa has to offer.

Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Tsala Treetop Lodge – Plettenberg Bay

The magical allure of Tsala Treetop is irresistible to those who appreciate exclusivity, fine fare, romance and adventure. It’s a fantastic get-away-from-it-all destination with breathtaking views and forest seclusion The 10 treetop suites are  tucked into the forest canopy, offering indulgence and romance with their own infinity pool while Tsala’s six lavish two-bedroomed villas are styled with sophistication and are perfect for that family luxury holiday. It’s an incredible destination to stay at while you travel down the Garden Route and a great alternative to the beach.

The Old Rectoy Plettenberg Bay

The Old Rectory – Plettenberg Bay

Located just back from the beach in Plettenberg Bay, this is a luxury hotel in a beautiful location. Originally built by the Dutch East India Trading Company in 1777, the property has also been home to an order of monks. Today the original whitewashed stone walls, beamed ceilings and thatched roof remain and house a charming hotel with a modern décor.  Guests can explore the local area including the nearby Robberg Nature Reserve, relax in the tranquil gardens or take a dip in the pool. The food is inspired by the flavours of the Western Cape and the wine comes from the hotel’s own estate.

Fairview House, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Fairview House – Plettenberg Bay

Fairview House was named for its extraordinary outlook over the Keurbooms indigenous forest into several mountain ranges and is a 10 minute drive from whale watching at Keurbooms beach. The Cape Dutch style house is a fusion of elegant simplicity and sumptuous country comfort. Each of the eight beautifully appointed rooms has been tastefully styled while striking South African artworks adorn the walls, while the presence of original antiques and other classic pieces, some of which have been on the farm for years, add to the charm. It’s a perfect place to relax and recharge.

Kanokop House, Knysna, South Africa

Kanonkop House – Knysna

The intimate Kanonkop House is tranquillity personified. Located in a private and peaceful indigenous forest, five minutes’ drive from Knysna, the elegant, award-winning hotel offers stunning views of the Knysna Lagoon, the famous ‘Knysna Heads’ and beyond. Every room is individually designed reflecting a unique character and feel and is coupled with South African hospitality from the Conyers family which own and run the property. Fill your days using the family’s mountain-bikes, boat, kayaks, and fishing gear, as well as access to some of the country’s most exclusive golf courses.​

Morukuru Ocean House, South Africa

Morukuru Ocean House – De Hoop Nature Reserve

Morukuru Ocean House is an exclusive-use private beach house located in the pristine natural surroundings of the De Hoop Nature Reserve. The luxury, eco-friendly property offers four bedrooms and is perfect for a multi-generational family getaway or for a group of friends. Guests can explore the local area which is renowned for its diverse ecosystems, including dunes, fynbos, and a marine-protected area. The residence is designed to provide a high level of privacy and personalized service, making it the perfect choice for a relaxed and exclusive break.