A journey along South Africa’s most beautiful coastline; the Garden Route in the Western Cape will delight any nature and outdoor enthusiast. Following a scenic stretch of the Indian Ocean, we travelled northeast from Cape Town to Jeffrey’s Bay, enjoying the stunning beaches, sheltered lagoons, shoreline trails, rocky cliffsides against the forest and mountain backdrops.
After travelling the route, we can agree that the best way to visit the region is by car. We found using local transportation limiting, and that we could not visit as many sights as we would have liked to. Here’s are the stops we enjoyed along the route.
Swellendam is noted as the third oldest community in South Africa. In this country town, the diverse community leads a simple and hard-working life.
Looking to do some hiking, we walked 10-minutes from the main street to the Marloth Nature Reserve, in the southern Langeberg mountain range. The park ranger strongly advised us not to attempt the summit, concerned that, should the winds change direction, we would not be able to escape a nearby brush fire.
So we followed the shorter Platt trail and zig-zagged our way up in the dry rolling hills reaching the mid-band of the mountain at about 600m.
In the small coastal town of Mossel Bay, we found sea, sun, and surf.
And this pro fisherman who took it to a higher level in search of a big catch. Using a specially equipped drone and remote control, he dropped his bait out in the deep waters. He quickly hooked something massive and settled in for a six-hour struggle. In the end, the fish won, snapping the line within twenty meters of the shore.
The Blue Shed; a local coffee shop with unique decor.
Walking along the cliffs of the Cape St Blaize trail, we enjoyed the magnificent views to the sounds of the crashing waves. Later, as we searched for a place to have lunch, we encountered our friends Nadia and Tom, who we had hiked Table Mountain with, in Cape Town. We joined them for the next two days meeting up in the small seaside village of Wilderness and travelled onto Knysna.
Buffelbaai, a lovely quiet beach stop along the journey.Leaving Knysna, we stopped at the Tsitsikamma National Park, an 80 km coastline reserve. We embarked on a short hike, crossing the suspension bridge over the Storms River Mouth and up a relatively easy trail for views of the eastern cape.
Spotting many Cape Rock hyrax, commonly referred to as a dassie along the way.The Storms River Gorge
We parted ways with our Dutch friends in Jeffrey’s Bay and settled into a beachside hostel in this funky little town famous for its super tube wave that has made J-Bay a stop on the world surfing tour.
The colour of a person’s skin is as important as the colour of their eyes’
~ Bob Marley
Gord: “I was out for a walk in the sand and met a local woman on the beach. She knew that I was not South African and started up a conversation. She put her ebony arm next to mine and said. “Are we so different?”
I responded, “We’re all just people.” We gave each other a hug and enjoyed a silent moment of peace and understanding.