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The Garden Route is a holiday destination fit for the whole family. The route which truly does cater to every interest, is one that offers families a host of outdoor activities, shopping, and the opportunity to indulge the senses with its delectable dining options and various breathtaking sights. The Garden Route also features mysterious misty indigenous forests, arts, crafts and of course there’s the chance that you might encounter some of the areas finest selection of wildlife which includes elephants, Cape fur seals, cheetahs and even honey badgers. The Garden route stretches for 300km from Mossel Bay (Western Cape) to Storms River (Eastern Cape). Most travelers prefer to hire a car and drive the route over 2 to 3 days. Meandering along the garden route is certainly a trip that the family won’t forget. The route can be travelled from either end and to get there, most travelers buy cheap domestic flights in South Africa with one of the various low cost carriers.
Hire A Car & Drive The Garden Route
With car rental packages in South Africa being reasonably priced (and most offering unlimited mileage packages), driving the garden route is both enjoyable and affordable to most families. Below are 13 things you absolutely must do with the family when going on this particular trip:
1. Spot a Great White shark hunting at Seal Rock!
In Robberg, visitors can enjoy an elevated view of Seal Rock. Here, the Cape Fur Seal colony is in full swing. Hear them bark and watch them frolic! If you’re in luck, you might even see a Great White shark hunting for its next meal.
2. Cruise up to the Knysna Heads

Featherbed cruises offer a variety of options for those looking to explore the Knysna Lagoon. You can choose between 75 min and 3 hour cruise options so it doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. The Eco experience is a top pick for families as it offers a return ferry trip from the Knysna Heads, a 4×4 drive in the reserve and even a guided walk to discover the sea caves.
3. Kayak the Knysna Lagoon at your own pace
At the Knysna Lagoon, kayaks are available for hire on Thesen Island. Spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoy good clean family fun on the water.
4. Meet the animal refugees at Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary
A visit to the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary will prove to be a delight for every family member. The sanctuary currently hosts a selection of rescued wild cats as well as a honey badger. When you visit the sanctuary, you can also arrange discounted entry tickets to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden. Both of which are great for a family day outing too.
5. Hike through the Tsitsikamma Storms River Mouth Reserve
This is one of the SANparks reserves and features two trails for you to choose from; the Lourie trail and the Blue Duiker trail. There is also a beautiful waterfall that is fairly easy for the whole family to hike to. Pack a small picnic basket, pull on your takkies and hit the trails for the day.
6. Spend the day gliding through the trees
Tree-top tours are a firm favourite for many families traveling the garden route. You can zip through the Tsitsikamma’s 700 year old collection of trees at a height of 30m above the ground. It’s an exhilarating way to spend the day and you can expect to see things in a completely different way.
7. Jump off a bridge together!
Stop along the way to give the family an adrenaline rush of a lifetime! Fling yourself (and the rest of your travel group) off the Bloukrans bridge. This is the world’s highest bridge bungee jump and a popular stop on the Garden Route. Don’t forget to ask for photos or a video clip of your experience.
8. Grab a bite to eat at Plettenberg Bay’s popular Lookout Deck & Restaurant
A favourite on the menu is the fish and chips. It’s a tasty meal with an incredible atmosphere and view.
9. Catch a tan, surf the waves, float in the sea and build a sandcastle
No holiday or trip would be complete without time spent on the beach. Take the time to do all the beachy things. Victoria Bay is a great beach option along the Garden Route.
10. Snack on Enrico’s mouthwatering pizza in Keurbooms
The view is of two massive rocks perched just on the shore of Keurbooms Beach. Before your meal at Enricos, you might want to stroll across the Keurbooms beach to see the beauty of these rocks up close and personal. It is believed that it’s good luck to throw a stone through the gap of the two rocks.
11. Paddle through the canals of Thesen Island and the Knysna Estuary
Stand up paddles are available for hire by the hour and provide the perfect opportunity for the family to bond while having fun. Find out who has the most paddling talent in the family!
12. Interact with Africa’s giants at the Crags Elephant Sanctuary
The elephant experience at this particular sanctuary is one that simply cannot be missed. Watch as the kids walk trunk in hand with these gentle giants and learn more about their way of life in the sanctuary.
13. Explore the Crags on horseback
You will find there are half day and full day packages available where travelers can explore the crags on horseback, stopping at various eco-adventure spots and sanctuaries. The winelands trail is also great if you want to stop in at various local award-winning wineries. With these 13 top must-do activities along the Garden Route in hand, all that there is left to do is to book your cheap flights. Don’t miss out! Make 2018 the year that you explore the Garden Route with your nearest and dearests!

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