The Garden Route is a famous holiday destination in South Africa stretching on the southern coast from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River.
This superb self-drive route is famous for the various lovely beaches, lagoons, flowers, forests, and connected towns that can be explored for fun.
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A Short History of The Garden
The areas encompassing the Garden Route today have always been occupied by humans at different points in history.
There have been proofs of human settlement dating back thousands of years before now in places like Kangkara, Matjies River, Storms River, and Nelson Bay.
There have been recent discoveries of stone tools and human skeletons at caves in the region of Klasies River, where several sea caves have been found.
It was said that the San people are part of the earliest inhabitants, and then the Khoi tribe also settled in the region.
But, the Europeans came around in the 17th century and drove the indigenous populations away, since they have more sophisticated weapons.
They were hunters who focused on animals like elephants so they could make a lot of money from the ivory trade.
By the 19th century, more people were moving towards the territories and settling there to exploit for trade.
The Tsitsikamma National Park came to life in 1964. Some years later, in a bid to secure the natural uniqueness of the area, the Wilderness and Knysna National Lake Area Parks were established.
Today, the Route covers some whopping 157, 000 hectares of land and is a superb prominent tourist destination known for its wide diversity of landscapes.
Why Garden Route Is Famous
The Garden Route is famous for its unique stretches of coastline, rocky shores, beautiful sandy beaches, and links with lovely towns where one can engage in various types of adventurous activities, including sightseeing birds and whales.
The Garden Route, due to its length, is famous for covering two South African provinces – The Eastern Cape and the Western Cape.
Where is Garden Route Located?
The Garden Route is in the Eastern Cape province and the Western Cape province, as it starts from Storms River and ends at Mossel Bay.
Which Animals Are in the Garden Route?
Like other tourists locations in SA e.g Kruger park, there are several animals you will find along the Garden Route, including the likes of
- African elephants,
- Blue duiker,
- Cape dune molerat,
- Cape grey mongoose,
- Cape hairy bat,
- Cape horseshoe bat,
- Cape molerat,
- Cape mouse,
- Cape porcupine,
- Cape wild cat,
- Chestnut climbing mouse,
- Clawless otter, and many more.
Additionally, it is worth including this, that there are over 250 species of birds one would see around the Garden Route.
Some of the prominent ones include
- African fish eagles,
- Knysna warblers, and many more.
How Far Is The Garden Route To Pretoria?
If you are coming towards the Garden Route from Pretoria by road, you might have to spend over 10 hours driving or by bus. Hence, it is advisable to fly to George and then take a bus to your specific destination along the route.
Visitors are expected to come around with a proper means of identification. If you are a foreign tourist, your passport should do.
Security Measures Visitors Should Pay Attention To
While the Garden Route is reasonably safe, you must subscribe to basic security measures too.
If you are a foreign tourist, while at the airport, make sure you don’t pack valuables in checked luggage, but keep them always close to you.
While walking, avoid the mistake of placing your passport in your back pocket – it is better to make use of an inside pocket as you stay alert.
In addition to all of these, make sure you hold on to your things yourself and don’t leave a bag unattended. When you walk, do so with purpose, and avoid asking random people for directions or accepting assistance from someone you don’t know.
Be alert when a person randomly bumped into you, and try to remain focused. Always look around you to ensure no one is following you. If you notice something strange, be swift to report it to an official.
The Garden Route has been attracting a lot of tourists from different places in the world, and it is definitely an amazing place that can be recommended to fun lovers.