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Explore the wonderful beauty and diversity of South Africa’s famous Garden Route

South Africa’s Stunning Garden Route

29 August 2014

South Africa is widely known as a beautiful and diverse country, home to a wonderful variety of wildlife and some amazing attractions, like Table Mountain, so if it isn’t already on your bucket list, it definitely should be. More specifically, though, everyone should try and visit South Africa’s Garden Route at some point in their lives, a truly unique area of beauty, stretching along the country’s south eastern coast. We’ve recently launched a programme which is the perfect way of experiencing the wonders of the area and helping to conserve, (and encounter!), the unique marine wildlife that the Garden Route is famous for; Dolphin & Whale Research and Coastal Conservation.

Knysna

Knysna is one of the most popular destinations on the Garden Route, (and near to where our volunteers on the conservation programme are based), and is a stunning area, nestled between forests and a wonderful lagoon. Knysna is a lively town with plenty to do, from restaurants and cafes to shopping centres, and of course, you can always simply enjoy the amazing scenery.

Having mentioned restaurants, it has to be mentioned that the food in South Africa is delicious, and quite unusual – you’ll often find ostrich, crocodile and antelope on your menu, and near the coast, you’ll be able to try a whole range of fresh seafood. Another local delicacy is Biltong, a salty, meaty snack, a lot like jerky. Have a sweet tooth? Try Koeksister, (which is very unhealthy but very nice). One thing’s for sure – in South Africa, you won’t go hungry.

Ostriches

Having mentioned that ostrich is a South African favourite dish, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that South Africa is home to a lot of ostriches. One place worth visiting on the Garden Route is in fact, the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn, and if you go here you will definitely see an ostrich, (or more likely, dozens of them). If you are a particularly big fan of ostriches, you could visit an ostrich farm, and if you can fit one in your bag, we recommend you buy an ostrich egg, take it home, and tell all your friends it’s a dinosaur egg, (they’re big).

Cango Caves

While you’re visiting Oudtshoorn, check out Cango Caves nearby, (no ostriches here though, sadly). These caves are a fascinating natural wonder, and if you’re looking for a unique experience, take an adventure tour of them. We only recommend this for the brave though, and definitely not the claustrophobic, as there are some very tight squeezes.

Dolphins

Finally, we have to of course mention the marine life. Along the Garden Route’s pristine coastline there are a number of marine reserves, all offering the opportunity for tourists to see rare and beautiful wildlife, from dolphins and seals to the rare Southern Right Whale, which is endangered. On our conservation programme, you’ll not only get the chance to see these creatures as tourists would, but support their conservation and promote eco-tourism.

For lovers of wildlife, (and food), there are few places in the world better to explore than the Garden Route in South Africa. You’ll have the adventure of a lifetime in this unforgettable country.