South Africa – Garden Route Part I

Hello, my dear readers.

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If you are planning a trip to South Africa, try to include two more activities into your already busy itinerary: one is to hire a car and take a gorgeous drive along the Garden Route and two – spend at least two days at one of the many game park reserves this country is proud to offer.  True to my word, on our 7th trip to this lovely country, we finally did just that!!! My excuse for not doing it sooner is that our prime reason for going to South Africa every year is to visit my in-laws and spend as much time with them as possible.

If you do, however, decide to give it a go, you may try to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, ie take a drive from Cape Town up the Garden Route and once you reach the Eastern Cape, spend a couple of days in the malaria free Shamwari Game Reserve.

Garden Route is an 800 km drive along the east coast of South Africa.  It lies north of Cape Town and encompasses some of South Africa’s most beautiful beaches, mountains, and rivers. It is considered as one of the great coastal drives of the world.

Since we were pressed for time we decided to bypass the first leg of our journey by flying from Cape Town to George.  I found that this little town is quite ordinary and was not disappointed at all that we missed  it.  There we hired a car and thus our Garden Route adventure began.

This is a magnificent part of South Africa.   True to its name, whenever you look along the road, you see the brightly coloured flowers blooming amongst luscious bushes, dark rich forests rising up the slopes on one side and the sparkly blue Indian Ocean on the other.

We stopped at Victoria Bay for coffee and a stroll along the beach, popular among locals for its soft sandy beach and a big grassed area behind it where they can cook the braaivleis, a traditional South African barbeque.

Our next stop was at Knysna, a small, picturesque town famous for its beaches, lagoons and lush forests and thus a perfect place for water activities, walks and other adventures.  We had a lovely lunch at an Italian restaurant called Cornuti that served us an excellent pizza with a breathtaking view over the lagoon on the side.  After lunch we took a long luxurious walk along the beach admiring the surrounding environment.  It was peacefully quite, no traffic, no shops, and no people in crowds and for city slickers like us it was heaven.

We left Knysna the same day in the late afternoon for Plettenberg Bay where we were staying overnight at one of the most magnificent hotels I ever seen but this is for the next post.

Until then………

 

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An old map of the Garden Route

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An Old Light House in Knysna

 

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Traditional African craft for sale

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Around The Wilderness

 

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Victoria Bay beach

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Traditional South African BBQ area