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Garden Route National Park

Garden Route National Park

The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) was established in 2009, created from a combination of three previously established National Parks as well as additional state-owned land. The three National Parks included in the Garden Route National Park are Tsitsikamma, Wilderness, and Knysna National Lake Area. Spread over 1,200 ...

Garden Route National Park - 5 Trips with 15 Reviews

Highlights
  • Encounter gentle giants on a game drive through Addo Elephant National Park
  • Embark on a half-day guided walk in the mighty Drakensburg Range and some spectacular hikes along the Garden Route
  • Delve into the astounding Cango Caves outside of Swellendam

Travel to South Africa and Lesotho and explore the exquisite Garden Route on a tour... ... Read More

Intrepid Travel

Garden Route Adventure

of 21 reviews
  • Starts/Ends Durban/Cape Town
  • Operator Active 6 hours ago Intrepid Travel
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Next Departures Nov 26 Dec 17
From US$ 1,278 14 days
Highlights

The scenic stretch of the coastline known as the Garden Route is a truly beautiful... ... Read More

Tucan Travel
15% Discount

The Garden Route

of 1 review
  • Starts/Ends Cape Town/Pretoria
  • Operator Active 6 hours ago Tucan Travel
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Next Departures Feb 12 Mar 26
From US$ 739 US$ 628 11 days
Highlights
  • Travel along the dramatic coastline at the bottom of South Africa

This journey brings us from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town following the famous Garden Route... ... Read More

Exodus

Cape Town & The Garden Route

of 10 reviews
  • Starts/Ends Port Elizabeth/Cape Town
  • Operator Exodus
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Next Departures Dec 3 Jan 14
From US$ 1,583 12 days
Highlights
  • Discover the wild beauty of South Africa’s Garden Route on foot

From shifting sand dunes to woodlands and fynbos shrublands, South Africa’s Garden Route displays a... ... Read More

Exodus

South Africa: Trails Of The Garden Route

of 4 reviews
  • Starts/Ends Port Elizabeth/Cape Town
  • Operator Exodus
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Next Departures Apr 15 Jun 10
From US$ 2,838 14 days
Highlights
  • Luxury bush accommodation on safari so close to nature that you can hear the lions roar.
  • Discover Table Mountain, Cape winelands, Cango Caves, pristine beaches and more.
  • 5 star accommodation, most meals and local flights included.

Your 15-day adventure begins the moment you step off your plane at Cape Town International ... Read More

Kabura Travel & Tours

15 Day Cape Town, Garden Route & Kruger Park Tour

  • Starts/Ends Cape Town/Johannesbburg
  • Operator Active 53 minutes ago Kabura Travel & Tours
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Next Departures Nov 25 Nov 26
From US$ 5,400 15 days
Free Cancellation
Free cancellation on most tours.
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 results
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Garden Route National Park Reviews

4.9 - Excellent Based on 15 customer reviews
Take Me Back to South Africa! Reviewed Tour: Cape Town & the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“A fantastic holiday from start to finish, our families first trip to Africa.”
Cape Town and Garden Route Reviewed Tour: Cape Town & the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“What a fantastic trip. Lots to see, scenery, views, birds & animals. The food and weather were excellent too. Accommodation was comfortable, minibus occasionally was a bit bumpy but we were busy taking in all the sights to notice.”
Cape Town and Garden Route trip February 2017 Reviewed Tour: Cape Town & the Garden Route
4 - Very Good
“An excellent trip. The majority of the inclusive trips were well thought out and planned.”
South Africa Garden Route Leisurely Reviewed Tour: Cape Town & the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“The trip was absolutely excellent. The pace whilst leisurely, was exciting and offered real variety in scenery and activity. The accommodation was first class with again a variety of venues, the highlight being the House Martin Guest Lodge in De Rust. The owners were incredibly welcoming and the food was exceptional. The safaris were well managed and offered opportunities to see up close a wide variety of animals.The visit to Mossel Bay and Hermanus was a terrific experience, the ocean views and the shark diving will always be a vivid memory. Cape Town and Table Mountain lived up to their iconic status. The trip organisation and guiding was first class.”
A really lovely trip Reviewed Tour: Cape Town & the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“I enjoyed this holiday so much. The itinerary was very well balanced with a host of different activities and experiences. It was good to spend at least two nights in each location and have time to appreciate where we were staying. We have been on quite a few Exodus trips before, but this was one of the best. Some of the accommodation was very good indeed, notably the Martin House guest lodge in De Rust and the apartments in Hermanus.”
Cape Town and the Garden Route Reviewed Tour: Cape Town & the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“We loved this holiday from start to finish.It was a great introduction to Africa with a range of scenery, landscapes and activities. We were glad we budgeted for the optional extras, kayaking, zip wire and shark cage diving. All amazing experiences. The accommodation was good with some excellent breakfasts. Restaurant food was varied with ample portions. We are vegetarian and had no problem finding interesting meals. Saw a great variety of birds and animals in and out of the Game Parks.”
South Africa's Garden Route Reviewed Tour: Cape Town & the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“The Garden Route is a diverse trip with so many highlights. It gives a great taster of what Africa has to offer. It's wonderful to enjoy the wildlife in Addo and stay in the beautiful setting in the lemon orchards. Cape Town is fantastic with lots to do and the scenery is stunning. Table Mountain is not to be missed and Robben Island gives a great cultural contrast.”
Superb holiday Reviewed Tour: South Africa: Trails of the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“This was a full and energetic holiday as we travelled across the Cape. We saw a wide variety of wildlife, wonderful scenery and, thanks to our guide and driver, learned so much about S.A. society and the places we travelled through. The walking was at the level of the grade, over the two weeks we climbed nearly 5000m, over terrain that varied from sand dunes to high mountains. We stayed at a variety of accommodation, some of it quite unique and lovely, such as the de Hoop nature reserve.”
Trails of the Garden Route, South Africa Reviewed Tour: South Africa: Trails of the Garden Route
5 - Excellent
“First trip south of the equator and such a varied and intense experience of South Africa. What a wonderful country with friendly people, beautiful landscapes and magnificent animals.”

Garden Route National Park

The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) was established in 2009, created from a combination of three previously established National Parks as well as additional state-owned land. The three National Parks included in the Garden Route National Park are Tsitsikamma, Wilderness, and Knysna National Lake Area.

Spread over 1,200 square kilometers, the Garden Route National Park was established as part of a broader plan to further the protection of South Africa´s flora, fauna, and wildlife. The park winds through indigenous forests and along breathtaking rocky coastlines. It’s been dubbed “conservations without boundaries” and is the most excellent example of South Africa’s magnificent landscapes, scenery, and beauty.

  • Wildlife Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scenery Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Things to do in Garden Route National Park

There’s no shortage of things to do in the Garden Route National Park. Apart from the famous Garden Route Road Trip, visitors to the national park itself can partake in dozens of different activities from boating to biking, bungee jumping to scuba diving, and hiking to whale-watching. And that’s just scratching the surface!

The park advertises that all ventures are reasonable and safe to do on your own, however a guide can be hired for a small fee to try any activity.  

Tsitsikamma Forest in the Garden Route National Park in South Africa
Hiking is one of the many things you can do in Garden Route National park
Knysna Lagoon in Garden Route National park
Knysna Lagoon in the seaside town of Knysna is a must make stop when on the Garden Route National Park
Whale Watching in Garden Route National Park
A Southern right whale jumps out of the water - a possible sight in Garden Route National Park
Bungee jumping in Garden Route National Park
A girl braves the deep bungee at Bloukrans Bridge

Highlights

  • No matter what you’re into, there is guaranteed to be something in the GRNP that sparks your interest.
  • Conservation of this land is the number one priority of South Africa. It shows in the level of pristine and natural beauty that is unsurpassed by most other places on the planet.
  • The diversity of wildlife, marine life, fauna, and flora is unmatched anywhere else in the country.
  • Breathtaking scenery and mountainous landscapes paired with charming coastal towns gives the GRNP authentic and peaceful vibes.

Lowlights

  • Reservations for accommodation (especially in high season), need to be made well in advance (think 3-6 months). Some activities can be booked a week or so in advance, but it’s recommended to plan further ahead than this. For example, certain activities, like the Otter Trail, require reservations made 6-12 months in advance.

Best time to Visit

Summer (November – March) is the best and the most popular time to visit. Daytime temperatures range from 24 – 30°C (75 – 86°F). It does get busy around the Christmas holidays, so late summer, (February and March) will allow you to discover this area with less crowds.

The climate around the GRNP is Mediterranean and sub-tropical.  This creates temperate weather pretty much all year round. Fall (April – June) sees mild temperatures of roughly 14 – 22°C (57 - 72°F). The winter season (July – October) has average temperatures of 8 - 17°C (47 - 64°F). Spring (August through October) is a comfortable 10 – 19°C (50 - 66°F).

Note: The heaviest rainfall is in winter, but rain is possible year-round. Be sure to bring some waterproof clothing and shoes!

How to Get There

Recommended Transportation for Garden Route
A couple laying in the car trunk, enjoying the view the road trip has to offer

Remember, the Garden Route National Park is composed of three sections - Tsitsikamma, Knysna, and Wilderness. 

The Tsitsikamma section is 615km from Cape Town and 195km from Port Elizabeth. The Knysna section is 500km from Cape Town and 300km from Port Elizabeth. The Wilderness section is 450km from Cape Town and 410 km from Port Elizabeth. The famous Garden Route road connects all three sections. 

The best way to explore the GRNP is by car. Renting a car in either Port Elizabeth or Cape Town is the most comprehensive way to see everything this region has to offer.

It all depends on the number of activities you want to do, but most people will find 5-10 days are sufficient.

Accommodation

There are four separate camps available in the Garden Route National Park. It is broken down by region. Storms River Camp and Nature’s Valley Camp in the Tsitsikamma Section, Knysna Camp in the Knysna Lake Section, and Wilderness Camp in the Wilderness Section.

Accommodation ranges from camp grounds and huts, to chalets, cottages, and cabins. It depends which section you stay as to which type is available.  

Permits

An entrance fee known as a conservation fee or tariff has to be paid in each section of the GRNP.  They are daily fees that must be paid at the individual entrance gates. The fees are as follows:

  • Tsitsikamma Section:
    • Entrance Fee: R196(USD 15) per adult, per day; R98(USD 48) per child, per day.
    • Hours of Operation: 7am – 6pm
  • Nature’s Valley Section:
    • Entrance Fee: R88(USD 7) per adult, per day; R44(USD 3) per child, per day.
    • Hours of Operation: 7am – 6pm
  • Knysna Section:
    • Entrance Fee: R120(USD 9) per adult, per day; R60(USD 5) per child, per day.
    • Hours of Operation: 7am – 6pm
  • Wilderness Section:
    • Entrance Fee: R120(USD 9) per adult, per day; R60(USD 5) per child, per day.
    • Hours of Operation: 7am – 5:30pm 

Note: These fees do not cover any activities, camping, accommodation, or food.

Good to Know

  • Buy a Wild Card. It will grant you unlimited access to the three sections of the Garden Route National Park for a one year period. The cost is USD 38 per individual person, USD 63 per couple, or USD 75 for a family of seven with two adults. With this card, you do not have to pay the daily tariffs for over 80 parks and reserves in South Africa and Namibia. Tsitsikamma National Park, Knysna National Lake Area, and Wilderness National Park are all included.
  • Buy a local SIM card so you can always have access to your phone and GPS.
  • Bring rain gear or waterproof clothing regardless of the season. The weather is known to change quickly in this region and rain is possible at any time.
  • Pets are not allowed inside the parks.
  • The park is inside a Malaria-free area; no immunizations necessary.
  • Vehicle fuel is available inside all the parks or just outside.

The Garden Route National Park is quickly becoming South Africa’s greatest tourist attraction. It’s easy to see why when you consider all that can be accomplished in one visit. There’s heart pounding activities for the thrill-seekers, calm and less strenuous activities for those seeking peace, quiet, and relaxation, and plenty of ways to rough it for those who want to get back to nature. Regardless of what you seek, the Garden Route National Park can and will deliver!

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