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.

Garden Route National Park - 13 Trips with 8 Reviews

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Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail

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3 day hiking tour in South Africa, visiting Kalander Hut, Bloukraans Hut and Tsitsikamma National Park. Read More
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Operator GoVertical Mountaineering Adventures
  • Activities Hiking & National parks +5 more
  • Accommodation Hut & Sleeping Hut
  • Age Range14+ years old
days03 From US$ 620 View Tour
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  • Dec 09
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Garden Route, Safari & Winelands Wonder

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6 day explorer tour in South Africa, visiting Oudtshoorn, Knysna and Albertinia. Read More
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Operator Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris Active 10 hours ago
  • Activities Explorer & Wine tasting tours +2 more
  • Accommodation Hotel, Resort, Eco Lodge & Guest House
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  • Age Range8+ years old
days06 From US$ 1,163 View Tour
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  • Jan 06
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Garden Route Splendour

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Highlights - Watching the stunning scenery roll by, tea & scones in charming Matjiesfontein, Prince ...
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Operator Springbok Atlas Tours and Safaris Active 10 hours ago
  • Activities Adventure
  • Accommodation Hotel & Resort
  • Age Range8+ years old
days06 From US$ 1,021 View Tour
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  • Jan 10
  • Jan 24

10 Day Garden Route & Cape Town Group Tour

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10 day sightseeing tour through Port Elizabeth, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and 4 other destinations in South Africa. Read More
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator Kabura Travel & Tours
  • Activities Sightseeing Tours & Cultural, religious and historic sites +2 more
  • Accommodation Hotel & Lodge
  • Transport Boat, Ferry, Bus & Private Vehicle
  • Age Range5+ years old
days10 From US$ 3,500 View Tour
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  • Dec 12
  • Dec 13

10-day Garden Route Tour

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10 day adventure trip through Cape Town, Cape Peninsula, Mossel Bay and 4 other destinations in South Africa. Read More
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator Kabura Travel & Tours
  • Activities Adventure & Sightseeing Tours
  • Accommodation Hotel, Hostel, Eco Lodge & Guest House
  • Transport Private Vehicle, Boat, Ferry & Bus
  • Age Range5+ years old
days10 From US$ 2,928 View Tour
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  • Dec 09
  • Dec 10
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Garden Route Adventure

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14 day road trip to Durban, Drakensberg and 8 other destinations travelling through South Africa and Lesotho. Read More
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Operator Intrepid Travel Premier This operator is consistently delivering tours which receive customer ratings above 4.5 on average.
  • Activities Road trips
  • Accommodation Camping, Lodge, Hotel & Sleeper Bus
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  • Age Range15+ years old
days14 From US$ 1,755
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Luxury Private African Safari - Honeymoon Tour Package

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15 day wine tasting tour through Cape Town, Cape Peninsula, Mossel Bay and 5 other destinations in South Africa. Read More
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator Kabura Travel & Tours
  • Activities Wine tasting tours & Wildlife safaris and game drives +3 more
  • Accommodation Hotel & Guest House
  • Transport Flight, Bus, Private Vehicle, Boat, Helicopter & 4WD Jeep
  • Age Range5+ years old
days15 From US$ 5,400 View Tour
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  • Dec 12
  • Dec 13
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South Africa Encompassed

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The South Africa Encompassed tour ran so smoothly because of the expert help we received from our gu ...
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Operator World Expeditions Premier This operator is consistently delivering tours which receive customer ratings above 4.5 on average.
  • Activities Wildlife safaris and game drives & Adventure +1 more
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  • Age Range18+ years old
days17 From US$ 2,880 US$ 2,736
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South Africa Self-drive Adventure

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11 day self-drive or vehicle rental tour in South Africa, visiting Cape Town, Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay. Read More
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator Wayfairer Travel Active 1 day ago
  • Activities Self-drive or vehicle rental & Wildlife safaris and game drives +1 more
  • Accommodation Hotel, Lodge, Eco Lodge & Villa
  • Transport Flight, Private Vehicle & 4WD Jeep
  • Age Range1+ years old
days11 From US$ 1,989 View Tour
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  • Dec 12
  • Dec 13
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South Africa Highlights

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14 day active and outdoor tour through Soweto, Stellenbosch, Cape Town and 7 other destinations in South Africa. Read More
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  • Operator Explore Active 1 day ago Premier This operator is consistently delivering tours which receive customer ratings above 4.5 on average.
  • Activities Active and outdoor & Wildlife +4 more
  • Accommodation Hotel, Hut, Resort & Guest House
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days14 From US$ 3,400 US$ 3,230
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Kranshoek Coastal Trail - Knysna

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2 day hiking tour in South Africa, visiting Sinclair Hut, Harkerville Hut and Western Cape. Read More
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator GoVertical Mountaineering Adventures
  • Activities Hiking & Nature and bush walks +2 more
  • Accommodation Hut & Sleeping Hut
  • Age Range5+ years old
days02 From US$ 335 View Tour
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  • Dec 09
  • Dec 10
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Wonders of the Garden Route - 8 days

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8 day explorer tour through Port Elizabeth, Addo Elephant National Park, Oudtshoorn and 4 other destinations in South Africa. Read More
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Operator On The Go Tours
  • Activities Explorer
  • Accommodation Hotel
  • Transport Private Vehicle & 4WD Jeep
  • Age Range18+ years old
days08 From US$ 1,655 US$ 1,572
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Self-drive Trip in South Africa

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13 day national parks trip through Cape Town, Franschhoeck, Cape Winelands and 3 other destinations in South Africa. Read More
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  • Operator Wayfairer Travel Active 1 day ago
  • Activities National parks & Self-drive or vehicle rental +1 more
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  • Transport Private Vehicle, Flight, Boat & 4WD Jeep
  • Age Range1+ years old
days13 From US$ 2,055 View Tour
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Garden Route National Park Reviews

5 - Excellent
Based on 8 customer reviews
Great sightings
4 - Very Good
  • Anonymous
“Great sighting of animals in the Kruger Park”
Great!
4 - Very Good
  • Anonymous
“Great mix of enjoyable activities”
Enjoyable
4 - Very Good
  • Anonymous
“We enjoyed each and every activity, also the sightseeing”

Garden Route National Park

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.

Recommended Length of Stay

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 one of the greatest tourist attractions on a South Africa trip. 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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