Top Reasons to Go to The Garden Route and the Little Karoo

Whale-Watching: Some of the best boat-based whale- and dolphin-watching in the world can be found at Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. And although Plett is the best, there are also good trips to be had at Mossel Bay and Knysna. You can often watch these friendly cetaceans frolicking from the shore, as well. If you really want to feel part of the ocean, your best bet is a kayaking trip in Plett.

Animal Encounters: The Crags area, just outside Plettenberg Bay, is the place to go if you want to spend a day with the animals. Visit with rescued primates at Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary or amble through the world's largest free-flight aviary next door at Birds of Eden. Other spots for animal-watching include the ostrich farms and Cango Wildlife Ranch at Oudtshoorn and—for free-roaming big game like elephants and lions—the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve close to Barrydale.

Adventure Sports: If you’re itching for a taste of freefall, you've come to the right place. The highest commercial bungee jump in the world (at 700 feet) can be found at Bloukrans Bridge. If you really have an appetite for heights, you can leap out of a plane with Skydive Plett. For something a little bit closer to the ground, nothing beats the canopy tour at Tsitsikamma, where you fly through the trees (via cables and a harness) with the greatest of ease.

Scenic Hiking: Enjoy the best of nature in comfort on an escorted, guided, portered, and catered hike, locally called "slackpacking." The Dolphin Trail, in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park, offers the chance to walk along remote and rugged coastal terrain but with indulgent accommodation. The Oystercatcher Trail in Mossel Bay lets you explore a wide range of coastal scenery, from cliff-top paths to long beaches, and the food emphasizes traditionally cooked local seafood. The Garden Route Trail combines long and short day hikes with some paddling through the wonderful wetlands of the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park.

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