This magnificent stretch of coastline encompasses mountains, rivers, lagoons, lakes, beaches, and the indigenous forests of the Tsitsikamma National Park. Tourists are drawn to the Garden Route for its scenic drives, forested walks and trails, pristine coastline and the tranquil inland lakes and lagoons. The birdlife is spectacular.
Knysna has recorded more than 230 different species of birds. Of special interest among forest birds are the Knysna lourie and Narina's trogon.One of Knysna's most attractive features is the 17km long Knysna Lagoon, protected from the sea by two sandstone cliffs, the Knysna Heads. South Africa's largest commercial oyster-farming centre is based at Knysna Lagoon.
Knysna: The Heads
"Plett", as it's called by the locals, earned the name Bahia Formosa, "beautiful bay", from early Portuguese sailors. Plett's most recognized feature is a large luxury hotel and time share complex on Beacon Isle. South of the Village, the Robberg Nature and Marine Reserve juts out into the sea, its cliffs rising to 148m in places. A series of walking trails affords contrasting views of the dramatically churning seas and pristine secluded bays.
The Tsitsikamma National Park, extends from Natures Valley to Oubosstrand and stretches seawards offering licensed snorkellers and divers a unique "underwater trail". Within the park's boundaries lie two of South Africa's most popular hikes, the Tsitsikamma and Otter trails. Panoramic views of rugged mountain scenery, abundance of water from rivers and streams, contribute to their popularity with hikers.
Modern "P.E" sprawls inland and northward on the windy shores of Algoa Bay. "P.E" is very proud of its settler heritage and a wealth of historic buildings and museums.
The Addo Elephant National Park was declared national park territory in 1931 with 15 elephants in 68sq km area. Today, the park has more than 265 elephants and increased to 600sq km and includes the Zuurberg mountains to the North.
Herd of Elephants at Addo
View of Plett from Robberg