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THE GARDEN ROUTE & ROUTE 62, WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA - 
TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION GUIDE


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THE GARDEN ROUTE,  SOUTH AFRICA - TRAVEL GUIDE
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Dramatic river cut gorges, beautiful beaches, rocky headlands and deep tangled forests are the quintessential Garden Route images. Stretching from anywhere between Stilbaai and Mossel Bay in the west, to Stormsriver or Port Elizabeth (PE) in the east, it's a gorgeous stretch of coastal paradise strung out along the N2. Purists will squash it up between Mossel Bay and Stormsriver but, as the popularity of the Garden Route grew and small towns at its edge realised the marketing potential, it just seemed to spread. No problem - it spread to some cool places.
The towns generally accepted to be part of the Garden Route are Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Stormsriver. Stilbaai and Albertinia have snuck in on the West and Humansdorp and even Port Elizabeth are muscling in from the east. Inland, the Little Karoo and Route 62, which have no pretensions to being the Garden Route, are often treated as the same destination, as it's pretty easy zigzag between them by driving the many scenic passes over the Outeniqua Mountains. Initially the Garden Route was seen as very much a beach and/or family holiday destination, which it is, but there is also so much to do.

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There's great hiking, with rambles ranging from an hour to a few days covering rocky coasts, deep forests, pretty fynbos and long sandy beaches. The diving is good, as is the surfing, and there are some fun sea kayaking and flat water paddling trips. Some of the country's best mountain bike trails snake through the forests, and there are horse trails for every taste and level of ability. Tandem skydiving, paragliding, and a range of scenic flights all offer different birds eye views.

The Garden Route offers some of the best boat based whale watching in the world, flower lovers and birders will also have a field day traipsing off through the forest or the fynbos, and there are numerous national parks and nature reserves. Steam buffs will love the narrow gauge Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe. For the more culturally inclined, there are township tours, museums, lovely old buildings, funky craft shops, markets, art galleries and loads of live music venues. And, of course, a flotilla of great restaurants - many of which specialise in seafood - in each town. The Garden Route is a golfer's dream destination - you could play a different course every day for a week and still have a few left over.

Of course, this is not all good news as golf courses use an exorbitant amount of water and take up vast amounts of space but, as long as the golf-estate-building spree fizzles out soon, there should be sufficient space remaining between the fairways for a bit of forest, perhaps some shops and even a house or two. But that's not your problem, is it? If you fancy a round in paradise, get in now before it closes down. And if golf is too slow for you - there are more international standard polo fields in Plett alone than there are in the rest of the country put together. You could spend anything from a weekend to a month at a tailor-made polo clinic.

But what the Garden Route is most suitable for is relaxation - and even that's been somewhat institutionalised with almost every second hotel housing a wellness centre or spa. Not that that's a problem, mind. After a hard day on the beach you'll probably need a chocolate mud bath, colour therapy or hot stone massage.

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BRENTON-ON-SEA ACCOMMODATION - NEAR KNYSNA

Brenton Place, Self-Catering Townhouse, BRENTON-ON-SEA
Do you yearn for a piece of heaven on earth, a resting place built on rocks, where the Southern Right Whale can be seen when they return from the South Pole (July to November) to mate and to give birth to their calves? There is just such a place, where the lapping of foam-white waves soothes a fatigued mind and body, with a heavenly view over a shining sea in which the dolphins play. This heavenly little town is also the last remaining habitat of the endangered Brenton Blue Butterfly.

GEORGE ACCOMMODATION - GARDEN ROUTE - SOUTH AFRICA

George is the de Facto capital of the Garden Route, its largest town by far, and the only one with an airport of any real significance. It’s not on the coast, but the lovely Victoria Bay, which is one of the prettiest beaches around, is not far. George’s most important agricultural crop is hops – so if you’re into beer, you’ll enjoy seeing the immensely high hop crops. Even more fun is the Outeniqua Hop – a marketing route that joins together some lovely country attractions including hop farms, strawberry farms, cheese farms and craft outlets.

But – really – George has one major attraction. Golf, golf, golf and golf. OK – that’s four. And that’s less than the number of golf courses in this golf-mad little city. (It’s a city not a town, because it has a cathedral, which you may like to visit, as it’s quite pretty.) But forget the cathedral. George is about golf.

The Montagu, Links and Outeniqua courses, at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate, and the public George Golf Club are regularly featured in South Africa’s top ten golf courses and are never out of the top twenty. George in general, and probably Fancourt in particular is where golfers go when they die – if they’ve been good.

And George is most definitely where railway buffs who play golf go when they die – if they’ve been very good. As well as being one of the termini for the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe, a scenic steam train that runs between George and Knysna, George has a railway museum.


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Fourways Guesthouse, GEORGE
Set in a large, peaceful garden in the leafy outskirts of George, Fourways offers spacious, comfortable accommodation, warm hospitality and a high level of personal service. All 3 rooms (2 suites, each with a separate lounge, and one large twin) open onto a sunny stoep and overlook the pool with uninterrupted views of the Outeniqua mountains beyond.  Each has its own private entrance, full ensuite bathroom, bar fridge, coffee/tea-making facilities, TV/radio/CD player, hairdryer and ceiling fan.  Start the morning with a hearty English or continental breakfast before setting off for a day’s exploration of the many attractions of the capital of the Garden Route and its environs.
Outeniqua Backpackers - Budget Hostel Accommodation, GEORGE
Outeniqua Backpackers in the Garden Route South Africa is well known for It's budget backpacking and youth hostel travel hospitality. Outeniqua Backpackers is located in George is close to the George Airport.  The Garden Route (between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth) is a mosaic of silent, mysterious forests, sweeping lakes, unspoilt beaches, narrow winding passes..and the breathtaking Outeniqua mountains, a tourist paradise.  Outeniqua Backpackers is a prime location as George has the world's second most temperate climate. The Garden Route promises to be an all-year round sunshine, beach experience. 
More accommodation in George

KNYSNA ACCOMMODATION - GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA

If there is such a thing, Knysna is the heart of the Garden Route. This medium-sized town on the banks of the usually placid and always beautiful Knysna Lagoon is a real tourist haven. The lagoon, which is guarded from the sea by two enormous, rugged, sandstone cliffs, known as The Heads, is a fabulous playground as well as being the source of the cultivated oysters for which Knysna is famed.

The Eastern Head is quite developed with houses, guest houses, a dive shop and a restaurant in the most spectacular position. The Western Head, which is reached by scenic boat trip or a short paddle, is a private nature reserve with less physical infrastructure but loads of tourist activities. Tractor tours, abseiling and quad bike tours are all on offer, and there is a restaurant with a view to rival the one on the Eastern Head.

There is excellent diving in Knysna, both in the lagoon and outside in the open sea. One of the more interesting dives, a wreck right in the channel in The Heads, is only to be explored at slack tide, and then by relatively strong divers.

The N2 runs through the town in a freakishly narrow two-lane road that, at peak holiday times, creates traffic jams of note. Other than that, though, Knysna is mega-laid back.
It’s surrounded by wonderful indigenous forests with historical gold mines to explore, wonderful hikes and some of the most fabulous mountain biking in the world. No exaggeration. The ubiquitous Knysna loerie is a beautiful green and red bird that hides out in the forest, occasionally showing its scarlet underwings as it takes flight. Even more elusive and beautiful is the iconic Narina trogon, which is spotted relatively often.

Although there are no real beaches actually within the town, the nearby Noetzie and Brenton Beaches are spectacular. Brenton, in particular, is a great beach for walking as it stretches 6km to Buffalo Bay, where a wonderful horse trail operator offers the exhilarating experience of cantering along the beach with the wind in your hair. The surfing is good, too.

Knysna has two awesome golfing estates, one on the Western Head on a cliff high above the crashing Atlantic and another deeper in the mountains with views over the lagoon and ocean. The public Knysna Golf Club also has a more than reasonable course and there’s even a mashie course for a real quick fix, so keen golfers will never get bored. And – as Knysna is such a gorgeous place – the partners and families of golfers won’t get bored, either.

Knysna is filled with creative crafters, talented artists and skilled artisans of all types so there are mega opportunities for retail therapy. Lots of live music venues, great restaurants and South Africa’s first micro-brewery all contribute to the sybaritic nature of the town. In July, the Knysna Oyster Festival is a celebration of seafood, wine and far more active pleasures, with a wonderful mountain bike race, a forest marathon and loads of other activities.


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Towards the end of May, the Pink Loerie Festival is a bird of a somewhat different feather. Although it’s primarily a gay festival, with outrageous costumes and wild parties, it’s enjoyed as much by straight (some surprisingly so) locals and visitors.
Bayhouse, Beachfront Luxury Self-Catering Villa, KNYSNA
Situated on a picturesque lagoon beach on Leisure Island in Knysna, Bayhouse is ideal for a family beach holiday.  With accommodation for up to 10 people, this large, upmarket, self catering home is superbly located and well-equipped to cater for families with children of all ages.  Leisure Island is the most sought-after destination for holidaymakers in South Africa’s Favourite Town. A small island (just 4km in circumference) in the lagoon, it is linked to the mainland by a causeway and is secure, private and tranquil with many delightful beaches and panoramic views of Knysna, the famous Knysna Heads and Featherbed Nature Reserve across the estuary.
Brenton Place, Self-Catering Townhouse, BRENTON-ON-SEA, KNYSNA
Do you yearn for a piece of heaven on earth, a resting place built on rocks, where the Southern Right Whale can be seen when they return from the South Pole (July to November) to mate and to give birth to their calves? There is just such a place, where the lapping of foam-white waves soothes a fatigued mind and body, with a heavenly view over a shining sea in which the dolphins play. This heavenly little town is also the last remaining habitat of the endangered Brenton Blue Butterfly.
Double Dutch B&B, Guest House, KNYSNA
Double Dutch is a beautiful luxurious colonial bed and breakfast, guesthouse accommodation in Knysna with magnificent panoramic views over the Knysna Lagoon and the Knysna Heads into the Indian Ocean.  Our exclusive accommodation in colonial style provides you with: Bathroom en-suite, TV/DSTV, radio, intercom, safe, fridge, extra long double king sized beds, hairdryer, make up mirror, coffee/tea facilities, under floor heating in the bathroom, personalized bathroom amenities and a comfortable furnished relaxing area in which you experience the colonial atmosphere of Double Dutch.
Elephant Hide of Knysna Guest Lodge, KNYSNA
Elephant Hide of Knysna Guest Lodge is situated on the Welbedacht Cliffs in Knysna.  Each suite has panoramic views of the Knysna Lagoon and the Outeniqua Mountains. All suites have en suite bathrooms, aircon, underfloor heating, TV, Mnet, DSTV, private deck, tea and coffee facilities, panoramic views.  Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast rate.  Activities include whale watching in season, Boat Cruises, Beaches, Hiking, Bungi Jumping, Scuba Diving, Abseiling, Knysna Lagoon, Knysna Elephant Park, Buffalo Hills Game Reserve, Sailing.
Forest Edge – Nature-lovers’ Retreat, Self-Catering Cottages, KNYSNA
Nature-lovers' retreat: birds, game, secluded rock pools, forest walks & biking trails. Sundowners with fireflies and cosy log-fires.  Experience the Magic of the Forest...  Off the beaten track, quietly nestling in the Millwood Indigenous Knysna Forest, Garden Route, Western Cape: a self-catering vacation haven for nature-loving families, stressed-out city-dwellers, adventurers & honeymooners. Each fully equipped 2-bedroomed cottage houses up to 5 persons. Both accommodations offer an authentic, memorable and affordable break-away holiday experience.
Inyathi Guest Lodges, Knysna
Set in a beautiful, mostly indigenous garden Inyathi Guest Lodges give the feeling of being in an African village instead of in the centre of town.  Inyathi Guest Lodges offer little wooden chalets, each double-bedded chalet superbly finished and decorated with ethnic African arts and crafts from different parts of the continent. All chalets have bathroom en-suite, while most of them have a private verandah as well.  All the chalets have their own private entrance, which, together with the garden setting, gives you the feeling of being in an African village, while actually being in the centre of Knysna.
Knysna Manor House, Guest House/Bed & Breakfast, KNYSNA
Experience personal service and Victorian charm at this three star, AA Highly Recommended guesthouse accommodation that is nestled in the heart of Knysna, and situated on the Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa.  Our home overlooks the Knysna Lagoon and is within walking distance to banks, shops, restaurants and the Knysna Waterfront.  From the original yellowwood floors, to the character of each individual room, the Victorian theme is carried throughout our charming B&B.  Our accommodation consists of thirteen en-suite rooms that are lovingly furnished and are equipped with a TV, fan, heater and tea / coffee making facilities. 
Knysna Tonquani Lodge & Spa, Guesthouse/B&B/Self-Catering, 
KNYSNA
Knysna’s multi award winning lodge offers luxurious individually decorated log chalets and family suites with every conceivable comfort including minibar, complimentary port and chocolates, tea, coffee and biscuits, TV, hair dryer, heater and fan. Nine units have airconditioner, Jacuzzi and fireplace and the executive chalet has a private spa for the ultimate in pampering. All units have private patios and barbecues and are serviced daily. For our guests’ convenience we offer an affordable on-site laundry service. Sun loungers invite you to enjoy the welcoming coolness of the main swimming pool which is set in tranquil gardens.
Laguna Grove Holiday Rentals, Self-Catering Apartments, KNYSNA
Laguna Grove is ideally situated, with the Knysna Waterfront just a few footsteps away.  The location is perfect to enjoy Knysna to its fullest with shops and restaurants close by.  Park your car in our secure gated parking area and enjoy exploring Knysna on foot. There is nothing like starting your day watching the early morning sun rise over the Knysna Heads, and to unwind in the evening after a busy and enjoyable day at the water's edge. You can choose from either a two or three bedroom individually furnished luxury or standard self-catering apartment. 
Lake Views Self-Catering Cottages, Wilderness Forest Estate, 
KNYSNA
Lake Views offers two charming two bedroom self catering cottages situated in The Garden Route National Park, perched high above Swartvlei Lake, South Africa's largest natural inland salt water lake, with exceptional views where complete peace, privacy and tranquility prevail whilst just 13km drive from the interconnecting N2. Each cottage enjoys unspoilt and breathtaking views of the sea, the Wilderness Lakes, mountains, river, lagoon, ancient sand dunes, forests and fynbos seeing all the way to Kaaimans Pass, George and Mossel Bay whilst accompanied by the most awe-inspiring sunsets.
Point Lodge, Guest House/B&B, KNYSNA
POINT LODGE is peaceful and secluded with panoramic views across the lagoon to the Knysna Heads.  Superbly situated, RIGHT AT THE WATER’S EDGE, the gracious double storey is set in beautiful gardens and owners Ryk and Amanda Cloete offer professional, personal service and are able to help with any local information.  Each room is individually decorated in comfortable style. A scrumptious full English and continental buffet breakfast is served in the dining room from 8am. Guests are welcome to make themselves at home in the lounge and honesty bar, which all overlook the lagoon.
Teniqua Treetops, Self-Catering Eco-Friendly Tree Houses, near KNYSNA
Teniqua Treetops - its more than a one night stay. A childhood fantasy tree house to spoil the young at heart. It is a beautiful nature lovers' hideout.  With 8 gorgeous, luxurious hand-crafted, self-catering, unusual, eco-friendly, tree houses hidden in the indigenous forest. Enjoy  rejuvenating forest and river meanders, fabulous birds and butterflies - an ideal romantic honeymoon destination or a gentle family breakaways.  The resort is 35 hectares and each tree house is far from the next. If privacy, tranquillity and possibly romance is your goal look no further. Each tree house is far from the next, incorporating, without damaging, the indigenous trees into the design. They all are fully equipped and serviced daily. 
Villa Afrikana, Guest House/B&B/Self-Catering, Paradise,
KNYSNA
Villa Afrikana is perched high above the town, on a hill fittingly called “Paradise" overlooking the world renown Knysna Heads and surrounding lagoon.  With its summery, gleaming white, the geometric architecture of Villa Afrikana is already quite a sight. The stylish interior is just as defined in the same perfect white. A modern, unpretentious interior gives the compact Villa Afrikana a surprisingly open feel to its rooms. Look out for the eye-catching artworks and cleverly placed objects. The attractive style encompasses a total of 5 suites and a small apartment.
More accommodation in Knysna
MOSSEL BAY ACCOMMODATION - GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
Mossel Bay is considered by many to be the westernmost extent of the “real” Garden Route. It’s a rather sprawling town, with a natural gas refinery and huge storage tanks on the outskirts so its approach is not particularly attractive. However, it has some of the most wonderful beaches that are, incidentally, among the sunniest in South Africa as they are north-facing.

There are also some lovely old buildings and a fabulous museum, which focuses mainly on the 15th Century Portuguese exploration of South Africa. There is a full size replica of the boat in which Bartholomeu Dias sailed to the Cape. And it’s not just a model – it was sailed from Portugal in 1988.

A tree in the grounds of the museum is the site of South Africa’s first “post office”. In the 15th Century homesick sailors left some letters in an old boot under the tree in the hope that they’d be found and taken back to Portugal. They were!

Mossel Bay has some fantastic activities on offer. You can ride a horse along the beach, the diving is good and the surfing is spectacular.
There is boat-based whale and dolphin watching and a shark cage diving operation that has one major advantage over the better known ones in Gansbaai in that it has exclusivity in the bay. It’s still a rather controversial operation, though.

The Gouritz River Bridge, where you can do a bungy jump or a bridge swing is close to the town.

The Oyster Catcher Trail, which is portaged and catered, starts in Mossel Bay. It’s a great trip; you walk along the beach and rocky coastline, carrying only a day pack, sleep in lovely comfy cottages and get fed copious amounts of yummy food, usually including oysters, fresh line fish and other sea food.

Mossel Bay is a great beach destination – but it’s no secret. This means that – in peak season – the beaches are crowded with families and you may need to carefully weave your way between flying frisbees, crying toddlers, frazzled fathers, moody mothers and flocks of frenetic teenagers.


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African Oceans Manor on the Beach, B&B/Guesthouse/Self-Catering, MOSSEL BAY
Experience the essence of African Oceans luxury holiday accommodation, awakening to the sight and sound of the sea. Guests have a choice of luxurious stylishly appointed air conditioned suites with balconies/patios overlooking the golden beach and beautiful Outeniqua Mountains. Self catering and bed and breakfast options are available. Situated between Mossel Bay and Hartenbos on the Garden route, South Africa.  Jacuzzi pool, bar facilities, 24 hour ADSL internet facilities, credit card and laundry facilities, Dinners, breakfast baskets and light lunches are available by arrangement.
Avenues Guesthouse, B&B/Guesthouse, MOSSEL BAY
Situated on the gateway to the Garden Route and above beautiful Mossel Bay, Avenues Guesthouse is a place of tranquillity. Enjoy the peacefulness without being too far from the scenic spots of Mossel Bay which are just minutes away: The Mossel Bay Golf Course, the St. Blaize Lighthouse, museums, hiking trails, beaches, shark cage diving, steam train trips to George, boat trips, whale watching and bungee jumping – just to name a few.  Relax at our sparkling solar-heated swimming pool with cosy braai-area or in our tranquil and neat courtyard with fountain.
Bay Lodge on the Beach, MOSSEL BAY
Bay Lodge on the Beach offers unique beachfront accommodation. Enjoy 4 star luxury, comfort and the tranquillity of Bay Lodge, blending luxury beachfront accommodation with superb facilities & services to meet the demands of the global traveller.  Of course with a view to match!  Take our steps to the beach, take a refreshing swim in the ocean or pool or just spend a day relaxing on the beach.  Unwind with a drink overlooking the Bay. Cosy Pub with well stocked wine cellar.  True South African hospitality is on offer. Enjoy a traditional home cooked dinner or a Braai (BBQ) by prior arrangement.  All rooms with en-suite bathrooms decorated in a nautical style.
Lilies & Leopards B&B, MOSSEL BAY
Situated in Dana Bay, a suburb of Mossel Bay, this upmarket and stylish 4-star accommodation offers you warm hospitality and breathtaking sea views. Beautiful views of the ocean right from your bedroom or balcony. Watch the African sunrise or sunset or spot the dolphins in the waves. Whales can be watched from June - October, Dolphins can be seen daily.  With Dana Bay being a nature conservancy, bushbuck can still be seen roaming in the area and bird life is abundant. Dana Bay is well known for it's "Fynbos". Lilies & Leopards B&B offers you a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature at its best.
Melkhoutkloof Guest House, MOSSEL BAY
Elegant Guest House situated in the heart of South Africa's Garden Route.  Go on a 4x4 Game drive, Visit the Cango Caves, Crocodile and Ostrich Farms, or just relax on pristine sandy beaches. Watch the Whales and Dolphins from your private balcony. Walking distance to pristine sandy beaches.  Easy distance to Oudtshoorn, Wilderness and Knysna.  5 Elegantly furnished en suite (bath and shower) bedrooms with kloof and sea views.  Situated between Mossel Bay and George.  AA Accommodation Awards Winner 1999, 2000 and 2001 for best Guest House. 2002 AA Hall of Fame of Award.
Nyaru Game Lodge - Garden Route Safaris, Brandwacht, MOSSEL BAY
Situated in a malaria free area on South Africa's picturesque garden route, Nyaru Game Lodge nestles between the Outeniqua Mountains and surrounding beaches. Nyaru Game Lodge is strategically situated in the heart of the Garden Route (Eden), only 3 hours drive from Cape Town, 30 minutes drive from the George airport and 10 minutes drive off the N2 from Mossel Bay on the R328 to Oudtshoorn. You can experience close encounters with our wildlife you will never forget. Activities between free roaming animals - Quad Bike Safaris, 4x4 Safaris, Horse Back Safaris, Bush walk Safaris and sun downer & sunset picnics. 
Villa Gouriqua, Luxury Self-Catering Apartment, MOSSEL BAY
Luxury apartment with beautiful sea views in a new development in central Mossel Bay. Situated just a few minutes walk from Santos Beach, Munro's Bay and yacht club. The Post office tree and Diaz Museum complex are virtually on our doorstep. Shops, restaurants and banks are within walking distance and a shopping centre and cinema only a 5 minute drive. We have safe underground parking and a lift.  Main bedroom is en-suite with double bed and second bedroom has one single bed and a bunk bed. Open plan kitchen and living area with sliding doors leading onto outside veranda with barbeque. 
More accommodation in Mossel Bay
OUDTSHOORN (ROUTE 62) ACCOMMODATION - SOUTH AFRICA
Oudtshoorn, the largest town in the Little Karoo, is most well known as the centre of the ostrich farming industry. Taller than many men, these huge flightless birds weigh in at about 150kg and are very fast and – surprisingly – very dangerous. Don’t tangle with one. How embarrassing would it be to have to explain to the guys in the office that, while you were on holiday, a bird kicked you almost to death and you landed up in hospital with broken bones, concussion and a few major lacerations? You’d never live it down. But they are interesting – and delicious. Their almost totally fat-free and cholesterol-free red meat is reputed to be particularly healthy, and is made into a huge range of innovative dishes in local restaurants. The most traditional way to eat an ostrich, though, is in the form of biltong – sun-dried, spiced strips of meat. But, hey. Why eat the bird, when you can wear it?

Ostrich feathers have moved in and out of fashion a few times over the last couple of centuries but, at their heyday, they were worth more than their weight in gold and they funded the building of some magnificent mansions, which were dubbed “feather palaces” by the envious neighbours. Le Roux’s Townhouse, which is an annex of the CP Nel Museum, is an excellent example of this early form of conspicuous consumption.

There are also a number of farms where you could watch an ostrich display, learn all about these amazing birds and go wild buying ostrich feather and leather products. The leather has almost overtaken the feathers as a must-have fashion accessory. Distinctively knobbed (how many leathers are plucked?) and very hard-wearing, it’s used to make anything from key rings to full length coats, car upholstery and even saddles. (OK – so far, one rather weird Cape Town polo player has decided that a knobbly ostrich leather saddle is a good idea. But, who knows, it could take off.)

You could, if you were totally heartless, also ride an ostrich. Sure – they weigh 150 kg and are very strong but – and this is a big but – they have really tiny little ankles so many of the birds that are ridden are permanently injured. Which is not really a problem, as they’re destined to be turned into biltong and handbags, anyhow, but it’s worth thinking about.

Speaking of handbags, there’s a crocodile ranch just outside the town, and also a “wildlife ranch”, where you can dive with crocodiles from the safety of a cage, see a range of predators, including lions, tigers and jaguars, and you could even – for a price – “adopt” a baby cheetah. While we’re on the animal thing – there’s a bunny farm, where you can pet the angora rabbits and buy lovely soft garments from angora wool, and even a lovely, child-friendly restaurant where you can ride a camel. Camels, fortunately, are renowned for their sturdy ankles.

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©  South African Tourism
The other major attraction in Oudtshoorn is the Cango Caves, which extend for miles into the extensive limestone hills and exhibit beautiful crystal and flow structures. You can do a one hour tour or tackle the more adventurous one and a half hour tour, which includes some tight squeezes.

One of the best ways to see Oudtshoorn and its surrounds – if you’re relatively energetic – is to do a semi-escorted cycling trip on the Swartberg Pass. You (along with the bikes) get driven to the top of the pass 50km from town, from where you make your own way back. The first 10km is a steep, twisting, turning, incredibly scenic unpaved mountain pass – but all downhill. From there the next 10km is a relatively steep downhill on tar, and the last 30km is mostly downhill or flat.
En route back to town, you can stop to visit the Cango Caves, the Wildlife Ranch, an ostrich farm, and even stop to ride a camel. A short detour (with some uphills) could take you to a lovely waterfall. It’s a full day ride but – here’s the best part – if you decide you’ve had enough cycling, you can phone to be picked up and only pay a small “rescue fee”.

There are some great restaurants and a smattering of lovely guest houses. The Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (Little Karoo National Arts Festival), which is a whole load of fun, is held in April.

Adley House, Bed & Breakfast, OUDTSHOORN
Built in 1905 by Sidney Herbert Adley during the ‘Ostrich Feather Boom period’ 1880 to 1914.  This magnificent Sandstone Victorian Homestead is situated on an acre of land in a quiet up market residential area near to the centre of town. Rated 4 stars by the S.A. Tourism grading council, it has 14 Air Conditioned, individually decorated rooms with T.V, tea and coffee facilities, Hairdryers, bar fridge and all the necessary amenities to make your stay most pleasant.  Relax at our 2 pools in our well kept English Garden.
Die Ou Pastorie - De Hoop, OUDTSHOORN
We invite you to the grand, gabled, sandstone lady - Die Ou Pastorie. You will be overwhelmed by calm, wonderment and beauty because of her architecture, accommodation and landscape. The Parsonage and Dutch Reformed Church of De Hoop, Oudtshoorn were completed in 1909 by imported Scottish stone masons. This gem of the Klein Karoo has passionately and respectfully been restored and refurbished as a Guest House for the comfort and entertainment of guests. It is centrally located for exploration of the Klein Karoo and the exquisite Garden Route nearby. 
Hlangana Lodge B&B, OUDTSHOORN
Oudtshoorn's premier destination. This highly recommended lodge offers individually decorated en suite rooms, all equipped with queen size beds or twin beds, TV, mini-bar, safe, telephone, free coffee/tea and air conditioning.  A warm welcome awaits you in this Victorian Lodge with its exotic garden settings.  Relax at the large salt water swimming pool and enjoy the superb views of the Swartberg Mountains. Try the fitness center, hire a mountain bike or just enjoy a drink at the fully licensed bar.  Opened in 1996, Hlangana Lodge has been the home away from home for many visitors to our beautiful town.
Villa Rustique Guesthouse & Fine Dining Restaurant,
OUDTSHOORN
Villa Rustique guesthouse offers 5 luxury rooms (1 Honeymoon suite) all en-suite, with private entrance and air conditioning.  365 days a year, when the weather is fine, we let you enjoy our superb champagne breakfast buffet on the patio around the pool.  Guests can relax and stay refreshed around the swimming pool or enjoy a day trip to the local Oudtshoorn attractions.  Villa Rustique is located in a quiet residential area of Oudtshoorn, the city of ostriches and the world famous Cango Caves.
More accommodation in Oudtshoorn
PLETTENBERG BAY ACCOMMODATION
Plettenberg Bay, or Plett, as it is more familiarly known, is the most fashionable spot on the Garden Route and has been called the Riviera of Africa. It’s no exaggeration. With fabulous beaches stretching for miles, whole neighbourhoods of expensive summer homes hogging the best views, a couple of championship golf courses, and about a dozen world class polo fields, it’s definitely the playground of the rich.

But there’s more to Plett than glitz and glamour.

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View map of Plettenberg Bay
It’s one of the best boat based whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world, the diving is good, the surfing is great, and the fabulous Harkerville mountain biking trails are about halfway between Plett and Knysna.

There are some awesome hikes close to the town and loads of great day walks. You can do a tandem skydive, fly in a glider or just do a scenic whale and dolphin watching flight.

When the 15th Century Portuguese explorers first saw the place we now call Plett, they dubbed it Bahia Formosa – the beautiful bay – and it’s apt. The spectacular Robberg Peninsula, which defines the western edge of the bay, is a nature reserve where you can do walks ranging from a half hour to a day, look at seals, whales and dolphins from the cliff and visit a stone age cave with an informative site museum.
 
©  South African Tourism
©  South African Tourism

The Keurbooms and Bitou Rivers meet up near the national road to the east of the town and join up to form the beautiful Keurbooms Lagoon. There is great paddling on both rivers, particularly the bigger Keurbooms, which has a lovely overnight hut, accessible only by canoe, about 7km upstream.

Plett is absolutely stuffed with lovely guest houses, great restaurants, good hotels and wonderful little coffee shops. The many creative locals that have chosen to make their home in this little paradise create a constant supply of innovative crafts, foods and clothing that supply the numerous retail therapy venues.

Every place has its down side, though, and Plett’s is its popularity with school leavers. At the end of November, or beginning of December, they descend on the town in full breeding plumage, usually in Daddy’s second or third BMW, and make their presence known. But if you steer clear of the pubs and clubs you should manage to avoid them – and they only get to the beaches in late afternoon, immediately upon waking.

Bosavern Guest House, PLETTENBERG BAY
Bosavern Guest House is a stylish, upmarket guesthouse set on a cliff, offering spectacular views of the ocean, the pristine white Robberg Beach and peninsular nature reserve, and the green expanse of Plett Country Club. It has a 4 star Guest House Grading by the Grading Council of South Africa.  Leisurely breakfasts are served on the patio overlooking the ocean.  Lounge around our swimming pool or cool off in its clear water during the summer heat.  The 5 well-appointed en-suite bedrooms have private entrances and patios... 
Fynbos Ridge Country House & Cottages, PLETTENBERG BAY
Fynbos Ridge is set on a magnificent fynbos reserve, with stunning mountain views. Set amongst the fragrant fynbos, the Cape Dutch style Country House is spacious and well appointed, and the self-catering garden cottages are comfortable and secluded. Our ethos is relaxed luxury, peace and tranquility, enhanced by our friendly and professional service. We are only a few minutes drive away from pristine beaches of Plettenberg Bay, a large selection of activities and award winning golf courses. We offer fine dining, as well as delicious breakfasts. Our organic herb and vegetable gardens supply our kitchen, and self-catering guests are welcome to pick their own salads. 
Pool At Hog Hollow
Hog Hollow Country Lodge, PLETTENBERG BAY
12 uniquely individual rooms offer uninterrupted views over the indigenous forests and Tsitsikamma Mountains.   These comfortable African-styled rooms, situated in the gardens surrounding the main house, are decorated in earthy colours, naturally woven fabrics, artifacts and tones from north-eastern Africa, and local handcrafted woods. 
More accommodation in Plettenberg Bay
WILDERNESS ACCOMMODATION
Wilderness, in the heart of the Garden Route, is a lovely little town in the most fabulous setting. With forested hills at its back, the town jigsaws itself around a number of pretty wetlands and flows over the high coastal dunes to overlook a magnificent, long, snow white beach where dolphins and whales come to play. Just to the west of the town, the pitch-black, mysterious, forest-clad Kaaimans River wends its way to the sea flowing under a series of bridges that support the N2 and a narrow gauge railway line that carries the historical Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train that runs between George and Knysna.
View Google Map of South Africa
View map of Wilderness
Cinnamon Boutique Guesthouse and Restaurant,
WILDERNESS
Our tranquil retreat is surrounded by a bird sanctuary in the heart of the Wilderness Village.  Your vastly experienced hosts, Desmond and Johan and their well-trained staff will pamper you and make your stay unforgettable.  Join us on for a 5 star exploration of Wilderness and the Garden Route. Set in amongst the tranquil Milkwoods alongside a private reserve, 2 of the rooms have ocean views and the other 8 offer stunning mountain views. Cinnamon Boutique also offers a self-catering bar, TV room and pool.
Moontide Guest Lodge, Guest Lodge/B&B, WILDERNESS
In the charming village of Wilderness, Moontide is tacked away at the end of a private road right on the lagoon's edge. This stylish thatched 4 star lodge is beautifully furnished with original art and is 2 minutes from the beach, restaurants and hiking trails. The 8 luxury en-suite bedrooms have their own entrance leading into a garden with 400-yr-old milkwood trees and a plunge pool. Romantic honeymoon Tree Top room. Relax in the comforting ambience of this retreat. Birder's paradise. 
Pink Lodge, Bed & Breakfast, WILDERNESS
Experience our spacious, elegant and luxurious en-suite accommodation with beautiful gardens leading to endless golden beaches. Delicious breakfasts served in our dining room overlooking the beach.  The Pink Lodge on the Beach on Die Duin in Wilderness, is just a short distance from the restaurants and shops of this quaint and picturesque village.  Ideally situated for exploring the wonders of the Garden Route.  Our comfortably furnished en-suite bedrooms all have private patios leading onto the magnificent gardens and endless golden beaches.  Family units are also available. Off street parking is provided and all bedrooms are furnished with tea & coffee making facilities, satellite television and all the comforts of home.
The Old Trading Post, B&B/Self-Catering, WILDERNESS
The Old Trading Post is situated about 6km from Wilderness in a rural setting in the heart of the Lakes District. We offer fully equipped self catering or Bed & Breakfast accommodation in peace natural surroundings with abundant bird life.  The Old Trading Post is a historical home which served as a General Dealer Store for many years. It is an ideal place to stay whilst your discover and enjoy the Garden Route's natural beauty and all the popular tourist attractions and beaches, it is centrally situated for golfers to try out at the local golf courses from Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay.  Wilderness National Park surrounds The Old Trading Post and offers bird watching, hiking, canoeing and power boats are allowed on Island Lake nearby.
Tuscany Guesthouse right at the ocean, WILDERNESS
The Tuscany is situated on top of the dunes overlooking the Indian Ocean. Stroll down your private path to the unspoilt stretches of white beaches of wilderness and experience its beauty and tranquility. The house is built in a mediterranean style and has 3 ensuite bedrooms with balconies facing the sea.  You can enjoy our special breakfast with homemade bread and cakes on the veranda while listening to the sound of the breakers and the birds.  Our beautifully decorated rooms all have their own bathrooms, TV and safe. The intimate living with tea/coffee making facilities and the spacious garden with swimming pool will surely make you feel right at home at The Tuscany.
More accommodation options in Wilderness

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