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Western Cape

Garden Route / Page 1

The spectacular scenic beauty of the Garden Route makes it a highly recommended destination for visitors to the Western Cape. The rich tapestry of indigenous forests, lakes, lagoons, waterways and rivers are bordered by a rugged coastline possessing magnificent beaches washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The mild and equable climate provide the visitor with all year round enjoyment.

I n f o r m a t i o n :
Western Cape Tourism Board {+27 (0) 21 - 4265639/47} at the The Pinnacle, Corner Castle & Burg Streets, Cape Town.

The Garden Route comprises a narrow coastal plateau stretching from Heidelberg in the West to the Storms River in the East. The area is contained by the Langeberg, Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains in the north, and is possessed of its own unique climate, described as 'temperate coastal' - warm summers and cool winters with all year round rainfall.

Oudtshoorn is the holiday playground of the Klein Karoo. It is a highly recommended destination when travelling between Cape Town and the Garden Route. The Ostrich feather boom during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, resulted in enormous wealth for the town and was reflected in the ‘feather palaces’ which date back to this time. The world famous Cango Caves are a major attraction and are ranked among the great wonders of the world.

Travelling from Cape Town on the N2, the western entry point to the Garden Route is Heidelberg, the trading and administrative centre of this prosperous wheat and wool area.

was established in 1838 and was named after Harry Rivers, a high-ranking government official. Langenhoven House is named after CJ Langenhoven (author of 'Die Stem' - one of South Africa's national anthems) who lived here, while attending school, for two years. The Old Power Station and Old Prison are also worth a visit.

Take a detour off the N2 to Still Bay and Groot Jongensfontein. Still Bay is situated at the mouth of the Kafferkuils River and has developed along both banks. The Morrispont Fishing Traps may be found here and date back to prehistoric man.

was founded in 1902 and named after the Reverend JR Albertyn. Aloe sap is harvested here and the Aloe Factory extracts aloe juice and gel for use in medicine and skin care products.

The seaside town of Mossel Bay was first discovered by Bartholomew Diaz in 1488 while on a voyage to the east. He named the bay "Aguada de Sao Bras" (watering place of St. Blaize). The Dutch navigator Paulus van Caerden gave Mossel Bay its name in 1601, after the bounteous supply of mussels that line the shores.

Visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex at the end of Market Street. St Blaize Lighthouse is one of the only two manned lighthouses on the South African Coast.

Hartenbos is a tranquil town close to Mossel Bay. Here you will find the Hartenbos Museum, the theme of which is the ‘Great Trek’ of 1838.

Little Brak River is a tranquil village with an attractive beach. The lagoon and river offer an ideal mix for water sport fans. Great Brak River flows into a lagoon. There is a small island at the lagoon mouth which is connected by a bridge to the mainland.

George (named after King George III) is the Capital of the Garden Route and possesses its main airport. Beaches are at nearby Glentana, Herold's Bay, Victoria (Vic) Bay, and Wilderness.

15 km east of George is the Wilderness, a romantic seaside resort situated at the mouth of the Touw and Kaaimans Rivers. This unique setting has vast stretches of unspoilt beach and varied waterways which embrace the Wilderness Lagoon (Touw River Estuary). The greater part of this region is a National Park containing five rivers, five lakes, two estuaries and 28 km of coastline. The lakes are one of South Africa's foremost waterfowl sanctuaries and in spring are surrounded by a magnificent carpet of wild flowers.

Spectacular views can be enjoyed from Dolphin's Point and Map of Africa.

is a small town on the banks of the Swartvlei estuary in the heart of the Lakes area.

is the largest natural inland saltwater lake in South Africa and is renowned for its prolific bird life. The Goukamma Nature Reserve is nearby, where the new Groenvlei Bushcamp offers accommodation.

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