'The Gateway to the Garden Route' lies between the Langeberg Mountains and the Breede River.

Heidelberg was established in 1885 on the banks of the Duivenhoks River on the farm Doornboom, and is named after its namesake in Germany where the Heidelberg Catechism was formulated.

A moderate climate, plentiful water, rich soil, clean air, rural tranquility, affordable housing, friendly community, good schools and advanced infrastructure make Heidelberg an ideal place to stay.

Witsand is an historical coastal town, 40km by road, from Heidelberg.  It is situated at the mouth of the mighty Breede River and is close to the last hand-operated pont in South Africa, which is used to cross the Breede River at Malgas.

From May to November, Witsand has the largest concentration of Southern Right whales on the South African coast and it is growing every year.  On a good day you may be able to see up to 50 pairs of these magnificent creatures.

Witsand has so much to offer - rich historical value, wide-open spaces and clean air.  Other attractions include over 200 bird species, exquisite flora and fauna, long safe beaches for swimming and walking and 4x4 trails.

This is a floral paradise and home of the Sleeping Beauty Mountain Peak, which has the perfect form of a sleeping princess.

Riversdale earns its name of 'Floral Paradise of the Garden Route' from the thousand of Cape Fynbos species that blanket the towering Langeberg Mountains, which guard Riversdale on the northern side, whilst 'Sleeping Beauty' watches over the magnificent countryside and town.

Adventure abounds in the mountains in the form of abseiling down cascading waterfalls, spectacular hiking trails, hang-gliding, 4x4 trails, and horse riding safaris.  The scenic Korentepoort Dam, nestled in the Langeberg Mountain Range, is surrounded by pine forests, and is the epitome of peace and tranquillity and nature in all its glory.

Stillbaai - the Bay of the Sleeping Beauty.  For almost a century this beautiful seaside resort has been well known for its harmonious atmosphere and scenic beauty.  The vast open spaces, tranquil river, pure white sandy beaches and moderate climate attract people countrywide.

Stillbaai's fauna and flora have always been a source of enjoyment and surprise to visitors.  There is an abundance of fynbos, and observant visitors often encounter an amazing variety of wild marine and bird life.  Visitors may delight themselves in the frolics of the Southern Right whales from various lookout points.

Stillbaai is well known for its whale watching, historical and architectural heritage, tame eels at Palinggat, fish traps constructed by Strandlopers, botanical gardens at Pallinggat and Melkhoutfontein and nature reserves.  Sporting facilities include golf, bowls, squash, tennis, bisley, water sports, hiking trails, Tillbaai Strondloper Festival (September) and the annual touch rugby championships.

Albertinia is situated between the Langeberg Mountains and the Indian Ocean.  Some of the finest examples of Cape fynbos (Cape macchia) can be found here, as well as a unique collection of 6,500 different species of plants that grow on South Africa's Cape coast - and nowhere else in the world.  Many of these species are indigenous to Albertinia and the coastal nature reserve.

Albertinia has derived its motto 'Home of the Aloe' from the abundance of aloes growing in the district.  Four different species of aloe are found in this region, which has given rise to a very big health and cosmetic industry.

Mossel Bay
In the 15th century, Europeans were establishing a spice route to the East.  In 1488 (which was 165 years before Jan van Riebeeck arrived) Bartolomeu Dias found himself just off the Mossel Bay coast.  His crew were tired and begged him to stop on dry land before they continued.  A cross was erected, as was tradition in those days, and this became the site of the first Post Office in South Africa (the Post Tree is still growing today).

Today Mossel Bay is a peaceful town that has been a home and holiday resort for generations.  The town is central to the Garden Route and has become a very popular destination for both South African and international tourists.

When in Mossel Bay, visit the various restaurants and coffee shops, sampling their delicious gastronomic delights.

Experience Mossel Bay's
'Endless Horizons' on foot and
experience the scenic beauty and
rich cultural heritage of the town
and its people. 
The majestic Outeniqua Mountains
form the backdrop, embracing the
rich fynbos and protea floral kingdom,
with the bay and its pristine soft
sun-drenched beaches in the foreground.
The Garden Route Tour
For the steam train enthusiast a trip to Voorbaai, only a stones throw away from Mossel Bay, is a must, as it has become the biggest centre for restoring and maintaining steam locomotives of all classes on the South African Rail network.

The activities are endless .......... there are easy, breathtaking hiking trails, such as the St Blaize hiking trail starting from the historical Khoi-San Cave at the Point, fun eco-adventure trips, bungy jumping and bridge swinging, abseiling, safe shark cage diving as well as scuba diving operations, swimming and surfing.  Relax in an indoor heated swimming pool or at one of the many popular surfing and safe swimming beaches.  There is an excellent golfing estate for the avid golfer with a view of the sea from every golf tee.

Little Brak
This is a quaint little village situated along the Little Brak river mouth.  Its scenic beauty and peacefulness make it a popular holiday destination.

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is situated approximately 7 kms from Little Brak in a malaria free area and is blessed with a great diversity of habitat and wildlife.  Visitors have an excellent chance of experiencing close encounters with rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, giraffe, rare black impala and many more in an exhilarating 3-hour guided game drive.   This unique 4x4 game viewing drive in an open vehicle or quad bike, is a stimulating mix of bush craft and exciting game viewing for the outdoor enthusiast.

Great Brak River
Nestling in a perfect Garden Route setting, Great Brak River is midway between George and Mossel Bay.  It is an unspoilt paradise with sandy beaches and scenic routes.

The city of George is the regional capital and South Africa's sixth oldest town.  It lies at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and spreads across the narrowest point of the coastal plateau.  Streams spring to life in the mountains above the town, becoming winding rivers coursing through forests before reaching quiet lakes, lagoons and the sea.  Nature has provided an ideal setting for an abundance of outdoor activities with the added advantage of a mild year round climate and low winter rainfall.

Boasting a population of about 140,000, George is the geographical hub of commerce and industry of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo.  This vibrant city contributes significantly to the Southern Cape's gross regional product, with the dominant sectors being agriculture, forestry, manufacturing and tourism.  George provides a wide range of goods and services and excellent medical facilities.

Unique shopping experiences are offered with speciality shops in indigenous woodcraft, furniture, gifts and leather goods.  Various art galleries dotted around the city offer year round exhibitions of local, national and international artists.  Shows and stage productions are underway throughout the year, while the latest movies on the circuit can be enjoyed at the local cinema.  George is also well known for its hops and berry farms.

The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe is South Africa's last scheduled mixed steam train service and operates on the Outeniqualand Preserved Railway between George and Knysna in the heart of the Garden Route.  Opened in 1928 and declared a preserved line in July 1993, the train winds its way through some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.

Lying at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains and embraced by golden beaches, Wilderness is a picturesque village forming the western gateway to the Southern Cape Lakes District.  This nature lover's paradise is best known for its beaches, lakes, beautiful lagoon and lush indigenous forests.

Encompassed within the boundaries of Wilderness, one finds the 2,600ha Wilderness National Park, which is well know for its birdwatching, as it hosts over 230 different bird species.  In addition, between June and November, the beachfront is ideal for whale watching, while dolphins can be seen playing the surf throughout the year.

The beaches and forest walks provide irresistible outings for bird watchers and hikers.  The hills and kloofs beckon paragliders, abseilers and mountain bikers whilst the enchanting streams, lakes and lagoon lure those who enjoy canoeing, sailing, waterskiing and fishing.

The beauty of the area can be viewed from one of the many scenic drives or via the Choo-Tjoe as it winds its way along the coast.

The quiet lakes that lie adjacent to Sedgefield and the nearby golden beaches set around a sparkling bay, offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the region's coastal wetlands.  The farmers' market called 'Wild Oats', is held every Saturday morning. It attracts locals and visitors alike from far and wide.  Delicious fresh produce can be tasted and bought from local suppliers.

Click here for more information on South Africa's favourite holiday destination

Click here for more information on Knysna's favourite Beach location

Plettenberg Bay
More than a village, but not quite a town, Plettenberg Bay is tranquil, charming, hospitable and very special.  There are few places where nature paints a landscape of such exquisite beauty as it does around Plettenberg Bay.  Lying on the shores of a bay so lovely it was called 'Bahia Formosa' (beautiful bay) by the first Portuguese explorers.  It has 18 kilometres of unspoiled, gleaming beaches stretching either side of the town, with Lookout Beach qualifying as a Blue Flag beach recently.

Plettenberg Bay has become known as an eco-tourist destination offering a wide range of activities such as the highest bungy jump in the world at Bloukrans Bridge, boat trips to see the majestic Southern Right whales, forest wagon trails, Monkeyland (a rescue paradise for many species of different monkeys), the Knysna Elephant Park, Robberg Nature Reserve, sea kayaking, abseiling, glider trips and scenic walks, to name only a few.  A recent development is ensuring that Plettenberg Bay is the polo mecca in South Africa with Kurland and Bitou House offering spectacular polo tournaments during December and Easter.

Plettenberg Bay's most prominent landmark, the Robberg Peninsula, is an unspoilt nature reserve.  Scenically spectacular with pathways providing many interesting walks, it has a rich intertidal life, a big variety of birds and fascinating caves where the legacy of the prehistoric beachcombers who once inhabited this part of the coast, can be seen.

The Plettenberg Bay festival is held annually in August.  It is primarily a sports festival with a heap of added entertainment as well as arts and crafts.
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