The Garden Route, is a magical place and one of South Africa’s most popular stretches of road. It boasts vast white sandy beaches, fairy tale forests, rugged mountains and an abundance of wildlife.
With so much to see and do, there are many hidden gems, often overlooked, simply waiting to be explored.
As you make your way along the N2 from Cape Town, you’ll eventually reach a small town named Hoekwil. Here, encounter the ancient Outeniqua Yellowwood tree, or ‘Big Tree’, which is estimated to be 850 years old . The Big Tree rests in the hidden Woodville Forest, which itself is a great destination for a family-friendly expedition. Hiking and walking trails are wheel-chair friendly and offer beautiful designated picnic areas.
Wild Oats Community Farmers Market
While passing through Sedgefield, the town known for its classic cars, why not stop over at the Wild Oats Community Farmers Market held every Saturday between 7:30 and noon. This market supports the principle of small-scale producers, local nature and conservation efforts, as well as fair and ethical pricing.
An easily-missed turn off just before Knysna will take you to Buffalo Bay, a small, secluded seaside town within the Goukamma Nature Reserve. Boasting one of the most unique and safe swimming beaches along the Garden Route, it is the ideal location for a seaside holiday.
Nature’s Valley is the last village before entering the Eastern Cape. A small hamlet of about 50 houses, development has been minimised to avoid spoiling the nature of the village, and its peaceful way of life. Despite being situated along the Garden Route, and forming part of the Tsitsikamma National Park, the valley has remained largely undiscovered. Its overwhelming beauty and tranquil atmosphere is sure to enchant you.
Nearing the end of the Garden Route is Storms River, another village that echoes fine living in a very raw and natural sense. This is where the famous Otter Trail begins, making it’s away along the Garden Route to Nature’s Valley.