Garden Route National Park
Visit some of the 144,000+ hectares of wildlands and marine protected area along the Garden Route Coast!
The 144,000 hectare Garden Route National Park is one of South Africa’s largest national parks. It protects a range of habitats:
- Fynbos (Cape macchia) on the Outeniqua Mountains
- The country’s largest block of Afromontane (yellowwood and stinkwood) forest
- Rocky and sandy shores - and (in the Tsitsikamma section) Africa’s oldest and largest marine protected area.
Stretching from The Wilderness (close to the city of Gorge), to the Tsitsikamma (the area east of Plettenberg Bay), the Park is managed in three separate districts:
- The Wilderness Section (around the Touw River)
- The Knysna Lakes Section (around the Knysna River Estuary - or, as the locals call it, the Knysna Lagoon)
- The Tsitsikamma Section - which includes Storms River Mouth and the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (Africa’s oldest MPA).
Wildlife in the Park includes more than 250 species of birds, and (closer to Knysna) the world's southernmost herd - and only free-ranging herd - of African elephants.
Attractions the Park include:
- Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours
- Woodcutters guided forest journey
- Mountain biking (mostly in the Knysna section - at Harkerville, about 15 km east of Plett Beacon House)
- Walking, hiking, and picnicking
- Water-based activities in the Tsitsikamma Section (the section closest to us) include river tubing, canoeing, kayaking and lilo adventures, snorkelling and scuba diving (about 25 km from Plett Beacon House)