The garden route, 300 km long, stretches all the way from Mosselbaai to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name comes from the ecological diversity and the many lagoons and lakes along the coast. It’s a must see and one of South Africa’s major highlights and many tourists will drive this route and stopover in the various towns along the coast. Here you will find many activities, from hiking, biking, canoeing, paragliding, surfing, you name it.
To get to Mosselbaai there are different routes to take. The easiest and quickest way to get there is by taking the N2. If you want to see more of the back lands or the coastline go for the R roads, they give a more scenic view. These roads are accessible with all cars although some parts are gravel or even some sand and rocks.
After driving a fair stretch on the N2 towards Mosselbaai we turned right towards the coast, to Stilbaai. Here you will find a beautiful route along the shore that takes you all the way to Mosselbaai.
As we slowly drove this route we stopped just before Mosselbaai near the small town Kanon. Through iOverlander we found out that we could wildcamp close to the shore. The road brought us through a sandy road to a parking spot with 2 places to set up camp. Both spots where so close to the sea that with a few steps we would get wet feet. The sea was roaring while high waves broke apart on the rocky shore. We parked our car just a few meters away from the rocky shore and while Inge was packing out the car, I was busy making fire for our braai. Wood was already laying around the braai spot and with the help of some newspaper the fire was lit in no time.
I don’t know if you ever braaied yourself, but it is fairly easy. Just have enough fire to lit a fire and when the wood has turned into simmering coals and there is no fire anymore, get your meat out and fry it slowly on a braai rooster on the coals.
Our first night wild camping was beautiful with a nice full moon and the sky full of stars. Sheep where walking along the shore line to get to the national park next to our camping spot. It started with one and slowly dozens where passing by our car. The night passed by with no issues other than a short sleep due to noise the waves where making. When we woke up the next morning fishermen were already packing out their equipment to do some sea fishing.
An hour later we arrived in Mosselbaai where Inge and I needed to catch up on some work. Late afternoon we pulled over on one of the campsites and when we arrived we stumbled upon our friends from Israel again. In the evening we all together went out for some sushi and wine and shared our stories so far.
When we drove away from Mosselbaai the next day our surroundings slowly changed, from green, grassy hills where farmers reside to the lush rainforest. Especially when you enter the town Wilderness the rainforest clearly shows itself. We camped here for the night and the day after we continued on to Plettenberg Bay. Close by to this town you have a nice beach called Keurboomstrand and if you have a day to spare chill on the beach and have lunch or dinner at Enrico’s. They have some nice pizza’s.
After our lunch we continued on to Tenikwa Wild Cat and Wildlife Sanctuary where a lot of cat like animals, such as lions, jaguars, wild cats, cheetah’s, etc, which can’t be released or are rehabilitated to be released into the wild again, have found shelter. We took the normal tour and where lucky that we were the only two, which meant a private tour. The tour passed along a white lion (this is due to a mutation in their genes that causes albinism) and due to its colour, it can’t survive in the wild as the lion would be spotted from far away is what they told us. This is not completely true as white lions have been successfully in the wild without human interference. After that we passed along different kind of cats and we where even allowed to get in the cage with cheetahs and come really close to them.
Our route continued on to Storms River where we would camp for the night. Storms River is situated near Tsitsikamma National Park and its famous for its astonishing forest and breath-taking coastline for 80 km long. Here you also find the highest bungee jump in the world for the brave hearted. Inge and I were thinking about it but a nice hike into the park is almost just as exciting 😊.
After the hike we continued on to Willowmore where we will drive the Baviaanskloof.
Xox Chris & Inge