Explore the Garden Route National Park this SA National Parks Week

Written by AmakayaBP

It’s called the ‘Route of Splendour’ on the brochure. The Garden Route National Park certainly lives up to its name: beautiful blue bays, towering coastal cliffs, ancient indigenous forest, endemic fynbos, mountains, views for days…and endless adventures!

The Garden Route National Park stretches from Wilderness in the west to Tsitsikamma in the east with patches of national park popping up in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay – exploring during SA National Parks Week is a superb reason to visit or revisit us in Plett.

SA National Parks Week (8 – 15 September 2019) is a week of celebrating our gorgeous natural heritage across the country and includes free entry to our national parks for South Africans during this time. With all the wonderful national parks available, why should you choose the Garden Route? We’ll tell you…


Nestled between the ocean, canyon walls and the gentle Groot River, Nature’s Valley is a gem like no other. It’s a birdwatcher’s and hiker’s paradise offering numerous day-trails – the views are completely worth the climbs! Nature’s Valley is the final destination of Tsitsikamma’s epic Otter Trail and is a welcome sight for tired ‘soles’ after the five-day hike. The Salt River hike comes highly recommended by us! DISTANCE FROM AMAKAYA: 34km


If the Garden Route National Park were a film, Tsitsikamma’s Storms River would be its soundtrack. Crashing waves, birds calling, pebbles rumbling in the surf and resounding off the canyon walls. Storms River is the start of the famous Otter Trail and Africa’s oldest Marine Protected Area. The park stretches from 5km inland to the coastline and includes hikes and walks aplenty through ancient Afromontane forest, fynbos and rocky coastline. Activities in this section of the park include ziplining, Segway, scuba diving, snorkeling and paddling. A definite favourite with all travellers. DISTANCE FROM AMAKAYA to STORMS RIVER MOUTH: 67km

GARDEN ROUTE NATIONAL PARK: Kranshoek and Harkerville

A lesser-known section of the national park, Harkerville forest offers a superb example of wet highforest with tall stinkwood, kalander, wit-els and makes for a fine and cool hike on a hot day with loeries calling and baboons answering ;) The Kranshoek coastal section offers one of the finest views on the southern Cape coastline. Stroll through endemic fynbos, watching out for the delicate, colourful sunbirds to the dramatic coastline that characterises the Garden Route. The Kranshoek walk is 9km and, while strenuous, it’s truly magnificent. There are many excellent bike trails in this section of the national park.


Oh, the cool and mysterious Knysna forest has inspired many artists and writers with its giant yellowwood trees, lush ferns and waterfalls. If you’ve spent a lot of your southern Cape holiday on the coastline, we’d like to suggest that you visit the Garden of Eden to explore the temperate rainforest for a slice of South African floral magic!


Paddling, bird-hides and gentle strolls – Ebb and Flow is all about going with the flow of the surrounding waterways… Watch the dolphins and whales from Dolphins Point, fish or paddle Island Lake or hike to the waterfall – this is the ideal spot to slow down and take in the exquisite splendour of the Garden Route National Park.