• Thirteen of my favorite activities in the Garden Route

    Posted on November 16, 2012 by in Blog

    The Garden Route has countless activities to offer, probably one of the most diversified and interesting areas in South Africa when it comes to things to do. These are just a few things to do when staying at Elephant Hide Guest Lodge. Below are a list of things to do to wet your appetite.

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    1)  The Garden of Eden, is an enchanting wet forest, near Knysna on the Garden Route. This is one of the most lush and beautiful parts of the Knysna forest and definitely a must-see when visiting this gorgeous region. This part of the Garden Route is characterized by fairytale forests, serene lakes, breathtaking golden beaches and marvelous rivers – making this the perfect place for a variety of outdoor activities. The Garden of Eden is situated in the middle of all it all, so take this opportunity to a break from your action packed holiday to experience a bit of paradise.

    The entrance to the Garden of Eden is well marked from the road, so just follow the signs from Knysna and you will easily locate it. A small entrance fee is required at the entrance. This is used towards the conservation of the area and to regulate the thousands of visitors that flock to this natural heaven every year. The “garden” is only open during certain hours and this is dependant on seasonal factors, so be sure to check with the local tourism office before setting off. There are various walking trails in the “garden”, so it is up to you whether you just want to take a leisurely short stroll, or spend a few hours exploring the garden’s surroundings. The various information boards are very helpful in identifying the various plant, bird and small animal life in the “garden”. There are also some wooden paths to make the walk easier, making this is the perfect activity for elderly visitors and families with small children.

    Except for the entrance gate and the walking trails, this “garden” is virtually untouched so you can imagine how it used to be like when wild animals lived there. So come experience this little bit of paradise in the heart of the Garden Route.

     2)Golf in the Garden Route The Garden Route has often been described as heaven on earth – a visual gem, this piece of exquisite African scenery and untamed coastline is home to one of South Africa’s top golf courses – The Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate, offering four courses to the avid golfer.

    Courses include a little something for everyone, for very experienced players to the excited novice and facilities at the hotel for those who enjoy simply sitting back and soaking up the scenery.

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     3) Catameran the Knysna Lagoon .The Knysna Waterfront is alive with water activity, including a host of boats, catamarans, paddle-cruisers, yachts and even a floating restaurant, which make up the famous Knysna Ferries. These vessels are the only boats able to navigate upstream and some of which are allowed to enter the Knysna Heads. These beautiful natural geographic outcrops that separate sea from lagoon provide breathtaking scenery – as a backdrop to blazing sunsets and buffers to foam-topped waves, an onboard excursion to the Heads is a must for any Knysna visitor. The ultimate experience however, is to visit them aboard a catamaran such as the Zakat, which cruises through the Heads and offers oysters and champagne – what a way to end the day.
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     4) Birds Of Eden is one the most magical bird sanctuaries around, it is located on 2.3 hectares and is the largest single, free-fight aviary in the world-according to the Guinness World Records. It is truly a magnificent place to go and enjoy mother nature at its best.

    Birds Of Eden is can be found right next to Monkeyland, you could have a two in one adventure on the same day. The only difference between Monkeyland and the Birds Of Eden is that you are able to stroll around freely, it is the freedom that is the key theme to the stay and is worth remembering when you are wondering around the large unique Avery.

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     5)Whale and Dolphin watching Over in Plett, a huge draw card for visitors is the frequent occurrence of inquisitive dolphins who seek out bathers whilst swimming. While keeping some distance, these curious mammals delight swimmers with tricks and squeals – a memory of a lifetime just off the Plett’s waters. Humpback whales are often spotted on their way to warmer waters and the odd Southern Right whale can be spotted too. In one sighting trip, boats often spot both dolphins and whales – while the more adventurous can try motorized glider flights for an incredible birds-eye view.
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     6) Hike Robberg Nature Reserve A nice scenic walk is always enjoyable, especially when it’s not too steep, you know…just enjoying a easy-going stroll. Not too much pressure to be fit, but getting fitter with every step you take, yet it is enjoyable as you don’t feel too much strain, a little but not too much. So there you go you lazy sods, rise and shine, the Robberg Nature Reserve is open from 7 in morning to 5 in the afternoon. Except in season when the gates will close at eight at night. Luckily for those of us that are varying in fitness levels there are three circular routes with difficulty increasing as the distance progresses.
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    7)The Elephant Sanctuary

    The Elephant Sanctuary is situated in a beautiful part of The Crags near Plettenberg Bay, in the scenic and famous Garden Route of South Africa. We are directly adjacent to Monkeyland and the Birds of Eden sanctuary, giving you three world-class experiences in one stop.

    The Elephant Sanctuary group has three operations – Hartbeespoort Dam near Pretoria and just outside Gauteng, Plettenberg Bay in the Garden Route and Hazyview in the Lowveld.The Elephant Sanctuary provides a “halfway house” for young African elephants in need of a temporary home. It is the only operation in South Africa that provides for elephants in this way. It is our vision to release all the elephants into an environment where they can be more independent once they are older.

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     8)Oyster Tasting Knysna has always been famous for its wonderful selection of good quality and affordable seafood. There is nothing better than eating deliciously prepared fresh seafood and overlooking the ocean from where it came from. In Knysna, there are many great seafood restaurants to choose from, with delectable oysters always a popular item on the menu.
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     9)Blackwater Tubing It’s the middle of Summer, it’s a lovely hot day. Some might say a little too hot. When the heat kicks in, the need to escape it, or ‘cool down’ kicks in even more so. The beach is great, but you’ve had enough of lying seaside catching a tan followed by a little dip in the water. You have decided you want to do something exciting, an adventure of sorts, but in the water. It seems you have decided the only the only way to please the endorphins and need for excitement is to go cruising down a river at high speed.
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    10)Spa’s in the Garden Route We have scoured the Garden Route for new luxury indulgences and unique experiences, proximity to a SPA has become a huge if not the major consideration when choosing a lavish escape. With this in mind we have gathered the TOP 10 SPAS in the Garden route. Whether Resort Spa, Day Spa or Destination Spa, South Africa enjoys a collection of some of the finest the world has to offer, providing sophisticated spa seekers with a wealth of choice.

    Africa boasts a rich SPA culture with some of the most innovative cutting edge spas in the world. Impeccably trained therapists offer a enviable rage of treatments and rituals using the worlds favourite SPA products alongside traditional African treatments.

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     11) Monkey Land Get close to nature during your visit to Plettenberg Bay by visiting the interesting primates at Monkeyland. This world-class multi-primate sanctuary is the world’s first free-roaming sanctuary, and aims to promote awareness of the plight of primates the world over. The animals are fortunate to have a natural high canopy forest as their habitat. The sanctuary’s experienced guides will also be able to give you more information about the sanctuary’s rich birdlife and indigenous forest.
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    12)Canopy Tree Top Tours The Western Cape of South Africa is undoubtedly the country’s most spectacular natural paradise boasting a scintillating and resplendent canvas of undulating fertility, wild and indigenous flora, and incomparable scenery. It is a nature lover’s dream come true and emphasises the unbelievably raw aesthetic beauty South Africa has become renowned for. If you’re a great fan of the Great Outdoors and are looking for a new way to discover the many pleasures and thrills of this part of the world, then a Treetop Canopy Tour is ideal for you.
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    13) Paraglide the Garden Route .South Africa’s iconic Garden Route is world-famous for its intense aesthetic beauty and spellbinding natural diversity. This route runs parallel to the shoreline and offers some of the best beaches, bays, lagoons, and other water channels found anywhere in South Africa. The Garden Route also connects a myriad of towns in the Western and Eastern Capes all boasting stunning natural beauty and intriguing cultural diversity; a journey through any part of the Garden Route is a must for any enthusiastic traveller – whether local or international.

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