What is still an almost undiscovered treasure trove of unspoilt beaches, incredible mountain ranges, rich geographical diversity, and the most astounding carpet of wild flowers in spring, has evolved into a major holiday route out of Cape Town along Route 27.
The Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. It stretches from Heidelberg in the Western Cape to the Storms River which is crossed along the N2 coastal highway over the Paul Sauer Bridge in the extreme western reach of the neighbouring Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre.
The fertile green valleys of the Cape Winelands are surrounded by proud mountain ranges. Towns and villages have many historic homesteads and monuments, and every so often fruit orchards are to be seen, whose produce may be found in all corners of the world. It is the Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall of the south-western Cape that produces some of the best wines in the country.
Close to the very tip of Africa, just outside Cape Town, you will find the Cape Whale Coast – a place on Earth where wonders never cease. This pristine stretch of the South African coastline that runs from the coastal hamlet of Rooiels in the west to Quoin Point in the East and is flanked by mesmerising mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
Geographical extremes capture the imagination. From ancient mariners to contemporary mankind, the quest has always been to reach the poles, sail around the tips of continents, conquer the highest peaks and dive to the ultimate depths. This is the same spirit that captivated the explorers of yesteryear who braved one of the most challenging sea crossings of their time: the Atlantic-Indian Ocean crossing via Cape Agulhas. As the southern-most tip of Africa, it has always had its mysteries and adventure, and still captures the imagination of contemporary explorers.
Situated at the south-western tip of Africa, the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) encompasses the incredibly scenic Table Mountain Chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south and the seas and coastline of the peninsula.
The narrow finger of land with its beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay and has within its boundaries two world-renowned landmarks – majestic Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope.
From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment. Today it is a World Heritage Site and museum, a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the price paid for freedom.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, within a stone’s throw from the Cape Town Stadium and in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, the V&A Waterfront offers the visitor an abundance of unforgettable experiences. Indoor shopping and entertainment venues seamlessly merge with ocean vistas and mountain views and the fresh sea breeze and warm African sun add zest to a cosmopolitan, vibrant atmosphere. More than 80 restaurants bring a fusion of international food, from rustic al fresco fish and chips to starched table-cloth cuisine. Come and spend the day with us – there is just so much to do, so much to discover.
Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell.