Gallivant on the Garden Route in the Southern Cape

If you thought the Western Cape couldn’t be more sensational, wait until you see the Garden Route.


The Garden Route, or Southern Cape, is a four-hour drive and less than one-hour flight from Cape Town. By air, you’ll fly into George Airport. By road (if driving from Cape Town), the Garden Route begins 385km (240 miles) outside the Mother City near Mossel Bay. From Mossel Bay, the route continues along a further 200km stretch of the N2 national highway ending at Storms River just before the Eastern Cape provincial border. Named for the lush and diverse flora in the area, and many lagoons, wetlands and forests spread along the coast, the Garden Route feels tamer than the wild and wide-open Cape West Coast.

The Garden Route’s main resort towns include Mossel Bay, George, Oudtshoorn, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. In holiday season, vacationers descend on these towns for their immaculate beaches and natural beauty, nightlife and daring activities like bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge, the fourth highest bungee jump in the world.

For daredevils, the Garden Route is heaven on Earth. Beyond bungee jumping, adventurous action includes paragliding at Wilderness, ziplining at Tsitsikamma, abseiling, and canyoning and kayaking on Storms River.

If you prefer recreation of a mellower sort, take your pick! Hike the Otter Trail, go sandboarding, ride horses on the beach, visit the Cango Caves or surf at one of the many world-class point and beach breaks; no matter your level there’s a wave for you.

About George


George, the biggest town in the district. is the second largest town in the Western Cape and the administrative and commercial centre of the Garden Route District Municipality. Surrounded by ocean, mountains, forests and agriculture, while George’s population has grown to over 200 000 residents it has managed to preserve its casual, small-town roots. George has everything you need including banks, conference facilities, hospitals, major retail stores, sporting facilities and the largest mall in the Southern Cape. Several Southern Cape jewels, including Victoria Bay, Herold’s Bay and Wilderness, are within close proximity. George Airport, located 7km from the city centre, links the Garden Route to Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and beyond.

About Knysna


Amongst the Garden Route’s many gems, picking a standout beauty spot is a tall order. But Knysna (pronounced “nyz-na”), home to South Africa’s largest indigenous forest, is a worthy contender. Built around a calm lagoon which is protected from the relentless sea by sandstone cliffs, Knysna’s lagoon islands, marinas and charming atmosphere is what makes it so easy on the eye. Be sure to head to the Knysna Waterfront for shopping and plenty of restaurants with good seafood.

Weather

The Garden Route has a Mediterranean Maritime climate with relatively hot summers and mild to chilly winters. It’s one of the richest rainfall areas in South Africa with most rain occurring in the winter months, brought on by the humid sea-winds from the Indian ocean.

Even though the Garden Route’s climate is similar to the broader Western Cape region, day to day weather events, caused by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean, can be considerably different to neighbouring areas. For example, it can be pouring in Cape Town and clear in George at the same time.


Co-working

While working from home in comfy clothes is not without its benefits, there are also days when those four familiar walls can stifle your creativity. Luckily, the Garden Route has one or two spaces designed for remote workers. When that’s not enough, choose from an infinite amount of Wi-Fi equipped coffee shops.

Connect with entrepreneurs and creative spirits at co-Mind in Mossel Bay. co-Mind offers an array of perks, facilities and services that will make your work day just a little bit more fun.

St John’s Place in George takes in all manner of gig workers. It’s less than 15 minutes’ drive from George Airport and offers reception services, meeting rooms, air-conditioning, printing and scanning, fast Wi-Fi, an IT supplier and coffee. Most offices have a view of the spectacular Outeniqua mountains. Bonus!

More than three thousand square metres of prime office space in Stellenbosch, Ambassade by Ideas Cartel is a meticulously designed space that offers both flexible and fixed options and 24/7 access spread over three floors.


Accommodation

Average Price Est. US$ Equivalent
3-star hotel R1000 – R1700 p/n $70 – $120 p/n
1-bedroom apartment (short lease) R500 – R1600 p/n $35 – $110 p/n
1 bedroom apartment (long lease) R5000 – R8000 p/m $345 – $550 p/m
2-bedroom apartment (long lease) R8000 – R12 000 p/m $345 – $825 p/m
2-bedroom house (long lease) R9000 – R14 000 p/m $620 – $960 p/m