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Garden Route Day Walks – we select the best
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Garden Route Day Walks – we select the best

One cannot ooh and aah enough about the Garden Route. It is not likened to the Garden of Eden for nothing and its entire coastline is riddled with picture-postcard moments, wild, craggy beaches, forests, streams, waterfalls and a wilderness that, despite the attraction for tourists, has not yet suffered the consequences. Our choice of day walks below doesn't even begin to explore Nature's Valley and Tsitsikamma Nature Reserves, both of which have some beautiful trails of their own. Instead we've looked at the rather less obvious walks. The Garden Route is riddled with walking and hiking opt...
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Win 3 Luxurious Nights in Knysna at Kanonkop House (closed)
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Win 3 Luxurious Nights in Knysna at Kanonkop House (closed)

WIN 3 nights at the fabulous 5-star graded Kanonkop House and relax into  the most spectacular views on the Garden Route, from ‘the best rooms in Knysna’ (latest Frommer's South Africa Travel Guide). Magnificently set overlooking private indigenous forest, the famous Knysna Lagoon and Heads, a feeling of space and serenity pervades Kanonkop House.  The wonderful indigenous gardens and abundant local flora and fauna including bush buck, mongoose, and fabulous birdlife are a testimony to the eco-friendly manner in which the property is managed. Luxuriously-appointed suites feature chic de...
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The Otter Trail in Photographs
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The Otter Trail in Photographs

The Otter Trail is one of South Africa’s most well-known hiking trails, popular with both locals and international visitors thanks to its incredible scenery. The trail starts at the Storms River mouth and ends at Nature’s Valley in the beautiful Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve on the Garden Route. Our team of 5 hikers recently "did" the Otter Trail - herewith a preview of their experience of The Otter Trail in photographs. We look forward to bringing you a series of articles about the 41 kilometre, 5 day hike which changes in elevation from sea level to about 150m above. Though only 42.5 k...
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Rambling in Robberg Nature Reserve
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Rambling in Robberg Nature Reserve

Travelling with a young family on holiday is often challenging, and one of the sure cures for cabin fever (make that car fever!) is getting some exercise! While staying at a lovely little garden apartment in Plettenberg Bay called, “A Little Stint in Paradise”, we decided to venture out for an afternoon, since unfortunately our two young boys are not used to communal living, and the noise levels were becoming intolerable! Robberg Nature Reserve lies about 8km south of Plettenberg Bay and provides a rich geological history, together with an array of flora and fauna. There are three main walk...
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Tenikwa Spots and Stripes
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Tenikwa Spots and Stripes

One of those difficult to spot species in the bush is the cats, or to be more specific, those ever elusive leopard and cheetah. So paying a visit to the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, just outside Plettenberg Bay is a privilege to which I am looking forward. Having been relieved of my handbag (one can only carry cameras into the enclosures), we embarked upon our one-hour tour at 09h30, with our two little boys in hand. The centre is open from 09h00 and tours depart every half hour to 16h30. Our first stop appeared to be the good old domestic cat, only on a far grander scale, and can wei...
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The Elephant Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay – Sanctuary of gentle giants
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The Elephant Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay – Sanctuary of gentle giants

I am not one to often visit the various reserves and wild life centres that have sprouted up near popular holiday destinations. We have always preferred spotting wildlife in their more ‘natural’ habitat, for example, the Kruger National Park, and tend to be sceptical of the more ‘canned’ setups. But with young boys, and a holiday in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, we received an invitation to visit the Elephant Sanctuary at The Crags, in Plettenberg Bay. On arrival it is evident that this is not your average commercial venture. As I waited to book in, I overheard the recepti...
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Cango Wildlife Ranch – the real deal for sheer cuteness
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Cango Wildlife Ranch – the real deal for sheer cuteness

Tired of always being tempted to click on emails and Facebook links of cute kittens, possums, koalas and other cuddly things, I decided to get the need to look at tiny bundles of fur out of my system by going straight to the source. Sure, LOLcats and digital pictures of hedgehogs are great, but nothing beats the real deal for sheer cuteness. A visit to the Cango Wildlife Ranch was in order. The ranch offers visitors an extraordinary and rare opportunity to interact with hand-reared cheetahs and to play with Bengal tiger cubs. I knew I would be in furry paradise ... For the super adventurous...
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Chatters in Knysna
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Chatters in Knysna

We decided to have an early dinner on our last night in Knysna so we could get back to our B&B in time for the closing ceremony of the soccer World Cup.  We were on our way to the Knysna Waterfront and passed a little place called Chatters - we hadn’t quite decided what we wanted to eat but it was cold and the sign for 'wood fired pizzas' made our decision for us.  The restaurant was empty (don’t take that as a bad sign; it was only 5pm!) and we were shown to a table slap bang next to a pot bellied stove - clearly the best table in the house! We were famished so didn’t waste any...
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Bosuns Bar & Grill in Knysna
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Bosuns Bar & Grill in Knysna

We had the most delicious lunch on Sunday.  We spent the weekend in Knysna (for the marathon and Oyster Festival) and after celebrating a bit too enthusiastically on Saturday were grateful for the dismal, grey, cold and rainy weather.  It eliminated the chance of sightseeing and invited instead the opportunity to relax! By lunch time we were hungry so took a drive down to a pub overlooking the lagoon:  Bosuns Bar and Grill. We were the first of the lunch customers (arriving at 11.40am - a bit early) but the pub soon filled up and we were told that all tables in the dining area had been r...
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ABC’s The Bachelor couple honeymoons at Pezula
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ABC’s The Bachelor couple honeymoons at Pezula

The luxury, award-winning Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa in Knysna on the Garden Route was the honeymoon destination of choice for popular American newlyweds Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney who met on the ABC show The Bachelor in 2009 during its 13th season, one of the most successful series of the show. The couple recently spent several days of their romantic South African honeymoon at Pezula as Mr & Mrs Mesnick following their celebrity wedding in California. Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, one of the highlights of the couple’s South African honeymoon, provided the perfect backdrop f...
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A Leap of Faith at Bloukrans
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A Leap of Faith at Bloukrans

I like to play it tough and in my youth often said: “I’ll try anything once”. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become considerably less fearless and when presented with an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is, I now find myself wondering why I should do these adrenalin-generating activities at all. Asking why leads to cold feet and excuses. So when we first drove past Bloukrans and the weather was a bit icky, the excuse won the day. We’d wait till the day we were leaving the Garden Route and see if the weather was a bit better. We didn’t want rain to “spoil” the experience. Balone...
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Wild Olive Guest Farm near Stilbaai
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Wild Olive Guest Farm near Stilbaai

We're no strangers to Wild Olive Guest Farm. We're one of many who return to this peaceful refuge where a couple of chalets and a cottage lie on the banks of the Goukou River estuary and a wild organic vegetable garden, set in amidst a series of olive groves, is the mainstay of a bustling breakfast and lunch time venue that attracts a constant stream of visitors from Stilbaai The main reason people head out here, other than the food, which alone is reason to visit, is Hazel. Hazel is a personality of note. She beams, bustles and constantly expounds about her passion for permaculture. It's r...
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Beautiful, not-so-peaceful, Stilbaai
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Beautiful, not-so-peaceful, Stilbaai

Stilbaai, also known as Still Bay, is well known amongst Capetonians as a peaceful, seaside getaway on the Garden Route, perfect for weekends. It has, to a large degree, managed to maintain an unspoiled and natural environment that is particularly beautiful during spring, with a pretty beach village atmosphere on the eastern side of the village, and beautiful beaches. But come here during the festive season, and you begin to wonder whether the residents may not have been a little hasty in calling their bay 'still'. It has become so popular and so busy at this time of year that 'hectic' is p...
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I Love Mossel Bay because …
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I Love Mossel Bay because …

Hi, I’m  Petra du Toit from Linkside2 Guest House in Mossel Bay in the Garden Route. MOSSEL BAY IS BEST KNOWN FOR its moderate climate, beautiful white beaches and the Dias Museum. GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT the Post office Tree, because of its historical Value and you can still mail your postcards from there. THE BEST SUNRISE PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT The Point early in the morning, breathtakingly beautiful! OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT Linkside2 with the most beautiful view of the bay, mountains and the town ... WHEN THE WEATHER'S GOOD, I LIKE TO go to Santos beach ... blue flag sta...
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The Heath in Plettenberg Bay
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The Heath in Plettenberg Bay

We stumbled upon The Heath, the Garden Route's bohemian farm store, whilst on our way to Stilbaai from St Francis Bay. Now many of you may know about this fantastic find, but I was immediately entranced by the stop and couldn't understand why no-one had bothered to inform me of what definitely qualifies as my 'best shopping experience of the year' before! It turns out that mostly everyone who travels this route knows about it. In fact my sister has mentioned it to me numerous times but usually prefaced with the words 'we stopped at this shop' whilst foregoing the obviously vital inclusion o...
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