Where Does The Garden Route Start And End In South Africa?

Where Does The Garden Route Start And End In South Africa?


A 300-kilometer stretch of coastal road on South Africa's south west tip is considered the country's most beautiful area. The Garden Route takes its name from the Garden Route National Park it passes through, the varied vegetation and wildlife found there, and the plethora of wetlands, lakes, mountains, woodlands, and beaches found along its twisting roads.

Jewel of the Garden Route - Plettenberg BayPlettenberg Bay - Jewel of the Garden Route

A road trip along the Garden Route, which is home to nearly a dozen natural and marine reserves, provides plenty of chances for adventures along the way. Ranging from hiking and and whale watching tours, to exploring caves and desolate sandy beaches.

The famous self-drive route runs from Cape Town in the west to Port Elizabeth in the east, covering about 800 kilometers if you stick to the N2 highway. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains encircle the road, providing a spectacular landscape.

In truth, most people choose to exit the N2 and follow the coast, taking their time to see all of the popular attractions.

The Garden Route officially begins in Mossel Bay and ends in Storms River in the east. Knysna, in the middle of the Garden Route, is a great place to stay because all of the attractions are close by and the accommodations are excellent.

Not far from Knysna is Plettenberg Bay in which there is a beautiful lodge called the La Vista Lodge which is perfect for those taking their time on the stunning Garden Route. If you’re tired of driving, you can relax in the beautiful lagoon suites knowing full well you’ve still got more beautiful landscapes to explore.

Fun Garden Route road trip facts

Start/End Location:

Port Elizabeth (the Eastern Cape) to the Mossel Bay (the Western Cape), or vice versa.


300 kilometers

Length of Time:

Recommended self-drive tours start at 3 days and range up to 14 days. It all depends on how much time you have and how many stops you want to make.

Best time to go:

Summer (November – March) has the warmest weather and is the most popular time to visit.

To beat the Christmas holiday crowds, bookmundi.com recommends visiting in late summer/early fall, between February and April.

Spring (September to October) on the other hand offers fantastic opportunities for whale watching.

Where does the Garden Route start and finish?

Mossel Bay is the Garden Route's official start point, and Storms River is the Garden Route's official end point. The Garden Route is a 300-kilometer-long coastal route that runs around South Africa's southern coast, starting in Storms River in the Eastern Cape province and ending in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape province. A marketing campaign gave the Garden Route its title. The route's main draw is a blend of a rough coast, lush forests, and mountains, rather than gardens. It is possible to drive the Garden Route in a few hours, but it would be a shame to miss out on many of the wonderful stops along the way. Along Route 62 and N2, both before and after this magnificent coastal route, there are countless wonderful and interesting sights you must not miss.

What stops are recommended along the way?

As mentioned earlier, Knysna is a great place to stop because it’s a “halfway point” for the drive. However, there are a plethora of things to see and do along the way that could turn your drive from 300km to 900km! However, it’s totally worth the journey. Here’s some recommended stops when on your Garden Route road trip:

Port Elizabeth -> Knysna -> Oudtshoorn -> Hermanus -> Cape Town

There are many tour guides available online, but here’s a great website listing a few of the stops you could make along the way.


How long will the Garden Route take to explore?

Tour guides and previous explorers of the Garden Route will tell you that your trip should last anywhere between three and fourteen days to truly experience and enjoy the views and attractions along the way. However, you can take as long as you like! As mentioned above, with the sheer amount of stops along the way, the journey that was originally 300km could turn into a 900km journey.

If you love the idea of whale watching, exploring caves, and seeing beautiful scenery roll by, then take as long as you need! You don’t need any special tours to enjoy the Garden Route, and can drive it alone or with companions if you wish. Fancy making it a long haul journey? Turn your Garden Route road trip into a mini vacation by making plenty of stops and exploring each town and city.

Sedgefield Lagoon

To put it simply. The Garden Route could be driven in around nine hours. However, if you’re visiting the beautiful country of South Africa, you may as well make the most of the beautiful things to see and do along the way.


Are there any alternative routes?

Of course! This site explains that it makes no difference whether you travel from east to west or vice versa. Another recommended stop (if you’ve got the time) is the Otter Trail, which begins about 70 kilometers east of Plettenberg Bay and runs about 200 kilometers to Port Elizabeth. Starting at the mouth of the Storm River and ending at the Groot River in Nature's Valley, the trail is a 5-day, 4-night hike through the Tsitsikamma Forest. The distance is 43 kilometers in total. It’s worth noting that the Otter Trail is not for the faint of heart, and children or the elderly aren’t recommended to trek because of it’s challenging conditions.

If you’re someone that loves to explore, particularly in beautiful warm heat, then the Garden Route in South Africa is the perfect addition to your bucket list. In this article, The Times gives plenty of recommendations for things to see and restaurants to try while on your journey!

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