The Garden Route is a popular and scenic stretch of the southern coast of South Africa, stretching from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River. It includes towns such as Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley.
The Garden Route enjoys a maritime climate with moderately hot summers and mild to chilly winters. Most rain falls in the winter months, brought by the humid sea-winds of the Indian Ocean rising and releasing their precipitation along the high mountain ranges just inland of the coast.
The Route is sandwiched between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains and the Indian Ocean. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests boast a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and temperate forest and offer renowned hiking trails and eco-tourism activities. Nearly 300 species of birdlife can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.
Ten nature reserves embrace the varied ecosystems of the area as well as unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. Additionally, various bays along the Garden Route are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right Whale, which comes there to calve in the winter and spring (July to December).
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