We stayed for 2 days in the Garden Route area, hoping for a nice weather that would allow us to have a proper swim in the sea and some sun-bathing. We were a bit unfortunate and got some rain and clouds instead, but luckily the area has a lot to offer even on a bad weather.
The Garden Route in the Western Cape is one of South Africa‘s main tourist attractions and is generally thought to stretch from Mossel Bay to St Francis along the Indian ocean and also includes parts of the inland. Almost everyone we met during our trip in South Africa suggested that Garden Route should be on our visiting list.
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 center.
Garden Route fits every type of tourist. You can opt for going in the main towns, for relaxation on the beach, you can go hiking, you can do all sorts of nautical sports, it’s also very suitable for families with children.
We chose Sedgefield as accommodation and we were hoping of just laying all day on the beach, doing nothing much. But as the weather turned out to be a bit picky, we had to adapt our initial plan a bit and find some activities to keep us out of the house all day.
The Bloukrans Bungee is the worlds highest commercial bungee bridge. The Bloukrans Bridge is 216 meters above the Bloukrans river and the jump can get to about 160 meters, depending on your weight. For anyone who is into this kind of experiences, it’s a must while visiting the Garden Route.
I did it, although I’m not really the high adrenaline type of person, but knowing that it’s 100% safe and they didn’t have any accidents before, gave me a bit of extra confidence that I can do it. It was an amazing experience, not sure if I would do it again, but it’s definitely something that should be done at least once before you die.
The guys from Face Adrenalin, who run the bungee jumping business on the Bloukrans bridge are super cool. They make you feel super comfortable, they are relaxed and super confident, that you forget everything about being scared or giving up.
Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary
The Monkeyland is a roaming multi species primate sanctuary, located in The Crags near Plettenberg Bay. The sanctuary comprises over 12 hectares of indigenous forest, with a protected greenbelt of 4 hectares.
Many types of primates are brought here, most of them being abandoned by humans who had them as pets when they were babies. When they get into adulthood, monkeys start doing monkey-business, meaning being very naughty and destroying things around them. This is when people decide they are not small and cute anymore and that they don’t want them around the house anymore. This is how they end up in Monkeyland.
It’s a nice place to live for a monkey. All of them are free, not locked in cages like in ZOOs, they have a big forest at their feet to wonder around and develop their abilities, but they also get plenty of food. Providing food for them is something done to keep them calm and friendly with each other. Monkeys normally fight over food and territory, but having enough, will keep everyone happy.
There are all sorts of monkeys you will see while taking a guided tour. The guide will walk with you in the forest and show you the little monkeys in their natural habitat. Be careful not to touch them or try to pet them, you can get hurt. Also be careful with your belongings as the monkeys are little thieves that will try to steal your camera or glasses.
An added attraction is the 128m long suspension bridge that stretches across the forest canopy offering magnificent views of the surrounding forests.
Birds of Eden
Right next to the Monkeyland is the Birds of Eden, another sanctuary, but this time dedicated to birds. You will have the chance to see extremely beautiful birds, of all sizes and shapes.
Although it was raining, and the person at the ticket counter told us that we might not see too many birds, we were still amazed by everything we had the chance to see there. Colorful, black, white, red, small, big, they were all so beautiful.
Sedgefield and the beach
Although we didn’t get the chance to enjoy the beach as we had initially planned, we did however go check it out a bit.
We also stopped for dinner at the beach restaurant, where they have a nice outdoor heated terrace, the Pili Pili Beach Bar.