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a personal guide

Places to visit on the Garden Route

Alcare Aloe Factory, Albertinia
If you wondered what Aloe Vera was, a visit to the Alcare factory is an eye-opener. You can see the Cape Aloe plant - a succulent that gows everywhere in this region - and how its leaves are processed to make the raw ingredient for the numerous health and beauty products that contain it. There is, of course, an opportunity to buy all manner of pills, liquids, powders and creams.

Aloe vera factory

Aloe vera plant

Aloe vera processing


Knysna Lagoon
Take a boat trip round this calm and pleasant lagoon. The trip we went on lasted about an hour, and we could sit inside or outside under an awning. Drinks were served and full meals were also available. It was a most relaxing experience. Binoculars are recommended so you can see the bird life and the activity on shore. The lagoon is a major source of oysters.

Knysna lagoon cruise

More about Knysna

Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe
Travelling the coastal route between George and Knysna, this train is hauled mainly by steam locomotive. The journey is reputed to be one of the prettiest in South Africa. We were unable to use the train when we were there in October 2005 because part of the line had suffered from subsidence.

South African steam train
The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe at Knysna station

Knysna viaduct
The railway crosses Knysna lagoon in front of 'the heads'

There are many fine beaches along the Garden Route which are sandy and not crowded. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are ideal for swimming and surfing.

Wilderness beach

Maureen's Place Coffee Bar and Restaurant, Knysna
We had a large and very enjoyable lunch here. The food - a buffet featuring the best of South African cooking - was excellent. It included sweet potatoes, and the lightly spiced bobotie (all of our party enjoyed this). A warm welcome was provided by Maureen herself, and we were all entreated to have second-helpings of the food. The walls of the restaurant are lined with craft items that are for sale.

Maureen's Place restaurant Maureen

World's Highest Bungy Jump, Bloukrans River
We couldn't go on this 216m (710ft) plummet into a ravine because our coach went straight past it - well, at least that's our excuse. If you enjoy an adrenaline rush on this scale coupled with the scenic beauty of the Tsitsikamma Forest, details are here. And a personal account is here.

Bungy jump

Towns on the Garden Route

More about the Garden Route area of South Africa



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