One the most beautiful, diverse and awe-inspiring regions in the country, the Garden Route and Klein Karoo is also one of the most-loved road trips to embark on. Stretching from Witsand to Plettenberg Bay, right around to Oudtshoorn as well as Calitzdorp and Ladismith on the world-renowned Route 62, this is a place where adventure lies around every corner and there is always something new to discover. This year is no different, of course, with plenty of new and unique experiences on offer.
Barrington’s light filled Brasserie is as serene as its surroundings, perfectly complementing the panoramic views of the Piesang Valley in Plett. They serve breakfast, lunch or dinner either inside or on the wraparound deck overlooking the garden and riverbank. The interior is a tailored mix of natural finishes, muted greens, marble tops and handcrafted wooden furniture. Lit by fireplaces and clusters of oversized rattan pendants, the Brasserie provides an elegant and tranquil space that works regardless of the time of day.
It’s the menus which offer unconventional delights. Slow cooked, pulled free range meats prepared in Barrington’s custom-made smoker paired with fresh indigenous regional ingredients, including Barrington’s very own daily harvest, offer a uniquely South African take on smokehouse cuisine. Finishing touches include freshly baked breads from the onsite bakery and a wide selection of homemade pickles, preserves and chutneys.
Villa Villekula Eco Lodge
You simply won’t find anything else like it… Eco friendly comfort conveniently situated on a 3.2hectare property in the heart of the crags. The property offers an indigenous forest, a dam frequently visited by a vast variety of bird life and offers stunning mountain views. The surrounds offer wine farms, wildlife sanctuaries, local art adventure destinations and the pristine forest and beaches of nature valley, all these attractions including Keurboomstrand and Plett can be found within a 15 km range.
Designed by Eco Architect Dirk Haneko , the eco lodge is 100 % of the grid with solar electricity, rainwater tanks, a wood stove for slow cooking and gas geysers. The open plan lounge, kitchen and deck area raised next to the dam is designed to take it easy. The north facing mountain views, variety of birdlife, visits from Jennifer the donkey and free roaming chickens add to the relaxing ambiance.
The Barcade in Plett is a family arcade room, suitable for all ages. Crane and claw machines to test your skills. A putt-putt play arena and a laser tag obstacle battlefield. There is also an adult’s only Barcade room with a few racier games. They also host a visiting food truck and there is a sweet shop.
Bitou Kayaks offers a 2, 3 or 4 hour guided tour to experience the peace and tranquility and magnificent bird life of the Bitou River and the pristine indigenous forests surrounding the Keurbooms River. Alternatively, you can hire a kayak and wander along the rivers at your own pace. No previous kayaking experience is required. We will provide a mandatory pre-trip safety briefing as well as the necessary safety gear. All kayaks have been certified by SAMSA. You will be provided with a waterproof pouch for your mobile and car keys.
Bitou Valley Bush Camp
Designed by People. Inspired by Nature. Set in the heart of the Bitou Valley, near Plettenberg Bay, this biomimicry designed mobile camp offers a uniquely natural experience.
The Bitouvlei Birding Route is situated on the R340 in the pristine Wittedrift valley, only a 10-minute drive from Plett.
The birding route consists of four distinct biospheres forming habitats for a large number of seasonal and local birds. These include; an open salt estuary, a kloof with natural Knysna forest, the Bitou river and surrounding riverine forests and two large natural water pans.
The water pans are not only a safe haven for waders, but are also the breeding ground for our resident, and somewhat famous, breeding pair of Blue cranes that rear their young in spring. Go for a hike around the kloof, river and estuary or relax in the bird hide situated between the water pans.
Misty Mountain Reserve
Enjoy something different for a team building breakaway with your staff or think tank team. The reserve offers exciting new activities and adventures, supplemented with good food and a flexible budget.
Plett Seal Adventures
Plett Seal Adventures specialises in seal swimming next to the Robberg peninsula in Plett. They pick up guests on Hobie Beach, followed by an exciting boat ride to the seal colony, where 6000 seals are waiting for you. Guests jump in and swim with the seals for 30 minutes. This will be one of the most exciting marine mammal encounters of your life.
Founded in 1991, Shautany Chocolatiers is one of the leading purveyors of luxury artisanal chocolate in South Africa. What began as a small family business creating pillow chocolates for the hotel industry has grown into a professional and dedicated retail chain with an emphasis on personalised service and unique experience. They are located in the popular Old Nick Village, home to some of Plett’s most iconic historical buildings.
Thorny Creek Brewery and the Red Bus Café:
A new microbrewery has opened in the Oudtshoorn area on the beautiful Spookhill road loved by cyclists and bikers and where they make small full grain 200l batches of beer at the time. Their selection is Amber Ale, Pale Ale, Stout and all beers are available on tap or bottled for takeaways and deliveries.
The Spekboom Restaurant @ Cango Caves:
The Spekboom Restaurant @ Cango, has an exciting new look with the same unbelievable view where you can spoil yourself with fresh, tasty food, ice-cold beer at the bar while the kids entertain themselves at the play area.
Kobus se gat - Swartberg Experience: Downhill Mountain Biking
Kobus se gat Swartberg experience offer a fully guided tour of the Swartberg Pass. As you make your way back down the pass, you’ve got an option to include some adrenaline into your tour by opting for a Downhill Mountain Bike ride back to the restaurant at an additional cost.
Magic Lagoon Charters
Explored the beauty of the Knysna Lagoon on a Classic American Barrel Back Speedboat. Easily one of the most exhilarating adventures in the Garden Route – just remember to pack a warm jacked, and, of course, your camera.
Garden Route Trail Park
The Garden Route Trail Park (re-opened in December) is nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and the Karatara River Gorge, about halfway between Knysna and George. The park’s carefully designed trails have been designed with the all experience levels in mind, meaning it is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. With over 20km of hand-built singletrack, riders will be in heaven, while for the trail runners there is flowing forest trail, and epic scenery for both. There are also some fantastic accommodation options if you’re looking to spend the night and hit the trails first thing the next morning.
Experience the thrill and excitement of traditional archery in a fun format for everyone to enjoy. Primal Shot uses traditional bows only and has a variety of shooting options available, including rings, balloons, moving targets, classic bulls eye targets, a 3D range in the forest and much more.
BloKarts (Buffalo Bay)
What’s a blokart? We’re glad you asked. A blokart is a compact three-wheeled buggy with a sail and operates much the same as a sailing yacht. So, when the wind is pumping, but you still want to enjoy Knysna's great outdoors, we recommend you head down to Buffalo Bay beach for a thrilling land-sailing experience. It’s hitting the beach in a different way!