GARDEN ROUTE NATIONAL PARK.
The Garden Route National Park is a national park in the Garden Route region of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces in South Africa. It is a coastal reserve well known for its indigenous forests, dramatic coastline, and the Otter Trail. It was established on 6 March 2009 by amalgamating the existing Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks, the Knysna National Lake Area, and various other areas of state-owned land. The park covers about 1,210 km2 (470 square miles) of land; of this, about 685 km2 (264 square miles) was already part of the predecessor national parks. The park includes a continuous complex of approximately 605 km2 (234 square miles) of indigenous forest.
The Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma, Knysna and Wilderness Sections) has a pleasant, temperate climate; it is unique in Africa as the only area in which rainfall occurs throughout the year
This national park has sections according to what is kept in that section.
The Wilderness section is located around the seaside town of Wilderness, Western Cape between the larger towns of George, Sedge field and Knysna, in the Western Cape. It stretches from the Touw River mouth to the Swartvlei estuary and beyond, where it links with the Goukamma Nature Reserve, giving protection to five lakes and the Serpentine, which is the winding strip of water joining Island Lake to the Touw River at the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp. This section of the park protects three major zones of indigenous forest, four types of fynbos (wild shrubs), plus various lakes and winding waterways. There are also a number of archaeologically significant sites.
The Tsitsikamma section of the park covers an 80 kilometres (50 miles) long stretch of coastline with Nature’s Valley is at the western end of the park. The section is known for its indigenous forests, dramatic coastline, and the Otter Trail. The main accommodation is at Storms River Mouth. Near the park is the Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest bridge bungee jump at 216 metres (709 feet)
History of Garden route national park
The Garden Route National Park area is extremely rich in natural beauty and biodiversity and so, human beings have been occupying this area for a very long time. It is home to several historical sites such as Nelson Bay, Kangkara, Storms River, and Matjies River.
The San people arrived in this place region around 20,000 years ago and the Khoi people arrived around 1500-2000BC. In the 17th century, Europeans arrived in this region and plundered the San and Khoi culture. the economic structure, as well as the population, was crushed due to smallpox
The Tsitsikamma and Wilderness National Parks were proclaimed in 1964 and the Knysna National Lake Area was proclaimed in 1985 to protect the natural beauty of the surroundings
Places of interest at this national park.
Bird of Eden; The Eden sanctuary is the world’s largest single-span aviary with over 2000 previously caged birds. There are some 100 species of South Africa birds here including some endangered species. It’s a unique dome structure that emulates thunderstorms, complete with thunder-claps and short cloudbursts.
Monkey land located in plettenberg Bay, Monkeyland is the world’s first free-roaming multi specie primate sanctuary. It established in pristine natural high canopy area which is suitable for the primates who live here. Enjoy a guided tour of the awesome monkey kingdom, lunch in the lively in the forest of the Monkeyland is a major attraction for tourists.
Storms River Mouth-Otter Trail. The otter trail is one of south Africa’s most popular hiking trails. Regarded as one of the most beautiful trails in the world, the exquisite trail is just less than 45kilometers long.
It takes 5 days to complete stretching from storms River Mouth in the Eastern Cape to Nature’s Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park of the Western Cape.
Bungee Jump at Bloukrans: The Bloukrans Bridge is highest commercially operated Bungy Jump a bridge in the world. Enjoy the thrills of free falling from 216 meters above the Bloukrans River. The Bloukrans River. the Bloukrans uses pendulum bungee technology and a Guinness World Record for the Highest Commercial Bungee Jump
Hike in Robberg Nature Reserve: The Robberg Peninsula is a nature reserve that boast of stunning natural beauty and rocky shoreline. It is home to cape fur seals, whales, dolphins and a collection of ocean seabirds, the rare blue duiker. The world’s smallest antelopes are also found in this region
Congo Caves and Ostritches Farm; The Cango Caves are a series of dripstone caverns that open in vast halls of stalagmite formation that were formed over millions of the year. The main sections of the caves are available for subterranean walk. Witness over 25000 ostriches at Berluda farm. The guided tours provide valuable insight the behavior and physiology of the ostritches.
Wine Tasting: The Garden Route Wine estate produces some fantastic wines. The weather is suitable for cultivating a range of red, white and rose wines. The tourists can enjoy popular wines without having to travel out of way, with picturesque sceneries as the backdrop.