South Africa’s most famous road trip runs along the south coast from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape Province to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. As well as stunning ocean views and natural landmarks, the Garden Route is also a prime destination for spotting South Africa’s wildlife. Here’s where to see wildlife along the Garden Route.
Wilderness National Park
The lagoons, wetlands, and beaches of Wilderness National Park harbor more than 250 bird species, among them Knysna turaco, giant kingfisher, yellow-throated woodland warbler, and Cape robin.
Knysna Elephant Park
Get a close look at one of Africa’s big five at Knysna Elephant Park, home to a free-roaming herd of rescued African elephants. Visits focus on sustainability and education, offering the chance to trek alongside the elephants and experience their daily routine.
No visit to Oudtshoorn is complete without a stop at one of the famous ostrich farms that dot the landscape of this otherwise quiet town. Visitors can admire the giant birds, learn about the breeding programs, help feed them, and even watch them being ridden.
Take a game drive through Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve in an open safari vehicle for a chance to spot the big five: elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros. Alternatively, guarantee sightings of leopards and other big cats at Tenikwa Wildlife Centre or Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, visit the Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, or spot dolphins, southern right whales, and seals along the rocky shores of the bay.