After we left the Addo Elephant Park, we had just a little over a week left on our South African visas. Since we had to get to the Namibian border before our time was up, which was over 1,000km away from Addo Elephant Park, we had to choose where to spend our last days in South Africa.
Ultimately, we decided to explore two of the most highly recommended parks in the Western Cape: the Garden Route National Park and Cederberg Wilderness Area.
As usual, you can read about our route and follow along on the map at the bottom of the post!
Garden Route National Park
A thousand year old Yellow-wood Tree, Tsitsikamma
Our first stop in the Garden Route National Park was the stunning Tsitsikamma Section – a coastal reserve, covering 650 sq km, including 80km of coastline.
The park is a hiker’s paradise – with numerous walking trails through fynbos (a type of bush only found in this part of the world) and thousand-year-old yellow-wood trees. We visited the oldest one (pictured above), which was so large it reminded us of California’s redwood trees.
Storms River Mouth campsite, Wilderness Section, Garden Route National Park
There are two main sections of Tsitsikamma stay and explore – the Storms River Mouth and Nature’s Valley. The former was probably the most dramatic campsite we’ve ever seen – waves crashing literally metres from the camping area. We were too freaked out by the rough oceans, so we chose to stay in Nature’s Valley Rest Camp, just a few kms down the N1, which was one of our favourite campsites in South Africa.
View of river and ocean, Wilderness Section, Garden Route National Park
After we left Tsitsikamma, we headed for the Wilderness Section between Knysna and George. The park is located on the edge of the gorgeous coastal village of Wilderness, and contains a unique system of rivers, lakes and wetlands.
This section is both a hiker’s and a beach lover’s paradise. We enjoyed spending a few days walking the beautiful beaches, and exploring the Kingfisher Trail, with stunning views of ocean and surrounding wilderness
Hiking trails, Wilderness Garden Route National Park
Beach at Wilderness, Garden Route National Park
View overlooking campsite, Wilderness, Garden Route National Park
Hiking along the Touw River
Mountain view in Tulbagh, Western Cape
We couldn’t possibly pass through the Western Cape without stopping at a vineyard or two. So before heading to the Cederberg Wilderness Area, we stopped in the pretty, wine-producing town of Tulbagh.
Mountains near Tulbagh, Western Cape
Unfortunately it was a Sunday so we couldn’t visit any wineries – they were all closed. But we still enjoyed driving through the region, where the roads wind through vineyards and between mountain ranges.
Cederberg Wilderness Area
Sunset from Leopard Rock at Gecko Creek Wilderness Lodge, Cederberg
Our last stop before leaving South Africa and heading to Namibia was the Cederberg Wilderness Area. This area is well known for its sandstone rock formations that come in all sorts of bizarre shapes and sizes.
Enjoying the sunset at Gecko Creek, Cederberg Wilderness Area
Camping at Gecko Creek, Cederberg Wilderness Area
And it certainly did not disappoint. We spent two lovely nights at the Gecko Creek Wilderness Lodge, near Algeria. The area was absolutely stunning, and full of San rock art, hiking trails and waterfalls.
We were so sad to leave, but unfortunately it couldn’t be helped. With just two days left on our visas, off we headed to Namibia…