Garden Route facts

The Garden Route runs along the Western Cape coast from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and is so called because of its abundant plant life. Grootbos Nature Reserve alone has more than 750 species of Fynbos. The Garden Route are nestled between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Indian Ocean. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests offer hiking trails and various eco-tourism activities. Almost 300 species of bird are found in a diversity of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.

Ten nature reserves embrace the varied ecosystems of the area as well as unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and numerous other marine life. Various bays along the Garden Route are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right and Humpback Whales which come there to calve from July to December.

Climate

The Garden Route has an oceanic climate, with tranquil to warm summers, and mild to cool winters. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Garden Route has the mildest climate in South Africa and the second mildest climate in the world after Hawaii. Temperatures hardly ever fall below 10°C in winter and seldom climb beyond 28°C in summer. Rain occurs year-round, with a slight peak in spring, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean rising and releasing their precipitation along the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains just inland of the coast. Summers are perfect for the beach and in the winter months it is normally warm and sunny during the day and a little chilly at night ideal to curl up around a log fire.

Oysters are King

Each July Knysna boasts with its annual Oyster Festival. Therefore, oysters, fresh line fish and shellfish feature prominently on most restaurant menus. The farms of the Little Karoo provide fresh ostrich meat and organic mutton or lamb. Many vineyards are also found along the Garden Route and definitely worth to visit. Walker Bay and Elgin along the Whale Route are renowned for their Sauvignon Blancs, while Route 62 is well known for producing some excellent brandies and ports.

Activities

The Garden Route is home to many natural wonders including the Cango Caves, the Knysna Heads and some of the most beautiful and magnificent mountain passes in the country. The landscapes range from Karoo scrub land to thriving coastal forests.

Whether you are into surfing, bungee jumping or just sunbathing on the beach, the Garden Route has something for everybody. It is a great place to take the family with attractions such as Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Canopy Tours in the Tsitsikamma Forest.

Brenton-on-Sea

Brenton-on-Sea is a quaint town on the South-Eastern coast of the Garden Route. This beautiful and majestic town offers houses and vacant land for those who wish to move closer to the beach. Would you like to stay in South Africa’s Most Awesome Garden Route?

Contact the one and only remarkable Estate Agent in Brenton-on-Sea, Sophie Joubert, today on 082 572 2729 to buy or build your next home!!

Goukamma Nature Reserve

This 2500 hectare reserve lies between Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay and you can access it from both sides of the reserve though the main offices and primary entrance are just outside Buffalo Bay. The reserve falls under the auspices of Cape Nature.

Just outside the Goukamma Nature Reserve entrance, on the Buffalo Bay Road, are some picnic sites and canoes for hire. You can paddle all along the river and explore the area towards the river mouth. Be careful, though, as the mouth closes from time to time naturally.

As you paddle upstream, you will find that the river flows within the bounds of the nature reserve. This gradually gives way to peaceful farmlands and dairy cattle, horses and other farm animals.

You can beach your canoe when you reach the The River Deck restaurant on your can stop for a break. Here you can carry your canoe over the small falls and continue paddling up river.

As you paddle along you will pass under the N2 highway and shortly afterwards will come to the Black Waters River Lodge. The lodge is famous for its open-air restaurant.

Make sure that you start early in the morning. When night falls it can be quite easy to get lost in the tranquillity of nature.

There is no access for public transport in the main body of the Goukamma Nature Reserve, which means that the area can only be explored on foot. This provides adventurers with a real sense of being out in untrammelled nature that offers picture perfect scenes for photographers.

To get to the secluded hillside offices that are on the Buffalo Bay Road, turn right at the gate of the reserve and drive along a winding dirt road past the picnic site next to the Goukamma River to reach the car park. There you will be able to purchase various permits for fishing. They also have maps to familiarize you with the many hiking trails.

The added advantage of Goukamma Reserve is that it has a long stretch of coastline and the adjacent ocean is a Marine Protected Area. This can only be appreciated through walking the shoreline or boating out on the sea. Recreational angling however, is only allowed from the shoreline.

Near the outer limit of the marine reserve is a 12km2 unbroken length of submerged fossilised dune. It lies about 3,5 kilometres off shore. The ridge is roughly 10 meters below the surface and this reef provides a breeding ground and nursery area for several species of fish.

Goukamma Nature Reserve also includes Groenvlei. The calm water is a translucent sea-green colour and reflects the sky like a mirror.

It is the only freshwater lake on the Garden Route and has no river inlet – it is constantly refreshed by a subterranean spring. Here one can swim, boat and fish in clear water.

As the crow flies towards the west of Buffalo Bay, you will find Brenton-on-Sea. This small town offers beautiful, modern houses for sale. For more information, contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.

Goukamma Walking Trails

The Cape Clawless Otter Trail starts off at Groenvlei and takes hikers alongside the lake through a exquisite dune forest before the path climbs steeply up the dune into fynbos where one gains increasingly wonderful panoramic views of the Outeniqua mountains, the lake and over the dunes to the sea and to Gerickes Point.

One can hike down into the valley, over the dunes and finally down to the oyster beds on the coastline. If you do not want to do the return journey you can walk along the beach and climb off it up the boardwalk at Platbank. Check with the Cape Nature Office first about the tides.

It is advised to take this walk in winter as there is no shelter in between the dunes during the scorching summer months. One can also see migrating whales from the top of the dunes in the winter season.

There is also the Porcupine Trail that starts at Groenvlei and ends after crossing the Goukamma River on The Point. Be well prepared as this is a distance of about 13,5 kilometres.

A number of walks can be taken from the Buffalo Bay side of the Goukamma Nature Reserve but you have to cross the Goukamma River at The Point first.

The circular Bush Pig Trail takes you inland up all along the dune, through a coastal forest down to the sea. On return you go around the back of the dune, alongside the river and the side of the dune back to The Point crossing.

The 12 kilometre Galjoen Trail is a beach walk from Platbank to Buffalo Bay. However, one needs to do this at low tide.

If the river mouth is open you will need to walk inland to cross over the Goukamma River via The Point. You will have to arrange for transport back to the starting point or a cross over procedure similar to the Porcupine Trail.

Going out the reserve gates and turning right to Buffalo Bay, drive a short distance and then turn right into the parking lot next to the sea. Cross over the road to do the Buffalo Bay Trail.

This trail takes you up a gentle slope to overlook the village of Buffalo Bay then down through a piece of forest and along the dune to give you stunning panoramic views of the bay area.

You then come down onto the beach and depending on your time frame can either walk left towards Brenton-on-Sea and back again or turn right walking along the beach to the Buffalo Bay outdoor restaurant overlooking the sea.

Otherwise you can continue to walk towards the caravan park and in the quiet season request permission to walk through the resort that is situated on a grassy peninsula completely surrounded by the ocean.

The rocky outcrops along this part of the coast provide roosts for hundreds of white-breasted and Cape Cormorants. Within the Marine Reserve this is a popular and scenic campsite in the summer months as the bay has a superb swimming beach and is also a favourite for surfers. You can frequently see pods of dolphins surfing the breakers.

If you want to stay a while to enjoy the area to its maximum, you can overnight in the Goukamma Nature Reserve at bush camps overlooking Groenvlei or opt for the rondavels outside Buffalo Bay near the river and the beach.

Stay in Brenton-on-Sea

Brenton-on-Sea offers several luxurious houses and vacant land for sale. To buy here, contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.

The Knysna seahorse

There are between 30 and 40 different kinds of seahorses in our oceans, but only five of these have been seen around the southern African coastline.

The Knysna seahorse is the most well-known, and is the only seahorse that is in danger of extinction.

Knysna seahorses can be found only in the Knysna, Keurbooms and Swartvlei estuaries on the south coast of South Africa.

They are green to brown in colour and grow more or less12cm in length.

We normally find them at depths of 50cm to 8m, on sandy bottoms or around clumps of plants.

Kangaroo pouch
Seahorses have lived in our oceans for approximately 40 million years. Their heads are shaped like those of a horse, tails like a monkey’s and male seahorses have a ‘pouch’ similar to female kangaroos! The male seahorse gives birth to the offspring – the female lays her eggs in the male’s pouch and when they are ready, the babies hatch out of the pouch into the water!

Seahorses are mesmerizing to watch – you may be lucky to see male and female seahorses in a timid courtship dance or even a male seahorse giving birth!

Seahorses are fish
Seahorses breathe through gills just like fish, use their fins to move through the water and hatch from eggs. The biggest seahorse measures 35 centimeters from its head to the end of its tail and the tiniest seahorse is a mere 3 centimeters long!

Eyes like a chameleon
Seahorses swim upright, driven by its dorsal fin, while their small pectoral fins help to guide them as they move along. Seahorses feed on tiny fish and shellfish, which they suck into their mouths. The eyes of a seahorse are much similar to those of a chameleon and they can move independently, one eye would be looking for food and the other watching out for predators. Did you know that Seahorses can change in colour so that they blend into their environment?

Urban sprawl threatens Knysna seahorses
The biggest thread of the Knysna seahorse is humans. The development of towns puts the survival of the Knysna seahorses in danger. Houses and shopping centres are being built right on the water’s edge and polluted water flows directly into the estuaries where these seahorses live. Boats and people in the estuaries are also disturbing the unique habitat of these animals.

A costly cure
Every year about 20 million seahorses are being caught all over the world, for medicine or to be sold as ornaments. Some people believe that consuming dead seahorses will cure asthma, skin problems and baldness. Another one million seahorses are caught yearly to be displayed in homes and public aquariums.

We protect our seahorses
We have a strict law in South Africa that protects the Knysna seahorses. The law states that nobody is allowed to catch these seahorses or disturb them in their natural habitat. There are also firm laws about importing seahorses into South Africa from other countries in the world.

Brenton-on-Sea
Brenton-on-Sea is a small coastal town that forms part of the greater Knysna municipal region. It is surrounded by several private and state owned Nature Reserves. This quaint little town on the border of the Indian Ocean offers properties for those who love nature and scenic sea views. Are you interested in buying a home or build your own on an empty plot? View all Sophie’s available properties online and contact her today on 082 572 2729 to reserve your special spot in this unique area.

Paragliding at Brenton

About FlyTime Paragliding
FlyTime Paragliding was established in 2006 by the German DHV/OEAEC and SAHPA paragliding instructor Joerg Bueble. In 2009 Lucille Bueble joined FlyTime. As a passionate paragliding pilot she became one of the very few instructors and female tandem pilots in South Africa.

The Garden Route offers one of the top 10 spots in the World to experience a paragliding. Whether it is with one of the highly experienced SAHPA (South Africa Hang gliding and Paragliding Association) rated paragliding instructors on a tandem flight, or take up control all by yourself, with a introduction or full license course. They also offer coastal marine wildlife scenic flights along the coast with their Paragliding Trike. All offered tandem flights are disabled friendly.

FlyTime also offers guided tours for pilots who are already in possession of a foreign or South African paragliding license.

FlyTime is based in Sedgefield, situated between Wilderness and Knysna, the heart of the Garden Route. This area offers numerous paragliding sites from Mossel Bay up to Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn.

TANDEM PARAGLIDING IN THE GARDEN ROUTE
A tandem paragliding flight is simply the best way to experience the feeling of being completely free, depending on wind and thermals, to let you gain height without an external energy and power source. Everybody can join this adventure, young and old. FlyTime has taken disabled people up as well as seniors over 90 years of age.

Tandem Flights in the Garden Route: Down here at Sea Level, the air is more dense that high up on a mountain. This dense air makes it possible to take off much quicker and with slower speed and at the same time the landing will be much slower as well. Of course this makes it more ideal for a passenger as it is easier. Because of the strength of the African sun, the thermals are stronger which allows you to fly more consistently. This, together with consistent Southerly coastal sea breeze conditions, combines all this positive influences, let alone the mild climate, with mostly sunny days. There are no better conditions to experience this type of activity.

Safety: Many people ask this question. FlyTime explains it this way: Think about mountain biking. It’s a mass sport and because it is well established nobody really questions the safety. Paragliding flights in the Garden Route are conducted from grassy hills and dunes. This is the ideal environment for this sport as there are no rocks and hard obstacles. FlyTime has a 100% safety flight to date. The FlyTime team are proud to say that they do not take any risks and that they are working hard on keeping their admirable safety record.

Clothing: Because of the mild climate on the Southern coast of South Africa, it is OK to fly in a T-shirt. For those who don’t like the slightest chill, it is advisable to take a light jacket along. It is strongly advised to give to proper shoes, such as trainers or any other closed shoes. Please take note that Flip Flops and high heels are not really an option.

Paragliding at Brenton-on-Sea
Brenton-on-Sea is a small town with two take-off fields where paragliding pilots are flying in South Wester winds. It offers a picturesque area to fly.

Elevation: 171m
GPS coordinates: 34°3’36” (34.06)S; 23°0’36” (23.01)E
Directions: Drive on the N2 and look for the Brenton on Sea turn off either before you enter Knysna from Cape Town coming, or a few kilometers after you left Knynsa once you crossed the Knysna Lagoon. Follow the road all the way to Brenton-on-Sea and drive down to the parking lot. There you will see a grass field next to the parking. This is the main take-off for this site.

A tandem flight is an easy and safe way to experience this amazing adventure at its best.

Book your FlyTime paragliding adventure by calling Lucille on
072 612 8168.

Properties in Brenton-on-Sea
Brenton-on-Sea is a green, quiet and scenic place to stay and offers vacant land and houses overlooking the ocean.

Sophie Joubert of Sophie’s Properties has been an Estate Agent in Brenton for more than 10 years.

Would you like to own a house or build your dream home in Brenton-on Sea? Say no more… contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729!!

Phantom Forest Eco Reserve

The Phantom Forest Eco Reserve is a 137 hectare private nature reserve situated on the Garden Route, a mere seven kilometres from Knysna. The reserve is an unspoiled natural wonderland incorporating Afromontane forest, Cape coastal fynbos, and estuarine wetland, with more than 150 bird species, bushbuck, grysbok, blue duiker and several other small game.

As you head south towards the Indian Ocean for about 9 kilometres, you will reach the well-known coastal town named Brenton-on-Sea. This small town is expanding rapidly and offers potential residents spectacular sea view vacant stands and houses for sale.

Sophie Joubert has been an excellent estate agent for 10 years in this area and she believes in only the best service. To buy your home or empty plot, contact Sophie from Sophie’s Properties today on 082 572 2729!

Prince Alfred’s Pass

The Prince Alfred’s Pass on the R339 gravel road between Knysna and Uniondale is probably Thomas Bain’s greatest work. Not only was this an extremely long pass, but it also presented almost every possible technical obstacle to the pass-builders.

At 68,5 km it is the longest (publicly accessible) mountain pass in South Africa by a considerable margin, as well as being the second oldest unaltered pass still in use.

This article is brought to you by the courtesy of Mountain Passes South Africa. The original post covers the whole length of Prince Alfred’s Pass and contains several videos. Please follow the link provided for detailed information about the Pass.

This information is posted by Sophie’s Properties, an Estate Agency in Brenton-on-Sea. Buy your next home on the shoreline of the Garden Route in the Western Cape of South Africa – the sunshine country! Contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.

The Knysna Heads

The Garden Route is a splendid part of the South African coastline, known the world over for its breath-taking panorama and natural abundance. It links the provinces of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape and includes a number of popular holiday towns; such as Nature’s Valley, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay.

This is also the very unique route along which the Knysna Heads are found, emerging from the raw power of the ocean to stand like tall sentries, guarding the picturesque lagoon and town. The ocean waters gush and crash dramatically through the passage between them, providing breath-taking views from so many different vantage points throughout the town and its outlying areas. The Knysna Heads are also notorious for having been the resting place for many fishermen and seamen that tried to negotiate the unpredictable, powerful waterway in days past.

Today, The Heads are a dazzling sight to enjoy from a number of restaurants, and offer the perfect backdrop for those indulging in water sports nearby. The East Head is easy to get to, and visitors need only head to Leisure Island and follow the sign posts to be part of the excitement and magnitude of this headland. It possesses of a number of stunning homes, which have incredible views, as well as a selection of great restaurants. East Head Café has indoor and outdoor tables that are all positioned to make the best use of these spectacular sights. Blankets are provided so that, even when the seasons turn, tourists can enjoy delicious food or cocktails accompanied by world-class views.

The East Head is effortlessly accessible by car, and has a number of viewing points and decks from where to take in the stunning scenes. Cony Glen Road has two different viewpoints, each of which promises a slightly different perception of this incredible natural wonder. There are also numerous little beaches and rock pools that can be reached via the East Head. These are an amusement for young and old to explore, and are the launching point for snorkelers, Stand Up Paddlers, canoeists, paddlers, kayakers, kite boarders, and more. The beaches are also attractive little spots at which to enjoy a family picnic. Always practice caution of the changing tides before getting into the water, as it can become risky without warning.

The West Head is significantly trickier to access, as there are not public roads to it. The only way to see it is by taking ferry trip across the lagoon. These are conducted frequently from the waterfront. The West Head is well worth the visit, though, thanks to its being home to the charming Featherbed Nature Reserve. A trip to the reserve includes the ferry trip across the lagoon, a 4 x 4 trip up the headland, stops at various lookout points, and an easy 2.2 kilometre walk that really shows off the loveliness of the area. The coastal forest and fynbos are stunning, and the ancient caves are an exciting bonus.

The charters to The Heads include sunset cruises, oyster cruises and lagoon cruises; giving tourists even more diversity in terms of the different ways that they are able to see and experience this beautiful part of South Africa.
Steeped in history and laden in breath-taking beauty, The Heads are very exceptional must-sees for tourists to the Garden Route.

VACANT LAND AND HOUSES FOR SALE

West from the Knysna Heads lies Brenton-on-Sea – a beautiful small town with stunning ocean views and breathtaking fauna and flora scenes. Sophie has been an estate agent in this area for 10 years and knows the town very well. For professional service contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729 to buy a home or empty plot.

Whale watching

For a life-changing moment that you’re likely to never forget, you need to visit Brenton-on-Sea – something impressive is waiting for you below the surface of the sea. From May until December, the magnificent Humpback whale elegantly leaps along the Western coast of South Africa to frolic in the bay. Bryde’s whales and dolphins are also frequently spotted all year round.

Read 5 fabulous facts below about whale watching – an exclusive and richly African pastime.

Whale watching – 5 interesting facts
1. Each year, certain species of whale migrate to the ocean waters of the Western Cape. This is for an explicit reason which is very important in the lives of the whales; it is to calve and nurse their young. This makes it the ideal and most special whale watching experience in and around Brenton-on-Sea.
2. The whale watching route covers more than 2 000 kilometers of ocean. Whale watching is one of the main attractions for visitors in a protected area of the garden route, the Knysna heads or the Tsitsikamma National Park.
3. Over 37 species of whales and dolphins can be found off the seashore of South Africa. You need a high lookout point for whale watching, that is why the elevated cliffs in and around Brenton-on-Sea are the best spots to get a good view for taking photographs and videos. If you can reach a high spot, you are likely to see the Humpback whale or the Bryde’s whale – well known species of the area in July-November and May-December, respectively. There has also been a rare sighting of Orca whales in Knysna in the past.
4. There are many hot-spots for whale watching; Brenton-on-Sea, Knysna and the Knysna Heads each offer magnificent lookout points.
5. Whales display specific performances when it comes to communicating. Should you be lucky enough to witness ‘breaching’, you will be amazed by the sight of whales leaping out of the water in an arching back flip, then plunge into the water on their sides with a huge crash. This is believed to be a way of communication or exercise. Whales are able to breach between 3 and 8 times per session.

Are you looking for a permanent residence to watch the whales from your balcony or deck? Did you know that Brenton-on-Sea offers the most amazing sunsets along the southern coast of South Africa?

Sophie Joubert has been a respected estate agent in and around Brenton-on-Sea for more than 10 years. To buy your exquisite home, call Sophie on 082 572 2729 today!

 

Castle Rock

Brenton-on-Sea is a small seaside village just outside the bustling town of Knysna. The drive over the Eastern Head from Knysna is very scenic and ends at a car park above one end of a vast stretch of sand stretching away to Buffalo Bay in the distance.

Turning left at the bottom of the steps takes you along a short bit of beach to the unusual eroded structure of Castle Rock at the eastern end of the beach. Turning west the opportunity to walk in solitude on pristine sand beckons.

Peaceful and serene scenes, 5 kilometres of unspoilt beach with ‘fynbos’ covered dunes on one side and a beautiful ocean to the south. Walk to Buffalo Bay and back, dipping in the ocean, spotting dolphins surfing the waves and catch sightings of the endangered African Black Oystercatcher.

There are restaurants at both Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay for refreshment and a snack during or after the energizing walk. This stretch of beach is a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists.

A huge sandstone, Castle Rock, signifies Brenton beach, which, at low tide is surrounded by large tender mussels. Seasonal rock pools and sandbanks create safe swimming areas along this rocky coastline. This rock is a favourite fishing spot for locals. Swimming is dangerous near this rock because of rip currents.

Discover untouched hidden beaches while exploring the Fishermans Walk, with awesome views from many vantage points. Whale watching from any of these elevated places for a spectacular sighting of these magnificent mammals, the ultimate being the majestic Southern Right Whale that visits these shores from May to November.

The Brydes whale is spotted all year round and the Humpback Whale resides here for about 8 months of the year. Three dolphin species may be seen in the area.

This is home to the Brenton Blue Butterfly – this endangered species is indigenous to this area and the reserve can be visited on a guided tour during November and February.

Various species of buck can be seen between Brenton-on-Sea and Brenton on lake, on the edge of the Knysna estuary.

Whether you opt for bed & breakfast or self catering, the accommodation offered is of a high standard. We welcome you to come and discover “the hidden gem” of the Garden Route.

In Brenton-on-Sea the opportunity awaits for development. Buy a luxurious home or vacant land and stay in one of the most popular Garden Route towns in the Western Cape.

Sophie’s Properties is an estate agent in Brenton-on-Sea for 10 years and knows the area very well.

Contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729 and buy your precious home for your family.