Off-road Experience: SANParks opens normally closed routes for limited Garden Route 4x4 adventure

2020-02-27 07:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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Calling all those who like a bit of sweat with their road tripping and travelling on roads that look like they've been made by a mad person - South African National Parks (SANParks) will be hosting a 4x4 experience in the Garden Route National Park from 2 - 3 May. 

The event - the Road Less Travelled Off-Road Experience - gives nature lovers and gearheads the chance to traverse roads within the park that's normally closed to the public. Participants get to experience indigenous forests, fynbos, sparkling streams and sweeping mountain views while navigating tough terrain.

SEE: A spa in the forest that's like a fairy tale come to life 

There will be three routes to choose from (graded 1-4) and will take you through the forests of Karatara and Goudveld Forests, as well as the route from Windmeulnek to Platbos with amazing views of the Outeniqua Mountains.

SANParks is delighted to open the route which allows participants to come as close as possible to nature with minimal impact on the environment.

"The drive is scenic and picture-perfect which is what the Garden Route is famous for,’ says Wilderness's area manager Sandra Taljaard.

All funds raised from the event will go towards conservation initiatives identified by SANParks in the Garden Route. 

PICS: A wild ride along this Garden Route MTB track 

The event might soon become an annual feature in the Garden Route and judging by its popularity in 2017 and 2018 you should make your booking quickly.

For more information, booking and costs (which exclude the payment of the SANParks conservation fees), contact Derek Oldfield via email ( or by phone (082 550 2075). 

Road tripping through the Garden Route

If you miss the cut off - or own a car only meant for tar roads - you can still do your own trip on the road more travelled through the Garden Route peppered with the Big 7 of SA's animal kingdom, Nature's Valley, Knysna, as well as the likes of Mossel Bay and Sedgefield - all quaint spots that just demand you relax and unwind in the right way. 

Here are some top itineraries, stays and activities to help you decide where to go to next. 

The most romantic Garden Route itinerary to spoil your loved one

Bring your fairy tale fantasies to life in the beauty of this Western Cape coastline.

Wine, beer and maybe a spot of gin: Spend 4 or 8 days craft hopping through the Garden Route

An itinerary for for the beer, wine and gin snob in you.

Your 5-day road trip itinerary to the Garden Route's most obscure towns

Visit the quiet towns of Riversdale, Ladismith and Uniondale on your way to (or instead of) bigger coastal destinations like Knysna.

Barrydale: Hit pause in this Klein Karoo dorpie before taking on the Garden Route 

It's a town people tend to pass through on their way to the Garden Route. But by only stopping for a milkshake or a quick bite to eat, you miss the essence of this wonderful place. 

Easter break planning? Check out these Garden Route stays to suit all budgets 

The Garden Route is awash with resorts, rest camps and five-star luxury stays - offering the perfect holiday experience to suit any budget. 

This Plett holiday resort is perfect for a family holiday along the Garden Route 

The Garden Route is possibly one of the most adventure-filled, picturesque and family-friendly spots in South Africa.

Formosa Bay Resort - perfect for a family holiday

(Photo: Formosa Bay Resort)

One of the world's longest ocean ziplines officially opens in Mossel Bay 

The Garden Route is already adventure holiday central - from the Bloukrans bungy to the Otter Trail - and Mossel Bay has added a new adrenaline-infused attraction. 

If you pick any rest camp to visit in 2020, choose SA's top national park of the year 

The Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) has just scooped the Park of the Year Award - and after a short stay at Ebb and Flow rest camp, I can fully understand why. 

The best things in life are free: 10 things to do in Knysna at no cost 

Don't worry about what how you can entertain yourself this summer, here are fun-filled activities that won't cost you anything.

Take a 40-minute flight to feel fancy at Fancourt - George's iconic luxury golf estate 

The Garden Route's most luxurious golf estate has much more to offer than businessmen making deals on the green or elderly, rich men clad in polo shirts. 

Monkeying around in The Crags 

Near Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route in South Africa, The Crags has treetop accommodation, a forest spa, free-roaming primates and a bubbly wine route that together create the perfect long weekend getaway.

A break in Knysna 

A reminder why you should visit this bustling Garden Route town if you haven't been since the fires. 

From the ashes of the Knysna fire, this hotel is rising as an uber-modern Garden Route stay 

Knysna Hollow Country Estate was one of many destroyed by the chaos of the 2017 Knysna fires, but today it stands as a brand new 4-star hotel that's fallen head-first into the future.

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