Canoeing the waterways of the Garden Route.


While most visitors to the Garden Route plan for hiking, cycling and cultural exposure, very few consider the merits of a canoeing experience. Blessed with an abundance of tranquil meandering rivers, the Garden Route boasts some excellent opportunities to penetrate either lush forest or Fynbos by canoe. Most renowned is the Touw River in Wilderness offering either a 3km stretch en route to the Giant Kingfisher Trail leading to rock pools and cascades or a 5km tributary slinking through a reed lined wetland reminiscent of the Okovango Delta. Both options present perfect birding and photography in the Garden Route National Park managed by SANParks.

Continuing eastwards, the Goukamma River is another perfect stretch of water, especially for naturalists wanting a more secluded outing. Planned well, you can even lunch at the River Deck on the banks of the northern reaches of the river. My personal highlight on this river is a pair of African Fish Eagles which has nested for more than 30 years and a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls.

For those looking for an over night canoe adventure then the Keurbooms River is a must. Hiring canoes from Cape Nature East of Plettenberg Bay, you paddle up to the Whiskey Creek cabin to savour a night or two far removed from the trappings of society where the stars will enthrall you through the darkness of the Southern skies.

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