Walk it out for the joy of travel in the Garden Route

Cape Town - If the travel bug has bitten you and all you want to do is travel and explore - you may want to combine it with burning off some energy at the Garden Route Walking Fest.

The walking festival set along the coastal Garden Route over the Easter Weekend will offer 52 walks between George, Knysna, Plett, Natures Valley, and Storms River.

The festival is poised to offer visitors and locals the opportunity to connect with the area and to explore its natural beauty at leisure. 

#FindYourEscape

The Cape Garden Route is arguably one of the world's great walking destinations, with its beautiful mountains, secret forests, cascading waterfalls, coastal cliffs, incredible beaches and famous trails. 

READ: 8 things to love about the Explorer’s Garden Route

“Walking festivals are a big trend globally, but the Garden Route Walking Fest is a first for South Africa - it’s a massive undertaking that involves the support and involvement of all the local communities.

Hi-Tec, a brand which has become synonymous with hiking in South Africa, are sponsors of the event, which enables us to offer a wide range of walks catering to all levels of fitness and adventure, ”comments festival founder Galeo Saintz.

And there really are walks for everyone, from slow saunters along the beach at the end of the day, to brisk walks up some of the regions highest peaks, such as George Peak and Peak Formosa in the Tsitsikamma.


The Traditional Walks include the Brown-Hooded Kingfisher Trail or Circles in the Forest Elephant Walk, and for the more intrepid, there is a Geo-Caching Walk. Who knows you may just spot Oupoot, who recently made a cameo appearance in the Knysna forest. 

A collection of festive walks such as the Fancy Dress Masked Walk at sundown, or the Inner Magic walk for kids, promises great fun with friends and family. 

The extensive programme also includes many unusual walks, such as the Walk with Poetry and the Yoga Walk.

For those with an adventurous spirit, the Naked Walk in Nature offers the chance to experience nature au naturel.

Adding to the selection is An Evening Walk through the Night Sky, presented by local astronomers, a Connecting Nature trail and a Community Walk, which will be led by a local conservation initiative. 

READ: 9 Secret Beaches along the Garden Route

Everyone is welcome –“The Garden Route Walking Fest festival is about building a connection between us as communities and between humanity and nature,” says Saintz.

The walks are all led by local Walk Leaders. If you are a local guide or walking enthusiast and would like to add your walk to the programme or lead an existing walk, you can apply to be a leader HERE

“Walking is one of the best ways to appreciate and discover the incredible natural beauty that makes the Garden Route a much-loved destination. Join us for a fun time out in nature, meet new friends and discover hidden gems off the beaten track. This festival is ideal for families and all lovers of the great outdoors,” concludes Saintz.

The festival benefits local Garden Route environmental charities and conservation initiatives by highlighting their work and facilitating donations by walkers to their causes.

READ: Garden Route oysters and waters declared safe following bacteria scare

What you need to know

What: Garden Route Walking Fest
When: 25 - 29 March
Where: Garden Route 
Price: Varied according to event 

3 Epic walks not to miss on the Garden Route

1. If you love sandboarding - check out the Sandboarding trail taking place on Brenton Beach.  

This will feature a short walk on Brenton-On-Sea Beach to the sand dune where travellers will walk up and sandboard down as many times as they like. Bring your hiking shoes, water and sunblock. 

Date:  Friday 25 March 2016      
Time: 9:00 am    
Start: Point Brenton-On-Sea carpark
Grade:  Moderate
Distance: 3.4 km    
Duration: 3  Hours
Cost:  R300 pp
Limit: 12 Walkers

2. If you can't take the heat - check out the Underwater Walk.
This special treat offers snorkelling along the rocks of Santos Beach in Mossel Bay. Travellers are able to hire snorkel gear or bring their own. 

Travellers are advised to bring a weight belt and a wetsuit.  

Date: Friday 25 March 2016      
Time: 15:00 pm    
Start: Point Santos Beach at the Pavilion restaurant
Grade: Easy
Duration: 1  Hours
Cost: Free (except for hired gear)
Limit: 9 Participants
Walk: Leader Fiona Ayerst

3. For some epic fun venture out along the Whiskey Creek trail.

The trail will take you along the gorge and through the nature reserve. Bring your swimming gear to swim in the rock pools. 

Date: Friday 25 March 2016      
Time: 9:00 am    
Start: Point  Glen Loerie, turn off the N2 at sign ‘Moonshine’, The Crags   
Grade: Moderate
Duration: 3 – 4 Hours
Cost: Free
Walk: Leader  Jane Luck

For a full list of the walks click HERE

Get lost in Knysna, the heart of the #GardenRoute. Amazing pic from @joshwideawake #MeetSouthAfrica @pletttourism

A photo posted by South African Tourism (@meetsouthafrica) on


We'd love you to share your travel experiences with us, or you can connect with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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