The alternative Garden Route
Did you know?
You'll criss-cross eco-systems here: from the coast, to forests, to fynbos and dry Karoo.
The popular Garden Route combines the rich attractions of mountains, oceans and coastal towns. But the Mothers of Creation Experience route offers a fascinating opportunity to see the alternative Garden Route and southern Cape Karoo.
You'll be directly touched by the small forester and Karoo communities. Just as an example, you could enjoy canoe rides, donkey cart rides or local cuisine in the informal settlement near the coastal holiday town of Klein Brak.
Or you could go on a Woodcutter's Forest Hiking Route, starting from the rural community of Kraaibos near the town of Knysna.
North of the alternative Garden Route is the miniscule, scenic Karoo town of Klaarstroom, where you'll find choirs and fascinating desert fauna and flora. At nearby Nelspoort, about 350 km north of George, you can go on rock art tours, scenery walks, arts and craft tours and donkey rides.
At Covie, near Plettenberg Bay, you'll find hiking and biking trails, some makeshift theatre, or a visit to the local shebeen (tavern).
At Wilderness Heights, just above the breathtaking Wilderness Beach, Millicent Smith will show you the exciting mix of Cape Cultures exhibited in pieces of art at the local craft market.
Not far away is Karatara lives Gertrude Sonquai who will show you an insider's view into the lives of retired forestry workers.
What sets this route apart is that it is powered by women. They have transformed themselves into storytellers, into tourism operators and entrepreneurs. This Garden Route community project has made a great difference to these mothers and housewives.
'There is one thing about the people here,' says Maureen Gertser of Jonkersberg near George. 'They always wear a broad smile despite the hardships they may be facing. Being part of the Mothers of Creation Experience route has changed our lives completely.'
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
For more information on the alternative Garden Route contact the Knysna Tourism Authority on +27 (0) 83 383 0119 or email email@example.com