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TThe Garden Route is home to some of South Africa’s finest coastal scenery, marine wildlife and forests. While this route has been driven by millions of travellers, it is those who have explored it from the air who have enjoyed the broadest views.
There are a number of airfields along the Garden Route region, including Mossel Bay Airfield, George Airport and Plettenberg Bay Airport, to name a few. Various tour operators offer charter flights from these airports throughout the year.
Tours for South Africa, a company based in the town of George, is one company that offers a range of charter flights. Brothers Mario and Giuseppe, former airline employees, moved into charter tours in 2004 and have been flying folk around the Garden Route ever since. Their flights offer great views of coastal, farming and forestry areas.
IIf you prefer helicopters tours to planes, customised trips along the coastline can be arranged with Mossel Bay Helicopters. The company offers helicopter tours including wildlife game viewing, whale and great white shark viewing, as well as mountain flying with breakfast on top of a mountain. Aside from these tours, scenic helicopter flights along the garden route coastline and VIP charter flights are also available.
Another great way to see the Garden Route from the air and watch a sunrise is a hot-air balloon ride with Oudtshoorn Ballooning, with 1-hour tours that depart in the early morning. Launch sites are based at Kleinplaas in Oudtshoorn and at Redstone Hills in Calitzdorp.
Seeing the Garden Route from the sky is a memorable experience, well worth the money you spend on it. Get in touch with a tour operator today and book a flight.
If being in the sky doesn’t appeal to you, you can always explore the Garden Route on foot in the Garden Route National Park.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Tours for South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)44 873 5700
Mossel Bay Helicopters
Tel: + 27 (0)44 695 1660
Tel: +27 (0)82 784 8539
How to get here
The Garden Route lies on the N2 between Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay.
Things to do
Garden Route National Park protects a string of natural jewels along its south-eastern coast and there's lots to indulge your sense of adventure, from hiking to surfing, loafing on beaches or paddling the many lakes. Walking the Garden Route Trail is the best way to see this beautiful region of South Africa, with spectacular scenery ranging from ancient forests to memorable seascapes.
Try the 6km Dune Mole Rat Trail, which meanders through a wetland area in a Ramsar Heritage site. You’ll see birds galore; or choose the popular and unforgettable three-hour Moonlight Meander and Starlight Stroll; there's even an Elephant Walk along former elephant trails in the Diepvalle forest.
At Wilderness Heights above the breath-taking Wilderness Beach, there's a local craft market where you'll find unique culturally inspired goods made by people from the surrounding communities.
What to pack
Binoculars and a camera are two essential items for air tours in the Garden Route region.
Where to stay
There is a wide variety of accommodation available along the Garden Route in towns with airfields, namely Mossel Bay, George and Plettenberg Bay.
What to eat
If you're around Knysna in July, don't miss the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.