Driving the Garden Route – Safety Dos and Don’ts

How to stay safe while driving the Garden Route

People are drawn to South Africa’s Garden Route for its polarity – you can be in the middle of the mountains at one moment and be thrown to the amazing coastline the next. This self-drive route offers a wide array of activities, like going on wine tasting tours in the mountains, relaxing on the many beaches, and even cage diving with great white sharks. To ensure your holiday goes as smoothly as possible, here are some safety dos and don’ts for driving the Garden Route.

Be prepared

Travelling along an area with so many different environments, like Driving the Garden Route, can call for some hectic packing. Get a SIM card to always have access to your phone’s GPS and emergency contact numbers. To make sure that you can always reach someone, buy a South Africa adapter, so you can charge your devices at a hotel before heading out to your next destination. As for clothing, if you are travelling in South Africa’s winter months, pack warmer clothes for the chilly nights. Bring comfortable shoes for hiking and a wind jacket for the sea breeze.

Safest ways to travel

The Garden Route is a heavily trafficked area by tourists, so it is safe to travel along. However, there are certain measures you can take to stay the safe while driving the Garden Route. Avoid walking through the back roads in cities or townships, and wandering alone at night. The Garden Route has two simple routes, and the roads are equivalent to European roads, making the drive itself safe. However, be sure to hire a car from a reliable car service to lessen your chances of breaking down on your route.

Safest places to see  – Driving the Garden Route

With so many different destinations along the Garden Route, it is difficult to fit all you want to see and do in one trip. To help you plan, here is a list of 5 beautiful and safe places you should not cut out of your Garden Route itinerary.

  • Go on a wine tasting tour in the Outeniqua mountains above George.
  • In Gansbaai, embark on a whale sighting tour during whale season, or go great white shark cage diving.
  • In Knysna, visit the Featherbed Nature Reserve or the July Oyster Festival.
  • Relax on the beaches of Plettenburg Bay, or join in on the watersport activities around you.
  • Visit Addo Elephant National Park and go on game drives to spot the herds of elephants.

Foods to eat or not to eat

From the South African braais (BBQ’s) to the seafood of the coastal cities, the food along the Garden Route is a main attraction for tourists. However, with travel comes the possibility of getting a food-related illness. Fresh produce is typically something that can always be enjoyed, but meat is where you have to be a little more concerned. Always make sure that your food is served hot, and try to steer clear of the street food in South Africa, as this may not guarantee you the safest food.

Make sure to stay hydrated the whole time, as the African sun has a way of creeping up on you. In doing so, try to opt for bottled water instead of tap water. If tap water is all you have, make sure to have a water purifier or water purifying tablets for your trip!

Travel Health

Book an appointment at your nearest TMB clinic to get your necessary South Africa vaccinations before you head out to the Garden Route. Our experts can advise you on how to stay the healthiest you can on your trip.

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