Water sports to enjoy along the Garden Route

Posted on 13 April 2024 By Nomvelo Masango

The Garden Route boasts stunning coastal landscapes, vibrant marine life and lush forests. It is a paradise for adventure seekers,  nature lovers and those who seek to indulge in thrilling water sports.

Here are some water activities to enjoy along the Garden Route:


Kayaking. (Picture: Unsplash / Christian Bowen)

Kayaking is an excellent way to explore the beauty of the Garden Route up close. The area has a number of spots which are ideal for a leisurely paddle and even some adventurous kayak tours. At Storms River Mouth, you can embark on a guided kayak tour and enjoy a unique perspective of the rugged coastline. A gentle paddle through the serene waters of the Knysna Lagoon also offers breathtaking views.


Lady learning to surf

With consistent waves and stunning backdrops, the Garden Route is renowned for the excellent surfing conditions it offers. There are a number of surfing spots that are ideal for beginners and pro surfers. Jeffrey’s Bay is a paradise for surfers and is recognised as one of the world’s best surfing spots. Buffalo Bay is quieter and offers a more tranquil surfing experience. 

Stand Up Paddling

Picture: Unsplash / Hanif Mahmad

The serene waters of the Garden Route are also ideal for Stand Up Paddling (also known as SUP). The exciting sport is a refreshing, easy and fun way to get in shape. Moreover, it is quick to learn and anybody who can swim is able to have fun regardless of their level of proficiency.

The beautiful Keurbooms River offers waters which are ideal for a great SUP experience. Exploring the waterways of Knysna’s Thesen Island on a paddle board is also not a bad idea.


Dotted with picturesque harbours and bays, the Garden Route is a dream come true for any sailing enthusiast. The area offers ideal sailing conditions, and there are options for beginners and seasoned sailors alike. Plettenberg Bay offers a number of opportunities for both casual and competitive sailing. The Knysna lagoon is also a popular, safe and scenic sailing spot.

Swim with seals

Picture: Sourced (Plett Seal Adventures)

As you journey along the Garden Route, you will also get the chance to be up close and personal with South Africa’s playful and gentle-natured Cape fur seals. One place where this can be done is in the clear waters of Plettenberg Bay which offer an extraordinary interaction worth considering. Swimming trips are family-friendly, led by an experienced dive team and are suitable for swimmers of all ages.

Picture: Sourced (Plett Seal Adventures)

Scuba Diving

If you’re in search of an underwater treasure trove, the Garden Route is the place to be. The area boasts vibrant marine life, making it ideal for underwater activities such as scuba diving.

Around the Knysna area, you can immerse yourself in a scuba diving experience where fascinating underwater wonders can be discovered, including colourful marine life and shipwrecks at the Knysna Heads.

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ALSO READ: Africa’s Best Safari Destinations

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