Summer Fun: Explore the Garden Route National Park

The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) is a mosaic of landscapes and seascapes, a haven for birds and animals including seabirds, rare and endangered species. Guests visiting the Park (Wilderness, Knysna and Tsitsikamma) this season to enjoy its multiple nature walks, cycling trails, forest excursions and water activities are requested to observe all rules and regulations for an enjoyable, safe stay.

Vessel and boat owners are urged to:

  • Be in possession of a vessel permit and all boating regulations must be adhered to at all times
  • Always exercise caution when swimming in the Park’s estuaries (Swartvlei, Knysna and Groot River) as tidal flow could be potentially dangerous
  • Bag and size limits should not exceed the set criteria in the rules and regulations
  • Make sure that you do not drink alcohol and swim.

Observe all signs posted in and around the estuary at all times.

SANParks encourages anglers to act responsibly this season:

  • Know the fishery regulations and abide by them. Limit your catch by not catching your maximum limit.
  • Practice catch and release.
  • Take away everything you brought with you. That includes fishing line, bait boxes, plastic bags and old tackle.

Walking dogs in the GRNP

SANParks has a code of conduct to guide people who would like to walk their dogs in the Park.

The onus is on those walking dogs to abide by guidelines regulating this activity. This can be done through checking signage regularly that is posted along the beach and forestry areas.

Dogs are not allowed in the Knysna estuary and the forest areas. Walking dogs is permissible in the Wilderness part of the Park only in the areas listed below:

  • East of the Parking at the NSRI up the staircase before the Wilderness Hotel.
  • Kleinkrantz parking area, west to 6th Avenue and east up to the first rocks at Gerrick’s Point
  • East of the parking at Myoli beach and Cola Beach (except during 01st December- 31st January , between 09:00am – 17:00pm)
  • Along the Vlei where there is reasonable access and no signage prohibiting dogs.

Dog handlers are requested to adhere to all the rules and regulations of the beach area including conditions including those for leashing.

Survival tips

  • When encountering animals (baboons) for example, it is best not to walk through a troop, rather wait for an opportunity for them to disperse and let you walk through.
  • Should you encounter a snake, do not approach it even if it seems dead. It sounds impossible, but remain calm and if necessary call for help

Emergency numbers 

All numbers are included in all accommodation in the Park but for day visitors can contact the following numbers:

Knysna (estuary) and related areas: 044 382 2095

Knysna forest: Harkerville)- 082 803 0701

Knysna forest: Diepwalle- 0828075652

Wilderness (lakes including Swartvlei):044 877 0046

Forest (Farleigh):044 356 9021

Forest (Goudveld): (0) 443890252

Tsitsikamma (MPA, lakes and rivers) – 042 281 1607

Forest- 044 531-6792.

Additional numbers to call for animals (Carlo van Tonder, Cape Nature, 044 802 5333) and Michael of the Plettenberg animal sanctuary (044 534 8054).


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