South Africa

Locals say you know you’ve truly arrived in the Garden Route when you crest the hill approaching the village of Wilderness and spy an expanse of golden beach and the Indian Ocean stretching into the distance. During springtime, the area’s natural beauty is enhanced as wildflowers bloom.

Wilderness National Park’s lush terrestrial landscapes – there are three zones of indigenous forest (with their tell-tale yellowwoods) and four types of fynbos – support a large number of bird species including the region’s famous Knsyna loerie. The surrounding lakes, with their semi-aquatic flora, are protected RAMSAR wetlands due to their importance as nesting grounds for migrating birdlife including red-knobbed coots, little grebe, cape shovelers and red cormorants.