Along the Garden Route is an area called The Crags, where you can find the most extraordinary things to do, delicacies to eat, people to meet and places to stay. The Crags offer a number of unique attractions found only in South Africa, and in some cases even the world. Wildlife interactions, shopping, eating, and exploring are but a few of the activities to do in The Crags.
Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary
The Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary is one of the top attractions in The Crags. It is also one of the three Sanctuaries under the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA) and is the first multi-species primate sanctuary in the world. The sanctuary comprises over 12 hectares of indigenous forest, with a protected greenbelt of 4 hectares. It is home to about more than 700 Primates representing 11 species. The Monkeyland provides the primates with a stable environment where they are cared for and rehabilitated. The primates are happy, healthy and free to roam the indigenous Monkeyland forest.
Visitors can expect to see a variety of primates, ranging from the Gibbons of Asia to the Lemurs of Madagascar during guided safaris. Knowledgeable rangers will explain all about the fascinating primates whenever they are encountered during the guided tours. The tour is so much more than just an unforgettable forest adventure, it is the vehicle that allows visitors to become part of the primates’ rehabilitation process.
Tenikwa Wild Wildlife Sanctuary
Another top attraction in The Crags is the Tenikwa Wild Wildlife Sanctuary which is one of the largest active wildlife rehabilitation centers in the Western Cape. It attends to a diverse variety of animals including terrestrial and marine species. The sanctuary offers various, small group programs during the day. Guests can enjoy the Wild Cat experience and learn about the indigenous wild cats of South Africa and why their species are endangered. During the one hour guided tours guests are guaranteed to see the Cheetah, ZweLakhe, the Leopard African, Servals, Caracal and the rare Black-Footed Cat. A variety of indigenous birds, such as Blue Cranes, Marabou Storks, and waterfowl are also often spotted. The guests will really have an unforgettable, unique and personal experience.
Birds of Eden
The Birds of Eden is an award-winning bird sanctuary in The Crags which provides a home to previously caged birds. It is the largest single-span free-flight aviary in the world which encompasses 2.3-hectare of partly forested land. It is home to more than 3500 birds of around 220 species. The feathered inhabitants of the aviary are a mixture of exotic and African birds like the parrots, touracos, waterfowl, swans, Knysna Loeries, spoonbills, weavers, cranes, scarlet ibis, barbets, parakeets, starlings, robins, and flamingos. All new arrivals at Birds of Eden go through a process of rehabilitation before their final release into the main aviary.
The Crags Elephant Sanctuary
The Elephant Sanctuary provides a home to 1 male and 5 female African elephants. The sanctuary offers an interactive elephant experience and elephant back riding. Guests are guided on foot through the Elephant Sanctuary to get up close and personal with the animals. Guides will provide in-depth information and insight into African elephants so guests can learn about their habits, behavior, anatomy and different personalities. The guests can also experience interaction with the elephants where they are given the chance to touch, feed and walk trunk in hand with the elephants. Fit and adventurous guests can experience the elephant back riding. Anyone above 8 years old can ride the elephant for 10-15 minutes.
Lawnwood Snake Park
The Lawnwood Snake Park is a fascinating snake park situated in The Crags. The park has become a commercial venue and popular tourist attraction along the Garden Route and is home to over 200 snakes and reptiles. The sanctuary was founded by Mike and Emily Caithness as a hobby which began when they started removing snakes from people’s properties around the country. The snake park consists of several different outdoor exhibits. A one hour guided tour is available which takes place in a large dome housing South African and exotic snakes, a giant python room and an indigenous snake pit. There are also enclosures housing monitor lizards and Nile crocodiles. During the tour, visitors can learn about the snakes and what to do when encountering dangerous snakes in the wild.