Nestled on the Garden Route in the Western Cape of South Africa, Wilderness is a charming seaside town that has gained popularity among tourists seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The town is surrounded by a lush wilderness area that offers an array of outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. Let us explore what makes Wilderness such a special place and some of the exciting things to do and see in the area.
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Getting to Wilderness
Wilderness is located approximately 15 km east of the town of George and around 430 km from Cape Town. The best way to get there is by car, which will take around 4.5 hours from Cape Town. Alternatively, you can fly to George Airport, which is about a 20-minute drive from Wilderness.
Things to Do in Wilderness
Wilderness is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there’s something for everyone. Some of the popular hiking trails in the area include the Giant Kingfisher Trail, the Map of Africa, and the Outeniqua Trail. The Giant Kingfisher Trail is a 7km return trip that takes about three hours to complete.
The Giant Kingfisher trail starts at the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp and follows the river through the forest. Along the way, you’ll see stunning waterfalls, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a giant kingfisher. The Map of Africa is a short hike that offers incredible views of the surrounding landscape. The trail is only 3km long and takes about an hour to complete. The hike starts at the top of a hill and takes you down to a viewpoint where you can see a rock formation that looks like a map of Africa.
The Outeniqua Trail is a multi-day hike that takes you through the mountains and forests of the Garden Route. The trail is 108km long and takes about seven days to complete. Along the way, you’ll see stunning scenery and wildlife, including baboons, bush pigs, and antelopes.
Wilderness boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in the Western Cape. The beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The most popular beaches in the area include Wilderness Beach, Victoria Bay, and Herold’s Bay. Wilderness Beach is a long stretch of white sand that’s perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
The beach is sheltered, so the water is calm, making it ideal for families with young children. Victoria Bay is a small, secluded beach that’s popular with surfers. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, which protect it from the wind, making it an ideal spot for surfing. Herold’s Bay is a small, picturesque beach that’s perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, which makes it a sheltered spot to relax and soak up the sun.
Canoeing and Kayaking
The Wilderness Lagoon is an ideal place for canoeing and kayaking. The lagoon is surrounded by lush vegetation and is home to a variety of bird species. Canoeing and kayaking on the lagoon is a great way to explore the area’s natural beauty.
You can rent a canoe or kayak from one of the many rental companies in the area. If you’re new to canoeing or kayaking, you can take a guided tour and learn about the history and ecology of the lagoon.
For the adrenaline junkies, Wilderness offers the opportunity to paraglide over the stunning landscape. You can soar above the ocean and take in the breathtaking views of the mountains and forests. Paragliding in Wilderness is a must-do activity for adventure seekers.
There are several paragliding schools in the area that offer tandem flights with experienced instructors. You’ll receive all the necessary equipment and training before taking off and soaring through the skies.
Wildlife and Nature Reserves
Wilderness is surrounded by stunning nature reserves that are home to a diverse range of wildlife. The Goukamma Nature Reserve, the Wilderness National Park, and the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve are just a few of the reserves that you can visit.
The Goukamma Nature Reserve is a beautiful reserve that’s home to a variety of bird species, antelopes, and small mammals. The reserve is also home to the Goukamma River, which is a popular spot for swimming and canoeing.
The Wilderness National Park is a protected area that’s home to an array of bird species and small mammals. The park is known for its beautiful lakes and lagoons, and you can explore them by taking a boat tour.
The Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is a private reserve that’s home to the Big Five – lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinoceroses. The reserve offers guided game drives and walking safaris, allowing you to get up close and personal with the wildlife.
Dining and Shopping
Wilderness is home to an array of dining and shopping options. The town has several restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines, including seafood, South African, and international cuisine. If you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts to take home, the town has several craft markets and stores that sell handmade crafts and artwork.
Wilderness in the Western Cape is a haven for nature enthusiasts. With its stunning beaches, lush forests, and wildlife reserves, the town offers an array of outdoor activities that cater to all levels of fitness and adventure.
From hiking and paragliding to canoeing and wildlife viewing, there’s something for everyone in Wilderness. So if you’re looking for a break from the city, pack your bags and head to Wilderness for an unforgettable experience in the heart of nature.
More information on Wilderness on the Garden Route: https://www.garden-route-info.co.za/routes/town/166/wilderness
Looking For Other Activities Close by?
Redberry Farm: offers a range of exciting activities for visitors. Explore their strawberry fields, pick your own ripe berries, enjoy farm-to-table dining at the Tea Garden, indulge in homemade treats, embark on tractor rides, tackle a challenging hedge maze, and delight in a variety of outdoor games. Fun for all ages!