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We’ve scoured the city to uncover its hidden gems and fascinating history. Be inspired by our ultimate adrenaline adventures and fabulous family fun days out. Get ready for your best holiday ever!

Family Hikes in George – Get to Know Nature

12/24/2021

“Who did this poo?” my five-year-old demanded, pointing to a large turd on the forest floor. This was an easy question for our expert guide, Mark Dixon, from Garden Route Trail. Dixon bent over and poked the turd with a stick, revealing a few bright yellow Cheesewood berries. “It’s bushpig dung!”, he pronounced with authority, as my son gazed at the poop in amazement.

Image Featured: Mark Dixon Photography

This led to a heap of questions about what bushpigs eat, how well they see, where they sleep and how they wander the forest at night and mark their territory by rubbing their smelly backsides against trees. This had my son rolling on the leaf littered forest floor laughing in the dappled sunlight. These are the kinds of meaningful nature experiences that the best holidays are made of. This is the reason parents buy cameras and the whole point of holidays.

While Mark was able to keep my son spellbound as he boulder hopped the tannin-stained stream, he also kept the adults fascinated. The guide’s explanation of the bushpigs’ incredible foraging habits had us listening intently. Dixon pointed out their rubbing posts and territorial latrines. Mark listened to the call of the Knysna Turaco and patiently explained the difference between the elusive bird’s piercing alarm calls and his barking to broadcast the location of food.

Image Featured: Mark Dixon Photography

As a family, we have been on many, many Garden Route hikes. This area has an absolute wealth of outdoor spaces; from pristine nature reserves and national parks, to towering fynbos-clad mountains, enormous swathes of golden sand beaches and trickling streams. Our kids love nature and thrive in the outdoors, but we have rarely been this captivated by its secrets and subtle natural beauty.

Eco-adventure guiding is Mark Dixon’s passion. His family-run nature guiding business hosts showstopping nature walks for biology buffs, family groups and inquisitive kids. Mark’s ‘Garden Route Trail’ company tailor-makes tours to suit a group’s specific needs. They design walks around fitness, size of group and interests. Along with 16 years of guiding experience in the Garden Route, Mark is an ecological field researcher. He brings a wealth of interesting knowledge about indigenous forest, fascinating fynbos, coastal habitats, fossils and can point out a Grey Cuckoo Shrike at fifty paces. The wilderness is this man’s paradise!

While innumerable studies agree that children who play outside are happier, more attentive, and less anxious than those who spend more time indoors, parents want holidays that are easy, stress free and calming. Screen time often sneaks in and steals our holidays. Before we realize it, the vacation is over, and we have only connected with You Tube. Everyone who visits the Garden Route wants to spend time in nature, but many people lack the confidence to pack up their pretzels, slick on their sunscreen and take a hike.

We urge you, get to know our green spaces, immerse your family in nature, make memories and take photos. Here are some fun family eco-adventure ideas…..

Image Featured: Mark Dixon Photography

Learn about Life in the Forest

Gulp in great big lungfuls of fresh air while the children tune into nature. Check out Mark and Amanda Dixon’s guided forest walks along the Groeneweide Trails, close to NMU. There are moderately difficult 7km, 9km and 13km trails on well-marked paths. Most are suitable for families with active or older children. The Groeneweide Trail system is criss-crossed by pristine streams with cool rock pools, ideal for swimming and boulder hopping. This is a great place to see the indigenous Outeniqua Yellowwood trees, as well as Ironwood, Saffronwood, Stinkwood, and many brightly coloured bracket fungi. Birdlife is plentiful and hikers might hear the call of the Narina Trogan, Olive Thrush and Chorister Robin. Curious kids may see the dung of the duiker, bushbuck, vervet monkey, baboon, and bush pig. These forests are the home of shy predators such as the Cape leopard and caracal. Read Mark Dixon’s blog and find his rates and details of guided hikes at Garden Route Trail

Image Featured: Mark Dixon Photography

Walk in the Park

Families with small children and toddlers will enjoy sauntering on the easiest and safest nature trail in George. The Mushroom Meander is in the Garden Route Botanic Gardens, on Caledon Street. The gardens have a total of 18 hectares of green space to explore. Follow the signs for the Mushroom Meander to access a circular trail, winding through shaded Afromontane forest. You will cross several clear mountain streams and pass quiet picnic areas. The entire route is graded as easy and can be completed within about 20 minutes. A R20 fee is charged at the entrance gate for adults. Check out botanicalgarden.org.za for more details.

Conquer a Peak

Some of the best views in George can be accessed from the summit of George and Craddock Peaks. While these are favourite weekend destinations for local hikers and trail runners, these trails are challenging and require a good deal of fitness. Hiking trails to both peaks pass through beautiful fynbos and cross the iconic Power Van Railway line. These trails can be accessed via the Witfontein Route System. A self-issue permit is available from the starting point at the Cape Nature’s offices, northwest of George.

Image Featured: Mark Dixon Photography

The Outeniqua Nature Reserve has several other less challenging routes suited to mountain biking, hiking and trail running. The trails meander through the Witfontein pine plantation with sections of indigenous forest and fynbos. There are many single-track sections to be found between the contour roads, such as the Tower Loop and Sidewinder Loop. The Witfontein Forestry Station can be contacted on Phone and trail maps are available from Trail Republic at George Trails

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20 years of embracing real South African Flavours at Serendipity Restaurant

1/15/2021

Serendipity Restaurant has achieved international acclaim by championing traditional and local South African flavors. Blogger Clare van Rensburg visits the iconic Wilderness fine-dining restaurant, on its twentieth anniversary. She discovers a bucket-list meal at an award-winning eatery.

Image Featured: Serendipity Restaurant Chef Lizelle Stolze

Serendipity’s menu is rooted in chef-patron Lizelle Stolze’s passion for the very best South African produce, which she describes as ‘amazing indigenous bounty’. For two decades, Lizelle and her husband Rudolf, have put Wilderness on the map for sumptuous food and an unparalleled knowledge of local wines and spirits. Their ingredients-driven menu changes every five weeks and depends on what hunter, fisherman and spear-diver Rudolf has managed to wrestle into submission or pull from the ocean. You can expect local game and seafood, indigenous foods and traditional flavors, elevated to fine-dining splendor.

Serendipity’s fun-loving maître d’ Rudolf likes to serve sunset aperitifs on the waterside terrace, overlooking the placid Touw River. This gives him a chance to chat about his favorite South African spirits and brag about his wife’s menu. This fantastic menu is matched only by Rudolf’s local food lore. Serving us a pink gin-style cocktail, Rudolf tells us about the near-calamity that accidently created the ‘Spook van Blomfontein’. At the secluded Strandveld Winery, on South Africa’s southernmost tip, winemaker Conrad Vlok was determined to produce a superlative MCC. Shortly after bottling his prized pinot noir, disaster struck. Explosions shook the Cape Agulhas cellars, as hundreds of bottles shattered from the pressure. Desperate to protect the plonk, Vlok decanted the remaining stock and distilled it with a secret blend of local fynbos botanicals. A unique and rare spirit was born and this Spook van Blomfontein has become a closely guarded local secret. It tastes like an actual flower fountain and smells like Turkish Delight and Rose Geranium. Rudolf serves it ice cold, in a champagne flute, topped up with refreshing Indian tonic.

Image Featured: Serendipity Restaurant

Serendipity’s setting is intimate and magical. The dining room is situated right on the banks of the lagoon, in the perfect position to appreciate the Southern Cape sunsets. Dragonflies hover over the water, reeds sway in the breeze and the scent of food wafts from the kitchen.

Serendipity is a unique experience for proud South Africans and international food-lovers. The menu is infused with regional botanicals and indigenous flavours. “When we first began Serendipity Restaurant in 2001,” says Rudolf, “we committed ourselves to sticking to fresh sustainably-sourced local foods, and two decades later it is still a winning formula”. Lizelle says that her dedication to South African cuisine stems from recollections of her favourite childhood foods; “I have vivid memories of marog cooked with onions and potatoes, and of preparing hunted spoils that my dad brought home: we once stuffed a warthog heart and I had to do the sewing-up. I remember freshly grilled whole white mielies, topped with a swipe of butter and spicy salt.”

Image Featured: Serendipity Restaurant

“For years,” Lizelle says, “our traditional foods were forgotten, and focus was placed on exotic imported ingredients”. “We choose to keep the spotlight on South Africa’s unique culinary heritage,” she says of her kitchen. Indeed, this passion is surely the reason that Serendipity features so frequently in hospitality awards. They were named ‘Global Winner’ of the 2020 World Luxury Restaurant Awards, for South African Cuisine and ‘Continent Winner’ for Fine Dining. They remain the top-rated Trip Advisor restaurant in Wilderness and feature in the Ten Best Restaurants in the Western Cape Province.

Our meal began with a surprise ‘amuse bouche’, served in a spherical pottery cloche. We opened it to find silky beetroot hummus, served with a local goat’s cheese and crisp croutons. A basket of homemade bread contained a traditional Vetkoek and was served with flavored butter and a sprinkle of onion flowers. The snoek pate starter featured slivers of wild harvested pepper dew and was plated with a traditional grape jam, pickled onion and a peppery Nasturtium pesto. My husband loved his Retro Waldorf Salad, possibly the first time in his life he ever enjoyed a salad! The rich pigeon breast Bresaola was perfectly complemented by pickled sultanas, crunchy apple, celeriac and toasted pecans.

Image Featured: Serendipity Restaurant

As an interlude, we enjoyed the broccoli and ice-berg lettuce soup served with a splash of salty local Blaauwkrantz cream cheese. This was followed by a single refreshing spoonful of ice-cold sorbet. We slurped up tangy lemon and native buchu flavors until our palates were suitably cleansed.

Our favorite aspect of the Serendipity experience was the interaction with our waiters and hosts. We loved the fun and detailed explanations of the dishes, as well as Rudolf’s hunting escapades and his personal wine recommendations. Serendipity offer to pair each course with a complimenting wine, carefully sourced from local vineyards. The waiters deliver each pairing with flawless tasting notes.

Image Featured: Serendipity Restaurant

The showstopping main course was tender springbok fillet, served on a bed of wilted spinach with slow-braised springbok shank, crisp hasselback potatoes and a rich red wine jus. This is quintessential South African comfort food and characterizes Serendipity’s insistence on ethically sourced meat. Other options included a succulent Santer fillet, served with shellfish bouillabaisse and grain pilaf, with roasted vine tomatoes. The vegetarian option was roasted cauliflower with spiced date butter. Dessert was a simple choice between a vanilla crème brulee served with a white and dark chocolate crème and the rooibos stewed fig cake, served with Amarula ice-cream and green fig preserve.

Image Featured: Serendipity Restaurant

Serendipity Restaurant only seats 30 guests, so it is wise to book well in advance and arrive hungry.

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The Rise of a Superfood

11/19/2020

As well as sourdough, several other artisan loaves line the shelves of the Food Co bakery. Ciabatta, Plaasbrood, Seed and Challah loaves are baked using 100% stone ground flour and time honoured techniques. “We use traditional slow fermentation,” explains Jean, “to extract the maximum nutrition from the grain”. The former yacht skipper is obsessed by the quality of his ‘real’ bread. “We refuse to compromise on the cost or the quality of our ingredients,” says Jean. Handmade bread focusses on the quality of its ingredients; high-quality whole grain flour sourced from farmers with whom the baker has a personal relationship. The philosophy at Food Co is uncomplicated. ‘Simplicity, health and moderation are our cornerstones’, says baker, Jean Rossouw. He and his wife, chef Lizelle, launched their bakery and restaurant at the corner of Fourth Street and Courtney Road in 2016. Four years later, the Food Co team has expanded and moved the bakery across the road. The café is easy to find; follow the nutty aroma of freshly baked bread!

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The Food Co duo are responsible for the birth of a new superpower in George; the Sourdough Loaf! This leavened bread found its origins in Ancient Egypt and is thought to predate many early metals. The sharp aroma, tangy open crumb, chewy texture and crisp crust are hallmarks of this superfood loaf.

The use of additives, preservatives and sugar in commercially baked products has been linked to allergies and intolerances. However, Jean and Lizelle find these problems are absent in their traditional sourdough bread. Customers with wheat and gluten sensitivities report no issues with their preservative free loaf. Jean explains that the wild yeast and lactobacillus cultures in the sourdough starter predigest the wheat during its 22 hour fermentation period. The microscopic communities of probiotic life are an essential component of truly amazing bread. They govern the break down of proteins in the wheat germ, develop flavour, provide natural leaven and improve taste and texture. This makes their sourdough more nutritious and easily digestible than commercial supermarket sliced breads. In addition, the rye added to the sourdough helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent diabetes.

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Further transformation happens when Lizelle gets her hands on the loaves. The chef’s background in fine dining is inspiring, having trained in three of the top ten restaurants in South Africa. However, Lizelle’s childhood dream was always to own her own bakery. She now spends her early mornings test driving new creations for their café. Her aim is to complement the bakery’s loaves with a range of healthy and unpretentious dishes. “We spent ten amazing years travelling the world, preparing food for billionaires on yachts,” explains Lizelle. “No matter where we travelled; Tahiti, Ireland, New Zealand, or Italy,” she claims, “the best food had one common theme; absolute simplicity.”

“I want to go right back to the basics with the food we prepare and serve,” Lizelle says. “I want people to come in, just to taste the best bread in town”. And each of the breads are available to taste on the café’s paired down menu. The Plaasbrood is slathered with farm butter and served warm from the oven. The Ciabatta can be sampled with Lizelle’s homemade strawberry jam. The seed loaf is perfect for a peanut butter and honey snack, with a steaming flat white. Several breakfast options are available, including a double smoked bacon and poached egg open sandwich. Cinnamon rolls topped with an orange cream cheese frosting are available from Tuesday to Thursday.

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There are no shortcuts in the Food Co kitchen; fresh food is sourced directly from local farmers and makes it to the plate with the minimum interference. Meanwhile, the Rossouws continue to scrutinise the quality of their dough. “For us,” Jean says, “the most difficult thing, is to keep the bread the same. Sourdough cultures are especially sensitive to temperature and humidity. There is not a single batch that is identical to another”. However, one factor that remains constant, is that the bread is healthy. The dough is worked slowly by hand. The flour is given the respect it deserves and the nutrient content of the bread is maintained. “We stand for premium ingredients, the return of the community bakery and truly super bread,” the couple agree. Food Co is open Tuesday to Friday from 8,30am to 4pm and Saturday 8,30am to 12 noon.

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Souvenir Shopping in George

10/6/2020

Tips for Finding the Trendiest Travel Souvenir in George

Holidays in the Garden Route are all about breathtaking hikes, balmy weather and beautiful beach days. However, no holiday is complete without a spot of souvenir shopping. The best travel keepsakes are often handmade items that offer a genuine glimpse into the local culture. Shopping for crafts supports local entrepreneurs and helps to promote sustainable tourism. We’ve compiled a list of the top crafters, artisans and markets offering special mementos in George.

Image Featured: The Outeniqua Family Market

The Outeniqua Family Market is a treasure trove for authentic, locally produced handcrafts. Heaven Soaps is a small Wilderness-based producer making bespoke handmade soaps. Their blissful bars are made with organic olive and coconut oils. They are free from harmful or artificial additives. Heaven Soaps are cold processed with natural botanical ingredients, sourced from the local fynbos, forest and veld. Bring home a bag of Garden Route Bath Salts fragranced with African Rose Geranium or a bar of African Black Soap with banana plantain. LIFE Community Services is a Christian NGO working with orphaned and vulnerable children in George. LIFE has a fantastic local reputation for reaching out to more than 4000 children every week, through their dynamic education and feeding programmes. This charity helps to tackle youth unemployment and uplift women through a project called ISIPHO. The project (meaning ‘gift’) employs six ladies who sew, knit and crochet. Their beautiful fabric dolls, pretty African Shweshwe dresses and cotton beanies are sold at the Outeniqua Family Market.

A piece of Goldfish Jewellery is the quintessential George souvenir. Jewellery designers, Reinette and Zak Edgar, draw inspiration from the splendour of the Garden Route to craft unique silver and gold jewellery. The couple’s design studio is located on Merriman Street, but they also have a stall at the Outeniqua Family Market on a Saturday. You can’t leave George without a sterling silver ‘Wave’ or ‘Feather’ Stacking Ring or a delicate ‘Map or Africa’ pendent. Their earrings feature local wildlife and sea life, including starfish, chameleons, Knysna Loeries and pansy shells. The Honeybee Charm is a local favourite.

Image Featured: Wonki Ware

No tourist can visit George without a visit to Di Marshall’s pottery emporium. Wonki Ware Pottery is located at 42 York Street. Di Marshall is a household name in George and her “beautifully imperfect” Wonki Ware Pottery has become world famous. Locals are fanatical about the factory store on York Street, a great source of killer bargains. Mix and match different styles of dinner ware, jugs, mugs, pasta bowls and some of the potter’s genuine experiments. Some of the items at the factory shop never make it to the city lights of Jozi or Cape Town because they are a slightly different shape or colour, so you can pick up an absolute steal. Locals love the lace printed ‘Etosha’ Dishes. These large versatile serving platters are designed with high sides to hold sauces, dressings and fruit.

Wonki Ware is locally handmade, painted and fired. Their George factory employs 70 people. A fascinating insight into their production process is offered at the ‘Pottery Garden Café and Pizzeria’ where you can have a coffee while watching the potters at work. For tourists returning overseas, the small dipping bowls, coffee cups and soap trays travel well when packed. The store also stocks table cloths, serviettes, aprons and art work.

Image Featured: Bee Botanique

Bee Botanique on Caledon Street is a gold mine for botanical themed local gifts. Interior designer and plant enthusiast, Madél Janse van Rensburg has a wide range of funky potted plants as well as trendy soft furnishings and décor items curated to enhance beautiful living spaces. Pick up a bottle of Babylonstoren Aperitif or a bespoke terrarium. Select from a range ofceramic, fabric or wicker planters and macramé planter holders. Bee Botanique also stocks Fijn Botanical Cosmetics from the Karoo, floral placemats and deliciously scented Madame Luna botanical candles.

Blue Forest Book Shop and Collectables on Market Street is a rare find. It’s a classic family-owned second-hand bookshop in the heart of old George. The Blue Forest is a dusty atmospheric booklovers dream. It has crooked aisles, mismatched shelves and odd tables filled with both popular fiction and antique books. There are cosy spots for reading, including a few ancient armchairs. Browsing is a pleasure; ask the owner for recommendations. They even have a rare book section filled with literary gems; including rare antiquarian and Afrikana, history, art, classics and Afrikaans literature.

Image Featured: Bummel Shoes

If you fancy a practical souvenir of your stay in George, pop into Bummel Shoes on York Street. This small family-owned studio has been making genuine leather shoes and leather goods since 1990. ‘Bummel’ is a nod to the owner’s Germen heritage and means ‘to stroll’. Bummel shoes are certainly made for mountain wanders, desert rambles and beach hikes. These kicks are handmade in the traditional stitch-down construction. Bummel shoes are ultra-comfortable, and made with a firm focus on quality materials and real artisan craftsmanship. They have become a massive hit with locals, who have their Bummels resoled over and over again. Check out their soft suede Veldskoens, black and white Nguni hide ballerina pumps and strappy sandals. Bummel make rugged men’s hiking boots, elegant formal shoes and fashionable belts. There is a cute range of button up booties for kids too.

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Phenomenal Farm Stays

7/31/2020

Image Featured: Buff and Fellow

Some things are best enjoyed in winter; mugs of hot chocolate, fluffy socks, crackling fires and cosy countryside escapes. City folk have been daydreaming of a weekend getaway to the country for weeks. The kids need some fresh air and space to roam free. Exhausted parents are in need to some serious downtime. George Tourism has hand-picked the best local farm stays, with stacks of platteland charm and kid-friendly fun. So, pack up your gumboots, we’re going to the countyside kids!

Situated on the edge of a dam with uninterrupted views of the breath-taking Outeniqua Mountains, sits Buff and Fellow. This serene family getaway is located on a working buffalo farm. The ‘Ultreya Farm’ is home to four luxurious self-catering eco cabins.

Buff and Fellow is a slice of serenity for fatigued city folk and a haven for nature-lovers and fishing enthusiasts. The farm offers a scenic oasis from the hustle and bustle of modern life, while still being less than 10km from George. The picturesque farmlands, laidback atmosphere and plentiful farm activities make this self-catering stay a dream destination. Buff and Fellow has two double-container eco-cabins (which sleep four) and two smaller eco-pods (which each sleep two). Each of the eco-cabin’s master suites has a claw-footed roll top bath tub and outdoor shower. The lounge and dining area has a cosy little wood-burning stove, perfect for warming your toes after a brisk hike around the farm. The kitchen is fully equipped for catering and guests can order a selection of breakfast and braai boxes delivered to the door.

Kids will find plenty to keep them occupied from dawn till dusk. Little explorers will find their way into ‘Cluck and Fellow’, the farm’s chicken coop, where they can collect their own free range eggs. Nature enthusiasts will love the early morning game drive. Watch the buffalo and enjoy a freshly brewed coffee. Fishing rods, a tackle box, Canadian canoes and lifejackets are provided for excursions onto the farm dam. However, the crown jewel at Buff and Fellow is a family-sized wood-fired Jacuzzi, ideal for appreciating the Cape’s golden sunsets and starlit skies.

Image Featured: Redberry Farm Accommodation

Sweet retreat

Families will find hectares of strawberry fields, interspersed with picturesque dams and lush pastures at Redberry Farm, outside George. This popular family-owned destination is ideal for berry-lovers, fun-seeking families and outdoor fanatics. The historic farmstead hosts a charming 120 year old self-catering cottage, which sleeps four in two comfortable bedrooms.

Energetic youngsters can explore the largest permanent hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere, where they will find seven stations hidden in a labyrinth of passageways.

Take a midday break for a homemade scone and a freshly brewed coffee in the Tea Garden. The Redberry Farm Stall sells a range of artisan foods and local wines. Toddlers will love the Redberry Express, a miniature train which traverses the farm and passes by the rabbit hutch. There’s also a large outdoor playground, pedal go-carts and pony rides. Be sure to stop at the Framboos Handcrafted Ice Cream parlour to sample their delicious gelato, served in crisp sugar cones. Kids can design and build their own ice cream sandwiches from a selection of freshly baked biscuits and flavoured gelato. Sumptuous sundowners are offered at the elegant Houtbosch Wine and Craft Beer tasting room. Sample their flagship Pinot Noir with a cold meat and cheese platter, and finish with the phenomenal fudge and wine pairing.

Image Featured: ArendsRus Country Lodge

Secluded Comfort

ArendsRus Country Lodge offers old-school value for money and traditional hospitality. The lodge is set in a serene country estate, with lots of fynbos flora, green pastures, golden Jersey cows and glorious views. The Weavers’ Cottage is a firm family favourite. The wooden chalet sleeps four to five people in two bedrooms. Five further cottages on the estate have self-catering facilities, as well as access to a communal lounge.

ArendsRus is an excellent setting for hikers and mountain bikers, lying at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. The property also offers a heated swimming pool, a kiddies play area, an eco-4x4 route and a fun river crossing. Kids can work on their golf swing at the chip and putt course. The on-site restaurant, Die Roosterkoek, is a popular cyclist’s stopover. They serve generous farm style breakfasts, traditional griddle bread, sugar pancakes and a range of evening meals. Get ready to swap those city lights for some silent rural nights. Your country retreat awaits.

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Fun Family Vacations in Wilderness

7/2/2020

Are you exhausted from parenting through a pandemic? Has home-schooling melted your mind? Do you want to chuck the schoolbooks in the fire and hit the road? We googled your symptoms and it turns out, you’re not crazy. You just need a holiday! When the lockdown finally releases its grip and leisure travel re-opens, why not take a well-earned break to Wilderness? We have identified some affordable accommodation options; perfectly suited for families seeking natural retreats. Here are our top picks of cabins in the wild, forest villas and fun farm stays. Get outdoors, get active, and let the kids fling some mud at each other! Your fun family vacation in Wilderness awaits!

Image Featured: Oakhurst Farm

Rustic Country Elegance

Oakhurst Farm offers a healthy slice of rural bliss for families seeking peace and quiet. The farm is situated in Hoekwil, close to Wilderness village. The venue has six self-catering cottages set in tranquil farmland, adjacent to indigenous forest, gurgling streams and farm dams. The beautifully renovated blacksmith’s Forge is an ideal family retreat. This charming 150 year old stone cottage retains its original stone walls and exposed timber beams. It sleeps six, in two spacious bedrooms and a delightful loft conversion. The living area wraps around the cottage and is made up of a dining area, a well-equipped kitchen with a gas stove, and a cosy lounge. The living area opens out, via glass doors, onto a covered deck with soothing views of open fields and forests. You can wander out to the secluded, open-air hot shower and private plunge pool. If you fancy waking up to bird song, fresh country air and a bottle of fresh milk delivered to your doorstep; this idyllic farm stay is perfect. Oakhurst has plenty of good old-fashioned farm fun for the kids. They can fish in the dam or take one of the canoes for a paddle. The forest has kilometres of well-maintained single track which is ideal for mountain biking or trail running. The farm’s majestic waterfall makes for an adventurous forest hike. The kids can visit the Oakhurst Dairy to watch cows being milked and help to feed the calves. You can watch the sun set over the Outeniqua Mountains with a glass of wine.

Image Featured: Treedom Villas and Vardos

Forest Freedom

Be swept into a magical world at Treedom Villas and Vardos This unique and magical gypsy-themed villa is located on the Langvlei Dunes, just 10 minutes’ drive from Wilderness village. Treedom’s self-catering villa is an ideal bush retreat for a family of four. The luxury cabin has a romantic four poster bed for parents and an enchanting mezzanine level bedroom for the kids. The cabin is perched at canopy level, with expansive views of the peaceful woods, the majestic Outeniqua Mountains and glimpses of Klein Kranz beach. The open, double-volume living area features bohemian décor, a comfy couch, a wood-burning fireplace and a private patio. The fully equipped kitchen allows effortless family dining, while the outdoor forest lounge on ground level has a gas braai and dining area. Kids will love this delightful forest escape. Energetic youngsters are welcome to pick produce from Treedom’s onsite veggie garden and explore dreamy pathways that wind through the forest. Fresh eggs are available in the chicken coop. A brisk walk on the nearby Half Collared Kingfisher Trail will take you to a rushing waterfall and tranquil rock pools. Guests are invited to take a spin in Treedom’s bright yellow mini Jeep buggy and explore the neighbouring lakes and waterways. The outdoor barrel sauna offers a heavenly treat on chilly winter evenings. If it all gets too much, just lie back and sway on the floating day bed swing, while you soak up the sounds of nature.

Image Featured: Wilderness Bushcamp Lodge

Beach House Chic

If your soul is in need of soothing ocean vistas and the scent of salty air, then the Wilderness Bushcamp offers a family holiday with serious seaside serenity. Tucked away in nine hectares of indigenous bush, this nature-lovers sanctuary has unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean, the picturesque Wilderness lagoon and an endless swathe of white sandy beach. The Wilderness Bushcamp is a five minute walk from the village and blue flag beach (up a very steep hill). The venue has nine self-catering units, with breezy beach house décor and jaw-dropping views. Forest Rise is a true refuge for technology saturated parents. This charming two bedroom cottage is uniquely positioned to enjoy the peace and seclusion of the neighbouring bird sanctuary. The cabin offers uninterrupted views of the Touw River Lagoon and the Wilderness National Park. The comfortable living area is equipped with a full kitchen, a cosy log burning stove, a family dining table and a snug couch. Outside, the private deck has a stone-built braai for evening entertaining. A slide off the balcony offers kids easy access to an enclosed garden. Grab a picnic and head to the beach to surf or dolphin watch. Take a slow cruise on the Touw River in a safari-style aluminium boat or try your hand at stand up paddle boarding on the lagoon. The best time of the day at Forest Rise is dusk, when the last rays of sunshine brush the water and the lights twinkle and flicker in the village.

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George Accommodation Open for Business Travel

6/23/2020

Travelling for business during a global pandemic is a sure fire recipe for burnout cake with a thick layer of frustration frosting. Airlines are not functioning, sit-down restaurants are still closed and major restrictions on movement remain in force. Meanwhile, life goes on for those working far from home. Essential services personnel, corporate guests and business reps still need a comfortable place to get some work done and lay their heads for the night. George Tourism has come to the rescue. We have hand-picked some of the highest rated local establishments, which are compliant to host essential services workers. If you intend to visit George on a business trip, check out our shortlist of superb accommodation options.

Image Featured: George Lodge International

Central Location

Solo travellers love George Lodge International. This three-star, family-run lodge is located in George’s sweet spot, less than two minutes’ walk from one of the best coffee shops in the city, Ground Control. George Lodge has 22 en-suite rooms, which are perfectly suited to the needs of the laptop toting and wheelie bag rolling, road warriors. The double rooms are spacious and unique, and the lodge has secure parking. Each guest room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, a desk, iron and microwave. George Lodge offers a pre-packed breakfast for busy business people as well as healthy takeaway lunch options. Their facilities also include a private oak-lined garden, patio and swimming pool. Free, uncapped WiFi is available.

Unbeatable Coffee

If you cannot possibly function without a decent cup of ‘joe’ in the morning, Loerie Guest Lodge is worth checking out. The lodge has chic modern décor, slick furnishings and an excellent cup of coffee. It is well-known among the corporate clientele for ultra-comfy beds and value-for-money lockdown rates. Conveniently located on Davidson Road, the lodge is walking distance to several excellent restaurants, perfect for ‘click and collect’ dining. The lodge has 24 en-suite rooms with TV, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and limited free WiFi.

Image Featured: Oubaai Hotel

Ocean Views

Essential services workers who want to wake up to an ocean vista, can do so at Oubaai Hotel. The four-Star business hotel features 100 elegant rooms. Bedrooms boast luxury amenities, including towelling robes, air conditioning, king size beds, deluxe baths and walk-in showers. Corporate guests will find all the usual home comforts; flat screen TV, DSTV, hairdryer, office desk, tea and coffee making facilities, as well as a lockable laptop safe and reliable WiFi Oubaai Hotel Golf and Spa is located close to George Airport and Herold’s Bay beach. Unfortunately, the resort’s gym, outdoor swimming pool and award-winning Freesia Spa are currently restricted under lockdown regulations, but guests might find time to squeeze in a round of golf.

Image Featured: Cherry Berry Lodge

High Speed WiFi

The sunny and spacious rooms at Cherry Berry Lodge are decorated with a vintage garden theme and boast calming views of the Outeniqua Mountains and a large lush garden. The lodge is a family-run business set in the quiet Heatherlands suburb of George. The six suites at the lodge feature uncapped WIFI, flat screen TVs, DSTV, microwave ovens, tea making facilities and large desks. The hostess, Cheri Raymer, makes a superb cooked breakfast, which she can deliver to your door. Fast moving corporate guests can get their pre-packed breakies ‘to go’. Cherry Berry Lodge is a short stroll from Heather Park Spar, which does a reasonable takeaway coffee as well as grocery essentials.

Image Featured: Antiqua Guest House

Value for Money

Antiqua Guest House has excellent special offers for corporate guests. Its convenient location, good quality WiFi and antique appeal attract many solo guests. Solid wood furniture, oriental rugs and vintage artworks lend old world charm. Business travellers can also find the stolen pleasures of Netflix and an extra-length king-size bed. Antiqua’s spacious rooms have all the usual amenities including fridges, microwaves, kettles and laptop-friendly desks. There is free on-site parking.

African Relaxation

Relax in the Jacuzzi after a hard day’s work at French Lodge International. This small French-owned four star hotel combines hospitality with African style and comfort. Situated on York Street, the lodge has 18 suites including poolside and garden facing rooms. Five thatched chalets surround a central swimming pool. The décor centres on earthy African tones and animal prints. Each unit has a private spa bath. The lodge is highly rated among business travellers for its friendly and welcoming staff.

Image Featured: French Lodge International

Home Stay in Style

Business travellers who wish to cater for themselves or stay for extended periods approve of Rozenhof Guest Cottages. The establishment has four well-equipped, self-catering apartments. The deluxe units have their own private patio, as well as a flat-screen TV and a fully-equipped kitchenette with a microwave, toaster, kettle and coffee machine. Rozenhof is conveniently located on Forest Road, within walking distance of the George Hospital and Pause Coffee Roastery at the Deacon Bistro. Secure parking and fibre WiFi is provided.

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George Delivery Dining

6/11/2020

George Delivery Dining: an online directory of local food businesses George supports a diverse network of independent restaurants, bistros and diners. Local dining rooms form the soul of the Garden Route’s tourism industry, and hungry visitors are regarded as the life blood of our region, fuelling our fantastic local food trade. Lockdown, however, has decimated the region’s restaurants. Many establishments are now facing closure and liquidation. As our local kitchens struggle to stay open, now is the time to show our support by ‘ordering in’. Find what you’re craving on our online directory, click to browse and dine in style.

Image Featured: The Pottery.

Breakfast and Brunch

The Marshmallow Café

The Pottery

Texas Grill

Image Featured: Stock Image

Sandwiches, Snacks and Salads

Travel Bugs Garden Restaurant

Upstairs at Harry’s

Image Featured: Stock Image

Burgers and Grills

Nina’s Café

RocoMamas

Wimpy York Street

Herolds Bistro and Bar at Oubaai

Image Featured:Meenachee's North & South Indian Cuisine

Indian Cuisine

Meenachee’s Indian Restaurant

South African Cuisine

101 Meade Street

Image Featured: Caspita

Pizza and Pasta

Caspita

La Capannina Restaurant

Mujo Restaurant and Bar

Pollocks Pizza Café

Romans Pizza

The Pottery

Image Featured: Meade Café and Meade Mobile

Family Meals

Simply Delicious

Nonna – The Little Café

Meade Café and Meade Mobile

The Old Townhouse

The Coffee Bean

Image Featured: Stock Image

Seafood and Sushi

Shan Sushi

The Urban Kitchen at Houtbousch

John Dorys

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Wilderness Lockdown Restaurant Deliveries

5/25/2020

The beautiful little village of Wilderness has a fantastic array of restaurants, but recent lockdown regulations have halted sit-in trade. As local restauranteurs rapidly pivot to ‘delivery dining’ in an effort to keep afloat, we’ve put together a list of establishments who will bring hot food right to your doorstep. Help your favourite eateries through this tough time by ordering in…

Image Featured: Pomodoro Restaurant, known for it's famous Italian food.

If you have been missing your favourite Italian eatery, Pomodoro Restaurant will put a smile back on your dial. The locally renowned pizzeria is still hard at work producing their authentic Italian cuisine. Claudio’s team have released an abbreviated lockdown menu featuring a range of wood-fired pizzas, sumptuous pasta dishes and a phenomenal slow roasted lamb shank. Finish with a few scoops of Gelato. Order by phone or Whats App:079 1768 222.

Image Featured: Beejuice Café .

If you’re a fan of Beejuice Café’s hearty comfort food, you’re in luck. The kitchen is open and preparing their moderately-priced delivery menu, on a made-to-order basis. Try their generous beef lasagne, slow cooked brisket or chicken pot pie. Beejuice’s portions are ideal for a couple or a family, with two-person and four-person servings available. The café also have a number of vegan and vegetarian options available, along with their fragrant Durban Curry and a delicious home-made turmeric loaf. Order at least one day in advance by WhatsApp 072 510 2717.

If you ever gazed longingly at Serendipity’s fine dining menu, you know that chef Lizelle Stolze makes exceptional South African inspired gourmet fare. The restaurant have re-designed their menu for lockdown, to feature traditional family favourites. The butter and herb roasted, whole, free-range chicken is excellent value. Their menu also offers Chicken and Porcini Risotto, Bobotie, Sweet Potato Gnocchi and a decadent flourless Dark Chocolate Torte. Avail of this rare opportunity to sample Lizelle’s flavourful cuisine at a fraction of its usual cost. Order online, a day in advance, at Dineplan or by WhatsApp on 082 454 7393.

Image Featured: Eatz 2 Go, known for the best fish and chips in town .

Wilderness takeaway restaurant Eatz 2 Go has an updated delivery menu with a selection of the most popular dishes from sister establishments Flava Café and The Girl's on the Square. Enjoy budget burgers, spicy Beef Trinchado or lemon butter grilled prawns. Their unbeatable bestseller is perfect for a hassle free dinner; crispy battered fish and hand cut 'slap' chips. Check out their Facebook page for weekend specials. Phone or WhatsApp 072 106 0021 for home delivery.

Image Featured: Joplin's Steak Bar known for it's juicy steaks.

At Joplin’s Steak Bar , Adin and Gareth Jeans are still sizzling! The father and son combo have set out a simple but delicious range of burgers and grills for carnivores. Their 200g pure ground sirloin beef patty served with crispy bacon, melted cheddar and crunchy chips, is arguably the best burger to be had on the Garden Route. Order by WhatsApp 073 3478896 before 4pm.

Image Featured: Kaaimans Restaurant.

Hungry for the full riverside experience of burgers, ribs and pizza, with sushi on the side? Kaaimans Restaurant have really pushed the canoe out with their lockdown menu. Their offerings include a generous selection of sushi, eight burgers, a full range of wood-fired pizzas, as well as slow roasted pork belly. View their online menu and order by phone Deliveries run daily between 11am and 7pm. Kaaiman’s Restaurant even deliver in George!

Image Featured: The Blind Pig Taproom and Restaurant.

Fancy the authentic ‘Blind Pig’ experience at home? Think super crunchy chicken strips in a fresh white bap, with a mound of salty chips on the side. The Blind Pig Taproom and Restaurant have a full range of burgers, toasties and snack baskets available for delivery. Now all we are missing is a cold bottle of craft beer. Contact Ryan on 083 500 7004 to order.

Fans of the BBQ basted spare ribs at Locals Diner swear their iconic dish is unbeatable. You can now have a rack of tender pork ribs delivered right to your door. Locals have a small menu of no-nonsense pub grub to choose from, including burgers, grills and wraps. Call or WhatsApp your order to Deon


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