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.
Featured: Redberry Farm Accommodation
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.
Kids can’t resist the prospect of gobbling juicy sun ripened strawberries straight from the runners, and you can wake early to pick your own fruit in the fields. 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.
Featured: *ArendsRus Country Lodge *
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.
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!
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.
Featured: Treedom Villas and Vardos
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.
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.
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.
Featured: George Lodge International
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.
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.
Featured: Oubaai Hotel
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
After weeks of buying our own groceries, frugally planning our meals, cooking boring pots of pasta and tinned tuna fish that we bought during the pandemic panic, the novelty of cooking our own food at home has now worn off. Restrictions have begun to ease and restaurants are allowed to offer delivery services from May the 1st. The citizens of George, for those who can still afford it, are able to order takeaways and meals for home consumption.
Since the lockdown began on March 27th, many people have been dreaming of garlic scented, wood-fired, thin crust pizza and dribbling at the mere mention of a big juicy beef burger. We have been exchanging memories of the most succulent sushi and day-dreaming about the crunchiest saltiest chips. TAKEAWAY, the people of George are ready for you!
On a serious note, the local tourism industry has taken a massive hit during the lockdown, with many independent restaurants pushed to the brink of devastation. Kitchens have been closed, staff laid off or put on leave, and the once-buzzing food sector has virtually crumbled.
As a swathe of local bistros and diners gear up to reopen their kitchens, now is a great time to show support for our favourite local restaurants. With pubs and sit-down dining still prohibited, the weekly takeaway could become the highlight of our week. Several popular George restaurants are serving meals right to your door.
Ready to sell your first-born child for a tray of rainbow rolls with pungent wasabi and salty soy sauce? Never fear, Shan Sushi is here. Michael and Maggie will reopen the Shan Sushi kitchen for deliveries of sushi and Chinese food from the 1st of May. WhatsApp your orders to 072 359 3032 or check them out on Facebook.
Featured: 101 Meade Street is known for their elegant South African style meals.
Happy Chefs Ben and Jeremy Gibbs will reopen their contemporary kitchen at 101 Meade Street from Thursday the 7th of May. The Gibbs brothers are best known for celebrating heritage South African flavours, including roast bone marrow, game and aged beef. Couples can pack the kids off to bed and enjoy a romantic date night dinner at home. 101 Meade is preparing ‘portions perfect for two’ according to Chef Ben; including fragrant lamb curry, beef lasagne and pulled kudu shank with side dishes. Check out the menu at 101meade.co.za. Order and pay online before 2pm daily. Deliveries will arrive between 5pm and 6:30pm.
Featured: Scrumptious burgers from Meade Café
Do the kids deserve a treat? Have they made their beds and managed to get off YouTube? Meade Café will be mobile from Monday the 4th of May. Chef Isabel van Rooyen has been dreaming up a selection of fun family dining experiences to deliver right to your door. Check out their fantastic ‘Friday DIY Burger Box’. The pre-packed meal is designed for a family of four and includes pure beef patties and Portuguese rolls, with all the delicious condiments like fresh rocket, bacon jam and cheese sauce. Just grill your own patty and the kids can assemble their own dinner. Daily menu options are available. Send a message to 078 855 8246 and they will send you their up-to-date menu. Order and pay online at meadecafe.co.za and experience their no-contact delivery system. Chef Isabel is also offering Meade Café’s signature treats as ‘mini cakes’. Sample their dark chocolate cake with salted caramel and popcorn and let the kids to the dishes!
Featured: Delicious meals for home delivery from the Old Townhouse.
From Monday the 4th of May ‘Food on the Move’ will be cooking for you. Jan from the Old Townhouse restaurant is preparing a rotating weekly menu and delivering homemade meals to your doorstep. WhatsApp the ‘Food on the Move’ team on 083 659 2029 with your name and address to be added to the mailing list. They will be preparing hearty homemade pork belly, lamb casserole and chicken schnitzel with vegetables or salad and starch. Don’t forget to order Jan’s world famous homemade ice cream for dessert. Word has it that she is working on extra-large batches of dark chocolate and dark walnut ice cream, and scrumptious salted caramel, to meet the increased demand. See their Facebook page here.
Going potty for pizza? Dillon and Jos Marshall, the friendly folk from The Pottery pizzeria and garden café on York Street, have put together a lockdown delivery menu featuring the best of their wood-fired pizza range. Contact them on 072 944 2923 for menu details or check out their brand spanking new website.
Featured: Nina's Café, usually packed with locals, is bringing tasty meals to our homes.
Have you been desperate for a burger? Tasha and Wern van der Watt from Nina’s Café on York Street will offer a weekly hunger-busting special burger delivery. Their famous burgers and chips include the ‘Bite of Hope’ with creamy jalapeno cheese sauce, the ‘King of Courtney’ with blue cheese, fig and biltong and ‘Beyond Flavour’ with creamy mushroom sauce. Burger and chip combos are R85 each plus a R30 delivery fee. Tasha says the delivery fee will go directly to Nina’s waitering staff, who have lost their income since lockdown. Check out their Facebook page for full menu details and weekly specials. Place your orders on 060 994 1381 and don’t forget to order a slice of decadent homemade cheesecake for dessert!
Our top tips for lockdown delivery dining:
Plan ahead! Check out the relevant menus online. Investigate what days and times restaurants want their orders submitted by. Most independent restaurants are restricting orders to certain days, with a strict time limit.
Be patient! Most independent restaurants are experimenting with delivery options for the first time. They make food to order and are often delivering it from their own cars. The food might not arrive at the exact time intended.
Be generous! Please consider tipping delivery staff. Many local restaurants will use their wait staff to help with their deliveries. These waiters and waitresses have been out of work for weeks and have lost their tips. They might have to negotiate unknown streets, hungry neighbours and cranky security guards to get to you.
INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS IN DISTRESS IN THE GARDEN ROUTE
Any international tourist currently situated in the Garden Route who is in distress and needs immediate assistance, can contact Ilze Jacobs from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) on +27 82 972 2507.
GERMAN AMBASSADOR NOTICE FOR CITIZENS STRANDED IN SOUTH AFRICA DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany has reached out to the tourism industry in South Africa to assist in passing on a message to any German Nationals who might still find themselves in the country. Please click here to access the message and instructions from the German Ambassador.
BRITISH CONSUL GENERAL NOTE TO TRAVELLERS IN SA LOCKDOWN
The British Consul General has reached out to the tourism industry in South Africa to assist in passing on a message to any British Nationals who might still find themselves in the country. Please click here to access the message and instructions from the British High Commissioner.
Wake up to the sound of the surf and jaw dropping, breath-taking views of the azure Indian Ocean. Wilderness Village overlooks one of the most pristine beaches on the Southern Cape, with 18 kilometres of golden sand.
Wilderness has no shortage of comfortable accommodation options for travellers, but this little village specialises in jaw-dropping ocean views. With options ranging from budget friendly hostels, to self-catering apartments, bespoke villas, luxury hotels and boutique guesthouses; visitors to this quaint seaside resort are spoilt for choice.
Peace and privacy are on offer at Wilderness Ocean Guesthouse , on 8th Avenue. Each suite has its own deck enjoying unsurpassed views of the Indian Ocean or the tranquil garden. Guests love to watch dolphins swim by and enjoy the large airy rooms with chic ‘beach house’ décor. A secluded path leads down the steep cliff-side to the toe-curling golden sands of Wilderness beach, perfect for a quick dip in the sea before breakfast.
Featured: Wilderness Bushcamp
The Loft Apartment at the Wilderness Bushcamp is without doubt the best whale watching window in Wilderness. The Loft is an elevated, open-plan apartment with sweeping floor-to-ceiling views of the Indian Ocean. The self-catering studio is situated at the heart of Wilderness Bushcamp, a bird sanctuary set in nine hectares of indigenous vegetation overlooking the village, beach and river. The Loft encompasses dining, living, sleeping and bathroom areas, with no walls or doors to interrupt the flow of space and light. Soak in the roll top bath while marvelling at dolphins in the surf below.
The Pink Lodge on the Beach is a four-start guesthouse offering elegantly decorated rooms with balconies showcasing panoramic views of the ocean. A winding path leads through the sweeping lawns to the golden sandy beach. Rooms are spacious, and a complimentary continental breakfast is included. The Pink Lodge is located a short 2km stroll from Wilderness Village centre.
Nestled on golden sand dunes, overlooking the unspoilt beaches of Wilderness, lies Dolphin Dunes , a charming four-star beachfront guesthouse. “This guesthouse has STUNNING views, which you can see without even moving from your bed,” said one recent guest. Dolphin Dunes is located on Buxton Close, with direct access to Wilderness Beach. The guesthouse is a brisk 3km from the village centre. Visitors can choose between lounging by the swimming pool or their own private balcony.
“Direct beach access and a million-dollar view” make Haus am Strand a popular choice for self-catering couples and families. Rated as a top seller in Wilderness, Haus am Strand has brightly decorated rooms and boasts a near perfect 9.9 rating for location. Pretty French doors open onto a manicured garden, which merges seamlessly with the white sands of Wilderness Beach. Wake up the sound of thundering surf and the scent of the salty ocean.
The Beach House Backpackers is a family-run hostel on Western Road, with a warm and friendly atmosphere. This busy backpacker is popular with social travellers and an ideal option for the young at heart and the budget conscious. Located less than 50 metres from the waves, several double rooms offer pristine sea views. A small vibrant bar serves cold beer and delicious wood-fired pizzas on the terrace.
Villa Sol is a sunlit tower situated in the heart of Wilderness village. The opulent holiday home has 360-degree views of the Touw River lagoon and the white sandy beach. Exotic Balinese style wooden gates open onto a secluded tropical terrace. A solar-heated plunge pool offers views onto the lagoon below. Guests can rent the entire property or just one of its five suites. The ‘Ocean Suite’ on the second-floor commands unbeatable wrap-around vistas of ocean, beach, coastal cliffs and river mouth. The romantic loft bedroom ‘Indi’, perched on the third floor, is perfect for sun seekers and stargazers. The suite’s twin balconies offer earth- to- sky views of the beach, village and indigenous forest. Guests love the huge ultra-comfortable beds!
Featured: Livingstone Villa
Livingstone Villa , on Constantia Road, is an exclusive five-star self-catering holiday home. This three-bedroom villa features a sunny deck with a solar-heated plunge pool. The home is spread over multiple stories and features numerous balconies with absorbing views of the ocean. The fully equipped kitchen and proximity to the village make this an ideal selection for a family group. Wilderness beach is a 5-minute walk away. Look out for visiting Knysna Loeries!
Glamorous rooms and majestic floor-to-ceiling sea views are offered at Whale’s Way Ocean Retreat , on 6th Avenue. The massive rooms feature light and airy décor, in a refreshing white palate. The luxurious ‘Ocean Suite’ has sumptuous step-up spa bath. Located on the dunes overlooking the beach, Whale’s Way also boasts a sun-drenched garden with a small plunge pool. The outdoor shower is ideal for rinsing salty bodies and sandy feat. Breakfast is served on the patio overlooking the waves.
Featured: Escape to the Beach
Escape to the Beach on Sands Road, promises a peaceful and stylish retreat in an unsurpassed location. The modern five-star villa is mere steps away from the unspoilt beach and a two-minute walk to the village bars and restaurants. This is one of the only guesthouses in the village to earn a perfect score (10.0) for their location on Booking.com. The décor features neutral tones, wooden flooring and Scandinavian inspired furniture. Kick your shoes off and relax by the swimming pool, sip sundowners at the bar or soak in the outdoor hot tub. “What a piece of heaven!” said one reviewer, “everything was beyond our expectations.”
Holidays with the kids are all about fun-filled days and memories that last a lifetime. We have hand-picked our top family-friendly activities to make special memories, soak up the outdoors and expose kids to nature, without breaking the budget.
1. Berry Happy Holidays
Featured: Strawberry picking at Redberry Farm.
A true taste of summer holidays involves picking a punnet of juicy strawberries. Families can wander the fields at Redberry Farm on Geelhoutboom Road, in Blanco and let the kids do all the work. Find the biggest, juiciest berries and scoff them warm, straight off the runners. This is excellent fun for kids. Small people can board the Redberry Express mini-train for an exciting 800 meter miniature railway ride. Older children love to navigate the tricky hedge maze. Its 10km of winding track is a firm favourite for energetic kids. Seven secret stations are hidden within the labyrinth of passageways. Acrobatic teens can show off their moves in the inflatable bubble balls which float on the farm dam.
Redberry Farm’s range of eateries will satisfy all budgets and palates. The deli-style farm stall is perfect for picnic treats while the Red Shed Coffee and Berry Bar serve a selection of strawberry themed beverages. The Noshery Pizzeria offers gourmet pizzas from their wood fired oven. Outdoor ambience is plentiful in the tea garden overlooking the kid’s playground and rabbit hutch.
Stop at the Framboos Handcrafted Ice Cream parlour to sample their artisan gelato served in crisp sugar cones. Kids can design and build their own ice cream sandwiches from a selection of freshly baked biscuit 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.
2. Chug up the Mountain
Featured: The Outeniqua Power Van is a family favourite.
There isn’t a better way to experience George’s by-gone days than to relax on the Outeniqua Power Van and chug back in time. The power van remains one of George’s most popular tourist attractions. It leaves daily from the Outeniqua Transport Museum. This rail trip is an absolute must for train fans of all ages and offers an unbeatable insight into our fascinating local rail heritage. Climb aboard the vintage rail inspection trolley and ascend the Outeniqua Mountains. Kids can sit next to the driver and enjoy panoramic views of the sheer mountain slopes, dripping forest, cascading waterfalls and purple heather.
Featured: Locomotives from a bygone era, mini scale trains and more make the Outeniqua Transport Museum a delight.
The Outeniqua Transport Museum itself holds an epic collection of trains, ox-wagons, vintage fire engines and even a funeral hearse from the last century. The enormous museum also houses a fantastic array of private collectors' vintage cars, all in beautiful condition, including a Model T Ford, restored Italian supercars, as well as the MG Midget! A visit to the train museum is a brilliant idea for the rare rainy day in George. Energetic children can climb aboard some of the superbly preserved locomotives and even sit in the dining carriage of the Royal White Train.
3. Fabulous Falcons
The Garden Route Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Centre, at the George Wildlife Park, offers a fantastic educational opportunity for animal lovers. Falconers, Bertus and Lizette Beukes, opened the centre with the aim of rehabilitating injured, sick and orphaned birds of prey. Guided tours offer a rare insight into the lives of these magnificent birds. Inquisitive minds can learn fun facts about falcons, owls, buzzards and their unique adaptations. Tour guides introduce guests to over 30 rescued raptors and there is even an opportunity to hold a friendly Cape Eagle Owl. The birds of prey centre is a non-profit organisation and operates under Cape Nature Conservation regulations. Grab a coffee or fresh pizza at the on-site Italian restaurant, Caspita. There is a large jungle gym for little kids to play on.
4. Horse-back Holiday
Featured: Horseback riding in the wild Wilderness terrains.
Join Andrea and Neo at Black Horse Trails for a firm family favourite. They offer outrides from their farm into the indigenous forest at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, in Wilderness National Park. Cowboys or cowgirls of all ages will enjoy their gentle horses, many of whom are rescue animals. The family-owner ranch outside Hoekwil has horses to match all levels of experience, from beginner to expert rider.
The Rock Pool Ride is a firm favourite for family groups. The three and a half hour trail ventures through the cool indigenous forest and offers glimpses of the Knysna Loerie, Vervet Monkey, as well as baboons and bush buck. Riders can enjoy a head-clearing, cheek-flushing trot through the forest with its hanging roots, bright toadstools and winding streams. Riders can savour a lunch break by a cool waterfall and take a refreshing dip in the rock pools. This trip is ideal for teenagers and offers several awesome ‘Instagram worthy’ photo opportunities.
5. Tour by Torchlight
Spectacular glimpses of rock pool life are on offer at Swartvlei Beach, close to Sedgefield. Families can take a starlight stroll on the beach with biologist and ex-teacher Judy Dixon on for a Moonlight Meander. Tours are held every spring tide at full moon and new moon (once every two weeks). The moonlight beach walks are ideal for multi-generational families and involve a relaxing stroll to Gericke’s Point. Judy combs the rock pools to allow families a glimpse of intriguing sea creatures. Billed as ‘the best fun you can have after dark on the Garden Route’, these torchlight tours allow eager kids to watch an octopus hunt and cuttlefish dart through the shallows. Judy introduces nature lovers to the local plough snails, limpets, chitons, barnacles and sea urchins, with fun stories and fascinating facts.