George is bustling and vibey, the business hub of the area. And yet the old buildings and oak-lined streets whisper to you about the town’s historical past. You can slip into the dark recesses of the George Museum and ten minutes later you can shop till you drop at the Garden Route Mall.
For the purposes of setting up the directional maps on this page, we'll use Edenwood Guest House as a starting point. To create some order, we have divided the day trips in and around George into regions:
North of George
West of George
East of George
Please let us know if we have missed your favourite activity (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
What you need: Casual clothes, a hat, money, feet, walking shoes, (or go by car)
Start off at the George Tourism Office (which used to be George Library) at 124 York Street , where you can collect a map of George and lots of info about the area. On your way out, have a look at the Old Slave Tree in front of the building. This 200 year old oak has a chain embedded in it which is rumoured to have tethered slaves. However, the mundane truth is that it was actually used to tether a heavy roller for a tennis court! Then turn right and walk up to the George Museum which straddles the top of York Street. The Museum is housed in the original residence of the magistrate of George. Absorb as much history as you can take, then turn right at the front door and then right again into Caledon Street. Walk gently up under the oaks, past the Presbyterian Church on your right and the historic Ballot Guest House on your left and along the water furrow for about a kilometre until you reach the Garden Route Botanical Gardens. Relax in this tranquil setting and have a look at examples of the area’s diverse floral kingdom in the Audrey Moriaty Herbarium. By now you must be very thirsty! Wind your way back to the junction of Caledon Street and Davidson Road, have a quick look at the Masonic Hall and cross Davidson Road to quench your thirst at the newly-opened Prima Piatti. Or drift back to the excellent restaurants in York Street next to the Tourism Office, La Laconda and La Capannina.
What you need: ?A car, lots of money, maybe a hat.
Today we are going to absorb a little culture offset by a lot of shopping. Before you hop into the car, have a quick look at St Mark’s Cathedral in Cathedral Street consecrated in 1850, it was, before its extensions, the smallest cathedral in South Africa. Then find the Strydom Gallery at 79 Market Street which has fine examples of South African Art. Indulge in some retail therapy in Hibernia & Market Street, & then stroll over to 116 Meade Street to see St Peters & St Pauls Catholic Church, with their famous stained glass windows. Drive down to Wonki Ware at 42 York Street and view (and buy) their creative ceramics. Nip into the small Mall at the bottom of York Street. Go back up York Street, turn right around the circle into Courtney Street and pop into the beautiful Dutch Reformed Church on your left (also known as the Moederkerk or Mother Church) which was consecrated in 1817. The walls are made of mud a metre thick and the ceiling, pulpit and pillars are made of yellowwood and stinkwood. Ok ,enough culture, drive over the bridge onto Knysna Road and shop till you drop at St George’s Square, or Pick ‘n Pay, or save it all until you get to the Garden Route Mall still on the Knysna Road.Here you will find everything your heart desires ? all the major stores and many interesting smaller shops. Rest your weary feet at one of the many restaurants in the Mall, and if you still have some energy, take in an afternoon movie at one of the Sterkinekor cinemas (and they have 3D!).?? As evening falls, go back to one of the lovely restaurants in York Street ? perhaps fine dining at the Rose on York, or the Old Townhouse in Market Street. You deserve it!
What you need: Tough clothes and shoes, beachwear, hat, sunglasses, suncream, a good appetite, money, a fishing rod.
Turn right at the circle at the top of York Street, go down Courtney and Knysna Roads, past the Garden Route Mall and you will see the Glenwood Short Golf Course.? If you are a golfer, stop here, but if not ? carry on a few metres and you will find Paintball Games ? fun (and bruises) for the whole family!? All gear is supplied, but you will need to book with email@example.com. ?(Check out their shop at 64 Cradock Street). ?If you have time after that, go back along Knysna Road, turn left into 5th Street, then right, then left until you get to the Garden Route Dam.? Walk along the banks and watch the birds ? but a warning from the Tourism Office ? don’t walk alone!? You’ll be hot, now, so go back to the Knysna Road, turn left and drive until you reach the N2.? If you need to raise your sugar levels pop in to Caroline’s Chocolate Haven on the right.? Enjoy delicious chocolate tasting and learn how to make the wonderful stuff!? Then carry on east down the N2 and shortly you will find the Victoria Bay turning is on your left.?? Enjoy a cup of tea and a snack at Spencer’s tearoom and play in the rock pools, fish, or swim in the surf of this quaint resort.? ?And after such a busy day, make sure you eat a huge seafood meal at the Kingfisher Restaurant back in George at No.1 Courtney Street.
What you need: ?Start early! Casual but clean clothes, a hat, walking shoes?and money (sorry)
This time, turn left at the circle at the top of York Street and drive quite a long way down Davidson Street, past the George Golf Course until you get to a circle.? Turn left down Witfontein Road and then bear right into George Street until it intersects with Montagu Street (R404).?? Travel left down Montagu Street until you see 21 on Montagu on your right.? This is a small art gallery.? After you’ve visited the gallery, carry on down Montagu Street until you reach the entrance to Fancourt Hotel and Country Club.? This beautiful estate is essentially a golfers’ paradise, with two courses and a superb hotel.?? Have a look around and then have tea or a cold beverage at the open air restaurant.? Check their calendar for Events at Fancourt ? there is a park where big concerts are held ? Johnny Clegg, the Parlatones and many other performers have been on the stage recently.?? Don’t eat too much, because once you have feasted your eyes on Fancourt’s splendour, it’s off to the Redberry Strawberry Farm.?? Turn left as you exit Fancourt and carry on down Montagu Street until you reach the Redberry Farm turnoff on your right.? Open from Monday ? Saturday from 09:00 till 16:00, Redberry allows you to pick (and eat) your own strawberries. There’s fun for the whole family ? bubble balls, outdoor tea garden and a fresh farm stall. ?Then, maybe after a light lunch at Redberry, continue up the road to Valcor Dairy Farm where 900 cows are milked.?? Tours are between 14:30 and 15:30.? Gosh, getting late now, but try and fit in a visit to the Misty Meadows Country Estate where you can try the Buzzard Brewing Experience and take part in brewing local ale.?? There’s lots for the family to do too ? cheese shops and farm stalls. To get there, carry on down the R404, past the Three Chameleons 9-hole Mashie Golf Course, until the R404 meets the R102.? Turn right and then turn right again at the Sinkasbrug turnoff.? Misty Meadows is on your right.? You can return home by driving east along the R102 until you reach a circle where you turn left into the southern end of York Street.
What you need:? You need it to be Saturday!!! ?A hat, water, suncream, beach stuff. And money, lots.
Leave early and have a delicious breakfast at the Outeniqua Farmers’ Market, open on Saturdays only from 08:00 till 14:00. Turn right at the top of York Street and drive along Courtney and Knysna roads, just past the Garden Route Mall on your right until you reach a circle with a Sasol Garage on the left.? Take the left turn off the circle and signs will guide you to the Outeniqua Farmers’ Market.? Here you will find a cornucopia of fresh farm produce as well as all the arts and crafts made by the clever people in the area.? There are tables under the trees where you can enjoy the delicious fare you have bought at the stalls. You’ll find you’ll probably stay for lunch as well!?? But if not, make a booking for lunch at Dutton's Cove Restaurant at Herold’s Bay. ?To get to Herold’s Bay, drive west for 16km along the N2, and then turn left down the very, very steep descent into the bay (do not try this in an ox-wagon!).? Herold’s Bay is a place to chill, fish, swim, or watch the whales from on high.? In the evening, take in a show at the George Arts Theatre in York Street.
What you need:? A packed lunch, casual clothes, binoculars, camera, walking shoes, hat, suncream, water.
This is a great day for Dads and the whole family.?? The Outeniqua Transport Museum is situated at 2 Mission Street George, off the now familiar Knysna Road.?? The Museum is a Dad and Son delight, showcasing steam engines, carriages, fire engines, buses, a selection of vintage cars and many other interesting exhibitions. When you have finished browsing, the really exciting part begins.? A trip on the Outeniqua Power Van! This vintage rail car will take you on a guided trip up the Montagu Pass, through seven tunnels to the top of the pass.? You’ll get out to have a look at the view, which includes 4 passes ? Cradock, Robinson, Montagu and Outeniqua, and then go down again to a picnic spot where you can eat your lunch before returning to the Museum. ?The round trip takes about 2.5 hours If you are really adventurous, take your mountain bike on the back of the Power Van and cycle home from the top! Booking essential ? call +27 (0)44 8018239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.? If you want to, you can connect to a shuttle which will take you to various interesting destinations in the Little Karoo. Contact +27 (0)828908905. (See Day Trip 2.1.)? Drift back to York Street and enjoy a pub supper at the Dros at 107 York Street.
*Sadly, the famous Outeniqua Choo Choo steam train, which took visitors on scenic rides between George and Knysna, is no longer running. The floods of 2006 washed away part of the rails and the service has never been resumed.
Day Trip 2.1: Montagu Pass, Herold Winery, Pizza, Waboomskraal, Outeniqua Pass
What you need: A car, patience, appetite, drinking shoes, casual clothes, binoculars, camera.
Allow 5-6 hours for the trip.
As mentioned in Day Trip 1.6, you can get to the other side of the Montagu Pass on the Outeniqua Power Van to visit many of these places.? But it is a wonderful, if slow, journey by car, giving you the freedom to stop wherever you want to.? Don’t do this journey on a Sunday as many of the places might be closed.?? Turn left at the York Street circle and follow the signs to the Outeniqua Pass (N9/N12).? Just as you start ascending the pass, turn right to go up the Montagu Pass instead.? Named after John Montagu, Colonial Secretary of the Cape in the 1940’s, the pass was opened in 1847.? You will pass the Old Toll House on your right ? possibly the first toll road in South Africa!? In the early 1800’s you were charged one penny per pulling animal and one penny per wheel of the cart or wagon.? Quite expensive!? The Montagu Pass is a narrow gravel road and you will have to travel slowly ? no hardship as the views are spectacular!? If you are energetic, there is the Pass to Pass Hiking Trail which descends into the river below the Montagu Pass and up the other side to the Outeniqua Pass. Not for the fainthearted! Just before you reach the N9, you will see the Herold Winery on your right.?? Pop in for wine tasting, cellar tours, fynbos and rock art walls and a light meal.? Best to book for lunch beforehand on +27 (0)72 8338332.? The winery is open from 10am till 4pm.? Then turn left on the N9 and head for the junction between the N9 and the N12 to Oudtshoorn. Turn right onto the N12 and soon you will come to Waboomskraal Hops Valley Farm on the right.? Enjoy the farms stall, fruit and orchards, together with Rosenhof and La Rosa Blu Restaurant.? If you want a more casual meal, try Roman’s Pizza on the other side of the road and buy all sorts of goodies at the Roadside Deli.? Then retrace your steps, get back to the N9/N12, and wend your weary way home down the beautiful Outeniqua Pass (tarred), back to George.
What you need:? A car, stamina, camera, sensible shoes.
Although not in the George District, the Karoo town of Oudtshoornis a must see and easily manageable in a day. Have a look at www.oudtshoorn.com if there is something special you want to do there. Start off early and go up the Outeniqua Pass on the N9/N12.? Turn left at the junction onto the N12 and carry on to Oudtshoorn ? about 59km and 1 hour away from George.? You could go straight through the town and join the R328 to go to the famous Cango Caves ? about 30 minutes from Oudtshoorn. Allow at least an hour at these spectacular caves, and then return to Oudtshoorn, stopping off at the Cango Ostrich Farm, and perhaps the Wilgewandel Holiday Farm (25km from Oudtshoorn) and then dive with crocodiles and touch a cheetah at the Cango Wildlife Ranch. A really special thing to do is to Walk with the Meerkats (suricates), but this has to be either very (very) early morning or at sunset. Call +27(0)442723077 for details.? There are many other delights in Oudtshoorn ? savour them all! Then back home via the Outeniqua Pass as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean far below.
What you need: A permit (Tel: +27(0)44 8708323), hiking boots, suncream, hat, water, snacks, adrenalin.
Just north of George, on the N9/N12, take the Montagu Pass/Witfontein Forestry Station turnoff to the right , and then right again at the Outeniqua Nature Reserve Witfontein turnoff.? Park the car and walk into this amazing 38 000 hectare wilderness.? There are 3 overnight trails, as well as many shorter hikes, such as the Forest Buzzard Trail, that take only a few hours or less.? It’s best to get details from the Tourism Office or Cape Nature before you start. ?You can also experience the reserve on a quad bike.? Have a short picnic and then try one of the exciting quad bike trails ? either in the Reserve or perhaps up the Montagu Pass.? Have a look at Quad Adventures to see what’s on offer.? There is even an evening “snake and scorpion trail” walk.
There are many hiking trails in the mountains surrounding George.? Each has a differing degree of difficulty and fitness required, so it is best to contact the Tourism Office for information, or to buy one of the books on hiking in the area, eg Best Walks of the Garden Route by Colin Paterson-Jones.
What you need: The car, money, camera, hat, sunglasses, time.
Drive along the N2 east of George for about 55km and 45 minutes to reach the large, historic town of Mossel Bay. It is here that Bartholomew Diaz landed in 1488 at the Bay of St Blaize after which the town was originally named.? Later on it became known as Mossel (mussel) Bay, after the delicious mussels which are prolific in the area.?? The town is full of museums ? the Dias Museum Complex includes the old Post Office tree under which letters were left hundreds of years ago, the Maritime Museum which exhibits all the old sailing ships and vessels of yesteryear, the Granary Museum ? full of flowers, the Cultural History Museum and the Shell Museum. ??You can also visit the St Blaize Cave and the St Blaize Lighthouse built in 1864 (above The Point Hotel).? Mossel Bay offers many sporting activities such as shark and shipwreck diving, sailing, power boating, golf, horse riding and bungee jumping at Gouritz River further east of the town.? If you time it right, you can Whale Watch all along this coast ? August to October are the best times. There are many delightful shops and restaurants, and a walk along the beaches is a must.?? If you enjoy gambling, try out the Garden Route Casino. ?More information from Mossel Bay Tourism on +27 (0)44 6912202.
After lunch, go back along the N2 and visit the small resorts of Little Brak and Great Brak rivers.? Try to time it so that you have tea or eat at the delicious Vaaljapie Station Restaurant at the Little Brak station.? The cuisine is typically Afrikaans and the ambience is “tongue-in-cheek informal”.? Or you can picnic with the elephants or fish at the Botlierskop Nature Reserve.? Then a few kilometres on to Great Brak which is equally beautiful and offers great swimming, tennis, bowls and golf.? Drive on through past the spectacular views at Outeniquastrand and Glentana before making your way back to George.
What you need: ?A Friday! Everything, a strong car, water and a picnic tea.
Turn right at the top of York Street and go down Courtney and Knysna Roads. ??Just after the Glenwood Golf Course, turn right down the Seven Passes Road towards the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Campus where you will find the Groeneweide Forest Trails.?? There are 3 well-marked trails ? 5km, 8km and 10km.?? The trails are shady and beautiful, crossing small streams here and there and not too strenuous.? Worth a look even if you are not a hiking person.? Birders will have a marvellous time - look out for the elusive narina trogon and the colourful Knysna turaco (loerie).?? Continue east down the Seven Passes Road which is the old road (built by Thomas Bain) between George and Knysna.? This is a spectacular road through indigenous forest, over old bridges and with wonderful views of the ocean. (Caution: although the road is tarred, there is some flood damage).? Drive on through Wilderness Heights until you reach Woodville to your left.? Here you will find a huge 800 year old Outeniqua Yellowwood.? There is an easy circular walk through the bird-laden forest (about 30 minutes), and picnic tables at which to have your picnic tea.? Then turn west again for a short way on the Seven Passes Road, and turn left at the Hoekwil turnoff.?? Drive through Hoekwil and down the steep descent into Wilderness National Park. Drive to the N2 and turn right towards the Wilderness village on the right and drive up through the village, head up Whites Road and follow the signs to the Map of Africa viewpoint.? This is a favourite launching place for paragliders, and gives a spectacular view of the Kaaimans River valley which looks like the map of Africa.? Then descend again into the village, where you can enjoy lunch at any one of the many fine restaurants in the town. ?Then take yourselves for a well-deserved swim on Wilderness Beach. After your swim, enjoy the Wilderness Friday Night Market in Milkwood Village from about 16:00 to 21:00.? There is music, food, arts and crafts, play areas for kids and lots of fun. Return to George west along the N2 via Kaaiman’s Pass (strict speed limits!).
Wilderness National Park
The Wilderness National Park is both a playground for tourists and a sensitive ecological area.? It is a mixture of rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches and with the backdrop of the foothills of the Outeniqua mountains, it is perfect for action adventure ? canoeing, boating, paragliding, angling, abseiling, kloofing, horseriding, fishing, cycling, walking and many other activities.? On the other hand, it is a nature enthusiast’s paradise ? many bird hides, nature walks and shelly beaches.? There are four lakes in the area, Rondevlei, Langvlei and Island Lake are connected by the Touw River and the Serpentine, and have been proclaimed a Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance).?? Further east is Swartvlei, a large saline lake which is perfect for watersports.? It is useful to have a Wild Card (available from SanParks offices) to get into some of the areas.? The Day Trips in the Park will be divided into Action, Nature and Hiking.
Useful contact: Wilderness Tourism Office: +27(0)44 8770045.
What you need:? Bathing gear, walking shoes, casual clothes, hat, suncream, sunglasses, camera, high energy snacks!
Go down the N2 past the Wilderness village and over the bridge at the mouth of the Touw River.? About 2km after the bridge, turn left down Dumbleton Road and shortly left again towards Eden Adventures (GPS 33o59’37”S 22o36’13”E) Hire two-seater canoes here and go on a 2-3 hour journey up the Touw River until you get to a pont over the river.? Leave the canoe here and take the pont onto the boardwalk of the Giant Kingfisher Trail ? an easy 40 minute walk through indigenous forest to a spectacular waterfall.? Or you can paddle down the Touw River along the Serpentine to the mouth. Or both. Then drive up to Map of Africa again and do some paragliding or hanggliding (contact Cloudbase Paragliders on +27(0) 082 7778474 or SA Paragliding Adventures on +27(0)72-1990622) from this spectacular launch site.? These paragliding schools have many other sites to choose from in the area.?? Finish off in the Wilderness Village for an excellent meal at one of the restaurants.
What you need: See Day 1! Try to make this day a Saturday or a Sunday, and check the tides, depending on what you want to do.
Drive on the N2 to the bottom of Kaaiman’s Pass and turn right just after the bridge towards the tidal Kaaimans River. (The bridge, by the way, is the first curved bridge built in South Africa).?? Here you will come across Eden Adventures who will hire out canoes if you want to canoe to the west, where you will find a beautiful pool and waterfall, or up the river to the indigenous forests.?? You can even canoe or walk at low tide to the Kaaimans River Bridge ? the most photographed steam train bridge in the world.? The Outeniqua Choo Choo used to cross this bridge in style until the floods of 2006.? You can have a casual brunch at the brand new tented Kaaimanse Kombuis which is open on Saturdays and Sundays only.? After fuelling up, you could join Eden Adventures in abseiling next to the waterfall and landing in a boat at the bottom.? Or have a really big brunch and spend the rest of the day in Cappuccino Canyon where the Kaaimans and Silver Rivers join.? A day of great scenery and exciting swimming and leaps off rocks!? Wend your weary way home after a cup of coffee and a hamburger back at Kaaimanse Kombuis.
What you need: A few children and some laid-back adults.? All the stuff for the outdoors.
Start the day at Mountainview Horse Trails (Tel: +27(0)786721665 at 13 Watsonia Avenue, Wilderness (off the Hoekwil Road). Best to book beforehand to have this wonderful and affordable experience on the back of laid back horses ? suited to your age and experience.? Say a tearful goodbye to your steed and if you have children with you, take a short trip to Kidbuddies also on the Hoekwil Road.? Lots of fun ? jumping castles, petting animals, refreshments. ?You can turn right just after Kidbuddies (going east) and have a look at Island Lake where kids can swim and play in the caravan park area. Then retrace your steps to the N2, turn left and drive about 6km until you see Timberlake (GPS -34.000971, 22.685289) turnoff on the left.? Here you can do the Aerial Tree Adventure Course (for kids or adults) (email@example.com )? There are 74 aerial platforms connected by zip lines, bridges, tarzan swings and lots of excitement.? Book on +27(0)782514458.? There is also a fairy garden, a barrel train and a castle to play on. ?You can have a meal at Zucchini Restaurant, or snacks at the Oyster Shack, Country Deli or the Windmill Caf?.? Browse the interesting shops for cheese, mohair, farm produce etc.? If you are there on a Friday, there is a night market. For a final thrill, take the kids swimming at the mouth of the Touw River or on Wilderness Beach.? On the way home, stop at Dolphin’s Point viewpoint on the left, just before you descend into the Kaaimans gorge and have a look at the railway bridge and see if you can spot a whale or a dolphin.
What you need: A hat, big binoculars, big camera, hushed voices, bathing gear, maybe a picnic.
The combo of mountain, forest, sea and lakes make the area a birder’s paradise.?? Drive past the Wilderness on the N2 and continue about 7km until you see a sign on the left indicating Die Vleie Road.? Turn left (you will see Island Lake on your left) and continue for about 2km to a t-junction.? Turn east along a dirt road.? You will see Langvlei on your right and after 2,6km you will reach the Malachite Bird Hide which overlooks Langvlei.? This hide requires patience.? You will see lots of coot and dabchicks, but if you wait long enough you are likely to be rewarded by sightings of many interesting water birds ? including fish eagles and the malachite kingfisher!? Then continue east along the road for 1,5km and turn right at a sign saying N2.? Drive around Rondevlei for about 4km and then turn left towards the Wilderness National Park SanParks offices. Drive past the offices and you will find a large birdhide overlooking Rondevlei.? You will see many birds here ? definitely the Fish Eagle!? After leaving the SANParks offices, turn left and continue east until you see a turnoff to Pine Lake Marina, which you can enter as a day visitor and enjoy the facilities such as putt-putt, sailing, coffee, swimming or looking out for birds.? Turn left out of Pine Lake Marina and go up the hill back to the N2, turning right to go back to George.? Other good birdwatching sites are at the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp on the Touw River, and the birdhide near Fairy Knowe Hotel.
*Island Lake and Swartvlei are recreational lakes, but Rondevlei and Langvlei are Ramsar sites and no activity at all is allowed on them.
What you need:? Permits for some trails, hiking and bathing clothes, backpack with water and snacks, binoculars, camera, hat, insect repellent.
There are several hiking trails in the area, all well worth doing for their abundant wildlife, natural vegetation and beautiful vistas.? Visit the SANParks offices at Ebb and Flow Restcamp, or ask at the Wilderness Tourism Office: +27(0)44 8770045 for advice on local conditions before you go.? The following are among the most popular hikes in the area:
Groeneweide Trails (George):? See Day Trip 4.1: 3 trails of varying lengths in indigenous forest.
Woodville Big Tree Trail: (Hoekwil):? See Day Trip 4.1: A short, half hour walk in the forest.
Giant Kingfisher Trail (Touw River): About 3 hours (See Day Trip 4.1. above) Exercise: Moderate
Pied Kingfisher Trail (Island Lake): About 2 hours ? long,flat trail along the banks of the lake.
Half Collared Kingfisher Trail and Bosduif Trail (Touw River): The first is an easy walk along the Touw River ? 1hr there and back. The Bosduif Trail branches off the first trail and is quite a strenuous climb back to the start (1hr).
Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail (near Langvlei): 5km. An easy, beautiful route through forest, over rivers and up to a waterfall. About 2 hours.
Dune Molerat Trail (above Rondevlei): A fairly exposed but easy walk over the dunes from Rondevlei to Swartvlei.? About 3 hours.
3 Day Guided Canoe Trail: (Island Lake, Langvlei, Rondevlei)
For specialized guided trails, contact Mark Dixon on +27(0)44 8831060.
What you need: A Saturday! Walking shoes, bathing gear, binoculars, camera, hat. Lots of money.
Leave George before breakfast and travel down the N2 for about 28 kilometres until you get to the outskirts of Sedgefield.? Just over the bridge at the start of Sedgefield you will notice a sign saying Wild Oats Market, an Engen Garage, and another sign saying Scarab Market ? and if it’s a Saturday, a huge number of cars.? This is the renowned Sedgefield Farmers’ Market and a good place to have Breakfast.?? The market is open from 7:30 until 12:30 (depending on the season) and you can buy fresh produce, readymade food, plants, bric-a-brac, arts and crafts and all manner of strange and wonderful things.? Allow a leisurely 2-3 hours for the visit.? Then go on into Sedgefield itself and browse around the village.? Sedgefield is the first “Slow Town” in South Africa ? an internationally recognized classification for towns who enjoy the good life, slowly.? (No wonder the symbol of Sedgefield is the Tortoise). Mosaic work is Big in Sedgefield and you will see fine examples of it as you go. Then drive down Kingfisher Drive to the Swartvlei River mouth.? This is a favourite swimming spot where lagoon and ocean meet.?? You can see the rare oyster catchers and enjoy the “surge” as the tide comes in.?? After your swim, continue on Kingfisher Drive and then turn right to go to PiliPili beach restaurant where you can buy a light lunch and walk on the beautiful unspoilt Myoli and Cola Beaches.?? If it is not a Saturday, you could have lunch or coffee at one of the little town’s 28 coffee shops!? After lunch, cross the N2 at the traffic light and turn right down the slip road until you find a house with a horse fence.? At the next intersection, turn left, go over the railway line and drive up the hill to Cloud Nine where you will get a wonderful view of the area.? Carry on down the hill and the road will eventually take you back to the N2.? Travel west along the N2, over the bridge, and then turn left along a gravel road towards Swartvlei Beach.? Along the way there are good bird sightings.? Go down to the beach and enjoy a short walk to the right to Gericke’s Point, collecting many beautiful shells on the way.?? For a special experience, contact Judy Dixon on +27(0)44 8831015. Judy will take you on a “Moonlight Meander” or a “Starlight Stroll” to Gericke’s Point at night.? She will tell you about all the “goggas” and sea life on the beach.
Sedgefield has many other delights, including parasailing off Cloud Nine, angling, cycling, walking, kayaking, and many excellent restaurants.?? For more information, contact the Sedgefield Tourism Office
What you need: Walking shoes, bathing gear, money, a hat, a camera.
Drive east down the N2 for about 50km until you come to the Buffalo Bay turnoff (watch the speed traps!).? On the way you will pass Groenvlei on your right as you pass through Sedgefield. Drive to Buffalo Bay, stopping at the interesting shops and tea gardens on the way, and when you reach the Bay, be sure to have a swim on one of the best swimming beaches in the area.? If you are energetic, you can walk the 6km from Buffalo Bay east to Brenton on Sea and back to the restaurant on the rocks.? Go back to the N2 and continue to Knysna. There are many, many things to do in Knysna ? walks in the forest, trips on the lagoon, angling, swimming, sailing, canoeing, hiking, etc, but if you have limited time, make sure you shop at the Knysna Waterfront, taste oysters on Thesen Island, ?have lunch at the Heads and Coney Glen, swim in the lagoon off Leisure Isle and have and have dinner at one of the superb restaurants in the town. If you enjoy eisbein, do visit Louis' Steak House (phone 044-382-0204).
Photograph by Andre Beukes
On the way back to George, have a look at the quaint suburb of Belvidere on the left after the White Bridge, and go on to Brenton on Lake and Brenton on Sea. ?For a change of scenery, take the Rheenendal turnoff off the N2 and return to George via the Seven Passes Road.
What you need: Walking shoes, bathing gear, money, a hat, a camera.
Plettenberg Bay is a good 1.5hrs drive from George, but well worth the visit.? Along the way you can, for example, walk in the Tsitsikamma Forests, visit elephants, snakes, wolves and raptors, shop at the quaint art shops and do some skydiving.? In Plettenberg Bay, enjoy a walk along Robberg, try to find a pansy shell on Lookout Beach and savour some of the delicious restaurants perched above the Bay.? On the eastern side of Plett is the Keurbooms River and the Crags and at the Crags you will find the Birds of Eden and Monkeyland as well as the Wild Cat Sanctuary. ??More information from www.plettenbergbay.co.za
What you need: A sense of adventure, no fear of heights.
For the more adventurous, take a scenic flight, offered by one of these companies:
Capri Helicopter Flights: +27(0)44 6950693
Civair Helicopter Flights: +27(0)44 8760029
Blue Sky Aviation: +27(0)44 876 0007
Or do a bit of skydiving!:
SkydivePlett: +27(0)82 9057440
Tandem Skydiving: +27(0)82 8248599
There are several game parks in the area, such as Garden Route Game Lodge, Gondwana Game Reserve, Botlierskop Game Reserve, Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve, Buffelsdrift Game Lodge.? Further details can be obtained from George Tourism on +27(0)44 8019295 or firstname.lastname@example.org
George and its surroundings must be the Golf paradise of the world.? There are several courses of varying degrees of difficulty and expense in the area. To name a few:
George Golf Club: +27(0)44 8736116 (18 holes)
Fancourt: +27(0)44 8040030 (various courses)
Oubaai Golf Resort: +27(0)44 8510131 (18 holes)
Kingswood Golf Estate: +27(0)44 8020700 (18 holes)
Little Eden Golf Retreat: +27(0)44 8810018 (9 holes ? 27 tees)
Three Chameleons Short Golf Course: +27(0)44 8769988 (9 holes, 18 tees)
Glenwood Short Golf Course: +27(0)44 8713656 (9 holes, 18 tees)
Rooirivierrif Short Golf Course: +27(0)82 4115315 (9 holes, 18 tees)
And further afield there are (all 18 holes):
Pinnacle Point Golf Course (Mossel Bay): +27(0)44 693 3438
Simola (Knysna): +27(0)44 3029677
Knysna Golf Club: +27(0)44 3841150
Pezula (Knysna): +27(0)44 303 5300
Goose Valley (Plettenberg Bay): +27(0)44 533 5082
Plettenberg Bay Golf Course: +27(0)44 533 2132