Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : South Africa : Western Cape : Garden Route : Wilderness
|Western Cape province in South Africa. It is set between the Kaaimans River and the Goukama Nature Reserve in the heart of the Garden Route, bordered by the Outeniqua Mountains and swept by the Indian Ocean. Renowned for its tranquil sea, seemingly endless beaches and natural lakes and lagoons, Wilderness has become a sought after international holiday resort. This charming paradise is a great spot for water-sport enthusiasts, but also offers a fantastic wildlife variety, particularly birds, and is the ideal location from which to enjoy rejuvenating hikes, hang-gliding, paragliding, horse-riding, or leisurely scenic drives. Wilderness is also home of many craftsmen and women in the area, whose work is for sale at the weekly and monthly craft markets. Just outside Wilderness, two breathtaking viewing points offer magnificent views of the ocean for miles – namely the ‘Map of Africa Viewpoint’ and ‘Dolphin Point’. A photographic hotspot is the Kaaimans River Bridge, over which the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe train passes on its journey between George and Knysna.
The train that runs between George and Knysna via Wilderness is known as the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe, and is the last-remaining scheduled steam-hauled train service in South Africa. It is a not-to-be-missed experience ; the scenery along the route is stupendous, and includes the Kaaimans River bridge (the most-photographed railway bridge in the world) and the bridge over the Knysna lagoon.
Unfortunately, due to heavy rainfall and flooding in 2006, this train service has been suspended until further notice. There is a pleasant short walk along the closed tracks that is accessible by the beach near the Wilderness Beach House.
The N2 national road from George (to the west) and Knysna (to the east) runs through Wilderness. Driving between George and Knysna there are permanent speed cameras in the Kaaimans River Pass. The speed limit on this pass is 60kmph for a reason, the pass is very dangerous to take at high speeds, especially when wet.
If you are staying in the village, it is an easy walk to the beach going underneath the train tracks. It's definitely easier to get around either by bike or by car. The nearest car rental is in George.
Ample accommodation exists in Wilderness, but it can get full during season.