Ensconced between the Outeniqua Mountains and the golden coasts of the Garden Route, Wilderness is one of the most spectacular locations in the Western Cape.
Escape to a part of the Western Cape that is a Wilderness in both name and nature. The stunning mountains, forests and coastline here are among the most scenic parts of the Garden Route. Visitors here, however, do not totally leave civilization behind, as the town of the same name offers restaurants, resorts and cafés.
Head to a vacation destination that has been frequented by visitors since the early 1900s, when the first hotels were built here. The region was named Wilderness when a man from Cape Town bought land here to fulfil a promise to his wife that they would live surrounded by nature.
One of the main reasons to visit this town is to explore Wilderness National Park. Hike over tree-covered hills and around glistening lakes on shaded walking trails. The Pied Kingfisher Trail runs in a circle for about 6 miles (10 kilometers) through the park, following the course of the Serpentine River. Canoe along the rivers to see the scenery from the water.
Spend a day relaxing on Victoria Bay Beach. This small, secluded stretch of shoreline is hidden in a cove between George and Wilderness and offers sheltered water that is safe for bathing. Swim out a little further for surfing or charter a boat to go fishing on the water.
Browse for souvenirs in the Milkwood Evening Market, an atmospheric shopping destination. Wander among handicraft and food stalls while chefs cook meat on a “braai,” a South African barbecue. Join locals relaxing with a craft beer.
Drive 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of George to reach Wilderness. Find out about all the things you can do here in the Wilderness Tourism Bureau, located near the old train station. The town is small and can be explored on foot.
Wilderness offers different atmospheres and experiences depending on the season. In winter and spring you stand the best chance of seeing whales in the ocean, while the summer months between December and February bring more crowds and sunny days.