Wilderness, in the Western Cape of South Africa, is situated a short distance outside the city of George, down the Kaaimans River Pass on the N2 Highway.

Honeymooners have long favoured Wilderness, a romantic seaside resort of international reputation. It is known for its long sandy white beaches, approx. 8 km long, and many look out points for whale and dolphin watching. It is surrounded by mountains, forests, rivers and lagoons – a watersports enthusiasts dream destination. Wilderness is also a perfect holiday venue for birdwatchers as many types of water birds breed here. Other types of recreational activities include hiking, ferry cruises, paragliding, horse riding and mountain biking.

The beach has a dangerous backwash, but is fine for sunbathing and walking.

All types of accommodation can be found in this exquisitely beautiful region, from Camping to Luxury Hotels and Resorts.

Wilderness is the ideal base to visit George, SedgefieldKnysnaTsitsikamma National Park and Plettenberg Bay.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see

There are numerous places to visit along this stretch of the Garden Route and the locals will help you find each and every one. We suggest you plan a minimum stay of 7 nights.

Climate

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 12˚C and 27˚C with high rainfall in November and March.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 8˚C and 24˚C with high rainfall in August.

Transport

Commercial Airlines offer flights to George Airport, only 15Km away from Wilderness. Car hire facilities are located at the Airport and visitors will travel on the N2 Highway.

Festivals

July – Knysna Oyster Festival: One of the most popular events in the Western Cape with Oyster catching competitions and other sports events.

July – George Cheese Festival: Approximately 10 000 visitors attends this festival each year for wine, brandy and whiskey tasting….. and of course Cheese!

December – Wilderness Beach Festival: A fundraiser hosted by the Wilderness Sea Rescue, this event is filled with fun sports and beach related activities.

History

In 1877, George Bennet, a young man from Cape Town was granted the hand of his sweetheart, but on the condition that he took her to live in the wilderness. He very quickly purchased the land where the present day Wilderness Hotel stands and named it Wilderness. The farmhouse changed hands in 1905 to Montague White who opened a boarding house which unfortunately due to the dangerous swimming conditions was not a great success. In 1921, the Wilderness Hotel was opened after Montague sold the land. Shortly after, The Fairy Knowe Hotel opened in 1928 on the river. A tragic fire in 1985 destroyed the original Wilderness Hotel and renovations brought it to the 4-star Hotel of today.

The Outeniqua Train Steam Train ran through the town en route between George and Knysna, but sadly had its last trip in 2006 after flood damage rendered the railway line un-usable.

A notable resident of the town was the former State President of South Africa, P.W. Botha, who had made Wilderness his home until his death in 2006.


Inside Wilderness

Hoekwil

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