The area has a unique system of lakes, rivers and wetlands very close to the sea. The coastal road runs along a narrow strip of land between the Indian Ocean and the chain of lakes, one of which reputedly contains a mermaid.
This is no new legend: ancient Bushman paintings in the mountains depict a woman with a fish's tail. She doesn't seem to interfere, however, with the present day pleasures of boating, yachting, swimming, fishing and canoeing, which are delightful ways to explore the tranquility of the national park area and its abundant birdlife.
The Village of Wilderness lies 15 km east of George between the Kaaimans River and the Goukamma Nature Reserve. Encompassed within the boundaries of Wilderness one finds the 2500 Ha Wilderness National Park.
Five rivers and five lakes, two estuaries and 18 km of coastline protected within the Park. The rare and sensitive eco-system is home to a wealth of water birds including the elusive Knysna Loerie.
- Game Drives
- Botlierskop game farm is well worth a visit and recommended by us. Drive are undertaken Monday to Saturdays. This farm which hosts lions, rhino, giraffe is also home to the rare black impala. Bookings are essential. Tel: 044 696 6055.
- Enjoy a leisurely canoe ride on the serene waterways in the area. Canoes can be hired at the National Parks camp (044 877197) or 2 seater canoes with waterproof buckets from Eden Adventures. (044 8770179). Both of these establishment are situated on the Touwsriver and easy to reach.
- Best rock angling places are Flat Rock otherside the Holiday Inn Garden Court or Kabeljousbank near Kaaimansriver mouth, Gericke's Point at Swartvlei is also excellent. Fishing permits at R20 per permit is obtainable from the Post Office situated inside the shop at the Caltex garage. It might be cheaper to buy fish at Pick and Pay in George. More info on fishing from Neels de Ronde's book Exploring the Southern Cape at the office.
Escape to nature
- Walk along the many trails in one of South Africa's finest birdwatching locations or take a canoe trip or visit the birdhides on Langvlei and Rondevlei. Knysna Loeries can be seen in the Bushcamp or at Phumla but are more plentiful in the summer months.
- Whale And Dolphin Watching
- Dolphins are plentiful and can be seen just beyond the surf especially in the early mornings when they do dawn patrol. Whales can be spotted between July and October.