Wilderness. Even the word speaks to my soul. Visit the village of Wilderness in South Africa and you’ll discover a world of rivers, lagoons, lakes, beaches, forests and mountains. Spoil yourself with everything from nature, hiking and birding to paragliding, eating and shopping. Here’s my pick of 20 things to do in Wilderness on the Garden Route.
5. Explore Wilderness and Sedgefield’s very own Lake District, a Ramsar Wetland of international importance. These lakes, like Langvlei, Swartvlei and Rondevlei, are home to 32 fish species, some 280 endemic plants, 300 bird species, and numerous invertebrates. Go birding here (see point 6), cycle along the gravel roads from lake to lake (see point 4), go canoeing on the Serpentine or Touw River (see point 3) or wind-surfing on Swartvlei (get a permit from SANParks’ Ebb & Flow Rest Camp in Wilderness).
19. Another superb place to shop for local farm and homemade food products is the Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market in Sedgefield, just a 20km drive from Wilderness. On Saturday mornings you’ll find everything from fresh organic fruit and veg to cheeses, breads, cakes and more. A special treat is to have breakfast under the trees.
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