Perfect Africa in the Garden Route

Mossel Bay is a harbour town on the Garden Route in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. Gorgeously known for it’s wide Santos Beach and the 19th-century Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse. The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex includes the Maritime Museum, the Shell Museum and the most interesting to me… the Post Office Tree, a milkwood tree that has been used as a mail collection point since the 1500s. A far cry from our now quick and speedy email systems. I don’t think I could cope with snail mail.

Mossel Bay is one of the biggest attractions on South Africa’s Garden Route for Shark Cage Diving – The Great White Sharks with those rows and rows of teeth (yikes) fascinate me and personally I cannot wait to experience them just a bit closer… There is a small island just off the shore called Seal Island which provides amazing opportunities to view them and of course, its name sake too, seals.

I enjoyed this scenic view of shoreline and island from the most relaxing and sunny restaurant – Cafe Gannet. Piping hot fish and chips with a local chilled glass of white wine on the pool deck.– and I could literally taste the freshness.

I then continued my adventure driving the short distance to the world famous Fancourt in George. A golfer’s paradise! As a beginner golfer I did find the various golf courses found here rather enticing, but I think I would defiantly need to work on my swing a bit more before attempting these greens.

Tea time and we decided to venture out again to see what else was on offer – we stopped off at Redberry Farm and man what a treat. This farm has the cleverest ideas for families of all ages and stages and I happily got involved in as much as I could from berry picking to ordering something to snack on from the restaurants excellent foods, all with a berry twist. I had no idea strawberries and berries could be so versatile! Not to mention how I could have bought my weight in the Farm Stall. For the kids there is so much to do  such as Pedal Go Carts, Bubble Balls in water, Bumper Boats, Pony rides, the redberry express (also for adults), paddle boats and my most exciting experience the Maze. This is the largest permanent hedge maze in the southern hemisphere. They offer Moonlight excursions too, which had me thinking about how much fun that would be in a crowd of friends.

The next leg of my trip, I went (of course) to my most special places, Wilderness and Knysna.

Wilderness is a tiny town with the most spectacular views along its coastal stretch. It is home to a wide variety of beaches and trails, the “Map of Africa”, a hilltop lookout point with beautiful views of the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by charming worlds of lakes, rivers, estuaries that gently unfold against a backdrop of lush forest and the lofty Outeniqua Mountains. Nearby Wilderness Natural Park, part of the sprawling Garden Route National Park, is a habitat for wildlife including leopards, monkeys and eagles. This trip I found myself exploring the Touw River by Canoe. I just wished I had taken my camera with, as this was such a highlight. A gentle paddle to the rock pools through the indigenous forest until it became too shallow and narrow to continue. It is great to be able to jump out with your picnic lunch and mission up to the pools to swim.

Now Knysna, my ultimate favourite! My best being the lagoon and the Knysna heads. The eastern head is easily accessible by car and has many spectacular viewpoints overlooking this beautiful channel. There is a lone male seal that lives there; gosh he has been there for years. The western head is accessible only by ferry, and forms part of the privately owned Featherbed Nature Reserve. There are many excursions to the reserve departing from the Knysna Waterfront daily and the best by far is the 2 hour trip through the forest, down onto the beach and through the caves.

Of course you HAVE to do an oyster experience – Knysna is famous for these delicacies.

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