CAMPING WITH CROSS AFRICA
- Seven Passes Knysna George
- Map of Africa
- Half Collared Kingfisher Trail
- The Lakes Road
THE WORLD AROUND THE WILDERNESS
GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
Exploring the world, or at least the area, around Wilderness would be our next goal on our Garden Route road trip, and for that we’d make the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp in the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park our base for a few days. This would also inevitably end up as our last camp along the Garden Route. Technically, the Garden Route ends at Mossel Bay but we’d not venture further than George, and that also really only because we’d complete the Seven Passes Road that ends there. From there we’d back track to Wilderness again, but that was only on day three of our stay.
We’d take an exit via Hoekwil off of the Seven Passes Road that we’d followed all the way from Knysna. This would ensure that we reached Wilderness in plenty of time to pitch our tent before settling down to a braai. The Seven Passes Road had been quiet though dusty and the beautiful valleys that each pass descended into enthralled us. We’d climb out of Knysna along the Phantom Pass and continue along towards the Karatara, Hoogekraal and other passes. This back road runs through dairy farmland and is a welcome alternative to the busy N2. But, of course we’d have to back track to complete the last few passes but recent rains had damaged the road to George forcing us to turn back. We did get to drive the last pass, the Kaaimans though.
We’d not only drive but also hike the beautiful Half Collared Kingfisher trail up along the Touw River to a waterfall. The heat was enough to cause one to expire so we opted for a drive up the hillside behind the village to the Map of Africa viewpoint, instead of trying any other walks. The Map of Africa is simply named for the shape of the landscape that the curve of the Kaaimans River has carved into the hills. From the top the view was fantastic, and we got a bit of a breeze while standing and watching some paragliders take off.
But we’d soon head to the cool interior of the vehicle again and take a scenic drive out along the Lakes Road, past Island Lake, Rondevlei, Langvlei and out at Swartvlei near Sedgefield. Unfortunately we didn’t get much of a view of the lakes since the bushes along the road were so high. The drive was nice though, but when we got back the clouds began to roll in and it wasn’t long before the rain started, and it stayed for two days.
We made the best of our last day in Wilderness and walked into town for a drink at the Blind Pig before doing a little shop for our very last night’s braai.
The Garden Route is a real gem and we didn’t even get to see and do half of everything that is on offer …
The Garden Route
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