Guesthouse owners need a break too, and what better way than spending the time being a Tourist in our own beautiful region – The Garden Route. Our first two days, we spent exploring our own town – Mossel Bay and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and Tourism offerings. Villa Chante is the perfect place to stay at while visiting the area. The Garden Route is a place of magic, mystery and hidden treasures. The region where the ocean and forests meet and where visitors are left with a sense of calm and relaxation.
The Point is one of the most loved areas of Mossel Bay offering visitors an array of Beachfront Restaurants, Street food stalls, Ice-Cream huts, a fabulous view of the Cape St Blaize Caves and lighthouse and of course the promenade – a paved pathway around the Point area. We decided to have lunch at Delfino’s Restaurant. Being a Saturday, the Restaurant is obviously packed of patrons enjoying the sun and views. Over the years this spot became a much loved meeting place for friends and colleagues to enjoy a cuppa.
On Monday we departed to the Jewel of the Garden Route – Knysna. We stayed at the Elephant Hide of Knysna Guest Lodge – a charming Lodge with a African theme and view over the Knysna Estuary. The Lodge offers cabins equipped with Air Conditioning, DSTV, Free Wi-Fi, a well-stocked in-room honesty bar, spa baths and private decks for guests to enjoy. Meals are available on-site and a swimming pool is also a main feature. The drive up to the Lodge is beautiful and scenic – through the trees and semi-forest.
After the devastating Knysna Fires of June 2017 the town has risen like a Phoenix through the ashes and the surrounding greenery has started growing again and most homes and establishments that have sadly burnt down has been re-built. Here and there is still a abandoned building that was never completed but plans are set in place for re-building.
The Town has so much to offer visitors and we started at the Famous Knysna Waterfront that offers various restaurants and Cafes, African Curious, leisure shopping facilities and the complimentary views. The Waterfront has that almost Italian Feel with the canal and slipways around the waterfront with sailboats passing through under the bridge. We had lunch at 34 Degrees South Restaurant and when visiting this eatery, you cannot leave without having a fresh oyster or two. Oysters are one of Knysna’s Trademarks, and yearly Knysna is host to the Annual Oyster festival, a Cultural mix of Sport, Leisure and lots of Oyster Eating!
Next we headed to Brenton-On-Sea, a Nature Conservancy on the outskirts of Knysna about a 10km drive out. Brenton is home to the much protected Brenton Blue Butterfly, a species that was once thought to be extinct but was later discovered in the Conservancy and is now the only place where they can be found these days, but rarely seen unless a Tour is booked with a guide that takes you through the protected sanctuary area. Picnic Spots are available with breathtaking views of the Brenton Beach, a Blue Flag Status Beach and the Castle Rock, Rock formation. the picnic tables are delightfully decorated with mosaic that adds to the special touch.
We had lunch at Nautical South Restaurant and was treated with a delicious Mussel “Potjie” – One of Vlooi’s (The Owner and Chef) top sellers on the menu. The Restaurant has a casual Beach feel and the service is Top-notch!
The next day we made our way to the Famous Knysna Elephant Park, a 15 minute drive, between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. The Elephant Park was founded in 1994 and is the first facility in South Africa to house orphaned African Elephants. Here you get the chance to have close encounters with the gentle giants and feed them out of your hands. They offer daily 1-hour tours every hour on the hour. You can even spend a night with them in their overnight facility. a On-site restaurant and curious shop is also available for visitors to purchase memorabilia. Knysna was once the home to many free-roaming African Elephants that walked the Forests and was hunted down one by one until they became non existent. Sadly
Today, there is only one Elephant left in the forest, a Female referred to as the Matriarch that was caught on surveillance footage.
Wilderness & Kaaimans
Upon our departure we made our way to the Wilderness – a magical and scenic coastal village. We took a drive to the well-known King Fisher Hiking Trail starting point. Although we did not do the hike, the drive down is beautiful. We stopped at the Kaaimans River Estuary for a hike. This beautiful hidden gem is situated just off the N2 on the Kaaimans Pass. You park your vehicle and can walk around the estuary. a Restaurant is available for a quick bite or drink with views over the river and you can also hire a kayak to explore the entire estuary. The smell of the forest is inviting and gives you an immediate desire to camp right there! This is a perfect spot for a picnic as the sound of the chirping birds and smell of ferns carries you away to another planet.
Our next stop was Victoria Bay, halfway between Wilderness and George. Victoria Bay or rather “Vic Bay” as it is known by the locals is the surfing hub of the Garden Route. a Rather small beach but very popular among the George Locals for a lazy afternoon, and very popular in the summer months. You can take a stroll along the pathway with colorful little dwellings en-route and homes dating back to 1919. Here you can also relax and have a bite to eat at “Vicky’s” Eatery or you can buy a Ice-cream from the kiosk and enjoy the scenery.
Greatbrak River Conservancy
Next, we made our way to Greatbrak River, part of the Greater Mossel Bay Area. The Estuary is inviting and we could not help but to put our feet in the luke warm water of the river. The Beach stretches for miles. We took a drive to the well-known local Shoe Factory and had a coffee at the Peperboom Restaurant (“Peppertree”), before we made our way back home to Villa Chante.
Why travel thousands of kilometers when we have so much to do and see on our doorstep? The Garden Route is truly one of the most magical places in South Africa and no wonder International Travelers prefer the Garden Route as their halfway stop between Cape Town and Addo.
Should you decide to make the Garden Route your destination of Choice for your next holiday, contact us for your accommodation needs! You are invited!
Tel: 044 698 2160 Cell: 060 672 6136