Wilderness in South Africa: discover the wild beauty

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Seagull on Wilderness Beach

During my many years of traveling in Africa as a tour guide, my path often took me to Wilderness in South Africa. I particularly remember the hotels that are located directly on the coast above the beach, because here I listen to the incessant sound of the sea lulling me to sleep. Other times I spend the night at the Touwsrivier lagoon, where I enjoy the peace and quiet and the view of the calm water.

Long walks on the beach are one of my favorite things to do in Wilderness, as I often walk for hours along the miles of beach. I discover the fascinating world of tidepooling, because in the rocky caves I find mussels, barnacles and other sea creatures.

It is a particular pleasure to watch the seagulls as they brace themselves against the wind and glide elegantly through the air. I like to retreat to the pool or spa to relax and unwind. Sometimes I just enjoy a good meal in a restaurant with a view of the sea.


Hermanus South Africa
Hermanus South Africa Photo by Tayla Kohler on Unsplash


Arrival to Wilderness

The best way to reach Wilderness in South Africa is via the Garden Route, as this route is one of my favorite routes in South Africa is. The journey begins in Cape Town and takes you along the coast, with many stops along the way.

One of my recommendations is a stop in Hermanus. You can often watch whales there. Let's continue Mossel Bay. Here I always find a good opportunity to recharge and relax. The viewpoints along the route are breathtaking. I particularly like the stop at Dolphin's Point. From here you have a wonderful view of the sea and the coast.

A relaxing road trip requires breaks, so I plan my trips so that I can stop regularly. There are plenty of gas stations, but I recommend filling up at larger locations to avoid surprises.

Getting to Wilderness is an experience in itself, as the landscape is constantly changing and the coastal views are unique. Every road trip along the Garden Route is different and offers new discoveries. Wilderness is always a special destination for me on this trip because the mix of nature and coast is unique.

Map of highlights in Wilderness and surrounding areas


Mossel Bay South Africa
Mossel Bay South Africa Photo by Trey Smith on Unsplash


At the Indian Ocean

It is loud! A constant roar that never stops! It stays like this: day and night. That is the sound that a stay on Beach of wilderness in South Africa so impressive. The waves roll continuously from the vastness of the Indian Ocean. They build up, sometimes more, sometimes less. But they always exist. They are wild. Even on the calmest days of the year!


Beach of Wilderness
Beach of Wilderness


That has to be in the suitcase

  • The kilometer-long sandy beach of Wilderness lures you to sunbathe. We have what you need for this in this checklist were collected.
  • Note the warning that you are not allowed to swim on this beach. The current is too dangerous. A walk on the beach is also exciting if you comfortable shoes with you.
  • If you want to hike in the area, we recommend one backpack.


Like an endless ribbon, they first break on the kilometer-long sandy beach that stretches from the mouth of the Touwsrivier to the mouth of the Kaaimansrivier, where Highway 2 branches off inland at Dolphin's Point. Further to the east the spectacle becomes more dramatic, because there the waves encounter rocky resistance and rumble against it with all their might and power. They roll along the beach, constantly and without a break. The waves of the Indian Ocean are the hallmark of Wilderness Beach.


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Wilderness in South Africa offers many accommodations for connoisseurs, and I particularly like the luxurious hotels with views of the Indian Ocean. Here I wake up to the sound of the waves and enjoy the view of the sea.

Another favorite are the charming guest houses and bed and breakfasts, as these accommodations are often family-run and offer a personal atmosphere. I enjoy talking to the hosts and finding out more about the region.

The cottages and villas in Fynbos are unique as these accommodations offer peace and seclusion. I love sitting on the terrace in the morning and observing the surrounding nature.

Each accommodation has its own charm. While the hotels offer luxury and comfort, the guest houses and bed & breakfasts score points with their coziness, and the cottages and villas in Fynbos offer a special closeness to nature.



View of the beach of Wilderness
View of the beach of Wilderness


Dangerous: the waves on the beach of Wilderness

They are dangerous because they often attract unwary tourists who do not believe the warnings on signs everywhere advising against swimming on this beach. They create unpredictable currents and an underwater pull that inexorably drags everything that comes into contact with it into the depths. Year after year, visitors who want to prove that this isn't the case, that they know better, fall victim to it. Alone, here you should go to the Tips for South Africa hear. The sea and the waves of Wilderness have no mercy, and this gives the beach of Wilderness something threatening, but also a wild beauty that instills in the cautious observer a great humility in the face of indomitable nature.


Roaring waves
Roaring waves


That's why on this mile-long sandy beach there's no one to be seen in the water, except for a few incorrigibles who tentatively dip their toes into the spray that foams onto the shore. Most people venture into the sea no more than up to their knees, because anyone who goes further is gambling with their life.


Seagull over the waves
Seagull over the waves


Perfect for long walks on the beach - Wilderness Beach

Most visitors to Wilderness Beach settle for an hour-long walk on the beach instead. Those who prefer the easy route should turn west from the mouth of the Touwsrivier towards Dolphin's Point, because it is beautiful here. The beach is so long that summer guests get lost in the vastness of the coast. I, on the other hand, prefer the wilder and more varied side of the beach and go east. I'm almost alone. Only in the distance do I see a few locals balancing on the rocks and casting their fishing rods hopefully.

I wonder if they actually catch fish in the surf. The fine sand soon ends here, as more and more rocks push their way in from the sea through the sand. Further out, the wild waves break against it and perform an impressive spectacle in the last meters of their existence. I have spent many hours in this place during my travels watching the fishermen or admiring the flying skills of the seagulls.


Heron on the beach
Heron on the beach
Rough coast
Rough coast


Interesting: looking for clams on Wilderness Beach

Spray whips up and water splashes in all directions. It leaves puddles in the sand as well as in the rocky hollows that have been created by the waves over the centuries. I find entire beds of mussels in there. Barnacles cling to the edge of the rocks, filtering out their food from the tidal water. Seagulls and herons fly above it, always looking for something to eat. They allow themselves to be carried through the air by the wind, which blows constantly here.


Mussels and barnacles
Mussels and barnacles
Seagull on the beach
Seagull on the beach


Wilderness Beach is not a beach for bathers. However, if, like me, you are looking for a natural experience instead, this beach is the right place for you, as it is easily accessible via Coastal Highway 2, which runs along the Garden Route. Above the cliffs of Wilderness and in town there are several hotels and guest houses where you can stay overnight with a view of the beach and the constant roar of the waves. If you prefer something quieter, choose accommodation away from the beach. There the ocean becomes a background noise and the view is limited to fynbos vegetation or alternatively the Touwsrivier lagoon.


Cormorant photo by Shlomo Shalev on Unsplash


More activities around Wilderness in South Africa

Hikes in the area are another highlight, as the trails lead through varied landscapes, from coastal paths to dense forests. The hiking trail to Dolphin's Point in particular offers spectacular views of the sea.

Bird watching is one of my favorite things to do in Wilderness in South Africa as the Touwsrivier Lagoon is a hotspot for bird species. I see herons, cormorants and many other birds. Equipped with binoculars and a camera, I spend hours observing the animals.

Boat trips on the Touwsrivier lagoon offer a different perspective, as I can see the diverse flora and fauna of the region from the water. The peace and quiet on the water is relaxing and allows for intensive nature experiences.


Rocks on the beach
Rocks on the beach


You can also experience wilderness in South Africa from a culinary perspective

Wilderness in South Africa is a foodie’s paradise. The top restaurants in Wilderness offer delicious dishes and a wonderful atmosphere. I particularly enjoy visiting “The Girl's on the Square”. Here I enjoy fresh fish and seafood. The “Serendipity Restaurant” is also a must. The kitchen offers creative dishes and impressive menus.

Local specialties are a highlight of any trip to Wilderness, and I love the local wines. I particularly recommend the wines of the Garden Route because I discovered many new varieties during a tasting in one of the wineries.

For foodies, the markets and delicatessens in Wilderness, South Africa are a true El Dorado. I enjoy visiting the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market in neighboring Sedgefield. Here I find fresh products directly from the producer. I always discover new delicacies in the delicatessen shops. I particularly like the handmade cheeses and the local olive oil.


Wellness and Spa
Spa and wellness photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash


Spas and wellness in Wilderness South Africa

Yoga and meditation with a sea view are a highlight, as you can, for example, take part in courses that take place directly on the beach. The sounds of the sea and the fresh wind create a perfect environment for inner peace and mindfulness. Private sessions are also possible.

Relaxing walks in the Wilderness nature reserve in South Africa are essential for me, as the paths lead through dense forests and along the coast. I keep discovering new plants and animals. The silence and beauty of nature help me to leave everyday life behind me.

Cultural highlights in and around Wilderness South Africa

I find the historical sites and local culture particularly interesting. The village itself has a rich history. I like visiting the “Map of Africa Viewpoint”, where you not only get a great view but also learn about the history of the region.

The museums and galleries surrounding Wilderness in South Africa are also worth seeing. The George Museum in the nearby town of George offers insights into local history and culture. The “Outeniqua Transport Museum” is also exciting. It shows old locomotives and historic vehicles.

Events and festivals in Wilderness in South Africa are always a highlight. Especially the annual “Wilderness Art Festival“ attracts many visitors. There is music, handicrafts and regional specialties. Smaller events such as art markets and concerts are also part of cultural life.


Coastal road trip
Coastal road trip Photo by Scott Fletcher on Unsplash


Tips for car travelers in Wilderness South Africa

There are plenty of parking options in Wilderness in South Africa, and I particularly like the parking spaces near the beach. These are usually free and easily accessible. You can often find parking spaces near the main attractions. I recommend arriving early as these spots fill up quickly, especially at the viewpoints.

The roads in and around Wilderness in South Africa are well developed, but often winding and narrow. Drive carefully and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. It can get crowded, especially in high season, so allow enough time for your journeys.

As everywhere in South Africa, the following applies in Wilderness: Do not leave any valuables visible in the car and always lock your vehicle. Even though Wilderness is a safe place, caution is advised.


Knysna Heads
Knysna Heads photo by Sudarshan Bhat on Unsplash


Day trips from Wilderness

Wilderness in South Africa is perfect for day trips and exploration, with nearby attractions such as Knysna, George and Tsitsikamma National Park offering exciting opportunities. In Knysna I enjoy the picturesque lagoon and the famous Heads. George, known for its golf courses, is also worth a visit. Tsitsikamma National Park offers spectacular coastal scenery and hiking trails.

Adventurous activities make exploring the region even more exciting, as zip-lining in the Tsitsikamma Forest is a special experience. The zip lines lead through the treetops and offer breathtaking views. Kayaking on the calm waters of the Wilderness and Knysna lagoons is also recommended. Anyone who loves mountain biking will find many interesting routes in the area, as the trails in the Garden Route National Park in particular are challenging and varied.

Photography hotspots along the Garden Route are numerous, and I particularly like stopping at Dolphin's Point, where there are impressive views of the sea. The “Map of Africa” viewing point also offers spectacular photo opportunities, as the lighting conditions here are ideal, especially in the early morning or late afternoon.

Conclusion on wilderness in South Africa

Wilderness in South Africa offers numerous highlights for car travelers and connoisseurs. The journey along the Garden Route is an experience in itself. I particularly like the luxurious hotels with views of the Indian Ocean and the charming guest houses. Each accommodation has its own charm.

The many activities in Wilderness make your stay varied. Long beach walks and hikes are perfect for enjoying nature. If you're looking for adventure, you can try out zip-lining or kayaking. Bird watching at the Touwsrivier lagoon is always fascinating.

Wilderness also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. The top restaurants spoil you with regional specialties and wines. Visiting the markets and delicatessens is a must for foodies.

My personal recommendation is a relaxed road trip with lots of breaks to fully enjoy the beauty of the landscape. Fill up at larger locations to avoid surprises and allow enough time for the journey.

Overall, Wilderness is a place that always offers new experiences. The mix of nature, adventure and enjoyment makes every trip unforgettable. Wilderness remains a favorite destination on the Garden Route for me.


How long should you stay in Wilderness to see the top attractions?

A stay of three to five days is ideal for experiencing the top sights and activities in Wilderness. This gives you enough time for beach walks, hikes and exploring the surrounding attractions.

What time of year is best to visit Wilderness?

The best time to visit Wilderness is between October and April when the weather is warm and pleasant. During this time you can enjoy outdoor activities and nature to the fullest.

Are there guided tours you can book in Wilderness?

Yes, there are many guided tours in Wilderness. You can take part in guided hikes, bird watching or kayak tours. Excursions to the Tsitsikamma National Park or Knysna are also offered.

Is it good to travel with children in Wilderness?

Wilderness is a great family destination. There are many child-friendly activities such as beach walks, wildlife viewing and boat rides. Many accommodations also offer family-friendly facilities.


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Arrival to Wilderness South Africa

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Source Wilderness South Africa: own research on site. This trip was not sponsored. Our opinions definitely remain our own.

Text Wilderness South Africa: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs as well as TravelWorldOnline and Unsplash

Wilderness in South Africa: discover the wild beauty

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

13 thoughts too "Wilderness in South Africa: discover the wild beauty"

  1. The pictures are very impressive! South Africa has not been so much of a focus for me yet, but you have good reasons why that should change.

  2. Wilderness: That's where I come from time to time. And although the Kaff is so small, there is still something to see around it.
    Especially the long sandy beach has done to me. And in the past, of course, the steep coast, where I flew for hours paragliding.
    More wilderness, of course, on my blog, which, admittedly, is a bit "South Africa-heavy".

    1. I think the beach is great too! Very varied with the kilometer-long sandy beach section and the rough cliff section at the other end. But I also like the lagoon of Wilderness.

  3. When I see the pictures like this, the wanderlust gets me packing again, even though the last trip to South Africa was only 6 weeks ago. However, this time we were not in Wilderness, but on the beach of Brenton on Sea.

    1. I have already looked at your photos. I do not know the beach of Brenton on Sea. Maybe I'll come to the Garden Route again. Then it is also on my itinerary.

  4. The wild coast of South Africa with whales and seabirds, I've seen more often in nature films and was thrilled. A trip to South Africa will probably be a dream forever. All the better is it to read inspiring blogs like these by Monika and Petar, which stimulate my imagination.

    1. With documentary films from such regions, our travel addiction started many years ago, Andreas :). She has not let go of us since then.

  5. My South Africa trip has been more than 10 years ago. But I can still remember the wave experience you described. Almost naive, I stomped into the water and was surprised with what force the waves took me in reception. With more humility then the next trips went into the water!

    1. I can well imagine. On my travels, I used to go to this beach more often, and the sea gave me proper respect at this point. I preferred to climb over the cliffs and watched the wave spectacle from a safe distance :)

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