With its ‘no hurries, no worries’ motto, even parents can’t help tapping into their inner child in Mossel Bay. The Dias museum complex, consisting of seven museums, showcases a life-size replica of the Portuguese explorer’s famous navigational ship from 1488 when he sailed into Mossel Bay.
Also in the complex, a shell museum, an ethno-botanical garden, an aquarium and the famous Post Office Tree, where in 1500, a letter of adventures to India was left in a shoe under the tree and so it became the ‘post office’ point. With cultures ranging from Portuguese to Khoi-san, Afrikaans to English, it provides an entertaining diversion for children to learn history and the adventures of explorers over the years. Add to this miles and miles of beautiful beaches, a visit to seal island, whale watching, tidal pools and the point lighthouse built in 1864. You will be pushed for time to see it all.
With its perfect climate, Wilderness is the ideal destination for nature-loving families consisting of lakes, estuaries, rivers and pristine coastline. Water sports include canoeing and ferry cruises or one of the many motorised sports. Wildlife activities are abundant from fishing, horse riding, dolphin and bird watching to exploring the many nature trails.
A visit to the Woodville Tree is a must, estimated to be about 800 years old with its excellent picnic facilities where families can relax and enjoy nature. A drive and short hike takes you to the Map of Africa for an exciting viewpoint of the stunning Wilderness coastline, followed by a walk along the boardwalk while spotting dolphins and whales below. The Wild Oats Farmers’ Market offers an explosion of flavour, sights and smells. Over 60 stalls of locally fresh produce and live music to keep you entertained. The kids will love the fresh pancakes, muffins, koeksisters and other sweet delights. And all of this under the fairytale trees of the forest!
Presenting a playground of beaches, mountains, forests, lakes and rivers, Knysna is a unique experience for young and old. A visit to the Elephant Park, Monkeyland, The Wolf Sanctuary and the Eden Bird Park will leave your children in awe of nature and sleeping soundly at night after fun filled days.
A visit to Knysna would not be complete without a trip to the western head of Knysna on the famous Featherbed Ferry. A four hour adventure begins with the ferry ride to the heads, a nature drive in a 4×4 followed by a guided walk while learning about the ecology and history of Knysna. En route, you will discover sandy coves and caves, stopping at a magnificent viewpoint from the cliffs before finishing off with a sumptuous buffet lunch in the forest. For the more adventurous you can quad bike or mountain bike through some of the forest’s mystical trails, or for something calmer, a visit to the waterfront, especially at night when the restaurants and shops come alive for the tourists.
With so much to explore and discover along the Garden Route, it’s hard to choose where to start or what to do, but it’s guaranteed fun for the whole family and will be a special holiday each time you go!