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Knysna – A seaside town close to my heart
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Knysna – A seaside town close to my heart

Growing up caravanning and camping in and near the little town of Knysna almost became a norm for me. I would visit every year during the school holidays, visit the town’s markets, picnic alongside the lagoon and enjoy the summer rainfall. Now that I’m travelling the world, it’s hard to believe that such a spectacular little place exists in the heart of the Garden Route only a few hours from Cape Town. Mountains, beaches, rivers and lagoons will leave you awe-struck and with many things to do. Here are some things to do in and around Knysna Knysna - A seaside town close to my heart ......
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Foo Bar Cafe in George
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Foo Bar Cafe in George

For a trendy spot at which almost nothing is predictable, Foo Bar Cafe in George is a definite winner. It is located between the SPAR and Virgin Active in the Heatherpark Centre, just off CJ Langenhoven, tucked away discreetly in the far corner. But, on entering, it is immediately a delight to the senses. It is light and airy, as the doors are all opened up onto the sheltered patio, allowing the sunlight and fresh air to drift inside. The décor is funky and eclectic, juxtaposing some crazy prints with classically simple black-and-white features, but giving neither the upper hand. Oversi...
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A Stopover in George at Outeniqua Travel Lodge – a review
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A Stopover in George at Outeniqua Travel Lodge – a review

George is sometimes nicknamed “Cold and Wet” in reference to its number plate (CAW) and its weather conditions, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when I meandered my way along the Garden Route in May and stopped over at Outeniqua Travel Lodge for the night. It was a glorious sunshiny day, even though this time of year is unpredictable. The stunning Outeniqua Mountain Range towers as the backdrop of the lodge, which is a very homely house situated in the suburbs of George. A friendly Jack Russell and the owner and manager, Sue, are the first to offer a welcome to this self-catering...
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Hiking Mossel Bay
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Hiking Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay is a growing town along the renowned Garden Route, which stretches between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape provinces of South Africa. It is an area of natural beauty, and it boasts an enormous variety of faunal and floral species. The hiking trails in and around Mossel Bay flaunt this beauty and allow visitors to experience it in a very personal, intimate way. Hiking Mossel Bay - These are some of the best hiking trails and facilities in the area The Hunter Gatherer Trail This is a four-day trail that extends along the untouched beaches and shoreline from Mossel Bay to t...
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Horse Riding in Mossel Bay
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Horse Riding in Mossel Bay

The Garden Route is home to a host of beautiful destinations that offer plenty in the way of things to do and see. Mossel Bay is a particularly well-known town along this world–famous route, and welcomes visitors from all around the world, who come here to enjoy the stunning sea views and laid-back atmosphere. One of the best ways to see and enjoy the landscape of Mossel Bay and its surrounds is on horseback. Those wanting to embark on horse riding in Mossel Bay need not be experienced, since qualified, trained guides are available to lead the way. Horse-riding experiences available i...
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Natures Valleys Best Kept Secrets
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Natures Valleys Best Kept Secrets

Natures Valley is an exquisite valley and forest (as well as a tiny community) that is tucked away from the hubbub, but easily accessible as it is perched along the world-famous Garden Route. It is part of the magnificent Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve as well as the De Vasselot Nature Reserve. Its local residents have worked hard to prevent urbanisation here, maintaining a quiet little village look and feel about the place. Nature’s Valley is popular amongst hikers and campers; those who enjoy the outdoors. These ones are invited to explore its hills and mountains, walk deep into its forests, ...
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Birds of Eden and Monkeyland Combined
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Birds of Eden and Monkeyland Combined

Birds of Eden and Monkeyland in Plettenberg Bay are owned and run by the dynamic Lara Mostert and Tony Blignaut. Although these facilities are designed for tourists to visit and enjoy, this committed team has as its main focus the safety and happiness of the animals. This commitment to their well-being makes Birds of Eden and Monkeyland very special experiences for nature-lovers. To allow visitors to get the most out of both of these facilities, a combined tour is made available. Ordinarily, an admission fee of R150 per person is applicable. However, if you opt for the combined tour, you pa...
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A few Reasons to visit Knysna
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A few Reasons to visit Knysna

Having grown up camping along the Garden Route, I am well acquainted with this seaside town with its lagoon and holiday vibe. When I think of Knysna, I honestly can’t forget road trips past the pine forests, warm rainy days and coffee in the town square. Here are some of my reasons to visit Knysna ... Visit before it becomes too developed Due to its popularity amongst South Africans and scours of tourists in the last decade, Knysna has become extremely developed in certain areas with a waterfront, more guesthouses and shops popping up along the main road. You could be driving along th...
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Things To Do In Tsitsikamma Forest
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Things To Do In Tsitsikamma Forest

The Tsitsikamma Forest is one of South Africa’s most beautiful resources, and visitors to the area are given ample opportunities to experience its splendour in a variety of different ways. Showcasing the Garden Route at its best, the Tsitsikamma Forest is surrounded by service providers that offer different ways in which to experience the breath-taking scenery. Here are some of the different options for Things to Do in Tsitsikamma Forest... Hiking There are a number of hiking trails and walks through the Tsitsikamma Forest. These vary in length and difficulty, but are usually quite ma...
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The Birds of Eden Experience
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The Birds of Eden Experience

Immerse yourself in the peaceful paradise of Birds of Eden – the largest single dome free-flight multi-species bird aviary in the world. Situated just outside Plettenberg Bay along the Garden Route, Birds of Eden is accessible and central, close to a number of other fabulous attractions. This makes it the ideal addition to your holiday itinerary. Our expectations were high, after hearing fantastic reports of this facility from so many different sources. Our experience did not disappoint. Birds of Eden and neighbouring Monkeyland were both established by Lara and Tony, who continue to hav...
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Lunch at Surval Boutique Olive Estate
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Lunch at Surval Boutique Olive Estate

It was the day after the wedding, so sleep had been minimal and of course we had danced the night away so stomachs were grumbling. It was also a birthday so we had more than enough excuses to head off into the town of Oudtshoorn for lunch. The day was a scorcher so I was really happy to be in an air conditioned car instead of my own which is almost like a sauna. We had driven past Surval on our way to Karusa Vineyards earlier in the week and had heard that is was a good spot for lunch. The restaurant at Surval Boutique Olive Estate is set on an olive estate and is a relatively new develo...
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Wine and Beer Tasting at Karusa Vineyards
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Wine and Beer Tasting at Karusa Vineyards

We went up to a wedding in December on my boyfriends’ family farm which is slap bang in between Oudtshoorn and George. It was a stunning week away and although incredibly hot as well as filled with wedding stuff we managed to get out and about and do some pretty wonderful things. You might think that Oudtshoorn doesn't offer much, but you would be wrong. This town was the home of ostrich farming, but after the bird flu and the ban on export the farming of these birds isn't as prevalent. This is my very basic understanding about the industry. People in the area have found new avenues and ven...
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Our Adventure in Monkeyland
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Our Adventure in Monkeyland

Aptly named, Monkeyland is a primate sanctuary nestled in the forests of the Garden Route. It was established by Tony and Lara, who also own and run Birds of Eden, situated right next door. Having the opportunity to have lunch with Lara on this occasion gave us a unique insight into the passion and dedication with which both facilities are operated. As animal-lovers, we were pleased to hear of the ‘no touching’ policy, which protects the primates (and select other animals living in the forest) from human interference and allows them the privacy, dignity and opportunity to be animals that t...
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Blackwater Tubing on Storms River
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Blackwater Tubing on Storms River

The word “tsitsikamma” comes from the ancient San people and means “place of abundant waters”. Exploring these waters is the perfect way to immerse yourself within the unspoilt beauty of this exquisite area. It was a sweltering day when the SA-Venues.com team decided to brave the deep Storms River waters and, apart from the obvious excitement, we were glad to be spending time in the cool waters too. We were greeted by our tour guides – Nico, Richard and Tait – who were full of fun and made the group of about 20 feel very comfortable and well-prepared. We were briefed for about 15 minute...
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Die Ou Tronk in Riversdale – A Most Unlikely Venue for a Farmers’ market
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Die Ou Tronk in Riversdale – A Most Unlikely Venue for a Farmers’ market

Riversdale (also known as Riversdal) is a farming town. As such it's used predominantly by folk who during the week are surrounded by cows, sheep, ostriches or wheat fields who come into town to stock up on goods and food, as well as a bit of society. Not that there is much to attract a visitor on first sight. The town's main tourist sell is the backdrop of the Langeberg and its location close to both Witsand and Still Bay, with access to places of natural beauty that include hiking trails and other outdoor pursuits. Riversdale, for those journeying through – the N2 bypasses the town...
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