450km from Cape Town along the N2, Wilderness was always one of the small towns we passed through on the way to Plettenberg Bay or Knysna on our family holidays.

I left booking accommodation for the Knysna Marathon 2011 a little late and had to book at a backpacker in nearby Wilderness. Talk about serendipity! This beautiful little town is sandwiched between steep hills and the ocean, with the N2 squeezing through the middle of it all.

I recently stayed here again for the inaugural X Lakes Summer race, and had an opportunity to paddle on the scenic Touw River as it winds its way from the beach past The Fairy Knowe Backpackers and Ebb and Flow Rest Camp and then along The Serpentine which snakes its way to Island Lake.

Where to stay

Beach House Backpackers This is my second experience of staying in a backpacker. I stayed here when I went up the Garden Route to run the 2011 Knysna Marathon. What an amazing place: massive deck, great bar, and the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep! I upgraded to a double which was absolute luxury.

Fairy Knowe Backpackers I have stayed here twice now, the first time in a lovely double room, and the second we simply camped in the grounds (R80 per person per night).

Ebb-and-Flow Rest Camp. This forms part of the Garden Route National Park run by SANParks and features chalets and camping on the banks of The Serpentine.

Where to eat

Pomodoro [S 33°59.645′, E 22°34.528′] “Inspired Italian Food”.  This is my favourite restaurant in Wilderness. I had a couple of awesome dinners as well as a superb breakfast here.
044 877 1403 | George Road

The Green Shed is a charming little coffee roastery in the same street as Pomodoro.

What to do

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