Wilderness National Park, Garden Route. South Africa

Aerial view of the Wilderness National Park.
These watery havens of Wilderness National Park play host to a variety of aquatic species and has been proclaimed as a Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance). In the heart of the famous Garden Route, there is an amazing area of lakes, rivers, estuaries and beaches. Nature trails go through the wooded forest and rivers, giving you the chance to see the Knysna lourie or one of the 5 kingfisher species. In Spring Wilderness National Park abounds with flowers.

Consisting of a series of interconnected lagoons and coastal lakes this tiny (2,500 hectares) reserve is mostly wetland. Two of the lakes, Rondevleiand Langvlei, are bird sanctuaries that one can visit. Visitors can walk around and watch birds from the hides, but swimming and boating is not allowed.

The rest of the waterways are open to canoes and, in some places motor boats. There are some wonderful day walks, with fantastic birding and SAN Parks offers an escorted, self-catering three day hiking and canoeing trail.

The main rest camp, at Ebb and Flow offers accommodation ranging from camping and simple huts to very comfortable chalets. Some basic, self-catering hiking-style huts are also available. The park extends to the edges of the small town of Wilderness on the N2, about four of five hours drive from Cape Town and about four hours from Port Elizabeth.

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