Garden Route South Africa

Another trip off the bucket list.. Wilderness National Park, South Africa


This was my first multiple nights’ road trip with Rosie back in 2013.

End of April I went with Rosie for 3 nights to the Wilderness National Park. I LOVE this area and had been without my baby, last year. A friend of mine was supposed to come with as well but she had to cancel last minute. So I doubted for a bit: Should I stay or should I go? I REALLY had been looking forward very much to this weekend so I decided to go and make it as uncomplicated as possible.
When going away with friends, we always love to bring loads of delicious food and have a braai in the evening. I didn’t see myself braaiing while keeping an eye on Rosie so I decided to have very simple meals, or actually just go out for an early dinner. Since I do love road-trips and I love the farmstalls along the N2, I was already looking forward to make my regular stops at Peregrine Farmstall in Grabauw for their delicious apple juice and at Houwhoek Farmstall for their gourmet quiches. Voila!! Dinner organized!!

From Cape Town to Wilderness is about 4.5 hours so I needed to make stops for Rosie to let her stretch her legs. The first long stop was at the beautiful Bloomestate in Swellendam where I had a catch up with Carla and Maarten, the owners of the guesthouse. Rosie was VERY hungry by the time we stopped, so it was a little bit too long….

I decided that on the way back, I should just take my time and not think it would just take me 4.5 hours but rather 6 or so.

In Wilderness NP I had booked a Forest Hut with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom. There’s a little lounge as well and a sundeck overlooking the mountains. Very beautiful. With my baby, it is a little bit of a hassle that you have to get up the stairs but it is not impossible. I should have brought Rosie’s high chair because I couldn’t attach my DIY fabric high chair to any of the chairs in the hut. The bath was wonderful!! Of course, I never use a bath (I mean I shower…) but for Rosie it is perfect. I could bath her with no hassle.

There’s quite a range of different accommodation. You can camp, have a family home or book a hut with shared ablution blocks. So there’s something for each wallet. I always think the South African National Parks are a wonderful way to travel and get to know the country. I’ve never been disappointed in the facilities and it makes me really feel like I’m a local too, haha!! Check the web site and go away for a weekend somewhere in your area.

The next morning I had lovely breakfast at Interlaken Guesthouse, which is run by Kevin & Elsie, my surrogate South African parents, I would say. They’d just become grandparents so they were over the moon to meet Rosie. Interlaken overlooks the lake district of South Africa and Kevin and Elsie will pamper you with delicious breakfasts, lovely chats and if you ask him nicely, Kevin might cook up a storm as well. SO nice to see them again! It had been way too long. The guesthouse is perfect for couples, friends travelling or families with older children. There are too many stairs for small kids. Elsie would be too nervous.

After sumptuous breakfast and lots of play time, we went back to the hut and chilled for a bit. Around 3 pm I felt I needed to go for a walk so I packed up Rosie in the Deuter and off we went into the forest. Gosh, it’s so stunning. I will keep coming back to this area because there’s just so much to do and see and explore.

The Views Hotel had been on my list to visit but I was disappointed. First time I got there, the restaurant was closed between 16h30 and 17h30, well that’s exactly the time that you want to enjoy… The Views of the Indian Ocean. It didn’t make sense to me. I went back the next day but I was just not impressed, not with the food, not with the service. Maybe on a Monday, there’s not much happening and high season things are different but I won’t rush back there.

One super nice discovery was Timberlake Organic Village which is just past Wilderness on the left hand side on the way to Sedgefield. I went there for lunch and had a delicious burger with sweet potato fries. Staff was super friendly and helpful and the food is just GREAT!! Would have loved to spend more time and explore some other stalls but there always needs to be a reason to come back to a place.

I think Rosie and me, we travel quite well. I love exploring with her and experiencing what works and what doesn’t.