Wilderness is another small coastal town along the famous Garden Route in South Africa, and it was without a doubt, the best place I visited on my entire South African adventure. I stayed in one of the best hostels of my life and every single day was fun filled, active and adventurous. Fairy Knowe Backpackers has the potential to be overlooked by some backpackers who, like myself, are travelling without the luxury of a car, due to it’s slightly out of the way location. However it is this peaceful and tranquil locale which helps make it such a wonderful place to stay.
Set in an old Victorian-esque estate in the middle of a forest, Fairy Knowe is close to the starting points for almost all of the hiking trails in the area, can provide all meals, snacks and drinks for pretty reasonable prices, and is only a 30 minute walk to the town centre. The dorm bedrooms are clean, well kept and have small secure lock boxes; whilst the showers have some of the best water pressure that I have ever had in a hostel. The staff are helpful and honestly, the place is just plain brilliant.
On the bus ride from George to Wilderness, I had befriended a lovely German girl named Lisa, who would end up travelling with me for over a week. On our first day at Fairy Knowe we decided to spend the morning paragliding and the afternoon kloofing.
Cloudbase Paragliding offers tandem paragliding flights for around $50 AUD, which does seem a little pricey, but it is easily the cheapest paragliding company along the Garden Route. Unfortunately weather conditions did not allow us to take off from the famous Map of Africa spot, but we were still able to have a pretty gorgeous flight along the beach.
Next up was our kloofing adventure! Kloofing is the word used in South Africa to describe canyoning or canyoneering. Through our hostel we were able to find a newer company offering half day adventures for half the price (around $30 AUD) of the larger and more established companies. Floating down rapids, jumping and sliding off of rocks and scrambling across the top of waterfalls was a pretty amazing way to spend an afternoon and something that I would recommend to anybody that has the opportunity.
Nights spent in Wilderness: 3
Hostel: Fairy Knowe Backpackers
Don’t forget to pack: Insect repellant and sneakers
Perfect destination for: Escaping city life, adrenaline junkies and hiking fanatics
So tell me, my lovely readers, if you could only choose one, would you rather do the paragliding or the kloofing?