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In the heart of South Africa's famous Garden Route, a charming world of lakes, rivers, fens, estuaries and beaches gently unfolds against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains – all elements that characterise the Wilderness National Park. Nature trails wind through densely wooded forest and along tranquil rivers, affording you the opportunity to encounter the brilliantly coloured Knysna lourie, or one of the five kingfisher species that occur here. During the spring, a carpet of flowers, further enhancing the verdant beauty of this wetland national park surrounds the lakes.The tidal nature of the Touw River adjacent the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp exposes mudbanks that host Whitefronted Plover. The series of lakes connected by the Touw River (Eilandvlei, Langvlei and Rondevlei) host a variety of aquatic species and is an internationally proclaimed Ramsar site.
Major concentrations of Great Crested and Blacknecked Grebe are present on Rondevlei and Bo Langvlei. Grey and Purple Heron, Little Egret, African Spoonbill, Little Bittern and Redknobbed Coot are prominent. Wildfowl is prolific including Yellowbilled, Macoa and Whitebacked Duck, Cape Shoveler, Southern Pochard and Cape, Redbilled and Hottentot Teal.
There is a hide at Rondevlei, from where careful scanning of the reeds could produce Purple Gallinule, African Rail, Black and Baillon’s Crake. The Swartvlei Estuary immediately east of the Touw River lakes hosts many of the species listed above. It is also a better venue for viewing waders. Caspian Tern and Kelp Gull are prominent. The forested hillsides that surround the area are home to several raptors, including Cuckoo Hawk, Crowned Eagle, Forest Buzzard, Black and Redbreasted Sparrowhawk and African Goshawk. In the wooded kloofs of the Zuurberg, Crowned Eagles breed. Forest species typical of the Eastern Cape, such as Olive Bush Shrike, Yellowthroated Warbler and Cape Batis can also be searched for.
Rates Include:Accommodation and 15% VAT.Rates Exclude:Optional excursionsMeals
Gate Hours: Wilderness : Reception hours: 08:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 17:00December/January school holidays: 07:00 – 20:00 Office Hours: 08:00 to 16:00Climate: Temperate coastal climate with rain occurring throughout the year. September and October reflect the highest rainfall figures. The region enjoys sunny days for 50% to 60% of the year. Handy Hints: Remember to bring along bathing suit, angling equipment, hat, sun block, walking shoes, binoculars, bird and mammal reference books. Hikers must always carry sufficient water.Take Note: Pets are not allowed in a national park. Firearms must be declared at reception where they will be sealed. The seal will be broken upon departure. Medical, pharmaceutical, vehicle repair, fuel, post office and police services at Wilderness village (4 km).Wilderness is situated close to the N2 highway, 15 km from George, 315 km from Port Elizabeth and 415 km from Cape Town. The closest airport is at George, where car hire facilities are available. Access and internal roads are gravelled.Wheelchair access: Ebb and Flow Camp South has one accessible family cottage and one accessible forest cabin. The family cottage has a widened under-cover parking area and excellent ramped access. Inside, the open plan living area and kitchen is very spacious and the dining table has ample clearance underneath to accommodate a wheelchair users legs. Reaching items in the kitchen cupboards will be a problem and assistance may well be required. There are 2 bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with 2 singles. Both are fairly cramped for space. The bathroom has elbow taps on the basin, grab rails adjacent the toilet and a roll-in shower with a moveable bench to transfer onto. With only 2 solid walls, the grab rails in the shower are not ideally placed for balance, and some reconstruction is planned.To access the adapted forest cabin one must cross grass. The access ramp is quite steep as the cabins are on raised stilts, but once up to the level, everything is spacious. Individuals with mobility difficulties will have a choice between using the unit’s cramped ablutions or using the communal converted ablutions for campers, which is only a few metres away. The communal unisex ablution blocks have a well-designed roll-in shower, plus appropriate hand basin and toilet.Knysna National Lake Area: While the lagoon is a nationally protected area, there are no National Park facilities here other than the offices which have ramped entrance. There are several access opportunities in and around the town of Knysna itself. Daily Conservation Fees for 1 November 2014 to 31 October 2015
Members of SANParks’ loyalty programme
South African Citizens and Residents (with ID) ..........R32,00 per adult / R16,00 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport) ................................. R64,00 per adult / R32,00 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors) ........... R106,00 per adult / R53,00 per child, per day
South African Citizens and Residents (with ID) ..........R34,00 per adult / R17,00 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport) ................................. R68,00 per adult / R34,00 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors) ........... R112,00 per adult / R56,00 per child, per day