Tag Archives: garden route

Fruit and Food at the Outeniqua Family Market in George (2020-01-04) Markets | Photo Gallery 20 MAY 2020

Out and about on the Garden Route, and not to be outdone by Sedgefield’s hugely popular Wild Oats, Mosaic, and Scarab Saturday morning markets, George too is home to a pretty impressive and rather enjoyable family market experience in the form of the excellently kitted out Outeniqua Family Market.

Rated as one of the top 5 things to do in George on Tripadvisor, the Outeniqua Family Market is open every Saturday from 08:00 to 14:00. Featuring more than 150 food and craft stalls, the market actually takes a fair time to wander through and peruse all the admittedly quite interesting stalls. From food to fresh produce to plants (there is in fact a full nursery hiding in there) to arts and crafts, there is literally something here for everyone.

The big trees provide plenty of shaded seating areas, there is always some live music to entertain (on this particular visit we watched a local Country music act perform), and pleasingly parking is abundant and not a headache at all. For the kids there is a massive play park, a Boere train ride, pedal cars, ponycycle rides, face painting, sand are and bunnies, or just let them walk your own dog seeing as the whole market is actually pet friendly!

This particular outing (part of our last December holiday in Mossel Bay) was the first time that any of us had visited the Outeniqua Family Market before, and I have to say that we left quite impressed (plus with juicy watermelon in hand). So much so in fact that Chantelle has gone on record as saying that the next time we are holidaying along the Garden Route she may just forgo the “usual must go to Wild Oats” trip through to Sedgefield in favour of this slightly shorter hop to George! :)

The Lowering Bridge at the Waterfront at Knysna Quays (2020-01-08) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 MAY 2020

Chantelle and I decided to take the girls out on the Knysna Lagoon as part of our late December School Holidays getaway down in the Garden Route, and so following a delightful morning of meandering through Sedgefield’s vast Saturday morning market scene of Wild Oats, Mosaic, and Scarab Village, we continued the scenic drive that had taken us all the way from Mossel Bay to George to Sedgefield to Wilderness and finally to Knysna, ending up right in front of the Featherbed Co.’s ticket office at the Knysna Waterfront.

Part of the idyllic Knysna Quays, a recreational harbour complex complete with waterfront and accommodation offerings, the Knysna Waterfront is yet another fantastic Knysna destination with its picturesque views over the lagoon, its pretty design aesthetic, its colourful selection of eateries, and of course its rich selection of boutique shopping. Perfect tourist fodder really.

Given that we don’t really ever plan these outings very well, we had some time to kill before our Featherbed ferry was to depart, and so we meandered through the Waterfront area, peeking into the shops, taking LOTS of photos, and then finally grabbing a seat at the seemingly popular Italian-themed Caffe Mario for some refreshments and a light bite to eat – all the while watching the lowering bridge theatrically rise up and down to allow yachts and other little boats entry into the canals every now and then.

So definitely no complaints from and me certainly one of those perfect inhabited spots to soak up some vibe and while away a little time on such a strikingly beautiful Summer’s day.

Arts and Crafts at the Mosaic Village and Outdoor Market in Sedgefield (2020-01-04) Markets | Photo Gallery 15 APR 2020

Sedgefield. After purchasing all your fresh farm produce from the excellent (and famous) Wild Oats Community Farmers Market on a Saturday morning, your next step would undoubtedly be to simply cross the road and mosey in among the craft stalls of sister markets, the Mosaic Outdoor Market and the Scarab Village Craft Market.

The Mosaic Outdoor Market forms part of the Mosaic Village complex, a space mostly dedicated to art and sculpture businesses and its Saturday morning market offering strongly reflects this, with a large portion of the stallholders presenting the results of their artistic endeavours for sale.

Of course, all the other little odds and ends that you would expect from a market are also on sale, and to round off the offering, there are a few interesting food options as well. There’s a spacious space in the middle to sit down and enjoy a beer or two, and of course, given the general buzz of this part of Sedgefield on a Saturday morning, the vibe and bustle make for a great morning outing.

Right next door to the Mosaic Village (separated this time by an Engen garage) is the Scarab Art and Craft Village with its Saturday morning craft market, which is equally filled with a wide range of interesting art and textile products. Of course, the elephant dung paper, wooden owl boxes and the all important Sedgefield Craft Brewery all put on a strong show, and as with the Mosaic market, there is plenty of seating available for you to sit down and enjoy the hustle, as well as a small area to let the kids get rid of some of their pent up energy. (After all, it’s pretty boring going stall hopping if you’re a kid. Or at least that is what my two girls tell me!)

The Sedgefield market scene is incredibly strong and vibrant and the amount of visitors it attracts on a Saturday morning is truly something to behold. Something for literally everyone and you can easily lose yourself for an entire morning here among all the stalls. We kind of did.

Biltong and Pancakes at the Wild Oats Community Farmers Market in Sedgefield (2020-01-04) Markets | Photo Gallery 02 APR 2020

This past December holiday period saw us spending a bit of time up in Mossel Bay, and for one of our planned day excursions we decided to take the girls out for a boat trip to the Knysna Heads. Of course, getting to Knysna from Mossel Bay means passing through my beloved Sedgefield, and if you are going to be passing through Sedgefield on a Saturday morning then it is virtually impossible to ignore the massive throng of people turning off to pay a visit to the award-winning Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market.

Situated adjacent to the beautiful Swartvlei lagoon on the outskirts of Sedgefield, this 20 year old, world renowned farmers’ market was first launched back in 1999 and operates, come rain or shine, every Saturday morning from 08:00 (07:30 in Summer) to 12:00. The market brims with locally produced foods, free-range meats, cheese and dairy, bakes, and of course, fresh-from-the-field fruit and vegetables. There is also coffee and all sorts of breakfast on offer, so basically no reason at all to stay inside and make your own breakfast back home then.

The stalls are all neatly covered (i.e. there is no product sitting baking under the hot sun), there are loads of trees to provide enough shade where needed, and the constant buzz of people milling about or sitting and enjoying the company of friends and family over a good cup of coffee all swirls together to make for a wonderful vibe.

The market is pet friendly, and in general comes across as very earth friendly too, and certainly whatever it is doing it is getting right, because the amount of people visiting the area each and every Saturday morning is quite the sight to behold!

While fresh farm produce wasn’t really on our minds for this particular visit, hunting down delicious nibbles, pancakes and fresh fruit juice most certainly was, and on that mission front I’m pleased to announce that we had great success! (After all, this seems to be Chantelle’s natural environment!)

Pigeons and Parrots at Birds of Eden in Plettenberg Bay (2019-01-05) Nature and Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 25 DEC 2019

Wolves, snakes, elephants, monkeys, lions and tigers, the achingly scenic Crags area near Plettenberg Bay is home to a smorgasbord of wildlife sanctuaries, with one of our absolute favourites being the incredible Birds of Eden free flight sanctuary, home to 3,000+ birds comprising of more than 220 species. In other words there is a lot to see!

Birds of Eden has been around for quite a few years now and this large free flight sanctuary is a sight worth seeing. A small forest enclosed in a giant mesh tent, this wide open space allows all manner of rescued birds to thrive and survive, and in the process create an incredibly family friendly viewing experience.

A wooden walkway snakes through the enclosure allowing you plenty of close up opportunities to watch the birds feed, fly and play, and with so many of these animals coming from a life as caged pets or hand-reared/imprinted companions, most are quite content to hang around humans and have their picture taken. (No touching though!)

It is lush, it is humid, there is a great little cafe on the water to watch the water fowl from, and the incredibly burst of colours and constant bird calls that surround you all come together to make for a remarkable experience – one that Chantelle and I enjoy sharing with the girls as often as what we can.

Lions and Leopards at Jukani in Plettenberg Bay (2019-01-05) Nature and Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 15 DEC 2019

If you have kids then animal attractions always make for a big entertainment hit, and if you find yourself wandering about the Plettenberg Bay area, a glance at Google Maps will quickly confirm that you’re certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to animal sanctuaries!

Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary is all about big cats, so if you are keen to see a tawny lion, a white lion, a jaguar, a cheetah, a Siberian tiger, a Bengal tiger, a white tiger, a puma, a caracal, a leopard, and a serval cat all in one place, then Jukani has your back.

(For good measure, they also have a couple of zebra, springbok, a honey badger, and a tree full of American raccoons. Also a zorilla, otherwise known African polecat aka African skunk!)

After an initial stint in Mossel Bay, followed by a move to The Crags about 10 km out of Plettenberg Bay, Jukani has morphed into a proper wildlife sanctuary, providing a home and good care for these mostly rescued big cats that aren’t able to be released back into the wild ever again.

With a strict no touching, no breeding, and now no personifying names for the animals, Jukani focuses on conservation education and specifically on the plight of large predators in captivity.

The massive grounds allow for big forested enclosures which constant guided tours then snake through introducing you to each and every one of Jukani’s furry inhabitants. The girls enjoyed the experience (Jessica instantly bonded to our guide), we loved the fresh air and interesting sights, and of course, the thrill of hearing a lion vocalize around feeding time is something that one never really tires of hearing!

Fresh Farm Produce at Wild Oats Community Farmers Market in Sedgefield (2019-01-05) Markets | Photo Gallery 20 AUG 2019

There are a lot of weekend markets dotted around Cape Town and the winelands, but to be honest, very few (okay fine, Oranjezicht City Farm Market counts as one) are actual proper farmers’ markets. That said, even if there were a couple in easy reach of you, you would still be doing yourself a massive disservice if you never ever make the trip up along the Garden Route to Sedgefield, home of the multiple award-winning Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market.

Situated adjacent to the beautiful Swartvlei lagoon on the outskirts of Sedgefield, this 20 year old, world renowned farmers’ market was first launched back in 1999 and operates every Saturday morning from 08:00 to 12:00 (07:30 in Summer) come rain or shine. The market brims with the choicest locally produced foods, including all sorts of free-range meats, cheeses and dairy, bakes, and of course, fresh-from-the-field fruit and vegetables.

(And given the huge amount of locals and visitors who descend upon the market, there is a mass of vendors catering with a range of fresh breakfasts, coffee and other treats!)

The stalls are all covered, there are loads of trees to provide shade for everyone, and the constant buzz of people happily milling about or sitting and enjoying company of friends and family over a good cup of coffee (or pancakes like we did) makes for a wonderfully charming and vibey atmosphere.

The market is of course pet friendly, and if you want a little more visually, then the equally impressive Mosaic Outdoor Market at the Scarab Arts & Crafts Village is literally across the entrance from the Wild Oats Market.

It is fun, authentic and home to some truly delectable tastes of the Garden Route.

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Blacksmith Coffee and Sliders at Getafix Garden Cafe in George (2019-01-06) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 15 AUG 2019

George is the second largest city in the Western Cape, in order words, there can be a fair bit of hustle and bustle at times, meaning that the perfect place to grab a coffee and a bite to eat is somewhere that takes you away from all that busyness. Exactly why I like the Getafix Garden Cafe so much then.

Situated in a house on the grounds of the charming Garden Route Botanical Garden, this Asterix and Obelix themed eatery offers simple outdoor eating with a nice big kid (and dog) friendly lawn and a view of the magical Outeniqua Mountains in front of you.

If you don’t mind waiting (the kitchen is SUPER small), then the African Blacksmith coffee is particularly good, the menu fun, the vibe chilled, and of course whenever you feel like it, you can get up and stroll through the natural beauty of the botanical garden itself.

Oh, and they host an evening market every now and then too.

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Ferns and Forest in the Garden of Eden, Knysna (2019-01-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 29 JUL 2019

Halfway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay sits an ideal spot to introduce your kids to the gorgeous forests of the Garden Route National Park, a literal stop and stretch your legs point right along the N2 itself.

Part of the Harkerville Forest, the Garden of Eden is a long running site that has been welcoming visitors to its short shady paths since 1926. A superb example of the Wet High Forest biosphere, the Garden of Eden contains a number of moist ferns and tree species, including tall stinkwood, kalander, and wit-els.

The site only has about 1 km or so of wooden boardwalks to follow through the forest (arranged in two 500 m loops), making it particularly suitable for young kids, the elderly and of course the disabled. There are plenty of benches and tables scattered about, so you could also theoretically enjoy a nice picnic whilst watching all the moss and lichen grow.

During the day the site is manned (and so there is a small SANParks entrance fee to pay), and on the whole the Garden of Eden is a very well maintained and signposted taste of the Garden Route’s gorgeous nature.

So naturally we had to stop and take some pictures.

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