Category: <span>Tourism</span>

Garden Route and Klein Karoo Regional Tourism office is currently exhibiting at the World Travel Market Africa

Garden Route and Klein Karoo Regional Tourism Office is currently exhibiting at the World Travel Market Africa show in Cape Town. The Regional Tourism Office is exhibiting on stands P24 and Q23, together with the Local Tourism Offices: Plett Tourism, George Tourism, Oudtshoorn Tourism, Hessequa Tourism and Calitzdorp Tourism.

The following products are also exhibiting on the stands, namely: De Rusta Estates, Redberry Farm, Oubaai Hotel Golf and Spa, Destination Garden Route, Gourikwa Reserve, the Knysna River Club, Hog Hollow Trails and the Ocean Sailing Charters.

Visitors applaud Garden Route DM resorts after their 2018/2019 holiday stay

Employees of the Garden Route District Municipality (Garden Route DM) resorts were warmly commended by guests who visited one of the four resorts of Garden Route DM during the 2018/2019 summer holiday.  These resorts include: Swartvlei Resort, Victoria Bay Caravan Park, De Hoek Mountain Resort and Calitzdorp Spa.

Calitzdorp Spa

The Victoria Bay Caravan Park was fully booked from 15 December to 04 January, the Swartvlei Resort from 15 December to 2 January, De Hoek Mountain Resort was full from 24 December to 02 January and the Calitzdorp Spa was 65% booked from 24 December to 2 January.  This period is regarded as the most critical period of the peak season.

Swartvlei Caravan Park

“This year, visitors left from as early as 2 January, due to the early start of the schools,” Willie Fourie, Manager of Resorts at the Garden Route DM said.  “With regard to the use of alcohol, visitors were prohibited from using alcohol at the pool areas to ensure the safety of all,” Fourie added.

De Hoek Mountain Resort

Most guests described their stay as an “absolutely amazing experience” and the facilities and overall area as “neat, safe and as an area well-managed”.  Apart from the experience of the stay, the staff members at all resorts were commended for their friendliness and helpfulness. One of the visitors said:  “We felt safe all the time and really appreciated how well managed the entire area was”.

Victoria Bay Caravan Park

These four resorts are known for their diverse characteristics, practical and convenient locations and are liked by many for the quality of service they offer during a visitor’s stay.

Council and Management would like to extend a word of appreciation to all Resort staff for their continuous commitment and dedication to ensure that all visitors of the Garden Route DM resorts are well looked after.  Visitors to these resorts will always regard their stay as an experience which they will always remember.

A selection of reviews received from the visitors:

  • “Rarely do we appreciate the good that various government organisations are doing and I think that your establishment is definitely worth mentioning.”
  • “You called from your cell number and assisted us in such a wonderful and friendly manner, even though it was passed midnight.”
  • “Thank you for coming to check up on us on the Saturday as well, your efficiency and professionalism is truly the very reason the space is so well managed and kept so beautifully.”
  • “The facilities and location was really well maintained, the toilets were always clean and the grounds beautifully maintained.”
  • “Service staff were very friendly and helpful and always smiling and willing to help; even the law enforcement.  We felt safe all the time and really appreciated how well managed the entire area is.” 
  • “We aren’t regular campers and this has made the experience and the concept of camping really amazing and we thank you and all the various team members, it has really been one of many trips to a place that is so amazing.”
  • “Ons was baie goed ontvang en verwelkom deur kampeerders.”
  • “Hoop dit gaan die begin wees van vele vir ons…baie dankie.”
  • “Dankie vir ‘n netjiese en vredevolle kampterein :)”
  • “Thank you for an amazing five day stay. What a super friendly place… It has been a long time since we stayed in a caravan park and I loved it.”
  • “Ons het weer heerlik gekuier.”
  • “Again to you and your municipality well done!”

2018 Lights Festival – Mascots Galore for Children

The 2018 Lights Festival will have a jam packed programme running for children with appearances by four of George’s favourite mascots.  Georgie from GO GEORGE says he is the most famous selfie personality in George and is always ready to brighten up your photo with his friendly smile! He loves to tell children all about the marvelous GO GEORGE bus service. Smartie is the new kid on the block and Georgie’s best friend forever. He says he is not such a selfie celebrity yet, but he is  really a bit smarter than Georgie, so it’s okay. Smartie says his  job is to help people understand how to work the new Smart Card. Daantjie Kat loves road safety and he has been teaching children how to use road and where it is safe to play for over 15 years in George.  And the very newest super hero in George will be there as well – Rocky the Recycling Rooster  is a recycling hero and he teaches children all about how cool it is to recycle  their rubbish!

Come and meet your favourite characters from 2pm – 5pm in the cordoned area next to the George Tourism office. Entrance is from York Street. Fun galore for every ages with jumping castles, face painting and other exciting activities. Parents must accompany under age children and Community Development officials identified by orange bibs with name tags will be present to assist on the day.

The youth programme will start on the main stage from 2pm with the Classic Programme starting at 5pm. The switching on of the Festive Season Lights will take place at 8pm followed by a performance by  Emo Adams.

York Street between Hibernia / Langehoven and Courtenay Streets as well as a portion of Cathedral Street will be closed from 12pm in order to ensure the safety of all. Directional signage will be in place. A number of stalls will be available throughout the day from 2pm selling food and other items.

Chantel Edwards-Klose

George Municipality    Manager: Communications

Tel: 044 801 9160 /  082 350 2420


Tourists welcome in George, Wilderness and Uniondale

The George, Wilderness and Uniondale Tourism Offices confirm and assures business travellers and tourists that we are open for business.  Communities along the Garden Route have been affected by devastating wildfires, but the situation is under control and service delivery has not been affected.

Our towns are fully functional and ready to assist with tour groups and visitors to the areas.  The George Airport is operational, and all the major roads including  the N2, Montagu Pass, Outeniqua Pass and N9 from George to Uniondale are open.

For more information about things to do in the area, please contact our Tourism Offices:

George Tourism                   044 801 9295

Wilderness Tourism            044 877 0045

Uniondale Tourism              044 752 1076

For official updates about the recent wildfires in the region, visit the following page: or

Press Release issued by George Municipality

Photograph Credit: Cloudbase Paragliding.

We are still open for business – travelers encouraged to visit our region

The Garden Route and Klein Karoo Regional Tourism office hereby confirms and assures the travel trade, business interests, government and the public that we are open for business. Communities in and around Knysna, George and Hessequa area have been affected by devastating wildfires, but we confirm that the situation is under control. Humanitarian work has commenced in all the affected areas and displaced families are being well looked after.
All the towns in the region are fully functional and ready to assist with tour groups and visitors to the areas.
For more information about things to do in each town, please contact the following Local Tourism Offices:
Knysna Tourism 044 382 5510
Mossel Bay Tourism 044 619 2202
George Tourism 044 801 9295
Plettenberg Bay Tourism 044 533 4065
Ladismith Tourism 028 551 1378
Oudtshoorn Tourism 044 279 2532
Hessequa Tourism 028 713 7829
Calitzdorp Tourism 044 213 3775
To see what the Garden Route & Klein Karoo has on offer, visit:
For official communication about wildfires in the region, “like” the following page:

02 November 2018 No hiking or feeding of Wildlife allowed after fires in the Garden Route

Media Release – urgent notice
Issued by CapeNature

02 November 2018

Due to the recent fires in the Garden Route, CapeNature is requesting that communities living adjacent to the burnt areas support the recovery of wildlife by monitoring the condition of species and to report any injured animals to CapeNature as soon as possible. It would be very helpful if the following information can be provided to CapeNature when an injured animal is found:

– Exact locality of where the injured animal has been found/spotted (GPS position if possible)

– Correct species identification (as far as possible)

– Brief description of the injuries to the animal

– If possible photographic evidence or video footage should be taken so that the correct information is made available to the Official for the most appropriate treatment.

Do not approach an injured animal or put yourself in any danger, the public can rather contact the CapeNature George Regional Office (044) 802 5300 for any wild animals found or the Outeniqua Nature Reserve on 087 087 4151 if animals are found inside Outeniqua Nature Reserve.

No feeding of wild animals

The residential areas that border the Outeniqua mountains have experienced human-wildlife conflict for many years (especially with baboons) and therefore CapeNature is not supportive of placing out feeding stations as this will enhance conflict situations in the future.

A habitat assessment will be undertaken to determine the availability of remaining habitat for wildlife as soon as the Garden Route District Disaster Management has given clearance to CapeNature to enter the burnt areas. At this stage the area is still ‘a no go zone’ due to areas still smouldering and deep hot ash.

Wild animals will naturally move to alternative habitat if there is available habitat, by feeding wild animals you are firstly keeping them from a natural evacuation of the area and secondly make them dependent on feeding stations. As soon as the habitat assessment is completed, the situation will be reassessed.

Help by assessing and reporting – not feeding!

It is therefore advisable that the condition of wildlife be monitored rather than fed by the public. We should support wildlife by allowing corridors in order to allow them to move freely, driving carefully along public roads, and ensuring that our pets do not get the opportunity to chase wildlife that graze/browse closer to residential areas.

Please drive carefully, road verges also provide food for wildlife such as small antelope and primate species as these areas are often intact and are good for grazing/browsing and will be feeding close to the road.

Please stay out of natural areas – no hiking

We ask that the public refrain from accessing any natural areas in the George/Knysna region where there are still active or smouldering fire lines. These areas continue to have a high fire danger risk so please help us keep everyone safe!

Issued by CapeNature

Urgent Notification: Visitors travelling to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo region


Due to the recent wildfires in and around the Garden Route region, it is recommended that all visitors that are planning to travel to region delay their trip to the next week.  Severe weather conditions have been predicted for Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay today and tomorrow.

Smoke due to wildfires affects the visibility and air quality which adversely affect the tourism industry. Not all the fires in the Garden Route have been contained.

Please note the following:

  • Outeniqua pass has been reopened;
  • Montagu Pass remains closed until further notice; and
  • Robinson Pass has reopened following a felled tree near Ruiterbos.

Outeniqua pass currently have teams clearing debris from wildfires and wind. Motorists are advised to proceed with caution and be aware of possible falling of rocks and trees.

We would like to assure all tourists that are planning to travel to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo that once safety is guaranteed that updated communication will be shared.

Please follow all relating news feeds on our social media pages:

For any assistance with the above matter, please contact:

Garden Route District Emergency Call centre at tel: 044 805 5071


Garden Route and Klein Karoo Tourism office  at tel: 044 803 1427

Eden DM a helping hand in hospitality and tourism training

The François Ferreira Academy, in collaboration with Eden District Municipality (Eden DM), held a graduation ceremony in February for aspiring chefs of the district who completed a 3-month Cater Care Programme. Eight (8) Youth benefited from this initiative which seeks to address the skills gap and the high unemployment rate. The programme provides culinary skills training and a ‘foot in the door’ of the domestic hospitality and tourism labour markets.

Councillors and students at the official handover of Cater Care Certificates.

Eden DM Council committed R200 000 to the roll-out of the training which was facilitated by the Francois Ferreira Academy. The Eden DM Garden Route and Klein Karoo and EPWP Units, coordinated and mobilised the trainees through a formal recruitment and selection process. EPWP is responsible for ensuring that students get a temporary job which runs parallel to the Cater Care Training, and they provide stipends to Youth during their studies.

Executive Mayor of Eden District Municipality, Cllr Memory Booysen during his keynote address to the students who completed their Cater Care course through the Francois Ferreira Academy.

Interviews with applicants took place on 07 September 2017 at the Francois Ferreira Academy in George. Applicants were recruited from the Great Brak River area with the assistance of the Great Brak River Youth Café and a Non-Government Organisation – Wonderful South Africa.  During an official graduation ceremony, which was held at the Great Brak River Youth Café, Cllr Cliffie Bayman, on behalf of the Executive Mayor of Mossel Bay Municipality, welcomed all those present and thanked Eden DM for their enabling role and commitment to an excellent programme.

Councillors from Eden DM and Mossel Bay with the Principal Francois Ferreira. FLTR: Cllr Jerome Lambaatjeen (Eden DM Portfolio Chairperson, Financial Services), Cllr Joslyn Johnson (Eden DM Portfolio Chairperson, Property Management and Development), Cllr Erica Meyer (Eden DM Portfolio Chairperson, Strategic Services), Chef Francois Ferreira (Principal, Francois Ferreira Academy), Cllr Liza Stroebel (Eden DM Councillor), Cllr Memory Booysen (Eden DM Executive Mayor of Eden DM), Cllr Rosina Ruiters (Eden DM Deputy Executive Mayor and Portfolio Chairperson, District Economic Development and Tourism), Cllr Cliffie Bayman (Mossel Bay Councillor), and Cllr Isaya Stemela (Eden DM Portfolio Chairperson, Corporate Services).

Chef François Ferreira, Principal of the Francois Ferreira Academy, in his address said: “Today you are picking the fruits of your labour, this is only the beginning. Now is the start of a gruelling task of finding permanent employment. The path forward will not always be easy, but try to stay in the straight and narrow, because it comes with many twists and turns – I am confident that you will all get there”.

Eden DM Deputy Mayor Cllr Rosina Ruiters encouraged the successful students not only to seek employment but to create more jobs by starting businesses and becoming entrepreneurs. She concluded by pleading to students to register on Government’s Central Supplier Database.

Eden DM Executive Mayor Cllr Memory Booysen, who delivered the keynote address, said that the occasion reminded him of a time when he was working in the hospitality industry. “You are in the right trade; I would like to see you all provide food to communities by opening or starting your own businesses. It’s not always about money, but about your passion, if you remain focused and positive you will be recognised and rewarded,” said Cllr Booysen.

Ms Denise Lindley (Vice Principal and business partner, Francois Ferreira Academy) and Mr Francois Ferreira (Principal) with the Cater Care Students after they officially graduated.

Students who successfully completed their Cater Care Training:
• Annelise Brits, Claudine Wuys, Enslin van Hagt, Ingrim van Niekerk, Rolande Cameron, Renice Roelfse, Sherilee Minnie and Waldo van Heerden.