Western Cape, South Africa
Lying in a fertile, rich valley, surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountains, forests, rivers and prosperous farmlands, George lies just 420 km from Cape Town and 320 km from Port Elizabeth, making it a perfect stopover from which to explore the Garden Route.
Regarded as the administrative capital of the Southern Cape, George is a rather big town with a sophisticated infrastructure. It has redressed its former image of an industrial town to that of a major tourist mecca - not hard to do when you have two of the top ten golf courses in South Africa, theatres, a wide expanse of forest, rivers and the Indian Ocean on your doorstep.
If history is to be believed, then this beautiful part of the world was only explored in 1688, well after Dias had landed in Mossel Bay in 1488, in the hope of finding meat and fresh water. To the Khoi people, who lived in this rich valley, the region was known as Outeniqualand - the ‘land of milk and honey’ - which aptly describes this lush and green paradise. A settlement was established here in 1811 and named George Town after the reigning monarch of England at the time.
George has always been an easy-going hamlet, with a laidback approach that allows one to easily enjoy the beauty of the natural setting. Hikes in and around George provide a number of wonderful views over George and the coast and expose one to the indigenous fynbos of the area. These include the three routes of the Groene Weide forest walks, starting at Saasveld College at the northern point of one of the golf courses and George Peak and Cradock’s Peak trails, difficult walks but worth it for the sheer magnetism of the views.
Fondly known as ‘cold and wet’, after their car registration - CAW - George is anything but. The moderate climate makes George ideal for outdoor adventure all year round and activities include: fishing, hang-gliding, diving, water skiing, cycling, canoeing, climbing, sailing, windsurfing and surfing.
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