Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We drove from Wilderness north to Oudtshoorn then on to Knysna in one day.  The main reason we were going to Oudtshoorn was to see the ostriches.  Well I wanted to see the ostriches.  Nick hates birds and would not go near them. 

There are also the Cango Caves to explore or the Cango Wildlife Ranch for animal lovers.

We only really drove through the town but I wouldn't recommend staying there.  It seemed very touristy and a lot of the hotels looked kind of rundown to me.

This was our guide

The ostrich giving a man a kiss

I'm getting a hug from the ostrich

And now I'm riding an ostrich!

Yes I'm falling off right here

Who doesn't love a face like that?

This part of the tour is called the ostrich "massage"

Nick is standing on an ostrich egg. This was the closest he got to an ostrich all day.

After the ostrich farm, we spent the afternoon driving the Swartberg pass over a 17 mile gravel road

There were stunning views

And locals having picnics

And finally we reached the top

There was a lonely picnic bench at the top

On the other side of the pass is Prince Albert.  Frommer's had told me this was a cute little village.  In reality we found it creepy.  The whole town looked deserted.  Not a single person walking on the downtown streets.  We had trouble finding somewhere to eat lunch.  Do not follow Frommer's advice to overnight in this town.  Stick to Wilderness or Knysna.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wilderness Manor Guesthouse

Wilderness Manor was another adorable guesthouse. Our main need was a location close to dinner at Serendipity.  Gerald and JD were the perfect hosts.  When we checked in they poured us welcome drinks and sat down to talk about all the activities and things to do in the area.  Since we were there on New Years Eve they provided every room with a bottle of champagne and came home from their party to ring in the new year with their guests.  They provided beach bags with towels and all the little things to make the guests feel like home.

We only stayed one night and I really regretted it - both because I loved the town and the guest house.  Wilderness Manor is a great place to base yourself for trips all along the Garden Route from Oudtshoorn to Plettenberg Bay.

Friday, March 25, 2011


So the real reason I chose to stopover in Wilderness is because there is an excellent local restaurant there named Serendipity.  It's in a large house right on the estuary and there's also a guesthouse.

It was New Years Eve so I wanted something a little special. It was also our third tasting menu in a row!  By this point I was only wearing clothes that had stretch in the stomach.

We were able to walk right down the street from our guesthouse.

When you arrive they take you out back where they explain the menu to you and you have a drink as the sun sets as you look out over the estuary.

This had prickly pear and champagne.

We decided to go with the wine pairings again.  They let you pick how many wine pairings you want, anywhere from 2 - 5 glasses and the waiter (who is the chef's husband) picks wines that will match the dishes.

Amuse bouche

The first dish we had a choice between a trio of tomato and smoked snoek.  We both chose the tomato.

Second course was cauliflower and blue cheese soup.

Third course was seared supreme of smoked trout.

Then a palate cleanser of berry and cap classique slurpie. Alcohol slushies?  Yes please!

Fourth course was a beef fillet.

Cheese course was a duet of cheeses.

We shared a port wine tasting as part of our wine pairings.

There were two dessert choices.  One was cape date and brandy pudding.

The other was cashew and white chocolate mousse.

I loved the homey and laid back atmosphere of this restaurant coupled with the wonderful food.  It's definitely worth a stop in Wilderness for.