Canoeing in Wilderness with Eden Adventures

The Garden Route is a 300-kilometre stretch of the South African coastline which starts from Witsand in the Western Cape and ends at the border of Tsitsikamma Storms River in the Eastern Cape. Right in the middle of that stunning route, you’ll find the town of Wilderness. It is here where we recently decided to spend a relaxing week, exploring the quaint town, magnificent beaches and the forests which form part of the Garden Route National Park which also includes Tsitsikamma National Parks, the Knysna Lakes Area.

Inside the national park there is plenty of activities to enjoy from hiking, to mountain biking, abseiling, fishing and birding. But at its heart is the slow-flowing and wide Touws River and there is no better way to explore than by canoe. Anyone looking to spend a few serene hours paddling down the river’s waters should head to Eden Adventures, which is situated at the Fairy Knowe Hotel. This is where we came to, renting one of their double canoe options which comfortably sat us and our daughter, with a sealed bucket to keep our possessions dry.


wildernessWith a half day rental our route of choice was to the Touw River Waterfall. This is the most popular route, including about 40mins (3km) of paddling along the river and a further 40mins (2.5km) of walking on a boardwalk to a waterfall. Once at the waterfall there are a number of pools which are perfect for swimming. It is also a great spot for a picnic so be sure to pack some snacks to take along. Also don’t forget your camera and your binoculars as both the river and the walk offer up some great birding opportunities – you may even be lucky enough to spot the endemic Knysna Lourie.

garden-route-hikeFor those who want to spend longer on the water, there is the option for a full day canoe rental from Eden Adventures or even just a simple one hour on the water. Then you can choose from two other route options – the Island Lake Rout which is about a 1.5 to 2 hour (3.5km) paddle down the Serpentine River. At Island Lake you will find a picnic site and although the scenery on this route is not spectacular it is often good for birdwatching. The second route is The River Mouth route which is about a 30 to 40 min paddle to where the ocean meets the river.

You could even make a day of it and enjoy some of the other adrenaline-fuelled activities which Eden Adventures has to offer, such as kloofing and abseiling.


Leave a Reply