Nature Reserves near Wilderness
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and are not necessarily the actual travelling
Little Brak(50.1 km from Wilderness)
Home to rhino, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, eland, bontebuck and numerous antelope, Botlierskop provides visitors the opportunity to view free roaming wildlife from the safety of 4x4 vehicles in the Garden Route.
Named for one of the dramatic rock formations on the reserve, the beautiful setting is also the sanctuary for two elephants that joined the Botlierskop team, Sam and Tsotsi, rescued orphans from the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe. Guests are able to experience riding on elephant back and interacting with these remarkable creatures.
Knowledgeable guides share the wonders of Botlierskop and up close encounters with four rescued and rehabilitated lions, rhino, buffalo, giraffe and many of the 1 800 animals.
Knysna Quays(50.6 km from Wilderness)
Only accessible by ferry, Featherbed Nature Reserve is a privately-owned unspoiled headland at the Western Head of the Knysna Lagoon. Visitors young and old will thoroughly enjoy embarking on a spectacular four-hour eco-experience to this exquisite little corner of the Garden Route. This outdoor experience includes a return ferry trip, nature drive, guided walk and a lavish buffet lunch at the Food Forest Restaurant. Access to the reserve is strictly controlled and visits are only permitted in the company of the Featherbed Nature Reserve's specialist guides.Starting with a 25-minute ferry cruise, your local guide will share intriguing tales about the Knysna Lagoon, early shipping industry and Knysna’s oyster cultivation.The cruise is followed by a 4x4 drive to the top of the Western Head where supreme views of the lagoon, mountains and Knysna can be seen. After the drive, you have the option of walking a 2.2 kilometre downhill guided nature trail. This fun family outing ends with with a blowout buffet lunch at the popular Knysna restaurant under the milkwood trees.The four-hour excursion departs daily from Knysna Waterfront. Bookings are essential.
Oudtshoorn(85.4 km from Wilderness)
Nestled between the Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountains in the Klein Karoo, this remote mountain reserve is definitely worth a visit.
Most folk who venture to Gamkaberg Nature Reserve come to soak up the peace and tranquillity. The best season to go is in spring although any time of the year is worthwhile.
Part of the Cape Floral Kingdom which boasts one of the richest floras on earth, Gamkaberg is a botanists paradise. Here you will find four of the South African biomes – Fynbos, Succulent Karoo, Subtropical Thicket and Evergreen Forest.
Home to the endangered Cape mountain zebra, honey badger and leopard, the reserve is an important refuge for rare Western Cape wildlife. Other animals you can spot include eland, red hartebeest, grysbok, grey rhebuck, klipspringer, duiker, steenbok, baboon, caracal, aardvark, aardwolf, black backed jackal and many small mammals. The reserve is also host to numerous birds, reptiles and insects.
Day trippers can look around the information centre, meander through the labyrinth, explore the short footpaths and use the picnic or braai spots. Open daily from sunrise to sunset.