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"A small town with a big heart and stunning views of the Outeniqua Mountains"

Welcome to George, also known as the "The Gateway to the Garden Route". The town is 8 km away from the coast and there are also very beautiful coastal areas quite close where you can go for the day or even camp out for a few nights if you want to.

George is situated beneath the magnificent Outeniqua Mountain range, and surrounded by a remarkable blend of rivers, rich farmlands, forests and wild flowers. Its stunning scenery is a major attribute of the town. George is a very nice town with a comfortable, small-town ambience. The mountains play a huge part in the beauty and drama of the region. Everywhere you go, whichever way you turn, you can see the mountains.

George has much to offer - a city-like infrastructure but it doesn't forget its small town roots.



Victoria Bay, George

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Like most towns in South Africa, you're struck by the sense of spaciousness in George - you never feel cramped or hemmed in because the streets are wide, the white buildings add to the sense of space, and there's colour everywhere with lots of flowers and trees.

South Africa is a multi-lingual country and until recently the two 'official' languages were English and Afrikaans. The majority of people in George are Afrikaans-speaking, but all Afrikaners can speak English, because English is a required subject at school. Similarly, most English-speakers in South Africa can speak Afrikaans. [Afrikaans is like a cross between Dutch and German, with some bastardised English thrown in.]

George has a very good selection of shops, including Woolworths, which is not like Woolworths in the UK - it is more the equivalent of Marks and Spencer. Many people from the surrounding regions go to George to do their shopping.

Much of the town is laid out in city-block fashion, east/west and north/south, making it very easy to find your way about. George has many coffee bars and restaurants catering for different tastes and also some cheerful outdoors cafes and restaurants. One cafe well worth visiting is Dulce Continental Café and Coffee Shop: It specialises in traditional, home-made Italian ice cream and offers 18 different flavours. That's the diet out the window!

George has superb golf facilities and was the venue for the first ever Presidents Cup to be played outside the United States. The 2003 event attracted all the big stars and a few ex-presidents!

George also has theatres and five cinemas.

The town of George was established in about 1810 as a woodcutter’s outpost which supplied timber to the Cape Colony. Nowadays, you can still relive this flourishing timber industry at the George Museum, housed in the old Drosdy, and visit the timber route which also takes in interesting furniture shops like Touw Meubels, Woodcraft and De Steyl.

George has a Mediterranean Maritime climate, with moderately hot summers, and mild to chilly winters. It is one of the lower rainfall areas in Garden Route, most of which occurs in the winter months, brought in by the humid sea-winds from the Indian ocean.

Enhance your program with some exciting activities:
Wildlife Safaris & Adventure Tour Combos
4-Day Surf Safari and Wildlife Adventure
1-Day Adventure Activities in Cape Town
1-Week Wildlife Rehabilitation

1-Week Whales Sharks Dolphins
Cage Dive with Sharks

Photo Galleries
Knysna Diary
Wildlife Rehabilitation Diary
Wildlife Expedition News!


The Garden Route Botanical Gardens

Outeniqua Railway Museum

  • At Thembalethu, Khulani Xhosa Village welcomes you to the world of traditional Xhosa crafts and culture. "Come and Experience Xhosa hospitality and culture and feel the rhythm of Africa." The village is an extremely popular tourist attraction where visitors can enjoy Xhosa singing, dancing, storytelling, rituals, beer and bread - and above all, warm African hospitality.
  • George Museum - Its theme is the flourishing Timber Industry. Dominating the oldest part of town. Displays reflecting local social history. Special exhibits include The Lakes area; physical and cultural aspects and pictorial essays on scenic beauties. Famous Timber museum situated on premises, Ruby Reeves fantasy fairy paintings, Anglo Boer War Expo and more. Weekdays 09:00 - 16:00.
  • Old Oak Tree (the Slave Tree) - one of the town's most famous landmarks. Planted in 1811, the old oak tree has an old iron chain embedded in its trunk, with the remains of a heavy lock attached to it.
  • Outeniqua Railway Museum – The only National Railway Museum in South Africa. Locomotives, P.W.I. Equipment, coaches and road transport items are on display.
  • Outeniqua Power Van – 3 to 5 hour guided tours in motorised rail trolleys on the railway line between George and Oudtshoorn, winding up the Outeniqua Mountains. Spectacular views.
  • Garden Route Dam - 46 acres under water, breathtaking views.
  • The Pacaltsdorp Church is the oldest in the George district and was completed in 1825. The main kraal (or homestead) of the Khoi pastoralists was at Hoogekraal (today Pacaltsdorp).
  • The Garden Route Botanical Gardens are the only indigenous botanical gardens in South Africa.
  • Outeniqua Country Hop - Farm products, arts and crafts route from Herolds Bay via Blanco, Waboomskraal to Herold and back to George.
  • Children’s Steam Train rides and playground at the Saki Macozoma Fairground at the Outeniqua Railway Museum.
  • Dutch Reformed Church - has superb yellowwood pillars and a dome with a carved stinkwood pulpit.


  • Strydom Gallery - Established in 1968 to make the Southern Cape public more aware of South African Art, this gallery has become well known nationally and internationally for its unbelievable variety and good value for money. Never less than 160 important artists, including painters, sculptors, print-makers and potters are represented. Also available are artists materials and a printmaking studio. Housed in a beautiful early 19th century buildings, originally a house and horse stables, now part of the Marklaan Center.
  • Marklaan Center - A unique shopping mall of 15 businesses housed in cleverly renovated 19th century buildings, grouped around an intimate village square. Holds the best in South African Art, crafts, coffee and specialist shops in a delightful and tranquil atmosphere. The Farmers Market held there every Friday morning - is not to be missed.  


St George's Square Shopping Mall

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Adrenaline Activities - Enjoy exciting and “real” adventures with an adrenaline twist!
  • Abseiling @ Mossel Bay, Wilderness, George, Oudtshoorn, De Rust (Meiringspoort) and Riversdale
  • Canyoning @ George
  • Caving @ Oudtshoorn
  • Climbing Wall @ Mobile
  • Sandboarding @ Wilderness, Dana Bay
  • Wave-rafting @ Glentana
  • Deepsea Angling @ George
  • Dolphin Paragliding @ George

George is 8 km away from the coast so you need to organise some transport to get to the beaches. There are many very beautiful coastal areas quite near to George where you can go for the day or even camp a few nights if you want to.
• Victoria Bay: This is a vibey, surfer beach in a very steep valley. It is beautiful and fun.
• Herold’s Bay: Again, this is a very pretty beach in a small coastal town. The town can get pretty busy in peak season but is generally very quiet and nice.

Drives are a very popular leisure activity in South Africa, because the roads are generally wide, in good condition, relatively empty and a pleasure to drive on. People often go for drives on a Sunday afternoon to a favourite hotel or restaurant for afternoon tea and scones, or to the top of a pass just to look at the view, or to a national park to watch the baboons - there's always a good reason to go for a drive!

  • Mountain Passes - Several good view sites are strategically positioned along the circular drive, which leads from George over the Montagu Pass and returns to town via the Outeniqua Pass.
  • Montagu Pass - a national monument rewarding motorists with breathtaking views. Completed in 1847 under the guidance of Henry Fancourt White. It took him and 250 convicts only 4 years to complete this arduous task.
  • Seven Passes Road - the original road between George and Knysna, winding through indigenous forests, crossing Edwardian bridges and affording dwellers a mosaic experience of the countryside.


Wilderness Beach, showing the N2 National Road [Motorway/Freeway]

The beginnings of the town date back to the year 1776, when the Dutch-East Indian Trading Company established here one of its timber supply bases. But the town was officially only founded in 1811 by the British who named the place after the then King George III.

Initially George grew very slowly, mainly because roads viable for ox wagons were missing in the hardly accessible Outeniqua Mountains. Only with the opening of the Outeniqua Pass in the year 1847, trade with the inland could develop and George began to flourish.

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