We stopped outside the reception buidling at Wilderness National park, a light drizzle falling from the heavily overcast skies. After a quick check in we have a look around the new reception building they are busy building. Due to the floods it is still incomplete.
We are staying in the budget 2 bed rondawels in Ebb & Flow North. You have to drive through the south camp, cross over a small bridge and then enter the north camp on the other side of a sand road. It is evident that a lot of water has recently passed over this area. The road in north camp is extremely muddy and sections of the camp sites and in front of the rondawels have standing pools of water. The Touws River is visible to the left as one drives into the camp. We get to our rondawels and unpack our things. The inside of the bungalow smells damp, which is understandable, seeing that these rondawels had been underwater a month previousy. The rondawel is very basic but is fine for three nights. It has 2 single beds, basic utensils, a basin, cupboard and electricity. Some of these bungalows have a toilet and shower and are only marginally more expensive (R5 per night) than those without. Unfortunately we were staying in one without since that was all we could get.
Only two hiking trails are open, I forget the names but one starts just over the bridge near the north camp entrance while the other starts near the south camp gate.
We walked the former trail which moves along the bank of the Touws River. Everytime we stopped to look at something, mosquitoes descended in clouds and attacked my wife (she seems to have very sweet blood). At one point we passed a small marsh and there were mozzies all over the place! Needless to say they attacked in large numbers driving us back!
The rain continued for the next two days and only cleared up on the last day, allowing us to visit the beaches at Wilderness, which my daughter enjoyed tremendously. The Touws River mouth was still spewing quite a bit of debris from the floods into the ocean.
I noticed that the north and south camps were crawling with Knysna Louries which we had battled to find on our previous visit 11 years ago.
The ablution blocks at north camp were clean but are in need of a face lift (which I think is on the cards). All in all it was an enjoyable stay, the area is very beautiful but the Wilderness National Park does not feel like a national park, it feels more like a holiday resort or typical caravan park. Don't get me wrong it is really lovely with beautiful trails but the area around it is quite developed. It may also be the rain and the fact that most trails were closed.
The sun came out again on our last afternoon and remained out for the next 4 days, which we would be spending at Storms River rest camp in theTsitsikamma National Park...