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Camdeboo National Park

All-in-One

This page displays all information relevant to this park/camp, except the following:

Introduction

In the heart of South Africa's famous Garden Route, a captivating world of lakes, rivers, estuaries and beaches gently unfolds against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains – all elements that characterise the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park.

Nature trails wind through densely wooded forest and along tranquil rivers, affording you the opportunity to encounter the brilliantly coloured Knysna lourie, or one of the five kingfisher species that occur here. During spring, a carpet of flowers, further enhance the verdant beauty of this national park.

Looking for an action packed holiday adventure? Then, Wilderness Section is your playground. Experience whales & dolphins from Dolphin Point. Hire a canoe or bicycle, go abseiling, kloofing, paragliding or hang-gliding. Go boating, fishing at Island Lake or hike to the waterfall above Ebb & Flow Rest Camp. You do not have to be super fit to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. There are activities for young, old, energetic or idle: take a stroll along a forest path or visit the bird hide and discover the wealth of bird life. Lie back in a canoe on a quiet backwater and watch the world float by. Camp under the stars alongside the river or stay in log cabins on stilts.

The Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park stretches from the Touw River mouth to the Swartvlei estuary and beyond, where it links with the Goukamma Nature Reserve, giving welcome protection to five lakes and the Serpentine, which is the winding strip of water joining Island Lake to the Touw River at the Ebb & Flow Rest Camp.

5 Things to Seek

  • Knysna Seahorse
  • Pansy Shell
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Grey Heron
  • Little Egret

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Accommodation

Ebb & Flow Rest Camp (South)

  • All accommodation is serviced daily and provided with bedding, towels and soap.
  • 4-bed family cottages, each with two bedrooms, one bathroom (bath), open plan, partially equipped kitchen. Please indicate whether you would prefer a double bed and 2 single beds or single beds only, subject to availability.
  • 4-bed log cottages on wooden stilts, each with two bedrooms, one bathroom (bath & shower), open plan, partially equipped kitchen. Please indicate whether you would prefer a double bed and 2 single beds or single beds only, subject to availability.
  • Forest Cabins – 4 beds and 2 beds – ablutions and partially equipped kitchens. A communal kitchen for cooking.

NB: Microwave ovens are available for hire from Reception.

Ebb & Flow Rest Camp (North)

  • 2-bed Rondavel, each with bathroom (shower) and basic kitchen equipment.
  • 2-bed Rondavel, communal ablution facilities and basic kitchen equipment.

NB: The rondavels are basic and are classified as budget accommodation.

Caravan\Camping

  • Both restcamps have caravan and campsites on the banks of the Touw River, communal ablution and scullery facilities.
  • Some sites at Ebb & Flow Restcamp (South) are equipped with 220V power points.
  • The power points are for caravan plugs only; to be able to use a normal three-point plug you need the applicable adapter.
  • Portable braais are supplied - please inquire at Reception.
  • A maximum of six persons, one caravan with a side tent and one vehicle, or one tent and one vehicle, or one autovilla or one motorised caravan will be permitted per site.

To view the accommodation prices, refer to Tariffs

 

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Activities & Facilities

Recreational Activities & Adventures

  • Bathing, rowing, fishing, at Wilderness beach, the Touw River and some of the lakes.
  • Water-skiing is restricted to Island Lake and Swartvlei.
  • Canoes are hired from Eden Adventures (or (044) 877 0179)
  • DSTV in a communal area.
  • Table tennis in a communal area.
  • Volleyball and basket ball.
  • Bird hides at Langvlei and Rondevlei.

Hiking

There are five trails all located in the National Park, all with varying distances and degrees of difficulty.

Canoeing

  • Start at the Ebb & Flow Rest Camp (Wilderness Section) and canoe the winding Touw River, which leads to Wilderness beach or gently canoe on the Wilderness Lagoon. Canoes available for hire from Eden Adventures (or (044) 877 0179).

Mountain Biking

There are two scenic routes for mountain biking. Bikes equipped with child seats are also available. Mountain bikes available for hire from Eden Adventures in the park (or (044) 877 0179).

Abseiling\Kloofing

Whether on a short 10m abseil or a 45m drop next to a roaring waterfall, reach your goals you perceived to be unobtainable. (Eden Adventures, or (044) 8770179).

Fishing

Fishing is allowed in the following sections of Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park - Leentjiesklip, Kleinkrans, Sandhoogte, Swartvlei, Eilandvlei, and Gericke’s Point.

Birding

Due to the many different ecosystems within the park ranging from the indigenous forest to the rocky shore, Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park has become a bird paradise.

Paragliding

Experience the freedom of paragliding with experienced operators. Please contact Wilderness Eco Tourism for more information or (044) 877 0045.

Facilities

  • Many facilities are available in the towns of Wilderness and George.
  • There is no shop in the Rest Camp.
  • No ATM facility available
  • The closest restaurants are in the town of Wilderness – a list is available at Reception.
  • No laundromat and dryer facilities - As from April 2011, no more washing machines and tumble dryers will be available at the Ebb & Flow Rest Camp. Guests are urged to make use of the laundry facilities in the Wilderness and George areas.
  • Medical doctors, a dentist a pharmacy and the postal agency are available in the town of Wilderness.

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Natural and Cultural History

Wilderness

“...the beauty and serenity of this corner of the world is in such conflict with its unsuitable name …” “in the Wilderness build me a nest and remain there forever at rest …” (a line from Hayden’s Creation ) was sung by a lady Theresa, to her fiancée, to escape the memory of being orphaned when her parents farm was destroyed in the frontier war.

Shelters

The Ebb and Flow shelter in the northern rest camp was excavated for guano in the 1800’s. The cave was used as a shelter and living place of Khoi and San. Two skeletons were discovered and various implements. One of the implements was described as a core scraper.

Oakhurst shelter – Stone Age People

This is one of the oldest caves excavated in the country. Forty skeletons of Khoisan (adults and infants) buried in different layers and depths were found.

Other implements found: pottery shards, hippo bones, buffalo, duiker and steenbok bones yielded information about their cultural development and diet

Historical sites

St. Aidan’s church is one of the oldest buildings in Wilderness, which was named after an Irish saint, who was part of the missionary drive to Scotland and England. The church bell was salvaged from the SS Thorne, which was wrecked in a fog off Robben Island on 18th May 1831 and presented to St. Aidan’s by the Piggott family in 1951.

The Oakhurst church was consecrated on All Saints Day in 1876 and called All Saints.

1952 Settler's Monument was erected by the Lakes Committee in Wilderness to commemorate the founding of the European settlement in South Africa on 6 April 1652.

Gericke’s Point was named by Bartholomew Diaz as “Ponta de Pescaria” meaning "place or point of fish". Today this is still a famous fishing spot as well as rocky-shore and snorkelling site.

The scenic “passes road” was completed in 1893 by Thomas Bain. This was the first substantial link between George and Knysna.

The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe runs 67 kilometres between Knysna and George thus passing through the Wilderness Area of the Garden Route National Park. It is one of the remaining scheduled steam trains and reputably the second most beautiful line in the world.


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How to get there

The Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park is situated close to the N2 highway, 15km from George, 2km from Wilderness village, 410km from Port Elizabeth and 450km from Cape Town.

The closest airport is at George, where car hire facilities are available.

Guests visiting Wilderness' Ebb & Flow Rest Camp, please note the road sign on the N2 to the Park reads Wilderness National Park and not Ebb & Flow. Guests can also use the western access through the town of Wilderness across the rail road bridge and turn right for the reception.

Gate Times

  • Rest camp gates times:
    • South Camp: 07:00 to 18:00. Guests arriving late/after hours can enter the park by buzzing the intercom, security will then open the gate/s ( South Camp Gates only) for them.
      North Camp: 07:30 to 15:30 gate is manned, after 15:30 guests staying in the camp/in house guests has access with the electronic tags given to them upon their arrival.
    • All overnight guests must first report to reception in order to obtain an electronic tag.
  • All other entry point: 07:30 to 18:00 out of season and 07:00 to 18:00 in season.

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Natural and Cultural History

Wilderness

“...the beauty and serenity of this corner of the world is in such conflict with its unsuitable name …” “in the Wilderness build me a nest and remain there forever at rest …” (a line from Hayden’s Creation ) was sung by a lady Theresa, to her fiancée, to escape the memory of being orphaned when her parents farm was destroyed in the frontier war.

Shelters

The Ebb and Flow shelter in the northern rest camp was excavated for guano in the 1800’s. The cave was used as a shelter and living place of Khoi and San. Two skeletons were discovered and various implements. One of the implements was described as a core scraper.

Oakhurst shelter – Stone Age People

This is one of the oldest caves excavated in the country. Forty skeletons of Khoisan (adults and infants) buried in different layers and depths were found.

Other implements found: pottery shards, hippo bones, buffalo, duiker and steenbok bones yielded information about their cultural development and diet

Historical sites

St. Aidan’s church is one of the oldest buildings in Wilderness, which was named after an Irish saint, who was part of the missionary drive to Scotland and England. The church bell was salvaged from the SS Thorne, which was wrecked in a fog off Robben Island on 18th May 1831 and presented to St. Aidan’s by the Piggott family in 1951.

The Oakhurst church was consecrated on All Saints Day in 1876 and called All Saints.

1952 Settler's Monument was erected by the Lakes Committee in Wilderness to commemorate the founding of the European settlement in South Africa on 6 April 1652.

Gericke’s Point was named by Bartholomew Diaz as “Ponta de Pescaria” meaning "place or point of fish". Today this is still a famous fishing spot as well as rocky-shore and snorkelling site.

The scenic “passes road” was completed in 1893 by Thomas Bain. This was the first substantial link between George and Knysna.

The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe runs 67 kilometres between Knysna and George thus passing through the Wilderness Area of the Garden Route National Park. It is one of the remaining scheduled steam trains and reputably the second most beautiful line in the world.


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Maps

Park Map Brochures

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


Camp Layout

Ebb and Flow Rest Camp - North


Ebb and Flow Rest Camp - South

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Tariffs


Wilderness Section

Daily Conservation Fee for 1 November 2013 to 31 October 2014

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R30 per adult, per day
R15 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R60 per adult, per day
R30 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R100 per adult, per day
R50 per child, per day


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Vital Information

Climate

Nature has blessed Wilderness with a pleasant, temperate climate; it is unique in Africa as the only area in which rainfall occurs throughout the year. And, to cap it all, most of our rain falls at night! It's the ideal climate for a visit - at any time of the year!

Day Visitors

The park is ideal for day visitors with various picnic sites at the rest camp and at the lagoon.

Fuel Stations: Petrol/ Diesel

Vehicle fuel is available in all parks (or is available on the park periphery):

  • South African legislation stipulates that fuel stations will accept legitimate petrol/fuel/garage/credit/debit cards or cash as a form of payment for any fuel purchase.

Firearms

No firearms allowed.

Official Hours

  • No official office hours
  • Check-in - 12:00
  • Check-out - 09:00

Internal Road Network

The access road from the N2 is paved, however, the access from the northern camp is gravelled.

Tips & Hints

  • Pets are not allowed in a national park.
  • Remember to bring along a bathing suit, angling equipment, hat, sun block, walking shoes, binoculars, bird and mammal reference books. Hikers must always carry sufficient water.
  • As outdoor lighting in camps is limited, a torch/headlamp is required when walking outside at night.
  • Please note it is preferable to swim at Wilderness beach when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Swimming pool for overnight guests only.
  • What visitors need to take (preparation for the trip):
    • Bring along binoculars, camera, walking shoes and wildlife reference books.
  • Road maps of tourist routes within the park are available at the reception area. Various information sheets are available at reception.
  • For summer (September – March), cool comfortable clothing is recommended along with sunhats and sun protection cream.
  • For winter and autumn (April – August), warm clothing is recommended for the night times.
  • Insect repellant is recommended, especially in summer.
  • No immunisations are needed for travel to this park. The park is situated in a malaria-free area.

Contact Information

For enquiries e-mail enquiries.wilderness@sanparks.org or phone us on the following numbers:

  • Tel +27 (0) 44 877 1197
  • Fax +27 (0) 44 877 0366

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People with disabilities

Wheelchair Access

Ebb and Flow Restcamp (South) has one accessible chalet and one accessible forest hut. Most of the boardwalk along the Touw River can be accessed, although the access ramps are a bit perilous in parts. This allows a person to witness the tidal nature of the river at close quarters. A bird hide at Rondevlei can be accessed with difficulty (the pathway is a combination of sandy soil and thick grass).

(Please see additional information on Wheelchair Accessibility)


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