South Africa - Western Cape. October 2022

5. Garden Route B.  Fransmanshoek, Gouritz, Sedgefield, WIlderness, Friemersheim, Birds of Prey .

 From Reebok we did several morning /day trips out around the area.

 1.  Fransmanshoek Conservancy and Gouritsmond.

2.  Friemersheim.

3.  Sedgefield Market and Wilderness.

4.  Birds of Prey Centre, George. 

1a.  Fransmanshoek Conservancy.  

 A couple of friends took us to the peninsula within the conservancy earlier this year and we knew that Di and David would love it.

 Image and text from:

"Fransmanshoek is situated approximately 3 km east of Vleesbaai. The area is shaped in the form of a peninsula that juts out into the sea with the most beautiful orange-coloured rocky formations. On the right is Malbaai and on the left Stilbaaitjie."

There are several paths, some have walkways and steps, others are quite rocky.  There are also areas where you can braai. 

 A well maintained boardwalk.

 Looking East towards Vleesbaai

 Kevin stayed at the top of the rocks while the rest of us clambered down to the sea.

David got a nice close up of this raptor with his camera. 

1b.  Gouritsmond

 The small town of Gouritsmond lies at the estuary of the Gourits River.  We drove through the town and then along the road coast road towards Stillbaai.  Sadly you can't get all the way along the road as there's a private nature reserve between the two towns.  The coast here is very rocky and there are plenty of places to park up.      

 Clear water in the large rock pools.

 A very rocky coast - very different to the Reebok area.

 Despite there being very little wind the waves were big and strong crashing on the rocks. 

 A rock agama sunnung itself.

2. Friemersheim.

 This is a small agricultural community about 15 km inland from Reebok.  It was founded by a German missionary in the early nineteenth century and is now mainly know for its amazing wildlife murals - the artist ,Fourie Ackermann,used Lockdown to brighten up the village.   It's a lovely drive out through the countryside, on the way there we passed through the Botlierskop Reserve where we spotted some zebra and springbok and later a group of buffalo wandering along a track.

3a. Sedgefield Markets.

 There are 3 markets close together at Sedgefield.  The Mosaic and Scarab markets are open every day while the Wild Oats Farmers Market is there every Saturday morning.  Bruce, the son of one of our Richmond friends, manages a farm near Knysna and they have a stall at the maket to sell their organic blueberries.  We went one Saturday morning, had a look around all the markets (bought a few things of course) and then had some lunch at one of the cafes. 

The range of goods on sale is very varied. 

 Kevin and Bruce at his stall.  The farmers market has excellent produce and is very popular.

 There are several large sculptures made out of old bits of metal.


3b.  Wilderness

 On the way back we stopped at the lookout point to the West of Wilderness village. 

 Looking east towards Wilderness beach. 

 The old railway bridge across the Kaaimans river - sadly no longer used.

Birds of Prey Centre, George.

 The centre has recently moved next to the Garden Route Botanic Gardens in George.  We had hoped to visit the gardens as well but by the end of our Birds tour the weather was looking ominous so decided to visit another time.  Our guide for the tour was extremely knowledeable and obviously loved her job and being able to impart information to us.  Where possible they look after birds until they are able to be released into the wild however quite a few are permanent residents due to injury or being imprinted on humans because they were hand reared.

Last updated: May  2023