We had planned to stay in Victoria Bay or Mossel Bay but decided to make Wilderness our destination because of word of mouth recommendations and the fact that we found a great backpackers hostel en route that provided two rooms with a balcony overlooking the beach for $40 per night!
Waking up to Southern Right Whales, and the sound of crashing waves makes this a wonderful stop on any family South African itinerary.
Breakdown of costs for 3 nights and 3 full days for a family of 4 in Wilderness
Accommodations – $85 for 2 nights and 3 days
Excursions – $95
Groceries – $3 (lasting 4 days)
Eating out – $37
Total cost: $220
What to do in Wilderness and Knysna with Kids
Wilderness is pure beauty, it is a great place to set your bags down, let the kids run on the beach and relax with your partner sipping the delightful instant coffee provided for free by your hostel.
Knysna and Emzini Township Tours
Some people recommend staying in Knysna, and this may be a reasonable option as well. We made it a day trip from our hostel in wilderness. Knysna is a tourist hub and there is a lot of shopping and small places to eat. There is also a ferry ride that we only read about. For us, it was all about the township tour with Emzini Tours.
We had wanted to visit a township for the experience and to gain a better understanding of South Africa and it’s political/socioeconomic structure. Ella, the creator of this tour will be your guide, she is energetic and passionate about her community and the chance to make positive social change. Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious.
Our kids loved the adventure which ended with tea, cookies and drumming along with a visit to a preschool in the township. Book ahead, the tour usually leaves at 10 am sharp and will likely be full during high season.
This is just 20 minutes down the road and is one of the most family friendly beaches we have found. And if you like surfing, there is a great outside break for mom and dad with a gentle inside break for the kiddos on soft sand.
If you arrive in the off-season you can rent surfboards at Buckingham Pelles. It is the white building right behind the little shopping center.
Teaching my 4 year old son to hang 10
View of Buffalo Bay surf break
Panoramic of Buffalo Bay
Wilderness Beach House Backpackers – This place is so fun and friendly, the views are spectacular, it’s close to the beach and the owner of this lodge will make you feel right at home. It is cold in the winter and they don’t have heat, so be warned. You may want to ask for extra blankets.