Today on The Shape of The Cape with your tour guide Julescape, we visit the prime travel destination on the Garden Route called Wilderness beach. The south Cape coast of Africa is dotted with idyllic beaches, consisting of long stretches of soft pure white sand, divided up by occasional long stretches of high cliffs covered in vegetation. Overall it looks quite lush in this area, and today we explore a truly magical scene at the beach of your dreams.
Wilderness village is extremely small, and hasn’t grown much in decades, besides a little shopping center that was built a few years ago. The primary reason it has stayed small is because the area is squashed between the sea on one side and the mountainside on the other. The N2 highway slips between them and so it’s on your travel path as you pass through. I highly recommend a stop at this particular beach as it offers something that I haven’t seen on any other stretch of the coast anywhere in the Western Cape, namely paragliding.
The geographic features of the landscape perfectly facilitate this amazing aerial sport because you have the ocean breezes bumping up against the sheer cliffs at the beach resulting in just the right updraughts to keep you afloat in the air like a bird. And today on our adventure there, we were in for a treat as the paragliders were out in full force. The conditions were just right for a little weightless cruise up and down the extended coastline in what looks like a sleeping bag attached underneath a parachute, in which you can float along like Mary Poppins or Harry Potter (for those too young to know Mary), way above the beach sand but right next to the cliff tops.
It really looks like a majestic flight and they make it look really easy too. You just need to know which strings to pull, as you fly your kite with yourself hanging underneath it, drifting along and swept onward by the updraughts at your leisure. Of course you have to know how to land, and it takes some skill. I watched as the one birdman came rushing in for a landing, faster than you realize. You descend and hit the ground running, so to speak, in a graceful landing, like a pelican on a lake, as your parachute folds into a weightless heap on the ground behind you.
I’m sure the extreme sports lovers out there will relish this opportunity at these ideal cliffs so make a note on your travel itinerary. Not only is Wilderness beach and village a beautiful scenic hotspot, but it has loads of interesting rock pools and rock formations to explore. The wide open long stretch of beach provides a sense of freedom and exhilaration. This is one of the top destinations, in my opinion, along this entire Garden Route. Millionaires have built their houses on the cliff tops overlooking the beach since the location and view is actually worth a million bucks, no doubt about it.
For those who would prefer to keep their feet on the ground, the rock pools that lie dotted along the sea shore are in themselves picturesque and fascinating to explore. I’m a total amateur with a camera and my mobile phone does not do justice to the scenic display of Wilderness beach, but you can get the idea form the photos here of just how interesting this beach is, whether from land, sea or air. So be sure to put Wilderness beach on your list of travel destinations. It is the prize gem of the Garden Route, which itself is the crown of the African south coast.