Wilderness National Park is situated in the heart of the Garden Route. The Wilderness National Park is an inter-connected web of lakes, wetlands and beaches, located between Knysna and George, and stretching from the Touws River in the west to the Goukamma Nature Reserve in the east. The lakes run along the N2 highway for a distance of about 25km. The first borders of the park are about 15km east of the picturesque town of George.
The Wilderness National Park was proclaimed in 1983 to prevent the rapidly growing developments of both residential and holiday resorts from encroaching upon and having a negative impact on the aquatic wildlife of the unique wetland area. The six, slightly saline, lakes have descriptive names like Swartvlei, Groenvlei, Rondevlei and Langvlei. It is said that each of the lovely little lakes are haunted in some manner, and people through the ages have heard chanting, seen ghostly carts and horses riding out across the waters.
These lakes are rich in fish species and home to a wide diversity of bird life. It is for this reason that main lake, Rondevlei, forms part of a nature conservation research station, and
that certain areas have been zoned to exclude water sports. Other areas that are not in these zones, are open to a great variety of outdoor activities. The area may be explored on foot through the Kingfisher Trail System, or by water on the 3-day canoe trail. The area has a fascinating flora and fauna, with many different types of grasses, reeds and rushes to be found. Cape clawless otter, bushbuck and the famous Knysna lourie all make this area their home.
Visitors can take up the challenges of paragliding, abseiling, mountain biking and hiking trails, canoeing and scenic drives through grandiose land- and seascapes. Fishing is best at Swartvlei, which is home to steenbras, grunter and harder.