As Executive Mayor of the City of George, I am honoured to convey our heartfelt greetings to every citizen and welcome all visitors to the city for a sustainable future.
This is a time when we can reach across all possible limitations to one another and share the message of hope. In spite of, and in the midst of intense and sometimes life-threatening challenges, we as a city have stood immovable and bound to one another through our commitment to live out our city's motto.
It is indisputable that our visitors' choice of George as a holiday destination is grounded in the reality that our city caters for everyone and with it, that the experiences will linger in your memories for many years to come. We offer you unsurpassed beaches, natural beauty and diverse holiday fun activities. You are reminded to watch the different media platforms for these activities in and around our city.
The safety of our citizens and visitors is of high priority to us and I urge drivers to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and other road users first. I also call upon us all to use water, our most threatened natural resource, sparingly and wisely. I want to wish everyone a blessed festive season and a well-deserved time of relaxation, and may 2019 surpass your expectations.
Melvin Naik - Executive Mayor
Although not the first place most people think of when planning of a fishing holiday, George does offer one or two spots worth checking out if you’re in the mood for some angling fun:
At Victoria Bay you can find Blacktail.
Wilderness has rough sees, with the best fishing times between 09:00 and 11:00 in the morning. You can find Galjoen, Musselcracker White and Leervis.
Herold’s Bay is a large beach with good space and some excellent spots to relax and fish to your heart's content. Here you can find Kob and Galjoen.
When on holiday, people tend to be relaxed and less vigilant than usual.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
Swim where there are lifeguards on duty - this is
usually from 10:00 to 18:00.
Make sure that you are seen by lifeguards in the water. Don't swim outside the designated swimming area, i.e. outside the flags. This area is chosen because there are no currents and it is outside the surf zones.
Swimmers need to watch out for surfers and surfers need to watch out for swimmers.
Don't drink alcohol on the beach. It's illegal and extremely dangerous. If under the influence, you may not realise if you are hypothermic and your limbs don't work as well as they should. By dulling your senses, alcohol may inhibit your ability to sense when your children are in danger.
Never swim alone.
Never leave kids unsupervised near water.
Secure your pool area with appropriate barriers that can't be pushed down by little kids.
Little ones submerge very quickly. Stay within an arm's length, especially if the water is murky.
Make sure that kids don't play rough in the pool and jump on top of one another.
It is important that adults who supervise must be able to swim.Remember that anyone, including people who can swim, are at risk of drowning.
Learn to do basic CPR. Make sure the person is out of the water, awake and breathing. Shout for help.
Take time to educate yourself and your children on what a Pink Rescue Buoy is, to recognise and use the sign board, and how to use the flotation device.
The NSRI Pink Rescue Buoys are stationed at beaches, rivers and dams across South Africa to provide emergency flotation at as many swimming spots as possible.
The boards that the Pink Buoys hang on display the local emergency numbers, and provide a location number that callers can use to tell Sea Rescue the exact location of the Pink Buoy that is being used, saving crucial minutes for responding rescuers.
OUTENIQUA NATURE RESERVE
(Aka Witfontein) Cost: Free.
Where: 1.5km beyond George on the N12 towards Oudtshoorn.
Though the recent wild fires impacted some of the hiking trails, many remain open.
Choose from day hikes and an unmarked mountain bike ride through the Witfontein pine plantation with sections of indigenous forest and fynbos as part of the Outeniqua Nature Reserve.
Access is controlled and free self-issued permits are required. These can be obtained at the office, even after hours.
MAP OF AFRICA
Cost: Free. The Map of Africa is one of the coolest things to see in the George area. This well-known landmark in Wilderness Heights is approximately 15km from George in the direction of Knysna. The lookout point is also a popular launch site for paragliders.
GARDEN ROUTE BOTANICAL GARDEN
Cost: R10, kids under 12, accompanied by an adult, for free.
Where: Caledon Street. What to pack? Bicycles (plenty of space for kids to ride); a picnic basket to enjoy at one of the many picnic spots; old bread to feed the tortoises and fish in the dam; and binoculars for bird-watching (there's a bird hide overlooking a dam). Dogs welcome, on a leash. Make sure not to miss the Mushroom Meander with its winding path through an old experimental section of plantation, the nursery offering indigenous plants and the Getafix Café restaurant.
GEORGE PARK RUN
Where: George Botanical Garden.
Join in the fun at the George Park Run at George Botanical Garden every Saturday at 08:00 and enjoy the beautiful view while burning some holiday calories.
The Outeniqua Power Van has changed its route due to fire damage to the railway line in November, but don't despair - the van is still powering its way to the scenic Great Brak River station, where guests can enjoy a picnic at the Opispoor Station Restaurant.
The Wilderness National Park just outside George offers pristine hiking trails that will leave the nature lover in awe. Some of the trails are easy enough for children to enjoy as well. As this is a nature reserve, dogs are not allowed.
There are five hiking trails in the park:
Trail distance: 7,2 km
Trail time: 3-4 hours
The Giant Kingfisher Trail is a little strenuous in the beginning of the trail but it does get easier.
Children might struggle a little bit with this one.
It is, however, the only trail that leads to a waterfall, which they will enjoy tremendously. You are allowed to swim and picnic at the waterfall, so be sure pack your cozzie and your favourite picnic.
Trail distance: 3,5 km
Trail time: 3-4 hours
It is a long, open, flat circular route with no shade that mainly consists of fynbos. A section of the route combines with the beach.
Trail distance: 10 km
Trail time: 3-4 hours
This trail is also popular for bird watching. It's much shorter than the Pied Kingfisher and offers more shade.
Trail distance: 4,1 km
Trail time: 2-3 hours
The Cape Dune Molerat Trail is very sandy. Various types of fynbos can be seen, but unfortunately this circular route has very little shade.
Trail distance: 6 km
Trail time: 2-3 hours