Garden Route DestinationsHartenbos, Garden Route
Between the towns of Mossel Bay and George lies a perfect holiday resort with an endless expanse of golden beach for walkers and anglers and a shallow, sandy lagoon that offers safe swimming and canoeing.
Hartenbos lends itself to family holidays and during school vacation the tranquil town becomes a bustling seaside destination. The village of Hartenbos started life as a farm granted to Esaias Meyer, a local farmer, as a reward by the Dutch East India Company after he helped shipwrecked sailors.
He called the farm Hart en Bosch (deer and bush). Most of the farm was later bought by the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging (Afrikaans language and culture organisation) and turned into a holiday resort for its members during the years of apartheid. Today it is still very popular with visitors from Limpopo to the Cape and thousands of people spend their annual summer holiday in Hartenbos.
Whale, dolphin and seal watching are very popular, particularly during May through November and the river mouth is an active breeding ground for sea birds.
During peak season, the Hartenbos beachfront is lined with colourful kiosks selling anything from seafood to clothing and there is also a heated indoor pool, a supertube, amusement centre and the local museum has an excellent exhibition of the Great Trek.