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Set in the heart of the Garden Route along the southern coast of South Africa, Sedgefield is a prime holiday spot for visitors wanting to unwind and enjoy a chilled seaside holiday. As you enter the village, you pass homes surrounded by a lagoon teeming with birdlife and the occasional tortoise ambling along. The road continues upwards as you climb an old dune to reach splendid vistas of Sedgefield’s estuary and wide flat beach on the Indian Ocean.
Sedgefield is a certified Slow Town, the first African town to receive the accreditation from Cittaslow, an Italian organisation that promotes quality of life over a hectic, money-chasing lifestyle. The town’s emblem is the tortoise and visitors are encouraged to take it easy and appreciate the simple things in life. And stress levels quickly subside after a holiday of walking, canoeing on the river, beachcombing, swimming and sun tanning on the beach
The town’s beach is part of a marine protected area and much of the dune system is fossilised. On the west side of the lagoon, one can walk for several kilometres on the flat, immaculate beach to reach Gericke’s Point, an area favoured by fishermen and with interesting dune formations. The town boasts one of the best farmer’s markets in the country and is ideally situated between the lakes district and the vibrant town of Knysna.
Top 8 reasons to visit Sedgefield
1. Hire a canoe and travel the lagoon all the way to Swartvlei. Expect to see a number of bird species such as the kingfisher, who make use of the overhead power lines to scope for fish in the waters below.
2. Sedgefield beach is one of the most scenic of beaches along this stretch of the coast. Pack a picnic basket, find a shady spot up against the dunes and spend the day swimming in the sea or in the calmer lagoon waters.
3. Sedgefield’s Myoli Beach is regarded as one of the best wave riding beaches in the area. Hire a board and get some surfing tips from the guys at PiliPili Extreme Sport Centre.
4. Stop in at the Sedgefield Craft Brewery for a tasting of their ale, Weiss beer, stout and other more traditional beers. The owners are soon to be offering tastings from a hops garden.
5. Locals and visitors arrive en masse at the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market on Saturdays to purchase fresh goods, sample excellent homemade eats and be entertained by a local artist while the children enjoy the large play area.
6. Flytime Paragliding has an office and launch site in Sedgefield. Take a tandem paragliding flight over the lagoon and hopefully hit the thermals for a bird’s eye view of the area.
7. For unique and unusual crafts, visit Scarab Art and Craft Village at the entrance to the town. Here you will find interesting items such as paper made from elephant dung and magnificent wood-crafted products.
8. When things get too quiet, take a drive to Knysna for a shopping bender and follow up with an evening meal on the waterfront, listening to the sounds of live entertainment.
The nearest airport is George Airport, located 45km outside of Sedgefield. Several car rental agencies are based in Knysna and at George airport to hire a vehicle, or you could order a rental online. There are a number of metered taxi companies in Knysna. Shuttle service operators transport visitors between George Airport and Sedgefield. For backpackers, the popular Baz Bus stops off in Sedgefield.
Did you know?
Oysters are a major industry in this part of the country. The oyster spats are imported and thrive to maturity in the nearby Knysna lagoon, however, there are still many wild oysters to be collected off exposed rocks, during low tide, along the Sedgefield beaches. You may encounter a few local ladies brandishing knives on the beach; don’t worry, the knives are used to pry the oysters off the rocks!
The tortoise emblem, benches and other artwork displayed around the town are decorated in beautiful mosaic designs, all created by disadvantaged people. The Masithandane Mosaic Project organisation is responsible for creating employment and brightening up the town.