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  • Writer's pictureMandisa Magwaxaza

Sugar, Spice & Electric Bikes

All the things that make up a pretty morning in Wilderness on the Garden Route.

Wilderness is short drive from George Airport, If you blink you may miss it but the pristine beauty of the place keeps your eyes glued to the rivers, forest, hills and beaches make it impossible to look over. Stop and explore the seaside village; it will feel like a deep breath of fresh air.

Wilderness is a scene of idyllic seaside life that you can glide through and home to some incredible viewing points that let you peacefully get lost in your thoughts. There isn’t much room to get physically lost but you can certainly wander through the small streets, wind uphill and glide through the air on a paraglide.

I chose to E-bike along the river’s edge and drive up to the Map of Africa with Side Street Adventures.

I’m not a cyclist by any measure, my anatomy just isn’t designed to fit onto those small seats. The last time I cycled was well over 15 years ago, and the thought of getting back on the saddle made me nervous. Let’s be honest, I’m not as fit as I should be, either, but I decided to try anyways. Half the fun of travelling is the privelege of new experiences and seeing the world from a different perspective.

So, I settled my nerves with a delicious breakfast at the and hot chocolate at The Girls on the Square, a cute café next to Side Street Adventures which is located at the Palm Gardens Square.

My guide was a kind and professional young man named, Deacon, and he started of my e-bike experience with a tutorial. I was very glad to learn about the pedal-assist mechanism of the bike so my fitness level didn’t matter. People of all ages and fitness levels can use E-bikes as long as they are tall enough to reach the peddles.

Before I was let loose on the open road, Deacon guided me to an adjacent park where I could safely regain my cycling legs. It was quite hilarious and it took a few laps for my muscles to remember their old skills from my BMX days.

Side Street Adventures offers different routes through Wilderness including a ride up Whites Road to the Map of Africa where I met Heleen, the custodian of the viewing point. Having moved to Wilderness with nothing to their name, Heleen and Rozanne starting helping tourists at the Map of Afrika view point, which at the time was just a path through the bushes to a dodgy foothold with no safety barrier. The two ladies erected a barrier with their own hands, laid the brick work and planted flowers to beautify the area. Heleen is basically the unofficial information centre of this iconic landmark. Her eye-witness account of incredible moments and researched accounts of the history of the area make me wonder why the local authorities have not given these ladies the recognition and remuneration they deserve. At present they rely on donations from tourist who come to the Map of Africa. When visiting, please have some cash in hand to support Heleen and Rozanne.

I did say sugar and spice, right? Well, I found those ingredients of my pretty morning in Wilderness at Hallo Coffee. An indigenous plant nursery and coffee shop with the most delicious home made fudge and biscuits.

Book your pretty morning in Wilderness with Side Street Adventures on +27 76 412 7963 or

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