Open Africa
Open Africa

Mothers of Creation Route



Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Bethany's Homestay
This is a comfortable homestay with a beautiful garden. Magda will welcome you with her warm hospitality and sense of hu...

Covie Homestay
Covie Homestay offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Activities: Your hostess, Aunty Irene gives talks on the history...

Arries Accommodation
Arries Accommodation offers self-catering accommodation in the Knysna community. The accommodation has its own private e...

Cosie Kaya
This is a cottage-style homestay offering comfortable, neat accommodation. Three twin-bedded rooms with a separate guest...

Feel at Home Homestay
Facilities and services: All meals available on request; Close to Knysna town and all tourist attractions; Electric...

Islandview Cultural Guesthouse
Islandview is a cultural guesthouse that offers basic accommodation in a true homestay style. Islandview Cultural Guesth...

Julia's Place
This is a beautiful comfortable home in the local township. Julia and her family will welcome you to share their home, w...

Little Paradise Homestay
Little Paradise Homestay is a collection of three homestays and they all serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tradit...

Liza's Homestay
Liza’s homestay is a wooden cottage accommodating two people (in single beds).  If there are more than two in...

Louise Arries Homestay
Louise Arries Homestay offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is a perfect stop over for travellers between Beaufort W...

Siyabonga Homestay
In Japie’s own words: "I’ve worked for forestry for 20 years and have developed a love for the forests aro...

Woodcutters Haven Homestay
Lettie believes that her homestay gives visitors a broader view about the way of life, culture, history and the feel of...

Yvodie's Place
Yvodia can accommodate four people in four single beds. She has electricity and a bathroom with a flush toilet and runni...


Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Collinshoek Walks
There are so many things to see and stories to hear in Collinshoek. Liza and Marinda offer a number of options for visit...

Doreen's Tours
The tour incorporates all the attractions in Nelspoort.  Doreen was born in Nelspoort and has many interesting pla...

Bennie's Tours
Bennie's Tours offers: A variety of tours; Airport transfers; and Shuttle service. Tours: We help you to get to...

Covies Stories
Take a walk through Covie - there are approximately 23 families in the village - see who lives where, learn about the co...

Emzini Tours
"A township tour that gives back to the community through six local projects. Enjoy a life enriching, safe, fun filled t...

Klaarstroom Tours
These tours can be by donkey cart or as a walking tour.  These tours include the following attractions /options, a...

Kraaibosch Trails
Lettie, her husband and children will take you on a walk through the forest - looking at indigenous trees, talking...

Marco's Nature Walks
Marco was born in the area and is presently doing a conservation course through Sanparks. He knows the bush well, includ...

Reality Tours
Reality Tours offer the following: Township tours; Guided hikes; and Rastafarian village tours.

Thole Tours
Gerald describes his business in is own words: "My business came up to me because I was unemployed. And I also wanted t...

Wandu Tours and Stays
Wandu Tours and Stays is a local tour operator which offers township tours with a difference. This township tour include...

   Arts & Crafts

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Cornerstone Curio Internet Shop
Cornerstone Curio Internet Shop is a Kenyan owned shop centrally situated in the heart of Templeman Square, the craft hu...

Kumra's Crafts
Kumra’s Crafts sells the following: Bags from Madagascar, decorated food nets; Tea cosies; Bodum covers; Bea...

African All Sorts
African All Sorts' signature product is an authentic recycled Africa Time clock produced from recycled tins. These uniqu...

Covie Active Women's Club
Francisca was trained to decorate plates and tiles and makes them for the community, as well as selling them in George.&...

Ietsie Bietsie
Ietsie Bietsie was part of a group named Griekwa Fabric Painters that was made up of 12 people. It was necessary to brea...

Kranshoek Griekwa Fabric Painting
Based at the Community Centre in Kranshoek, these women produce a wide range of excellent hand painted items including t...

The Muse Factory
Knysna is a microcosm of the economic conundrum facing South Africa i.e. the widening gap between the rich and the poor....

The Workshop for the Physically Disabled
The Workshop for the Physically Disabled is a protective workspace which offers training and employment for 40 disabled...

Kranshoek Craft Shop
Kranshoek Craft Shop has wonderful handmade crafts on sale which tells the amazing history of the Griqua people. Activi...


Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Griqua National Conference
The representatives from the Griekwa National Conference are committed to keeping the Griqua heritage alive, and were re...

House of Judah (Rastafarian Community)
The Rastafarian cultural community was started by offspring of the first people to inhabit the Southern tip of Africa.&n...

Sizamile Community Nursery
Sizamile Community Nursery offers reasonably priced indigenous plants and trees and also a variety of organically grown...

   Food & Drink

Below is a list of restaurants and other food and beverage outlets on this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

L'tees Community Restaurant
L’tees Community Restaurant is a wonderful place which combines a cosy atmosphere and scrumptious food. Their miss...


Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

BMW Love Life Centre
This multi-purpose facility is a partnership between the Knysna Municipality and Love Life, sponsored by the BMW Group....

Dorakus Catering
Doreen and Sarah offer traditional food and picnics. Their specialities include ginger beer, roosterbrood, cakes, moerko...

PH Kitchen
PH Kitchen (named after Penelope and Helen) offers good, healthy, traditional food made from organic vegetables and natu...

Sinetemba Youth Centre
The focus of Sinetemba Youth Centre is to rehabilitate the youth in self-sufficiency through training. The purpose of th...

Sister's Ital
Sister Karin is a versatile cook and has a passion for helping children in her local community. She received training in...

TSiBA Eden Campus - Karatara
TSiBA Eden Campus is located in the heart of the rural village of Karatara, near Knysna. This is Africa's first rural en...


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The Garden Route is South Africa's Garden of Eden. It is a combination of long, deserted beaches, tranquil lagoons, lush green forests and mountain ranges. It stretches along 227km from the Slang River near Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and the Storms River. 

This narrow temperate zone is wedged between the mountains and the sea and here nature has created a spectacular garden. The route covers the south-western reaches of South Africa’s high interior plateau the Great Karoo. This stark region takes its name from the Khoi word meaning 'land of great thirst'.

South Africa is known to be a land of great contrasts and the Mothers of Creation Experience Route, which parallels the Garden Route, showcases some of these contrasts: the lush coastal region and the stark Karoo; the despair of poverty and unemployment and the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of the local people; and even the difference of starting off a mere tourist to become a welcome guest in the community. 

Reasons to visit:

Between the town of George and the Tsitsikamma forests, the ruggedly beautiful Outeniqua and Langkloof mountains drop down from the interior plateau to the coastal plain. The mountains capture the rain clouds that rise from the sea and in turn fill the many streams and rivers, providing life-giving water to large tracts of forest. The name Outeniqua comes from the Khoi word meaning ‘People with Honey’, as the Khoi people collected honey from bees feeding on the region's wild flowers. The flowers of the Outeniqua Mountains form part of the fynbos, which makes up 80% of the Cape floral kingdom.

Some of South Africa’s largest trees are found in the forests dotted throughout the route, including the massive Outeniqua Yellowwoods (Podocarpus) which reach heights of up to 50m (a tree of this size would probably be over 800 years old with a trunk at least 3m in diameter). In both the Tsitsikamma and Knysna forests pathways have been cut through the forests to allow visitors to see some of these majestic “‘Big Trees”. Sadly, the great forests of indigenous hardwood trees have lost much of their former splendour as a result of ruthless exploitation during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Nevertheless, the Garden Route’s 65 000 hectares of surviving natural forest makes up the largest indigenous forest reserve in South Africa.

For centuries, herds of elephant roamed the plains and wetlands of the Southern Cape. By the beginning of the 20th century however, they had all but lost access to the coastal plain as a result of increasing human settlements. The elephants sought sanctuary in the depths of the Knysna forests, even though these woodlands are not the most ideal of habitats for the giants. 

Within this region are eight communities fighting to keep their land. Their struggle has given rise to the community-based Sustainable Women's Tourist Route (The Mothers of Creation Route). On this route tourists have the opportunity to meet local people while directly supporting the community to create a sustainable economic future. Other communities have also joined the route, enlarging and adding value.

What to expect when visiting the communities and enjoying a homestay:

  • Toilet facilities: The majority of the toilets are long drops (outside toilets with either a bucket or a large open hole beneath the toilet);
  • Towel: Although it is not necessary for all homestays, it is suggested that travellers bring their own towels;
  • Linen: Linen is provided at the majority of the establishments however, confirm this when making reservations; and
  • Water: Some of the establishments do not have running water inside the homestays.

This is a different experience. Leave behind running water, electricity, flushing toilets and preconceived ideas. Choose the excitement of the unknown and the opportunity to share the reality of other people’s lives.

As far as possible, directions are supplied for most communities and local establishments. However, once you arrive in the community, locals can usually give you further directions. As the communities are generally quite a distance from established towns, your hosts need at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare for your stay.

Travel etiquette:

  • Treat all residents with respect and dignity;
  • Ask for permission before taking photographs;
  • Don’t hand out money - rather make a donation to a local charity that will put your money to use for community projects; and
  • Take general safety precautions such as keeping valuables locked away.

This is not a route for the hurried or impatient traveller. It is a route to be cherished as it engulfs an area of incredible beauty and incredible people. The local people want to welcome visitors into their communities, their homes and their lives. You are invited to enjoy every aspect of the scenery, the culture and the people. Visitors will be treated to exceptional hospitality and warmth. 

Klein Karoo Klassique
  2016 Dates TBC    
Where:  Oudtshoorn    
Tel:  +27 44 203 8600

Klein Karoo Arts Festival (KKNK) is an Afrikaans arts and culture festival in the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. Ten years after the first festival, the KKNK starts its second decade with a shift of emphasis to the classical, without changing its winning recipe drastically.

Knysna Oyster Festival
When:  2016 dates TBC    
Where:  Knysna

A fun filled event including oyster braais, oyster tasting, oyster-eating competitions and other molluscular activities; live entertainment and lots of sporting events - cycling, running, canoeing, downhill racing and sailing.

Strawberry Festival
When:  2016 Dates TBC    
Where:  Redberry Farm, Geelhoutboom, George    
Contact Person: Fiona Villiers
Tel:  +27 44 870 7123

A wide variety of stallholders exhibiting good food, local wines and cheeses, fresh veggies, herbs and arts and crafts. Plenty of entertainment to keep both young and old busy from the beer tent, to the exciting miniature steam train, the 'strawberry express' and 'bubble balls' on the dam.

Klein Karoo National Arts Festival
When:  2016 dates TBC
Where:  Oudtshoorn
Tel: +27 44 203 8600
Fax: +27 44 272 7773

An Afrikaans arts and culture festival in the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn.


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Open Africa Routes

A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.

South Africa - Western Cape

South Africa - Western Cape

The Garden Route is South Africa’s Garden of Eden, a combination of long, deserted beaches and tranquil lagoons, lush green forests and mountain ranges. Tourists can enjoy the abundant natural resources and meet local people while directly supporting the poorer communities and contributing to their sustainable future.

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Key Contacts

Glendyrr Fick

Telephone: Click here
Mobile: Click here
Website: Click here


culture tsitsikamma arts-and-craft garden-route george knysna


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