Travel Guide Africa South Africa Western Cape George



George is a city of about 200,000 inhabitants along the Garden Route, located in the east of the Western Cape. Although it is not a very attractive city, it has a few sights and might be a convenient place to spend the night and do daytrips from there to for example Oudtshoorn.

It is the sixth oldest town in South Africa and is halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Cradled by the Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south, George is an ideal town from which to explore the area's many scenic attractions – be it on the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe train, on walks and hikes on the George and Cradock Peaks, on a boat fishing, or pushing a cart across the golf courses at Fancourt. Rich in historical landmarks, such as the Slave Tree and the King Edward VII Library, George retains a small-town character without compromising on a sophisticated infrastructure.



Sights and Activities

  • George Museum
  • George Transport Museum
  • Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train



Getting There

By Plane

George Airport (GRJ) has flights to Johannesburg with 1time, Comair, Kulula and South African Airlink. The latter flies to Durban and Cape Town as well.

By Train

The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train goes daily to Mossel Bay in the morning, returning in the afternoon.

By Car

George is located at the crossroads of the N2, east to Port Elizabeth and west to Cape Town, and the N12 going north via Oudtshoorn to Beaufort West where it meets the N1 (main road Cape Town - Johannesburg).
Distances to George are:

  • Cape Town - 438 kilometres
  • Durban - 1319 kilometres
  • Johannesburg - 1171 kilometres
  • Bloemfontein - 773 kilometres
  • Pretoria - 1229 kilometres
  • Port Elizabeth - 335 kilometres

By Bus

Greyhound South Africa, Intercape and Translux all serve George. Connections include Cape Town (7 hours, twice daily), Johannesburg (15 hours, daily), Port Elizabeth (5 hours, twice daily), Bloemfontein (10 hours, daily) and more frequent connections to Knysna (1,5 hours) and Plettenberg Bay (2 hours).
The Baz Bus stops in town as well, with shuttle to hostels in Oudtshoorn if you call ahead.



Getting Around

Preferably by car. York street is the main artery. There are permanent speed cameras. In season, over Christmas (December and early January) and Easter (April), however, there are temporary manned speed cameras everywhere. Driving between George and Knysna there are permanent speed cameras in the Kaaimans River Pass. The speed limit on this pass is 60 km/h for a reason, the pass is very dangerous to take at high speeds, especially when wet.




Mexican food at Coyote Caktus which also serves excellent pizza. Enjoy a delicious "wonderpatat" at the Lila's Arms restaurant in Blanco, a suburb of George. George also has a Spur restaurant and McDonald's. The Upstairs at Harry's is also an excellent coffee shop. The new Garden Route mall, St George's Square and the Pick 'n Pay shopping centres also contain various restaurants. For a more Eastern taste there is a Mai Ling Taiwanese Restaurant.




There are numerous fine drinking and dining holes along this stretch of the Garden Route. Bongos in Wilderness Village overlooks the lovely beach.




There are many hotels and guest houses and a Backpackers hostel throughout the city. Victoria Bay east of George has lots of tourist accommodation (and is a popular surf spot).

Hyatt Regency Oubaai, 406 Herolds Bay Rd, ☏ +27 44 851-1234. A golf and spa resort with 100 rooms and suites overlooking the Indian Ocean and Outeniqua Mountains. The hotel is part of the Oubaai Golf and Lifestyle Center featuring Ernie Els' first 18-hole championship golf course in South Africa, a Lifestyle Center and Golf Academy.
Outeniqua Travel Lodge, 70 c J langenhoven road heatherlands, ☏ +27 82 316-7720. Dorms and doubles. R120/220 pp..

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


Big cities and most of the popular places in the country usually have an internet café though they are not as abundant as in, for example, Asia or South America. It's also relatively expensive, usually 20-30 rand an hour, sometimes even more. Many of the accommodation options have internet access available, either wireless with your own laptop or by their own computer(s). Wireless access is also available throughout the country in more and more cafes and eateries, sometimes free and sometimes for a small fee. Note that you usually have to login anyway and agree with the terms and conditions. It is cheapest to buy a prepaid cell phone starter pack (less than R10) and access the Internet with GPRS or 3G. Generally R2 per MB for out of bundle data from most providers (50c for Virgin Mobile), but it becomes a lot cheaper if you buy a data bundle. In general coverage is good except the more rural parts of the northern and northwestern parts of the country (especially Northern Cape).


See also International Telephone Calls

South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls). The general emergency number is 10111, ambulance is 10177 and police is 1011.

South Africa has very good phone facilities, which are also becoming more and more competitively priced, now that more operators are active on the market. The main ones are Neotel and Telkom South Africa. Local phone calls are cheap (about one Rand an hour), domestic long-distance calls are about twice as expensive. International calls start at around 6 Rand an hour but can be (much) higher to less usual countries. Note that public phones are about twice as cheap as new private phone centres. Phone calls tend to be the cheapest during the weekend and during business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm) on weekdays and more expensive during the evening and nights at weekdays.

There are also good mobile-phone facilities, with GSM and 3G networks. There are five cell phone providers in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta. SIM card prepaid starter kits are available from R10. You will need a passport and a proof of residential address and it has to be registered before you can call or receive calls. You can buy credit for prepaid phones just about everywhere, remembering you will usually need cash to do so from service stations.


The SAPO (South African Post Office) is the nation's postal service. They have a track & trace system for parcels as well. Post offices are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Domestic and international deliveries are reliable but can sometimes take up to several weeks. If you want to send something oversees of any value, try using one of the private mail services, like Postnet. Also international courier companies like TNT, UPS and DHL tend to be fast, very reliable and competitively priced.


Accommodation in George

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in George searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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This is version 6. Last edited at 14:59 on May 29, 20 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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