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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Wilderness 2024
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7 Tips for Living in Wilderness

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Advice for people moving to Wilderness or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Wilderness or thinking about moving there.

Wilderness is a hidden gem nestled along the Garden Route. This coastal village is a paradise for expats and digital nomads, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, adventure, and tranquility. Here are seven key tips to help you make the most of your time in Wilderness.

1. Embrace the Outdoor Lifestyle

Wilderness is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With its pristine beaches, lush forests, and stunning hiking trails, there's always an adventure waiting. Try paragliding from Dolphin Point for a bird's eye view of the coastline, or explore the Wilderness National Park for a chance to spot local wildlife. The Garden Route Trail is a must for hiking enthusiasts, offering breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and surrounding landscapes.

2. Get to Know the Local Cuisine

South African cuisine is a melting pot of flavors, and Wilderness offers a variety of dining options to suit every palate. For a taste of local seafood, visit Salinas Beach Restaurant, known for its fresh catches and stunning sea views. The Girls Restaurant offers a unique dining experience with its eclectic menu and charming garden setting. For a casual bite, the Blue Olive Restaurant is a local favorite, serving up delicious pizzas and pastas.

3. Understand the Local Culture

South Africans are known for their warm hospitality and laid-back lifestyle. Take the time to engage with locals, learn about their traditions, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Attend community events, visit local markets, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation. You'll find that people in Wilderness are friendly and welcoming, making it easy to feel at home.

4. Find Your Ideal Living Space

Wilderness offers a range of accommodation options, from beachfront villas to cozy forest cabins. Consider your lifestyle and work needs when choosing a place to live. If you prefer a quiet environment, look for properties in the serene Wilderness Heights neighborhood. For those who want to be close to the action, the central village area offers easy access to shops, restaurants, and the beach.

5. Stay Connected

As a digital nomad, staying connected is crucial. While Wilderness has a relaxed, rural vibe, it's well-equipped with modern amenities. Most accommodations offer reliable Wi-Fi, and there are several cafes in the village where you can work while enjoying a cup of coffee. The Green Shed Coffee Roastery is a popular spot for digital nomads, offering high-speed internet and a peaceful work environment.

6. Explore the Surrounding Areas

While Wilderness itself has plenty to offer, it's also a great base for exploring the rest of the Garden Route. Take a day trip to Knysna to visit its famous lagoon, or head to Mossel Bay for a dose of history at the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex. The nearby town of George also offers a range of attractions, from golf courses to wine farms.

7. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in a new place is to get involved in the community. While we won't list specific organizations, we encourage you to research and find groups or events that align with your interests. Whether it's joining a local sports team, participating in community clean-ups, or attending local festivals, getting involved will help you form connections and deepen your understanding of the local culture.

Living in Wilderness, South Africa as an expat or digital nomad is a unique experience. With its stunning natural beauty, friendly community, and relaxed lifestyle, it's a place that captures hearts and imaginations. By embracing the local culture, exploring the great outdoors, and getting involved in the community, you'll not only make the most of your time in Wilderness but also create memories that will last a lifetime.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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