The 2016 South African Cross Country Championships takes place in Pacaltsdorp, George on 10 September 2016, so I thought it would be ideal to shed some light about the place, its people and the surrounding areas. Let us get right to it:

The city of George sits upon a 10km plateau between the impressive Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the South, halfway between Cape Town, 431kms by car, and Port Elizabeth 335km along the N2 highway, and is the heart of the Garden Route. With Mossel Bay to the West and Knysna to the East, the entire region is a visual paradise.

The township of Pacaltsdorp lies to the south. George is also the sixth oldest town in South Africa, situated in the stunning Western Cape Province and is referred to as the Capital of the Southern Cape. This town with its 203,253 inhabitants is a popular holiday destination, conference centre and the administrative and commercial hub of the Garden Route George. It is situated beneath the magnificent Outeniqua Mountain range, and surrounded by a remarkable blend of rivers, rich farmlands, forests and wild flowers. Its stunning scenery is a major attribute of the town.

Overall the town has a comfortable, small-town ambience. The mountains play a huge part in the beauty and drama of the region. Everywhere you go, whichever way you turn, you can see the mountains say Show Me Tm. The majority of people in George are Afrikaans-speaking, but all Afrikaners can speak English, because English is a required subject at South African schools. Similarly, most English speaking people in South Africa can speak Afrikaans.

I know you are making your way to George for the cross country championships, but a visit to a different city is not a visit unless you explore a bit. So please take the time out to visit the beautiful beaches like the Blue Whale Resort near Pacaltsdorp, Breakwater Bay, Wilderness, Oubaai, Herold’s Bay and the favorite Victoria Bay. And if you are a keen golfer, you are in luck, because George’s Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estate boasts with two 18- hole championship golf courses which were designed by the legendary Gary Player! A third course is- the Links, Fancourt, on the other hand, is a proud member of the ‘Great Golf Resorts of the World’. Keen golfers, you are in luck.

If you are one who loves the mountains and the wild, you can also make time for scenic drives along the Oteniqua Pass and Montagu Pass; visit the Garden Route Botanical Gardens with its almost 8000 plant species capacity and the historical places such as the Slave Tree. George is the hometown of legendary former long distance athlete Mr. Donovan Wright and the Olympic 5000m finalist Elroy Gelant. These two are proof that the people of George are very friendly, welcoming and ready to have you in George. So bring your luggage and explore the beautiful George and what it has to offer.