Did you know?
Sedgefield has built a number of 'tortoise towers', with the Slow Town Pledge on them.
Nothing happens quickly in Sedgefield, a little Garden Route town of about 15 000 residents who live between lakes, the ocean and nature reserves. Apart from its setting, most people know it for its famous weekly Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market.
Now Sedgefield’s laid-back lifestyle has been made official. This is Africa’s very first Slow Town, registered under the Cittaslow movement.
Cittaslow started in Europe in 1999 and is a continuation of the Slow Food movement. It’s the absolute opposite of the fast-lane, homogenous globalised world too many of us live in.
Cittaslow-registered towns (and there were over 140 around the world by the end of 2011) must abide by a list of values. These include celebrating what is unique to the town, preserving heritage, working for a sustainable future and a healthier lifestyle, caring for the aged, engaging young people, working towards a sustainable lifestyle and that noblest of aims: 'taking time for leisure and pleasure'.
It’s a celebration of what is unique and different over what is standard and globalised. It encourages relaxation and a sane approach to life.
Central to this character are hand-made goods, which you’ll find at the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market or at the Scarab Craft Market, where you can find unusual items like paper made from elephant dung.
Previously disadvantaged people are employed through the Masithandane Mosaic Project. They decorate town landmarks, signage and outdoor furniture.
Every Easter, Sedgefield has a Slow Festival, featuring slow music (bands with synthesizers and backtracks need not apply), slow food, a cigar and whisky evening, plus very restful activities like backgammon and boules, and building sandcastles.
For those who have trouble taking things easy, there are also faster activities like paragliding and kiteboarding, and the Pedal, Paddle and Pant event for cyclists, canoeists and runners.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0) 44 343 2658
Tel:+27 (0) 44 343 2007
Fax: +27 (0) 44 343 2010