BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Unique and unspoiled Sodwana Bay offering a wide variety of activities on both land and at sea
Sodwana Bay is located on the east coast of South Africa, in one of the most unique and unspoiled parts of the world. The KwaZulu-Natal province is home to the Zulu people who have inhabited the area in harmony with the land for several centuries. They still remain the predominant ethnic group in the region. Situated in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Maputaland Marine Reserve, efforts are made to protect its integrity from environmental degradation. You will find a peaceful and yet dynamic little town to spend some quality time away from home.

Come explore the area, meet the locals and enjoy a wide variety of activities in one of the top ten scuba diving destinations in the world.
For the avid ocean enthusiasts, sea turtle tours, ocean tours, kitesurfing, learning about sharks, fishing and much more is on the menu and Sodwana Bay will meet your highest expectations. While on land, go quad biking or on nature walks. Scan the horizon or look up to the sky where you will have the privilege to observe South Africa’s incredible wildlife. It is a prime location for bird watching, and several game reserves offer safaris where the big five can be spotted.

While visiting Sodwana Bay, the adventure seekers can experience the wild side of Africa by camping and those looking for a bit more luxury will also find affordable accommodations in the various cabins, chalets, guest houses, lodges and hotels.
Sodwana Bay will certainly charm you and memorable moments will be spent in this magical place.
Accommodation

General Options: http://www.safarinow.com/destinations/sodwana-bay/hub.aspx

Sodwana Bay Lodge: http://sodwanabaylodge.com

Sodwana Bay Camp: http://www.durban-direct.com/sodwana-bay/sodwana-bay-camp?gclid=CNXuvLSxrsECFSQFwwodbUAAkA
 

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Experience the charming and unspoilt village atmosphere of Pringle Bay, Cape Overberg

Pringle Bay

The little seaside village of Pringle Bay is one of the towns set within the natural beauty of the Kogelberg Biosphere, the only reserve in South Africa to be proclaimed by UNESCO, which supports over 1600 species of fynbos, 150 of which are endemic.

The charming village is nestled at the foot of the Hangklip Mountain and jealously guarded by its residents who frown upon unnecessary developments such as tarred roads and street lights. And rightly so as the town is beautifully secluded and unspoilt – lying quite far from the main coastal road and almost entirely within the shadow of the Hangklip, which marks the south-eastern point of False Bay. The naturally beautiful environment is home to a wide variety of birdlife and animals and, although historically a holiday town, there are a growing number of people, particularly artists, those in the theatre and film industry and people on retirement, who are choosing to live here permanently.
Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Pringle Bay offers an idyllic outdoor lifestyle: safe swimming, snorkelling around the many rock pools and crevices on the beach; diving for abalone, rock lobster and crayfish – although you will need a permit to do so – and amazing opportunities for bird watching that include the Sunbird, Sugar bird and the African Black Oystercatcher.

Pringle Bay falls within a protected area – one needs a permit to fish – and all the breeding bird colonies in the area are protected. For this reason, you’re more likely to catch a glimpse of animal life such as the Cape Clawless Otter and rare birds, and you have the added wonder of the Southern Right whale that visits these shores from June through December.
The scenic R44 Clarence Drive, which meanders through Rooiels, Pringle Bay, Bettys Bay and Kleinmond, offers simply magnificent views across False Bay. This steep coastal road, which follows the natural curve of the rocky sea cliffs on the coast, provides great whale watching spots along its route.

Other activities in the area include hiking trails through the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Hermanus with some of the best land-based whale watching in the world and Swellendam; a Penguin colony breeds on the mainland at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay or you can simply sit on the expansive beach at Pringle Bay and drink in the beauty of the surrounds.
Boat Launching
Cape Hangklip Ski Boat Slip – PRINGLE BAY – Tel: 028 273 8280

This site is located on the Hermanus side of Cape Hangklip and access is via the R44. Take the Pringle Bay turn-off and drive all the way through the village onto the gravel road. The turn-off to the site is the second public turning after the Bagdad Hotel by the “give-way” sign. There is no signpost. Boats are launched on pebble and sand alongside the broken concrete ramp. The boat exit is through the rocks.

Accommodation
Check out the accommodation options in Pringle Bay at:

http://www.sa-venues.com/accommodation/pringlebay.php

 

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Get away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life at St Michaels On Sea, KwaZulu Natal South Coast

St Michaels on Sea

St Michaels on Sea is a small seaside town on the south coast and lies between Margate and Port Shepstone in the Hibiscus Coast of KwaZulu Natal.

St Michaels is a tranquil and idyllic little town boasting picturesque scenery and pristine beaches. In fact, these superb characteristics attract so many to St Michaels on Sea. The main swimming beach at the mouth of the Umhlangeni River is popular with both swimmers and surfers alike.

St Michaels on Sea is a surfer’s paradise that attracts local and tourist surfers to their memorable surf locations. The combination of warm waters with fantastic swells and large waves are perfect for surfing. These waters are also ideal for all other watersports including windsurfing, jetskiing and boating. There are also a few popular fishing spots and superb tidal pools.
The warm Indian Ocean flows across this beautiful shoreline and contains a world of wonders! Go scuba diving or snorkelling and discover the diverse species of exquisite tropical fish and coral reefs. An underwater camera is essential in these clear waters as you’re bound to come across wide varieties of sharks, sting rays, jelly fish and game fish.

If this is too much activity for you, take a leisurely stroll or just generally relax and soak up some sun on the warm sands of St Michaels. Your overnight stay in St Michaels will not disappoint. The accommodation in St Michaels is as luxurious as it is cozy. Enjoy refreshing sundowners from your room as you admire the radiant sky and feast on sumptuous meals.
The marvellous 9 hole golf course in St Michaels offers a challenging course with a number of water features. This short course is perfect for a quick morning round, before exploring the rest of the wonders of St Michaels. St Michaels on Sea may be small, but certainly an ideal holiday and boating destination. It is a tranquil place where city dwellers can relax and unwind.

Accommodation Options

For further information click on the link:
http://www.sa-venues.com/accommodation/stmichaelsonsea.php

 

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Gouritsmond in the Garden Route is untouched by modern tourism and is a great place to escape to

Gouritsmond

Just over an hour’s drive from Still Bay, Gouritsmond lies on the Garden Route on the coast, at the mouth of the Gourits River – creating a wonderful water playground where river meets sea. Pretty little stone houses that date back to the 1920s still dominate parts of the village, testimony to the farmers that descended on the area on holiday from the Albertinia district. The area continues to be dominated by sheep and wheat farmers, as the town continues to function as a holiday spot, a popular beach, and most definitely a place which to escape.

It is also great for fishing and used to be called The Fisheries, because of the opportunity to catch, especially Kabeljou. Thus fishing charters are available and stories abound about ‘how big’ the last Kabeljou caught in the river was.
The village itself is small, so stocking up before arrival is probably a good idea. This said, it does have its own supermarket, a restaurant or two, an ATM and a tidal pool that is good to know about if you have children. The beach too is beautiful, swimmable and renowned for surfing.

Look out for the threatened black Oyster Catcher as you enjoy incredible coastal hikes. It is also a great place to spot whales during the season between July and November, and shell middens that date back 2000 years have been discovered on the east and west banks of the Gourits River.

A mild climate makes Gouritsmond a year-round destination, but it is during spring and summer that tourists descend on the sleepy town for water skiing on the Gouritz River, boating and rubber-ducking, or simply to soak up the sun on the long stretches of beach. The beach is ideal for swimming, surfing, sunbathing or simply strolling along to the river mouth.
In addition there are flora trails, small game-viewing, 4×4 and quad bike trails, sea cruises and deep-sea fishing, water skiing, kayaking and canoeing.

There are also numerous spots for shore angling, snorkelling and spear fishing. Watch the ski-boats cutting through the surf at the river mouth into the mighty Indian Ocean for a day of leisure, fishing and deep-sea diving.

ACCOMMODATION:

http://www.wheretostay.co.za/towns/gouritsmond/self-catering-house

http://www.wheretostay.co.za/towns/gouritsmond/self-catering-flat

 

BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

St Helena Bay – The Bay of Bays
Eighteen bays, stunning sea views and sparkling surf make St Helena Bay a very special destination
Discovered by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1497, St Helena Bay, known locally as ‘Die Agterbaai’, is one of the world’s prime fishing centres. Fed by the nutrient-rich Benguela current, the waters teem with marine life, which provides the livelihood for its coastal inhabitants. The main harbour at Sandy Point bustles with activity and shipbuilders and fishermen rub shoulders as they go about their daily work. The fisherfolk haul in the ‘trek’ nets to harvest the day’s catch and the womens’ sleight of hand as they ‘vlek’ snoek is a marvel to behold.
Their cultural heritage is unique and the quaint tongue of the locals will bring a smile to the face of those who stop to savour their vernacular. When in production, and by prior arrangement, visitors can join a tour of a fishing factory or watch the trek nets being repaired.

Southern Right whales return here to mate and calve annually and St Helena Bay is home to the endemic Heaviside’s dolphin, classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN Red List, and Humpback and Killer whales, amongst other cetacean species. It is also the southernmost point for the Palearctic migratory birds from northern Europe and Siberia, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise.
After good rains, the fields are bedecked in the bright colours of myriad spring flowers, making it a great winter destination. Its pristine beaches beg to be explored and the waters await the aquasport enthusiasts. The sports centre (now under construction) in the Shelley Point private development has been designed with the more energetic in mind. This 31km stretch of beautiful coastline boasts 18 bays, three working harbours, stunning beaches and rock formations, and all this only 90 minutes away from Cape Town.

St Helena Bay is certainly a great all-year-round destination for outdoor and nature lovers and an ideal base for exploring outlying areas.
St Helena Bay Top Attractions:
Shelley Point Hotel, Spa & Country Club – Tel: 022 742 1508
Dolphin and Whale Watching – Tel: 022 742 1944
Vasco da Gama Monument – Tel: 022-7362374

Accommodation in St Helena Bay: http://capewestcoastpeninsula.co.za/sthelenabay/accommodation.php