West Coast, Paternoster
The first time I drove into Cape Columbine Reserve I thought I’d been transported to the Seychelles. The sun was shining, the sea was that aquamarine blue you only see in travel brochures, and jutting out of it were dramatic granite boulders.
There are basic camping sites in the reserve, but it’s much more fun (and more comfortable) to stay at The Beach Camp. It’s rustic, with four wooden A-frame huts and six tents around a sheltered bay, and has a laid-back feel with communal ablutions including solar showers. Spoil yourself and enjoy a fish braai, a paella or another delicious meal on offer, or harvest your own from the sea (with a permit).
The beach bar is decorated with strings of shells and other flotsam, and if you’re feeling romantic there’s the Logo Lounge (named after Mr Logo, the friendly mongoose who pops in daily). But on most evenings the action is around the fire on the water’s edge. There’s a little island (well, an island at high tide) across the bay, where you can stroll and admire the flowers, herons, cormorants and other sea birds, the occasional buck and the view back to camp.
There are also amazing rock pools and rocky gullies to explore, guided sea-kayak tours and kayaks for hire, fabulous hiking, scrambling and snorkelling in the kelp forests and around the boulders.
The Beach Camp, 082 926 2267, email [email protected] or