Family getaway delights
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The South Coast has built a reputation for being a getaway for all ages with its pristine beaches and water sports. Here are some of its hidden gems:
The Red Desert
Where: Maurice Road, Rennies Beach, Port Edward
The Red Desert, known as the world’s smallest desert, is located at the Red Desert Nature Reserve. Reserve manager Matt Williams says the desert got its red colour because of its high iron content and is an erosional landscape with “yardangs” (wind-sculpted dune formations) and rhizoliths (signs of ancient plant roots).
The desert dates back 1.5million years. Visitors can either book private tours or go on their own, and enjoy the scenery, bird watching, hiking, mountain biking or do a trail run.
Where: R61, Munster
Cost: Individual rates apply.
Contact: Call 0393191033, e-mail [email protected]
This gem is great for all members of the family, even those who do not like leaving the house much. Owners Vernon and Gloria Duggan purchased the 16-hectare property in 2005. It was once home to a 50-year old farmhouse, old outbuildings and sheds.
The Duggans have transformed it into a special retail destination on the South Coast. Among the attractions are a food and wine emporium, animal farm, butterfly dome tours and adventure activities such as zip-lining and paint ball.
Try the famous banana milkshakes and cinnamon pancakes at the Banana Café and Pancake Bar.
Beaver Creek Coffee Farm
Where: Izingolweni Road, Port Edward
Cost: Tours R60
It’s one of the best coffee farms in the country. There is a 45- to 60-minute tour of the coffee estate at noon daily and it includes a bottomless coffee tasting. Indulge in coffee liqueur shots at the end of the tour.
Where: Walk starts from Wild Coast Sun, Main Bizana Road, Bizana, Port Edward
Cost: Adults: R80. Free for children under 16.
Did you know that the stretch of beach between the Wild Coast Sun and the Mzamba River is known as the Petrified Forest? It represents the fossilisation remains of an ancient marine environment deposited during the Cretaceous period 85 million years ago.
The site was discovered in 1824 by pioneer HF Fynn. The inter-tidal reefs exposed on the beach during low tide and the cliffs on both sides of the Mzamba River estuary contain a collection of large petrified logs and marine life, including ammonites, giant clams, turtle scutes and shells or shell fragments. The two to three-hour walk offers gorgeous views of the sea. Although the 12km trek may seem daunting, it’s a one-of-a-kind trip accompanied by a lot of historical information. Put on plenty of sunscreen for the walk.
Where: Lot 35, Remainder Farm, Bellevue, Ramsgate
Cost: Entry free.
Contact: 0393168212 or e-mail [email protected]
Imagine a place where you can disconnect from the world, a place where tranquillity and peace exude, and where you can take every moment to appreciate yourself.
This place is S’khumba Crafts in Ramsgate. Specialising in leather wear, it was opened 23 years ago by Brian and Karen Bernstein. There is a restaurant and seating area where visitors can relax and grab a bite to eat.
* Moodley was hosted by Ugu South Coast Tourism during his two-day stay.