The coastline around the Western Cape of South Africa is just spectacular. Sheer cliffs, turquoise water and abundant sea-life. Adam and I loved our time in the beautiful Hermanus – a bustling tourism hub, south east of Cape Town, but if you like places, a little more laid back and a a little more quiet, than Yzerfontein may be place for you…
We made the short drive up to Yzer (as the locals call it) from Cape Town one sunny afternoon, watching out for ostriches roaming the flat country either side of the road.
The Western Cape is experiencing its worst drought in decades and away from the hustle and bustle of the city it was easy to see just how dry it is. Driving into Yzer, it was warm and dusty – the air had an almost gritty quality to it. We rounded a corner and suddenly the ocean appeared. It was like a cool tonic, refreshing us from the arid inland.
Unlike Hermanus, Yzer’s coastline was made up of sandy dunes, covered in vegetation, making it relatively easy to reach the water. It was absolutely stunning and our little party of post-wedding travellers felt incredibly excited to be calling this place home for the next few nights.
Our days were filled with sunny walks along white beaches, long seafood lunches and afternoon naps. The water was much too cold for swimming (this is the South Atlantic after all!) but we relished the chance to wade barefoot in the chilly shallows, looking for life in rockpools and even spotting an ostrich or two on the beach!
By evening, we drank crisp South African sparkling wine watching intense sunsets over the ocean and feasted on ‘braais’ – the South African equivalent of a barbecue. Our host Christel, enlisted the help of her dad for the latter and he soon became known as the Braai Master and night after night he fed us the most delicious cooked meats. My favourite by far was his boerewors sausages – which almost melted in your mouth. Adam was so impressed with the braai, he’s contemplating building one in our Wagga Wagga backyard!
On our final day in Yzerfontein we visited a local game reserve to try and spot some of Africa’s native animals. We saw herds of zebra, springbok, kudo and wildebeest. Lions and a leopard were kept in their own fenced off areas and we were told they could never be released back into the wild as they’d come from zoos and didn’t have the necessary skills to hunt and survive on their own.
One of my favourite moments came when we happened upon a group of young male giraffes. I’ve always loved their beautiful big eyes (and those eyelashes!) and to see them roaming about was amazing.
We also had a close encounter with a rhino called Max. Max, who’s been de-horned in a bid to stop poachers attacking him, charged at our vehicle! Our guide explained to us, that his female mate is pregnant, so Max was doing all he could to protect her. The sheer power of his nudge though was impressive and Adam managed to take a great picture of him in full stride.
The game reserve we visited is tiny in comparison to some of the others around Africa, but it’s left both Adam and I with a huge yearning to go and visit a big national park like Kruger.
The following day we left behind Yzer and headed for South African wine country, but more on that next week.
Have a wonderful weekend! x