By Liezel van der Westhuizen
How often do you escape Cape Town to explore what’s on offer along the coast just outside the Mother City? I recently discovered a coastal village boasting with the longest non-stop stretch of white sand coastline in the Southern Hemisphere. This place is Struisbaai. According to legend, Struisbaai was named for the large numbers of ‘vogelstruise’ (ostriches) once found in the area. Another legend has that its named for the size of its beach – an old Nederland word for “huge”.
I paid a visit to the charming little Struisbaai Harbour recently. It is a small, quaint little harbour with small fishing vessels dotted here and there. The harbour was originally built in 1959 and enlarged in 1990. It serves local fishing boats, as well as ski boats for the flock of visitors that come to the town during the holiday season. One of the unique tourist attractions of Struisbaai is the community of giant sting rays that live within its sheltered waters. Visitors are thrilled to see these two metre long rays. The beach in Struisbaai is exquisite, with an almost subtropical feel to it. The water here is crystal clear and its radiant colour is enhanced by the colourful boats that reside in the harbour.
There are incredible wines produced in this area, to add to its appeal. I had a chance to visit two of these estates: The Black Oyster Catcher and JD Wines. The Black Oyster Catcher is a family-run wine farm where the boutique Black Oystercatcher wines are made. The crisp, elegant, fruity flavours that characterise the wines are formed by the cool coastal winds and the unique Elim soil of the Agulhas Plain and moulded by their distinctive wine-making philosophy.
JD Wines was established when Jean and Renee Daneel settled into the quiet, but quaint country town of Napier en route to the well known Arniston, Struisbaai and L’Agulhas in 2004. First, they established their wine farm and boutique winery that their eldest son, Jean-Pierre heads as winemaker now.
It’s the perfect weekend getaway with loads of fun activities to keep one busy, including hiking; adrenaline fuelled boat trips; 4×4 trips; bay and sunset cruises; horseback riding; surfing; kite surfing; kayaking; stand up paddling; sea tubing; mountain biking; and wind surfing.