Betty s Bay the coastal town home to South Africa s best sunsets

Winona Griggs

Discover the Mesmerizing Sunsets of Betty’s Bay

Imagine a place where the sky elegantly paints itself in brilliant colors, casting a spellbinding scene over the coastal town of Betty’s Bay. That place exists, and it’s right here in South Africa.

As evening approaches, you witness a captivating transformation unfold before your very eyes. The sun gracefully descends towards the horizon, casting a warm golden glow upon the tranquil waters. Shades of orange, pink, and purple cascade across the sky, creating a breathtaking palette that could rival any artist’s masterpiece.

But it’s not just the colors that make Betty’s Bay sunsets so special. The serenity of the surroundings adds an enchanting touch to the experience. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Betty’s Bay is a haven of natural beauty. The soft whispers of the ocean harmonize with the gentle sea breeze, creating a symphony of tranquility that soothes the soul.

As you bask in the ethereal glow of the setting sun, you can’t help but marvel at nature’s impeccable artistry. The way the sun’s rays reflect off the water, illuminating everything in a soft, luminous light, is simply awe-inspiring.

Every sunset in Betty’s Bay is a unique masterpiece, deserving of admiration and contemplation. It’s a moment of pause, a time to reflect on the beauty and wonder of the world. These sunsets remind us of the ephemeral nature of life, urging us to cherish every fleeting moment.

Whether you are a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking solace and serenity, Betty’s Bay is the ideal destination. Lose yourself in the kaleidoscope of colors, surrender to the peaceful ambiance, and let the rhythm of the ocean guide you to a place of pure bliss.

So why settle for ordinary when you can experience the extraordinary? Escape to Betty’s Bay and be captivated by the magic of its mesmerizing sunsets. It’s an experience you will treasure for a lifetime.

Betty s Bay the coastal town home to South Africa s best sunsets

When it comes to Betty’s Bay, there’s so much to explore. From beautiful sandy beaches and unique fynbos vegetation to adorable penguins and majestic whales, this place has it all. But amidst all the wonders, there’s one spot that stands out for the perfect sundowner experience – your own stoep.

Let me introduce myself – I’m Nick Dall, and I have a deep connection with Betty’s Bay. In fact, I’ve been visiting this place since before I was born. It holds a special place in my heart, and my love for it even inspired me to write a novel set in this charming town about 15 years ago.

Betty s Bay the coastal town home to South Africa s best sunsets

If you head to Van den Berg’s Guesthouse, you’ll find a gorgeous coastline that’s perfect for fishing and wave-watching. It’s a place where nature puts on a show, with stunning views in every direction. When the wind is calm, you’ll be treated to a picture-perfect scene. The sandy beach stretches out before you, its pristine white contrasting against the vivid blue of the sea.

But don’t expect calm waters every day. Betty’s Bay is known for its breezy conditions, and windless days are a rarity. During the summer months, the Southeaster wind dominates, making the ocean feel icy and inhospitable. Winter brings the Northwester wind, a force that channels through the kloof. This wind brings rain and warmer waters, creating the ideal conditions for fish, particularly galjoen.

If you want to truly appreciate Betty’s Bay, you have to embrace the elements. It’s a place where nature reigns supreme, and you must adapt to its whims. So pack your fishing gear, watch the waves crash against the shore, and let the beauty of Betty’s Bay wash over you.

So here’s the story: My parents first crossed paths in a quaint little spot called Betty’s Bay back in 1960. I find it funny to imagine them as two six-year-olds, blissfully unaware of the adventure that awaited them. Now, you might be wondering how they ended up meeting in the first place. Well, picture this – my dad, with his pockets full of dinky cars, would spend hours on end playing in a giant sandpile right next to the house his parents were building. Meanwhile, my mom and her family were camping just a stone’s throw away. It was like fate had brought them together, without either of them even realizing it.

Since that fateful encounter, both families have been drawn back to Betty’s Bay time and time again. It’s become a cherished tradition, woven into the very fabric of our lives. When I was just a little tyke of three, my parents decided to build their own humble abode, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from both sets of grandparents. It was pure magic. Picture this: waking up to the smell of pancakes wafting through the air, with the promise of not one, not two, but three delicious breakfasts. Yes, you heard that right. Some days, life was just that good.

Fast forward a few decades, and here I am now, with my own brood of kiddos. We’ve carried on the tradition of spending blissful days in Betty’s Bay, soaking up the sun and making memories to last a lifetime. One of our favorite activities is catching tadpoles in the sloot at the bottom of the driveway. It’s a simple joy, but one that holds so much meaning. It’s a reminder of where we come from, the connections we share, and the love that binds us together.

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Betty s Bay the coastal town home to South Africa s best sunsets

So, you’ve finished exploring the Harold Porter Botanical Garden and now it’s time for a relaxing coffee break by the pond. Take a moment to soak in the serene surroundings.

But times have definitely changed around here. Nowadays, there are more houses dotted around, and you’ll even find some charming little shops and restaurants. It’s become a bustling little community. Did you know that penguins were introduced to the area from Dyer Island back in 1982? And it wasn’t until 1987 that electricity finally made its way to Betty’s Bay. Some of the locals, like my parents, held on to their gas appliances for a while, hesitant to embrace the change.

Oh, if only the old couple who used to wander down the long gravel road to the beach were still here. They were quite the sight, walking completely naked. But with all the changes and progress, I’m sure they would have reluctantly put some clothes on by now.

But let me tell you, Betty’s Bay is a place that hasn’t changed much over the years. Trust me, when I say that Pringle Bay, Kleinmond, and even Hermanus have undergone some serious transformations. They may have their fancy restaurants and bustling town centers, but they’ve lost something along the way. And that something is the very essence of Betty’s Bay.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The complaints about the wind and the lack of restaurants may seem like valid concerns. But here’s the thing – those very complaints are what make Betty’s Bay so special. You see, in this quaint little town, you can truly be yourself. There’s no need to put on a show or conform to anyone’s expectations. In Betty’s Bay, you can just be… you.

Take it from Helena Chislett, a resident of Betty’s Bay since the 80s. She knows a thing or two about what makes this place tick. And according to her, it’s all about authenticity. It’s about being able to walk down the street and greet your neighbors by name. It’s about feeling the wind on your face and knowing that you’re part of something greater.

So, yes, Betty’s Bay may not have all the fancy trappings of its neighboring towns. But in my opinion, that’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to live in a place that embraces you for who you are. It’s a place where you can find solace in the simplicity and beauty of everyday life.

So, if you’re looking for a place where you can truly be yourself, then you’ll love Betty’s Bay. Sure, it may not have all the bells and whistles, but it has something far more valuable – a sense of belonging.

Betty s Bay the coastal town home to South Africa s best sunsets

At Betty’s, there’s always something blooming… like the kreupelhout. It’s a sight to behold! When you visit Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, you’ll realize just how exceptional the fynbos is. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this garden is home to the most diverse plant habitat on the entire planet. Can you believe that the Cape Floral Kingdom boasts a whopping 5,800 unique species, while the British Isles have a mere 47? It’s mind-blowing! Now, I know you might not be a plant expert, but that’s okay. The garden has cleverly organized its sections based on biomes, with convenient boardwalks criss-crossing through them. It’s like a crash course in nature’s wonders!

Hey there! I want to tell you about a stunning place where you can have an awesome adventure. It’s a perfect spot to take a break, enjoy nature, and stretch your legs.

Have you ever heard of the Disa Kloof Waterfall? It’s like a scene out of a shampoo commercial, I’m not kidding! You can get there by taking a leisurely 20-minute walk along the banks of a shady river. And let me tell you, in the summertime, it’s even more amazing! The beautiful disas, with their vibrant colors, appear among the moss and little streams. It’s truly a sight to behold. But wait, there’s more!

If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, you should check out Leopard’s Kloof. It’s a bit of a steep hike, but totally worth it. You’ll need to climb a few ladders, but don’t worry, it’s loads of fun! Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views that will make you feel on top of the world.

Now, let me tell you about a different kind of adventure. At Stony Point, you can see the cutest Cape penguins in a more relaxed environment than the busy Boulders near Simon’s Town. It’s a real treat! Now, you might be surprised to know that these little penguins have had quite a journey. Despite a couple of incidents with leopards in the past, they have managed to thrive and make this place their home. They even build their nests under the stoeps of the nearby houses! Just imagine, you can see these adorable birds and the veld is covered with their guano.

So, if you’re looking for a memorable experience in nature, make sure to visit these incredible spots. You won’t regret it!

Back in the day, Stony Point was a bustling whaling station where Norwegian crews would hunt and kill about 300 whales each year. It’s amazing to think that now, the same place is home to penguins who have taken over the very vats where whale blubber was once boiled. And if you take a trip to the bay, you can still catch a glimpse of the Una, a wooden steam trawler that sank back in the 1920s.

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Just like that old ship, my role in Betty’s Bay has also undergone a transformation over the years. When I was growing up, I used to spend my days diving for kreef and fishing for kabeljou. But these days, you’re more likely to find me at Bass Lake, getting down and dirty with my kids, making mud pies, or grilling up a storm at home while we watch the sun go down behind the Blesberg.

So here’s the thing, folks. It’s hard for us locals to agree on much. We always have different opinions about this and that. But there’s one thing we can all unanimously shout about: witnessing the sunset. Some may say you don’t have to do much, just find a comfy spot and grab a drink. The only rule is to make sure you’re chilling out, taking it all in as the sun paints the sky in vibrant colors. Whether you’re by the beach, up on a hill, or anywhere else, each sunset is unique in its own fantastic way.

Now, I can tell you for sure, no two sunsets in Betty’s Bay are alike. They change with the season, the time of year, and even the weather. And let me tell you, everyone here is convinced that the sunset from their porch is the absolute best. Yeah, that’s right, they’re all a bunch of sunset snobs. But here’s the thing, they’re all pretty darn magnificent, even when the mighty Southeaster tries its best to mess things up. It just can’t dull the magic of those glorious sunsets.

Betty s Bay the coastal town home to South Africa s best sunsets

Hey there! I want to tell you about some amazing beaches and swimming holes that you absolutely have to check out. So, let’s dive right in!

The Best Beaches & Swimming Holes

1. Shelly Beach – This beach is perfect for little kids, and it’s protected from the Northwester wind, making it a safe and fun place to swim.

2. Main Beach – If you’re into surfing, this is the ultimate spot for you. The waves here are top-notch. If you prefer swimming, head to the right of the lifeguard’s chair, where it’s safer. You can easily find this beach across from the parking lot.

3. Silversands Beach – Are you a dog lover? Then you’ll love this beautiful stretch of beach, where you can take your furry friend for long walks. Just make sure to keep them away from the oystercatcher nests.

4. Bass Lake – After a refreshing swim in the sea, this is the perfect place to rinse off and relax. The calm waters of the lake will make you feel rejuvenated.

5. Palmiet River – When the Southeaster wind is blowing, this is the place to be for swimming. The river offers a great spot to cool off and have some fun in the water.

Betty s Bay the coastal town home to South Africa s best sunsets

When you visit Betty’s, you’ll discover a serene and idyllic beach, where the sand is white and the sea is a vibrant, deep blue. The best part? It’s not overcrowded, so you can truly take in the beauty of the surroundings.

Wondering where the locals go? Here are some insider tips:

1. Meet Julia Young-Pugh, a lifelong holidaymaker:
“If you’re looking for a place to walk your dogs on the mountain, I highly recommend Rod’s Trail. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.”

2. Valnay Smith, a friendly waitress, shares her go-to spot:
“When I need some time to clear my head, I love sitting on the bench next to the slipway and gazing out at the vastness of the sea. It’s incredibly calming.”

3. Raoul van den Berg, a guest-house owner, reveals a hidden gem:
“For those who prefer a more relaxed hike, the Palmiet River Trail in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve is an absolute must. It offers stunning views and is kinder to older knees.”

4. John Ferreira, an estate agent, knows the perfect place for a satisfying meal:
“To satisfy your taste buds, don’t miss out on the lamb burger and seafood bisque at Jack’s. Not only is the food mouthwatering, but the views are also breathtaking. Give them a call at 0835547789.”

5. Ebraime Hull nursery propagator
“When you visit Harold Porter garden in August and September, you’ll be treated to a spectacular display of proteas, ericas, and mimetes in full bloom.”

Plan your trip

Getting there

If you’re coming from Cape Town, just hop on the N2 and take the Gordon’s Bay turn-off right before Sir Lowry’s Pass. As you drive along the R44, which is already an attraction in itself, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the dramatic False Bay coastline. Keep an eye out for whales, as they often make an appearance between June and November.

Need to know

If you need to stock up on groceries, Penguin Place on Clarence Drive is the place to go. Alternatively, you can find a large Spar supermarket in Kleinmond, approximately 11km away. For any other essentials, Betty’s has a petrol station next to Centre Shop Superette, and you’ll also find an ATM there. Most shops and restaurants accept credit cards.

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Stay here

Welcome to Van den Berg’s Guesthouse and B&B, a luxurious haven nestled along the breathtaking coastline. Our suites are impeccably clean and offer everything you need, from refreshing showers to fully-equipped kitchenettes. And let’s not forget about the full DSTV for all your entertainment needs.

But it’s not just our accommodations that make us special; it’s our warm hospitality. Every evening, my husband Raoul and I join our guests on the balcony to watch the magnificent sunset while enjoying a complimentary drink. It’s the perfect way to unwind and appreciate the beauty around us.

If you’re looking for a more vintage experience, The Trail House is just for you. With its origins dating back to the 1940s, this charming establishment offers stunning views of the sea and mountains. While some of the rooms may show signs of age, they all come with their own en-suite facilities and a private stoep. Can’t miss the mountain-facing room with its own tranquil garden and built-in braai. Rates start at R550 per night for two people, and breakfast is an additional R55 per person.

For those seeking elegance, look no further than Kapensis Guesthouse. Situated in the valley between Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, this hidden gem will enchant you with its grand swimming pool and captivating surroundings. Treat yourself to a double room starting at R1400 per night, and wake up to a delicious breakfast included.

What to Do

If you want to see adorable penguins, head over to the Stony Point Nature Reserve. They have a thriving colony, so you’ll spot plenty of these delightful birds even outside the official reserve. It’s worth paying the entrance fee, which starts at R20 per person, to enjoy the breathtaking views from the end of the point. The reserve is open from 8:00 to 16:00, and you can reach them at 0282729829.

Another fantastic place to visit is the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden. You’ll find an incredible variety of fynbos here, with 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos and 191 hectares of natural fynbos. To fully appreciate this natural wonder, I recommend taking a guided tour with Jane Forrester. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to book this tour at least two weeks in advance. For more information, you can reach Jane at 0282729311.

If you’re up for a scenic hike, don’t miss out on Leopard’s Kloof. However, make sure to arrive early as they limit the number of visitors. You can obtain the key from 8:00 to 13:00 by leaving a R50 deposit. The entrance fee to the garden is R25 per person. If you have any questions, feel free to call them at 0282729311.

If you’re up for an adventure in nature, I highly recommend hiking the Oudebosch Trail. This scenic trail is about six kilometers long and starts at the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Along the way, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful indigenous forests and treated to breathtaking views. Just keep in mind that permits are required to access the trail, and they can be obtained between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm. The cost is R40 per person, but if you have a Wild Card, you can enjoy the trail for free. To find the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, simply look for the sign off the R44 before Kleinmond. If you have any questions, you can reach them at 0872880499.

If you’re feeling hungry…

The Tides is the go-to spot for an elegant dining experience in town. While the ownership may have changed recently, the sophistication remains. They offer a variety of delicious dishes, but the steaks are definitely a crowd pleaser, and the prawns are top-notch. Don’t forget to try their exceptional salads! The portions are generous, so come with a healthy appetite. You can expect to pay around R110 for a main course. To make a reservation, give them a call at 0282729835.

Hey there! Have you heard of The On The Edge Restaurant at Stony Point Nature Reserve? It’s a pretty cool spot. What makes it even cooler is that it’s a community project run by women from the hamlet of Mooi Uitsig. How awesome is that?

When you go to On The Edge, make sure you try their hearty breakfasts. Trust me, they’re amazing and will keep you satisfied. And if you’re in the mood for some fish and chips, you’re in luck because it’s one of their most popular dishes. It’s definitely worth a try!

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the history display in the adjoining room. It’s all about the whaling station, which is super interesting. You won’t want to miss it.

If you want to get in touch with them, you can give them a call at 0607207885. They’d love to hear from you!

By the way, this story was featured in the January 2017 issue of Getaway magazine. It’s a great read, so make sure you check it out if you get a chance.

And just a little heads up, our bucket list January issue is jam-packed with 48 awesome destinations that fit your budget and timeline. It’s like a dream come true. Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia, and Hawaii are just a few of the places you absolutely have to visit in 2018. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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