Tietiesbaai & Columbine Reserve.

A few km’s south of Paternoster, in the Cape Columbine Nature reserve which covers an area of 263ha along the rocky coast and was declared a nature reserve in December 1973,  is the famous Tietiesbaai. I have no idea where the name originates from and nobody I spoke to could enlighten me. One thing I do know is that it is a truly beautiful place to visit and spend time just relaxing and communicating with nature. It is also a camping and caravan location (I hesitate  to use the word caravan park) with no electricity and a very  limited supply of  solar heated hot water for showering. The hot water supply is fairly new and for many years you could only have cold showers.

Tietiesbaai beach.

Tietiesbaai beach.

The bay is incredibly well sheltered and on the day I was there is was blowing quite hard and the sea outside the bay extremely rough and yet the water  in the bay was clear and calm.

Campers on the otherside of the bay.

Campers on the other side of the bay.

The are no demarcated official sites and it is first come first served. Find a spot you fancy and set up camp.


In spite of the fairly bad dirt road to Tietiesbaai there were quite a few caravans.

I noticed that at least one of the caravanners had brought along a generator which must have been pretty noisy for all their neighbours.

Most were staying in tents.

I believe that during the December and Easter holiday season the place is packed.

The ablution block.
The ablution block.

The ablution blocks were pretty rudimentary and it was only recently that solar heated water was installed. Judging from the size of the tanks on the roof not to many people would have hot showers.

One last shot looking back at the beach from the main camping area.
One last shot looking back at the beach from the main camping area.

I have to make an admission here and say that I did not go to the next place I am going to show as it was only after I had left the area that I heard about The Beach Camp also situated in the Cape Columbine reserve.

The Beach Camp. (photo from the web-site)
The Beach Camp. (photo from the web-site)

The Beach Camp’s tents and wooden A-frame huts have beds and pillows so all you have to bring is your own sleeping bag or duvet. There are hot showers and cooking facilities although they can supply meals including their fabulous seafood dinners. The area is also one of the best sea-kayaking venues (weather and sea permitting) in SA with plenty of seals, dolphins, whales and spectacular bird watching opportunities.

Cape Columbine Lighthouse
Cape Columbine Lighthouse

Cape Columbine is a prominent headland 5 km’s from Paternoster. The lighthouse, the last manned lighthouse to be commissioned in South Africa and built on Castle Rock, is the first to be seen by ships coming from Europe. It was established in 1936 and derives it’s name from a British wooden ship, the Columbine, that was wrecked there in 1829. The light stands at a height of  80 meters above the sea and casts a beam that can be seen from about 50km’s away.

Info for visiting light house
Info for visiting lighthouse

I was amazed at the number of cars parked at the lighthouse and thought it must be extremely popular. It was only after wandering around for a while, and nearly helping myself to what I thought were free drinks, that I discovered that a wedding reception was about to take place and that they were waiting for the bride and groom to arrive.

The missing bride and groom having their photographs taken o the beach.

The missing bride and groom having their photographs taken o the beach.

Bumped into the happy couple on my way back to Paternoster and found out they were both from Vredenburg and the photographer ex Vredenburg and now living an working in Cape Town.

My next post is going to be from one of my favourite places , Paternoster, and I will be able to do some comparisons as I went there on quite a few occasions about 40 years ago.


  1. Hanlie on October 17th, 2009

    So you almost crashed a wedding!

    I love the lack of pretension in this area… we should really go out there one Sunday.

  2. pbdphoto on October 18th, 2009

    If I had not been wearing shorts and a t-shirt I could have tried. It really is worth a trip to the area as it is only about an hour and a half from CT.

  3. justBcoz on October 30th, 2009

    LOL! Classic 🙂

    And wow … this is a GORGEOUS place!

  4. pbdphoto on October 30th, 2009

    Tietiesbaai is truly is beautiful.

  5. cavin on December 28th, 2009

    this place can be fun.going there 2 january 2010.

  6. Jason Moore on January 10th, 2010

    Great looking Blog! Found it through Google. Just as an FYI, it didnt display right when I opened it in the Opera Interet Browser.

  7. pbdphoto on January 13th, 2010

    Hi Jason – Thanks for the heads up. Had it checked out and was told – “I’ve just fired up Opera on my laptop and clicked through to your website – There are some minor padding issues, but apart from that, the website is visible and functional..”

  8. Daniel on January 27th, 2010

    Hi, Does anyone have an email adress or contact number for this campsite. The 022 752 2718 does not work, or there is no answer. I want to know what the cost per night to camp there!


  9. Madeleine on February 9th, 2010

    If you look back from the beach towards the mountains you will see the tietie of tietiesbaai! it looks like a …. sorry ….. tietie! Basically a rock outcrop on the top of the hill. If you contact me I can mail you a photo.

    It’s a sad day when this gem was “discovered” as it is now almost impossible to find a spot there and ofcourse the noisy elements have taken over with their rap music and loud partying. Very unfortunate.

  10. samantha on October 25th, 2010

    anyone know how much they’re charging per night for the camping?

  11. pbdphoto on October 25th, 2010

    Contact Person – Ronnie
    Telephone Number +27 (0)22 752-271
    Hope that helps Samantha.

  12. Roxie on December 26th, 2010

    Im going there 2day! cant wait!

  13. Louis on July 25th, 2011

    Madeleine is right. Tietiesbaai (as I have heard) got its name from the hill just north of the main camp site. (I stand corrected in saying that I think it was Pieter Pieterse who actually gave it its name)
    Follow the link to a photograph: http://pgjonker.co.za/?p=848

    Scroll down about 3/4 of the page and you’ll see the hill with the rock at the very top.

  14. Desire on November 25th, 2011

    My husbands family have been camping at tietiesbaai over december/ january for the last 27 years. I have been joining them for the last 12 years. This time of the year, about a month before we go, i wake up in the morning thinking about going and go to sleep at night thiking about going! I cannot wait. Your neighbors are friendly, everyone greets, Christmas eve is amazing as Father Christmas hands out gifts to children(obviously pre arranged gift from parents) and we sing Christmas carols…it is just so amazing. But i can assure you around December its fully booked as the usual campers book upon leaving for the next year already! but the rest of the year its no hassle to camp there. You really want to see this place. Mark it on your bucket list 🙂

  15. Jacques Farmer on January 25th, 2012

    Actually the place was named after a guy called Titus who drowed there is 1937.
    ‘Titus-se-baai’ became “Tieties-se-baai’ and later ‘Tietiesbaai’

  16. Colleen on December 29th, 2014

    I’ve heard alot about Tietiesbaai. i cant wait to go on leave and drive to Tietiesbaai with my children.

    Tietie’sbaai, HERE WE COME!

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