Gordons Bay to Rooi Els

I can remember, years ago, when friends and I would take a Sunday drive out to Gordon’s Bay and drive the 20km stretch of road to Rooi Els and then along past Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay and have a braai (BBQ) along the way. It was beautiful then and remains beautiful today.

The first place to go to, as you leave Gordon’s Bay, is up the road to the Steenbras Dam Water Treatment Plant just for the incredible view one gets of False Bay. In the old days one could also drive to the dam itself but that is no longer permitted.

View of Gordon's Bay and surrounds from the Steenbras road.
View of Gordon’s Bay and surrounds from the Steenbras road.
Clarence Drive.
Clarence Drive.

I have travelled this road (R44) to Rooi Els many times but never new it was officially called Clarence Drive. I must  say that along with Chapmans Peak drive in Cape Town I rate this as one of the most beautiful drives I have been on in the Cape Province.

Stunning views.
Stunning views.

This coastline is very popular with rock anglers but is notorious  for the number of fishermen that have been washed off the rocks and drowned over the years.

One of the markers from 1901.
One of the markers from 1901.

“Die see het hom geneem”  (The sea took him)

One of the first places you come to on the drive is The Sundird Restaurant at the mouth of the Steendras River.
The Sunbird

One of the first places you come to on the drive is The Sunbird Restaurant and Pub at the mouth of the Steenbras River. There is also a guest lodge and self catering B&B.

Mouth of the Steenbras River.
Mouth of the Steenbras River.

I remember my folks telling me stories about  camping here when they were both students. There are also  challenging hiking trails in the area.

A view of Kogel Bay where there is a caravan park.
A view of Kogel Bay where there is a caravan park.

Kogel Bay Resort.

Kogel Bay Resort.

Is that not amazing?
Is that not amazing?

Just be aware that the Kogel Bay Park is pretty rough and ready. There is no electricity and the ablution blocks are not great. Also you can not just arrive on a Friday and book in. That all, including payment, has to be done in advance via fax or at the Strand Municipality. I am beginning to wonder if the Overberg and Overstrand Municipalities are trying to make it as difficult and as expensive as possible  to try and stop people camping? Very strange!

On of the ablution blocks.
One of the ablution blocks.

The hot water is heated by gas and as you can see there is a solar panel for some lighting.  I was told that unfortunately the light was not working.

Just a bit futher down the road is the Kogel Bay Day camp which has a great tidal pool.

Just a bit futher down the road is the Kogel Bay Day camp which has a great tidal pool.

There are 2 other day camps such as the one above, Sharks Bay and Klippis Baai, which are very popular for Sunday picnics and braai’s for the family.

The view from the R44 across the beach to Rooi Els.

The view from the R44 across the beach to Rooi Els.

Rooi Els.

Rooi Els.

I have friends who have a holiday house at Rooi Els where I stayed on a few occasions and it became one of my favourite places to go to for a break. It has not changed that much over the years – a few new shops – and there are only a certain number of houses that can be built there. If I remember correctly there are about 180 houses and only about 60 more that can be built there.

View of Rooi Els from the mountain side where some house have been built.

View of Rooi Els from the mountain side where some house have been built.

Clarence Drive (R44) is only about 20km’s long but it has some of the most beautiful views and scenery in the Cape Province and it is truly worth taking some time out and exploring all the stops along the way.

4 Comments

  1. Steve Crane on February 18th, 2010

    A nice overview of the area. I live in Strand but haven’t been along to Rooiels in months. Think I need to go again this weekend.

  2. Julia on March 25th, 2010

    Pat, I enjoyed the visit ” Change the note re Rooi Els;I had some friends to “I have some friends,Great to see you.Julia.

  3. pbdphoto on March 25th, 2010

    @Julia – Done and thanks for the visit.

  4. Anne-Marie on November 20th, 2010

    Such beauty. Some of these shots look like postcards! You are blessed my friend to be able to travel and see our beautiful country!Thanks for the site!



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