Just a few km’s down the R44 from Pringle Bay is the village of Betty’s Bay which also lies in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Betty’s Bay is a picturesque seaside village situated along the scenic Clarence Drive Route (R44). The pretty town is positioned in a narrow strip of land between the Kogelberg Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, and bordered by fresh water lakes and the Palmiet River.
This part of the world is considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom due to the exceptional examples of fynbos and has largely remained unspoilt and isolated. Although the Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest of the world’s six plant kingdoms, it nevertheless has the 2nd largest diversity. The reserve stretches along the coast from Gordon’s Bay through to the town of Kleinmond and inland from the farms of the Elgin Basin through to Grabouw – a total of some 100,000 ha.
The botanical garden of Harold Porter, which stretches from the mountain-top down to the sea, is known as ‘little Kirstenbosch’ and contains some of the best examples of local fynbos, including proteas, restios and over 50 species of ericas.
Because I was trying to cover so much in 1 day I did not have a chance to go in to the gardens and have a walk around. I have been there on 3 or 4 other occasions and it is really worth the time and effort to spend a few hours there and if fit enough take a hike up to the waterfall and pool. Truly beautiful.
My next visit was to take a drive down to Stony Point and have a look at the African Penguin colony which I had not seen before.
The penguin colony at Stony Point is one of four mainland colonies in South Africa and declared a municipal nature reserve in July 2002.The best time of day to view them is in the late afternoon, when the penguins return from fishing.
As I said of Pringle Bay I just wish I had had more time to explore as I know that there are some beautiful beaches and many guest houses in the area.
Silver Sands and Hangklip dunes lie to the west of Stony Point offering a beach of over four kilometres and great kite surfing opportunities. The beach is also good for picnics, swimming and surfing. Jock’s Bay and Shelly Beach, close to the Harold Porter garden, offer the younger generation better paddling and shell collecting opportunities