I’m a self-confessed sun-worshipper. I love the sun and its radioactive, ultra-violate rays baking down from above on a hot summer’s day. There’s nothing better than a healthy dose of vitamin D that’s been proven to prevent colds and flu, depression and even MS. It gets even better when you’re spending time on a great beach catching sick waves with your kids all day.
So this is where I’ve been this past week and will continue to do so for a few more days. What a great way to start 2015! Buffel’s (Buffalo) Bay is South Africa’s best kept secret. It’s along the Garden Route from Cape Town, directly between Sedgefield and Knysna and is the best seaside location in my books by a long shot. We’ve spent 3 out of 4 days on the beach and we still can’t get enough. I’m talking five to six hours on the beach each and every day and easily two-thirds of that time in the water.
There are probably less than one-hundred houses in Buffels, so it’s not easy to find accommodation around this time. We only managed to find a place just after the highway turnoff. The drive down to the beach is still another four or five K’s. The road follows a river, brown from the tanins in the soil, (quite common to this area) that flows down to a pretty rough looking ocean, crashing onto a barren shoreline. The road continues into Buffels Bay itself and then into a parking area that I later learnt was full all day long. As soon as one car left, there was always another waiting to take its place. At ten Rand a vehicle, it suddenly made sense how the parking attendant was able to afford the R1800 pair of Salomon’s she was proudly sporting.
So how this beach experience tops all others, in my opinion, is as follows:
1. The parking lot is twenty meters from the beach. You simply have to walk over a piece of lawn and onto the sand.
2. There is a shop, a restaurant and fully licensed bar literally on the beach.
3. There’s a vendor renting out deck chairs and umbrellas. This is a win when you aren’t into sprawling across the sand on your towel.
4. The showers are fantastic. Three powerful jets with proper taps. None of that automatic shut-off nonsense. There’s even a tap on the grass (positioned quite low) for washing the sand off your feet before climbing into your car.
5. Lifeguards are on duty and pretty active at that. I heard a whistle being blown a couple of times in order to keep bathers within the demarcated safe zone.
6. Great weather. So far not a bad day in Buffels. It’s weird cos it may be cloudy where we’re staying but just four K’s down to the beach and the bay is clear and sunny! (28-30 degrees on avg).
7. The water temperature is around 26 degrees. It’s super warm yet still refreshing. After over an hour in my baggies, I’m not even shivering one iota.
8. The surf is epic. A bunch of surfers paddle out to a break further down the beach while dozens of swimmers body-surf a seriously consistent set of solid waves with smooth and steady breaks. Once you’re in, you’re hooked. Time passes…one hour, maybe two and the waves just keep getting better as the tide rises to produce more powerful waves time and again.
9. The most rewarding experience is watching my boys in the water, catching wave after wave, diving through the surf, burning up their energy and simply enjoying life in the most natural way possible. I’m grateful to my wife for discovering this incredible gem of a place and highly recommend the experience!