At the end of the world, with but the vast southern ocean beyond, lie Pringle & Kogel Bays. Here the air is as pure as I've ever breathed and the scenery is surely one of God's greatest masterpieces.
I normally stay at the Gordon's Beach Lodge, in nearby Gordons Bay, and then drive out to Pringle Bay - it's only 30 minutes by car but what a drive it is - definitely one of the world's greatest ocean drive. The only reason I never included this drive in our Greatest Ocean Drives section is because I'd already included the equally stunning, but more famous, Chapman's Peak Drive and I only wanted one route per country.
On a couple of occasions we've stayed out in Pringle Bay itself. It's the perfect place to feel the stress of modern living wash off you and a great family destination - children love it. There are some lovely little guest houses to choose from. The pick of them is Moonstruck on Pringle Bay.
You've also the option of camping in Kogel Bay - more on that a little further down the page.
As you drive along from Gordon's Bay you have huge cliffs to your left covered in rare and delicately beautiful fynbos vegetation, the ocean crashes onto the shore to your right, while baboons gamble across the road and sometimes you'll see mongoose at play or a tortoise out for a stroll. Even leopards roam free here... they keep to themselves though, are rarely seen and don't eat the tourists.
After 15 minutes or so of driving you'll see a beach up ahead. That's Kogel Bay. There's nothing else anywhere nearby except for the campsite which stretches along the beach. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful campsite than this one; it is spotlessly clean with well maintained facilities. The photos below were all taken in the campsite.
A tiny town, more of a hamlet really, with not much to do other than relax, breathe champagne air and enjoy the spectacular beaches and scenery.
Pringle Bay's beach is unbelievable - an endless strip of fine white sand, where dunes roll away to the town behind and towering hills rise up beyond the northern end.
Waves are strong here and the current can be too so, if you aren't a strong swimmer, rather swim in the river mouth . The river is at the northern end of the beach and is perfect even for young children. There's a great nature trail along the river that leads into the pristine Kogelberg Nature Reserve.
Actually there are a whole lot of trails through the reserve which is considered to be one of the richest plant regions in the entire world - second only to the Amazon. For details on what the reserve offers visit the official website here.
What else to do? Watch whales playing out to sea between June and November, take a ten minute drive out to the Stony Point penguin colony, or visit the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens to discover just how special and unique this biosphere is.
Sadly, you'll likely have to leave eventually.
Whenever Maria (my wife) and I get back to our busy schedule we always long for the quiet, simple days spent in this idyllic place.
Cape Town Explored
Kogel & Pringle Bay