The Bay of Blessings
Monday, 12th September 2022
By Marguerite Smit
You hear that pitter patter of tiny feet coming down the passage…Keep calm! Relax, yes, school holidays are coming but here’s why there’s no reason to fret:
The undiscovered Eastern Cape is home to some remarkable sites and at a price that won’t break the bank. Gqeberha, situated on Algoa Bay is the largest city in the Easter Cape and a wealth of untapped experiences lie waiting to be discovered here. A tapestry of adventure is woven, starting with Baviaanskloof hugging the rugged terrain surrounding the Bay, up through Addo Elephant National Park, ending with the stunning 800km stretch of pristine coastline filled with bottlenose dolphin and whales, in the heart of this Marine Biodiverse hotspot. It’s not surprising that the Bay was dubbed Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the world!
Gqeberha, is home to one of the largest colonies of African Penguins and Cape Gannets. The Bay offers a variety of cruise and sailboat tours, at the fraction of charter options in the Western Cape. Take your family and go fishing along the sunshine coast, the water is warm, the breeze cool and the sunsets unforgettable! The Bay boasts 40km of magnificent sandy beaches with water temperatures varying between 18-21 degrees Celsius during the summer months and 14-19 degrees Celsius in winter months. A destination that gives true meaning to the term” beach vacation”. Here in the Bay you can enjoy the beach year-round. The Bay has a remarkable water rescue unit, consisting of lifeguards, supported by NSRI and Coastal Water Rescue, a squad dedicated to water emergencies around the Bay.
There aren’t many places in Africa where you can enjoy ocean life in the morning and by midafternoon, you could be on game drive. Addo is a mere 40-minute drive from the city, as well as an array of Private Reserves at various price points. On the perfect holiday, you could see the Big 7; Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant, Southern Right Whale and Great White Shark all on the same trip, here in Algoa Bay.
If your family is active and you want to be adventurous on holiday there are many activities to choose from; horse-riding, sandboarding, Segway Tours, Go-karting, Indoor rock climbing, quad biking, adventure swims…The only adventure swim in the world, that meanders through a Big 5 reserve, happens right here in the Eastern Cape – The Kariega Big 5 Adventure Swim, a truly immersive swim! There is a network of single-track trails throughout the city, feeding mountain bikers a set of curves and twists through the green lung of Gqeberha. Or head out to Bethelsdorp and visit with the khoi-san people for an informative cultural hike.
The other exciting development in the Bay is the increasing popularity amongst beer and wine connoisseurs. Not only do we have an array of micro-brewery tour options, but wine shows are popping up with innovative tastings throughout the year. Creativity is also bursting at the seams with art workshops, craft experiences and innovative cooking classes.
And If none of the above has tickled your fancy, you can have sundowners at the Lighthouse or take a helicopter flip over the Bay. The Boardwalk has opened its doors with many restaurant options and shopping. If art interests you, take one of the immersive art tours or an insta-tour around the Bay or take the little people in your life to Norm Hudlin and visit Knomesville. Big or small the bay has it all!
For more information on specific activities: