Kosi Bay and Betty’s Bay, South Africa
Bettys Bay is a small resort with 1,300 inhabitants on the Overberg coast in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The place is 100 kilometers from Cape Town, below the Kogelberg Mountains on the picturesque R44 Ocean Drive between Pringle Bay and Kleinmond. This village stretches for 13 kilometers along the coast. Tourism plays an important role in the economy of this area, largely because of its popularity with holidaymakers from all over the Western Cape Region and Cape Town.
During the colonial period, Betty’s Bay was reportedly a popular spot for escaped slaves, and in 1912 the location became a formal whaling station that operated until the 1930s. Remains of the former whaling station, from which today’s place slowly developed, can still be seen at Stony Point.
The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden and the African penguin colony are very popular attractions in Betty’s Bay. The area’s penguin colony is an interesting and exciting stop on the way from Cape Town to Hermanus. You can get very close to the penguins that live here on a short, comfortable walk along the sea. Since the colony is usually not overcrowded, you can admire and observe the animals in peace and also have a wonderful sea view. You can watch the animals along a well-developed walkway, which is also very easy to manage for older people, without them feeling stressed or disturbed. In the nearby café there are delicious snacks at low prices.
World Natural Heritage in South Africa
The 10,000 hectare Kosi Bay nature reserve is located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, in northeastern South Africa. It is part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Kosi Bay is not a classic bay, but the four interconnected lakes KuSifungwe, Manzamnyama, KuHlange and Mpungwini. Due to their access to the Indian Ocean, they are extremely salty, which, in combination with the tropical climate, has resulted in a unique diversity of plants.
Kosi Bay is known as “The Aquarium”. Countless colorful fish and corals can be observed on a snorkeling excursion. At the same time, it is a true angler’s paradise. It is also known for its traditional wooden fish traps, which the locals have been using for centuries.
Image: traditional fish traps Kosi Bay
Wild and original nature reserve in South Africa
There are many reasons to visit Kosi Bay on a study trip. Most of the travel destinations are overrun by tourists and the charm of the place is lost – but not in this national park near the Mozambique border. Due to the lack of infrastructure, it is difficult to travel here. The park can only be reached with an all-terrain four-wheel drive vehicle. This makes it exclusive and only accessible to a small number of visitors. You can enjoy the solitude in the middle of the wide sandy beaches and the dune landscape.
It was also deliberately kept original and wild. Hippos and crocodiles can move about freely in the swampy landscape and sharks can also be found diving. Exploring the area should therefore always be carried out with a guide. The unique flora and fauna impress with several hundred tree species and over 200 different types of butterflies. Bird lovers will get their money’s worth here thanks to the thousands of birds.
If you want to be active on your trip, you can rent a canoe in Kosi Bay and experience the landscape with its mangrove and palm forests from the water.
Wild nature while hiking in South Africa
The Otter Trail is a hiking trail along the Garden Route coast of South Africa and is named after a species of otter that is found in this region. Considered one of the most beautiful in the world, this trail stretches from Storms River Mouth in the east to the Nature Valley in the west. The hiking trail with a total length of 42.5 kilometers takes 5 days and the 4 nights are spent in cozy huts with a wonderful view. The route lies entirely in the Tsitsikamma National Park, which protects an 80 kilometer stretch of coastline, forest and beaches.
The hike, which is considered strenuous, leads along the impassable and rugged lake shores, where the waves of the Indian Ocean break on the cliffs. Dolphins, seals and whales can be spotted on the remote coast. The path crosses a very scenic and wild landscape that is never far from the shore, but often climbs steeply and then descends to the beach or a river crossing.
The hike, which is carried out without a guide, requires a bit of adventure from the participants, as it can also be a bit risky on the larger rivers due to the ebb and flow of the tides. The fee for the entire trail includes overnight stays in simple huts. However, the hikers must bring their own drinks, food, dishes and sleeping bags and carry them with them all the way. But the Otter Trail is also worth a visit for day tourists. After leaving the camp, you get a first glimpse of the untouched beauty of nature. After a few kilometers you come across a small waterfall, under which you can cool off in a natural pool. As only a limited number of hikers are allowed on the trail, advance booking is required.