Snapped is a companion piece to the hugely successful, "I turned away and she was gone"
Snorkel, Swim, Chill, Braai in a Paradise Cove
Picnic, soak up the sun or even host a special event there
Oudekraal beach is tucked away in a cove between Llandudno and Bakoven. It's opposite the 12 Apostles Hotel and is part of the Table Mountain National Park. The spiritual, historical and natural significance of the area has meant this piece of paradise has remained relatively untouched. The public can access it freely, so you can bring a picnic or braai, swim or go snorkelling, or simply soak up the sun. The scenery is gorgeous – it's great for 'Gram-worthy images. You can even host an event here.
THE BEACH AND GENTLE SWELLS ARE PERFECT FOR SWIMMING
The small sandy beach is sheltered by boulders, creating a swimming area with gentle swells and calm swimming conditions. Because no boats are allowed, it’s a great place for children to splash in the shallows, but keep an eye on them because there is no lifeguard on duty. There's also a small sheltered beach, ideal for sunbathing or chilling, but big enough to play bat and ball.
THERE'S PLENTY TO SEE IN THE WATERS HERE
It's worth bringing snorkelling gear because there’s plenty to see in the cove near the shore. This Marine Protected Area is a popular diving spot because of the rich marine life. The underwater Justin’s Caves offers kelp forests and colourful scenery and the wreck Het Huis te Kraaiestein (1670), is the oldest in the country. There’s even a seal colony called Strawberry Rocks nearby. Snorkelling and freediving are permitted, but you’ll require a permit for scuba diving.
WATCH: DIVING JUSTIN’S CAVES
IT'S ONE OF THE BEST BEACHES TO HAVE A BRAAI
There are 35 well-maintained braai sites scattered over the area, so take a walk down the paths and stake out a spot. The Milkwood trees and boulders provide some privacy from your neighbours. Make sure you bring everything you need with you because there are no shops. There’s a strict no-alcohol policy here with the exception of the gazebo, which is available for hire for private events.
HOLD AN EVENT, WEDDING OR FUNCTION HERE
For an extra special wedding, birthday or any other celebration, you can hire out the entire venue (it accommodates 350 people). You may hold your wedding ceremony on the beach - but there are additional requirements which you’ll need to enquire about. There’s a gazebo with power points and a roof with no sides, permanent picnic tables, and this can accommodate up to 100 guests. This is the only place at Oudekraal where alcohol is permitted and you’re allowed to play music on a CD player. If you’re on a smaller budget, the gazebo can be booked for your event between 8:30am and 4:30pm. Even if the gazebo is booked, the rest of Oudekraal remains open to the public. Call +27 (0)21 712 0527 to make a booking for a function or event.
Gazebo price: Application fee: R345; hire fee: R3930; entrance fee/conservation fee: R32/person in addition to the venue hire fee
Exclusive use events: R39850
Wedding ceremonies on the beach: R80 per person plus the conservation fees of R32 per person
THE STORY BEHIND OUDEKRAAL'S HISTORY
Oudekraal is a significant historical and spiritual site for the Muslim community. At the turn of the 18th century, it was a refuge for slaves who had escaped from the colonial authorities and their masters. Among them were Muslim spiritual leaders who had been captured and brought to the Cape after leading uprisings against slavery in the Dutch East Indies. The Oudekraal ravines provided seclusion and safety for them and allowed them to teach their disciples and keep Islam going in the Cape.
Address: Oudekraal, between Bakoven and Llandudno, opposite the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa
Contact: +27 (0)21 422 1601
Entry price: South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R32 per adult, R16 per child; SADC Nationals (with passport): R64 per adult, R32 per child, per day; standard conservation fee: R128 per adult, R64 per child
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