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WESTERN CAPE: Our insider’s guide to Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay

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Coastal villages of Kleinmond and Betty's Bay have it all - unspoilt views, vleis and the ocean just an hour's drive from Cape Town International Airport

Gordon’s Bay to Rooi-Els, the R44 – or Clarence Drive – is considered among the best scenic drives, not just in the Western Cape or South Africa, but the world.

Whether you’re travelling to Hermanus from Cape Town, or vice versa, it’s a wonderful route, especially now the roadworks have been completed. It’s so lovely, that it demands simply to be driven (never mind the price of petrol).

Along this route you will encounter some small towns, including Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay.

“These coastal villages offer two of the best laid-back lifestyles you could possibly want,” says Colin Michelson, Seeff Betty’s Bay agent.

“They are just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town International airport and the city, and are fairly unspoilt, fronted by a beautiful coastline and white sandy beaches.”

Besides the magnificent mountainous backdrop, pristine fynbos surroundings – including Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – and the beaches, these towns offer clear, unpolluted skies, little traffic and relative security, says Michelson.

These coastal villages offer two of the best laid-back lifestyles you could possibly want.
– Colin Michelson, Seeff Betty’s Bay Picture: Supplied

Betty’s Bay is the smaller of the two and has no street lights, so you can enjoy nights of a thousand stars.

“And if you are very still and quiet you may meet a porcupine or two as these nocturnal creatures roam freely in the village.”

Seeff’s Kleinmond agents Mike Tribelhorn and Pam Smith say their town offers excellent amenities for residents and visitors including a gym, restaurant on the beachfront, the lifestyle shopping environment of Harbour Road which is populated by craft, fabric, entertainment and restaurants overlooking the harbour, and whale watching.

Properties along Grootvlei in Betty’s Bay are more than just beach shacks. Picture: Supplied

“There is also a nine-hole golf course with sea views from every fairway, a hiking club, bowls, tennis, jukskei, canoeing, white-water rafting, cycling, a chess club, bird watching and popular fishing spots.

“Property in Betty’s Bay is still quite affordable given the stunning seaside location,” says Michelson.

“The market remains steady with a wide range of property still being sold here, including vacant land sales from R200 000 to R400 000, small holiday cottages from around R1.4 million, and beachfront locations costing upwards of R3.5m.”

Aside from local buyers, Betty’s Bay property appeals to people from across the country looking for holiday or retirement homes, and is popular with buyers from the UK, Germany and other northern European countries, says Michelson.

Aerial view of Betty’s Bay’s two lakes known as Klein Klei and Groot Wit Klei with distant sea views. Picture: Supplied

The average selling price for a residential property in Kleinmond central is R1.35m, says Lightstone, and for the standalone suburb of Heuningkloof, the average is R1.8m.

“Kleinmond offers a range of property to choose from, priced from about R1.3m to R2.3m for a spacious three-bedroom home with a flat and swimming pool, and R5.95m for an eight-bedroom self-catering guest house in Klein Berlyn,” say Tribelhorn and Smith.

“We attract local buyers as well as those from other provinces including Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and KZN. Most are retiring, but we are seeing an increase in younger executives and entrepreneurs relocating here as they are able to use technology to conduct business.”

Favourite places and things to do

Roughly three decades ago, while on a road trip around the country, the journey took me through Betty’s Bay, then just a scattering of cottages with no mains electricity. Within a year I’d bought a piece of ground, built my first house and four years later I moved here to live full time. Having spent 20 years flying into capital cities of the world for a living, settling here was the perfect antidote to counter the stresses attached to that lifestyle. Now I live in a semi-forest fed by mountain streams, and mountain hiking trails10 minutes’ walk away. – Resident Jean da Cruz Picture: Supplied

1 Drive

The R44 – Clarence Drive – is not only a means to an end but worth the petrol price for a scenic day out. There are lots of places along the route to pull over and admire the views, and perhaps you’ll even spot a southern right whale before they leave these coastal waters to return to the very deep south (close to Antarctica) where they spend
the summer.

2 Eat

The Whaling Station in Betty’s Bay is a popular place, where the view stretches all the way to Stony Point. Starters include dishes like beef carpaccio, mussel salad and tomato and gin soup; for mains there is a meat and fish selection, as well as pasta. Telephone 028 272 9238.

3 Beaches

These are the main attractions in this area. Among the 4km of Betty’s Bay are Silver Sands and Hangklip dunes, which lie to the west of Stony Point. Besides long walks at sunset, activities include kite surfing, picnics, swimming and surfing. Jock’s Bay and Shelly Beach, closer to Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, offer better paddling and shell-collecting opportunities. Kleinmond’s beach at the mouth of the lagoon – which feeds in fresh water – is an ideal location for paddle skis and boats and has some great spots among the rocks for angling.

Proteas in the foothills of the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, Bettys Bay. Picture: Supplied

4 Nature

Penguins and Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town come to mind, but Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay is home to another colony of African Penguins where visitors can see the birds up close, via the boardwalk through the colony, which allows you to observe them doing penguin things in their natural habitat, without disturbing or disrupting them. Telephone 021 483 0190.

5 Hike

From the Kogelberg Nature Reserve to Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, a moderate 6km hike, which is suitable for children, takes about four hours. Along the way, you’ll be able to see plants that are endemic and stunning views. Among the high points (so to speak) are the vista from the top, as well as a walk across the brink of the waterfall which takes you to the cliffs above Leopard’s Gorge. You’ll have to juggle two vehicles, however – one on either end of the hike; and make sure you allow enough time to reach Harold Porter before the gates close at 6pm.Telephone 028 271 5138.


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