Location

Doringbaai

In Doringbaai (it translates to Thorn Bay) you can’t but not relax. This small West Coast fishing village is about 3 hours’ drive from Cape Town. It’s pretty, it’s small, it’s quaint, it’s quiet. The closest bigger towns are Vredendal and Lambertsbaai.

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If you are that way inclined, you could opt to do something active – go hiking or mountain biking on the outskirts of Doringbaai, go kayaking in the ocean or on the Olifants River, there’s wind surfing and body boarding, or there’s diving, snorkeling or spearfishing, albeit in cold water. Close by there are some surfing spots such as Bamboesbaai.

More relaxing pursuits include bird watching including at the Olifants River, sun tanning and swimming. You could also play golf or go wine tasting. In spring it’s flower season; from late July to November it’s time for whale watching.

The bay at Doringbaai was used to anchor boats that were used for trade. Goods would be stored at Doringbaai, then, interestingly enough, taken to Vanrhynsdorp by camel. Yes, it’s hard to believe if you read this now, with not a camel in sight.

You will search far and wide to find a more atmospheric place to sip a glass of wine than Fryer’s Cove (see next entry) on the pier.

The white Doringbaai lighthouse with its black band and white lantern house looks over the shoulder of Fryer’s Cove from a small rocky outcrop. This outcrop forms a natural breakwater.

Building of the orginal lighthouse was completed in 1963. At first an aluminium structure was used but in 1993 a traditional, and more romantic, concrete lighthouse was built after a violent storm damaged the previous structure.

The lighthouse is not manned and it is not open to the public though it’s easy to take lovely photos from various points in Doringbaai.

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