It’s difficult to imagine that utopian places like Pringle Bay exist so close to a massive, buzzing metropole. This Overberg town truly has everything you could want from a weekend getaway destination ─ a pristine beach, a virtually zero crime status, cosy eateries, curio shops, family-friendly facilities, spectacular surroundings and of course, above all, jaw-dropping accommodation!
Besides all that, it’s also surrounded by the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and en route to some of the Overberg’s most sought-after destinations. Now, to top it all off, the town even has its very own festival to promote marine conservation. With so much on offer, it became clear that Pringle Bay is worth talking about ─ come take a tour of this captivating town with TravelGround!
Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief, this town isn’t named after the popular American chips brand boasting a moustached man on its odd cylindrical packaging. It was named after Rear-Admiral Thomas Pringle of the Royal Navy, who commanded the naval station at the Cape in the late 1790s.
Pringle Bay Festival (27-29 April 2018)
The annual Pringle Bay Festival is a celebration of the community’s environmental achievements, promoting conservation under and above the ocean. After a year of caring for the environment, specifically striving to become a ‘single-use plastic’ free environment, cleaning the beaches and rivers, and educating the community and businesses, the festival is held to attract visitors from far and wide to join in the celebration. The festival’s slogan says it all ─ #ThinkingBlue is their declaration of their goal to remove all single-use plastics from the community and to reduce the human footprint, especially in the ocean.
In the past the festival has attracted more than 7 000 local and international visitors and this year will be no exception ─ festival goers will have live entertainment (Watershed, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Jack Stone and The Hour, Jake Gunn, Matt Carstens and many more), various food and craft stalls, colour runs, guided fynbos walks, a cocktail bar, alpacas, champagne and oysters, a dog show, vintage cars, the Harley Davidson club and kids entertainment to look forward to!
Explore a bit
Thanks to its fantastic location, Pringle Bay and its surroundings offer myriad activities to keep you entertained for at least a weekend. We’ve singled out a few within a 10-kilometre radius of the town so you won’t have to go far to have fun!
Stony Point Penguin Colony
The Stony Point Nature Reserve is located outside Betty’s Bay, just about 8 kilometres from Pringle Bay, and it is home to a unique colony of African Penguins, approximately 3 600 in total. It offers visitors the chance to see these quirky flightless birds up close in their natural habitat from the beautiful boardwalk that runs past the colony. The best time to view the penguins is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when they’re returning from their long fishing expeditions, so plan your day around it to ensure you get the best sightings of these tuxedoed cuties.
Sandboarding in Betty’s Bay
Did you know that one of Africa’s highest commercial sandboarding dunes is a mere stone’s throw away from Pringle Bay? Who needs snow-capped mountains if you have silky smooth dunes to slide off from ─ especially when it’s +-230 meter high! If you’re an adventurous traveller, we recommend going sandboarding in Betty’s Bay, just about 6 kilometres from Pringle Bay. You don’t have to be an expert ─ the experienced guides will provide you with all the necessary training and safety on the dune. Bring the whole family along for some fun in the sand!
Go on an adventure in Kogelberg Nature Reserve
South Africa and even the Overberg itself is speckled with unique nature reserves, but Kogelberg Nature Reserve is something special ─ largely due to the fact that it occupies an area with little human interference and that a large part of the reserve is kept pristine. Its exceptional diversity and indigenous fynbos vegetation makes it an intrical part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. It has also been named a world-renowned World Heritage Site, so only non-invasive and non-destructive activities such as adventure sport, mountain biking, hiking, birding, whale watching and swimming is allowed ─ but what more could you want from a day in a nature reserve?
As the reserve is always striving to be a frontrunner in eco-conscious development, they are constantly working on ways to promote sustainable eco-tourism. We spoke to one of their representatives who had the following to say:
Kogelberg Nature Reserve is often referred to as the heart of the Cape Floral region. It is situated in an area renowned for its unique plant variety. Since 2012 it has become the home of eco-conscious development in an unspoilt reserve […] Keeping with the sustainable tourism theme CapeNature plan to extend with an exciting new development this year. To stay abreast on all future projects visit capenature.co.za.
So watch this space ─ we look forward to seeing which other initiatives they come up with!
Chase waterfalls at Harold Porter Botanical Garden
If you haven’t gotten your fix of fynbos and the outdoors by this time, add Harold Porter to your to-do list! This lovely garden is situated in the centre of the coastal fynbos where the flora is at its richest and where you can go on hikes meandering along mountain slopes, deep gorges, leafy forests, fynbos fields, amber pools and cascading waterfalls. The two main trails, Disa Kloof and Leopard’s Kloof, are both highly recommended and both end at waterfalls where you can reward yourself with a swim after all that cardio! While you’re hiking, look out for the vibrant red disa, the Western Cape Province’s floral emblem, which flowers from late December to late January.
End your day off with a hearty meal at the Red Disa Restaurant and a visit to the book and souvenir shop at the entrance to the garden. You really can’t go wrong with a visit to Harold Porter ─ it’s open 365 days a year and offers unbelievable scenery all year round!
Grab a bite
Small as it may be, Pringle Bay boasts a handful of its own restaurants so that you don’t even have to leave town to grab a proper meal. According to the town’s regular visitors, it has even unofficially been called the cuisine capital of the Overberg! Whether you’re craving wholesome country cooking, fresh seafood, deli delights, baked goods, pizza or pub food, you won’t have to go far.
Favourite eateries in town, as rated by both locals and visitors, include 365 Bistro and Simply Coffee (wholesome country cooking and excellent coffee), Hook Line and Sinker Restaurant (fresh seafood), Lemon & Lime (deli delights and baked goods), Hanging Rock Kitchen (pizza), Miems (pub food), The Anchor (hearty home cooking), Fynbos Enterprises (“ash bread”, pizza and honey products) and La Galerie (deli and patisserie). Most of them are family-friendly and some are even pet-friendly, so you can literally bring the whole family along for a meal.
Take it easy
As Pringle Bay is such a popular holiday town, you can imagine there is no shortage of accommodation to suit any traveller’s needs. The majority are either self-catering or guest houses and many of them have the most jaw-dropping views over the bay and beyond.
There are also a few pet-friendly stays so Fido doesn’t have to stay home alone or at a kennel. We reached out to our top-ranked pet-friendly stay, Blue Dog Holiday Accommodation, to find out what they offer travellers with pets and it seems they truly do offer the ultimate getaway for any pet owner ─ their self-catering units even include a comfortable luxury pet mattress! You can also book your dog for the Saturday morning doggie school and grooming sessions, and browse the Blue Dog Pet Shop for any pet purchases e.g. food bowls, a choice of 7 brands of top pet food, accessories, toys and health products. Blue Dog allows your pet to join you in picturesque Pringle Bay, where the beach and fynbos offer lots of fun for 2 and for 4 legs.
For such a small town, Pringle Bay sure has a wide variety to choose from. Click here to book your stay in Pringle Bay!
Whether you’re craving a peaceful weekend away not too far from the Mother City, or you’re just looking for a base to explore the Overberg from, Pringle Bay and its surrounds is the perfect little paradise to recharge, rest, explore or simply reconnect with Mother Nature.
Feature image: The Barnacle (TravelGround)