Compared to Europe, where space is at a premium, the long empty Keurbooms beach that seems to go on forever, is another typical vast expanse of sunny surf and sea that you can enjoy all to yourself. That’s how much space there is here, and how empty it feels when you arrive on the beach itself. After a little walk of about ten minutes through the bushy dunes, you suddenly splash out onto the long and winding beach called Keurbooms.
It’s named after a certain tree that’s indigenous to the region, or more specifically named after the river that flows out to the sea here, and the river is named after the local tree. And if you ever felt crowded in the city or at a tourist resort, you will find shelter from any such crowds here. In fact you will possibly have the entire stretch of beach to yourself. There is a most awesome feeling of freedom and liberation when you reach this particular shoreline. It stretches for miles and is so pure and clean, with the fine white sand you would expect of an idyllic beach hideaway.
This particular stretch is part of a bird sanctuary, where sea birds have their nesting sites on the dunes, and so if you walk far enough, you come across the breeding colony, with the mass of seagulls resident there. They are relatively friendly or tame, not too scared of passers by since they are never really harmed by humans at all. It’s just the dogs that can be a risk, so dog walkers are restricted to the other end of the beach, away from the colony.
Locals might bring their dogs for a little morning or evening walk, and that’s all you’ll see, other than the odd fisherman who might frequent this vast open stretch of beach. You might even be able to see the schools of dolphins, or porpoises that swim by all along the shoreline daily. If you’re lucky then you will be at the right place at the right time to catch their fins bobbing up and down just behind the waves, or even find some of them surfing the waves, just below the surface. At the right angle you can see them through the clear water as the waves curl over. It’s a beautiful sight, and they seem so playful – these friendly sea mammals, present here all year long as a permanent feature.
So it’s just you, the sea life, bird life and the beach with a feeling of timelessness on the silent shore. The crashing of the waves rhythmically onto the beach really add a tranquil feeling of peace and relaxation. And to keep fit there is the long walk or jog if you wish up and down the shoreline for the active travelers. At the one end of the beach is the Keurbooms River mouth, near the town of Plettenberg Bay, and on the other end of the beach about 6 kilometers away, is the small holiday village of Keurboomstrand, which is nothing more than some holiday houses and a restaurant.
And that restaurant is packed throughout the season and practically all year long. It’s called Enrico’s and you can get great pizza and other Italian dishes there made by a real Italian couple. And the restaurant has a fine outdoor deck overlooking the beach and the sea so it is a definite must-see and highly recommended taste experience. You may have to book ahead in season, and they do close for a month or so in the quiet period of the year. You don’t have to walk all the way there of course, but can simply drive to that end of the beach instead.
This is the kind of place where Hollywood celebrities or even royalty might come for a secret getaway holiday, far form the public eye and the paparazzi, where they can enjoy the pure quality seaside experience that this Garden Route coastline has to offer, here on the south Cape coast of Africa. If you ever get the chance to make it to these shores then do look up Keurbooms beach and treat yourself to a pizza at the village restaurant after a long leisurely walk along the shore. You will feel invigorated and inspired by the purity and calmness of the place, ready to tackle the next leg of your journey. So many beaches, so little time. Until next time – see you on the beach.