The far south is one of many popular holiday destinations in Cape Town with thousands of visitors flocking to its beaches every year. YOLANDE DU PREEZ speaks to far south residents to find out what they do to escape the silly season madness.
Tina Thiart, of Kommetjie, says they go to Dwarskersbos on the West Coast to escape the “terrible traffic” and enjoy the peace a quiet with family.
“The ocean is safe, the wind is not too hectic, the restaurants are never full and it is quiet there.”
She says it is a lovely place for the children to make new friends and have holiday romances.
Liesel Coetzer from simonstown.com, a non-profit website funded by the businesses listed on the site to promote tourism, says they go to Struisbaai to meet up with family.
“Personally, I think Simon’s Town is a much better holiday destination with all the water activities, hiking trails, shops, and restaurants, but, at the end of the day, the December holiday for us is about family and for our children and where their friends are. There are lots of young people and families in Struisbaai.”
Rebecca Lane says they love camping and this year they went to Clanwilliam dam.
Susan Cameron says they decided on the spur of the moment to go camping at Imhoff Caravan Park for three days.
“There were great campsites available and we had such a fabulous time supporting local.”
Sybil Solomons says she and her family go to Hartenbos in December.
“It is absolutely beautiful, and not overrun with tourists. We watch the dolphins from our room. Miles of beach, safe to swim. Lots of fishing. It’s safe and most of the properties have no fences.”
While individual statistics for the number of visitors for 2021 are not yet available from Cape Town Tourism, 409 011 domestic flights arrived at Cape Town International Airport in December 2019 compared to 271 100 in December last year, according to Roxanne Lombard, research manager at Cape Town Tourism.
In December 2019, 134 168 international flights arrived at Cape Town International Airport compared to 38 787 in December last year, and there were 9 629 regional flights in 2019 compared to 4 246 last year.
SANParks regional communications manager Lauren Howard-Clayton says the Boulders section of Table Mountain National Park received about 950 000 visitors a year pre-Covid and numbers are steadily increasing following the pandemic.