Get Away from the Crowds in Witsand

From the N2, you would never imagine that just 40km inland lies a small coastal dorpie; situated at the mouth of the Breede River and largely known as the whale nursery of South Africa.

The small town of Witsand was once a bustling port town due to the natural anchorage provided by the estuary. In the 1800s, the Witsand harbour was bursting with steamboats bound for Cape. Now it’s recreational boats traveling from Witsand to Infanta.

Taking the R322 turnoff, there isn’t a car in sight and much of the farming activity along the route have packed up for the weekend.

It’s quiet.

And rather unusual for a seaside town.

But I like it.

A sleepy town with no one in sight. The houses stand empty; only livable during the holiday period. But, it’s the ideal place for beach lovers who will enjoy the 4km of pristine beaches which give Witsand (literally ‘white sand’) its name.

I can go on about the history of Witsand (it’s actually interesting) and what it is known for it is still a town where 1 of the 400 residents greet you with a warm smile and will always ask you, “where are you from?”.

It’s a town with many old buildings and sites of historical interest, the heart of the Cape floral kingdom, a paradise haven for nature lovers and a place with no cellphone reception.

Things to do in the town of Witsand

The town is small and created to simply unwind but if you looking to do more than just sleep, here is a list of some things to do and see if you plan on taking a trip here.

Witsand Beach

Located at the mouth of the Breede River, this beach offers 4km of white sandy seas and, it’s known as one of the largest navigable rivers in South Africa and, a prime spot for birdwatchers’.

It’s said that Witsand is the Whale Nursery of Southern Africa. Between the months of June to November, you’ll be able to view Southern Right Whales migrate to San Sebastian Bay.

Lunch at Pili Pili

Pili Pili is well-known for its beach bar outside and spectacular views overlooking the town Infanta but that doesn’t mean that their food is anything less than great.

With breakfast and light meals on the menu is safe to say that the hake and calamari combo hit the seaside holiday spot. Reasonable priced and with an incredible view, it’s certainly a dining experience to explore.

A Market at Koffie ‘n Kletz

Beach vibe decor and a coffee shop under one shed? That’s what Koffie ‘n Keltz is all about.

Other than the beautifully displayed decor and lifestyle items to purchase, you can’t leave without having a roosterkoek for only R45 and a cup of coffee. It’s only mandatory when you pop in.

Walk the town on foot

The town is rather small but there’s nothing like taking a stroll down the quiet roads and admiring holiday homes and historical sites like Barry Memorial Church, which was built in 1849 by the Barry family; an important merchant family that lived in Witsand.

Breakfast and Supper at The Anchorage Beach Restaurant

Situated beside Witsand beach, The Anchorage is an ideal spot for not only breakfast but lunch and supper too.

With a long deck outside; perfect for the hot summer days, we went for breakfast but returned for supper because it was an ideal area to relax that overlooked the ocean. Prices are reasonable and they have nearly everything you could think of on the menu.

There’s more than just eating to do if you someone who would prefer doing an activity. Here is a list of activities worth trying:

  • Hike the Whale Trail
  • Fish in the Breede River 
  • Bird watching along the Breede River 
  • Windsurfing, kite surfing, canoeing or sailing is possible 

Until the next small town.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog