Swartvlei Beach, Sedgefield, South Africa
by Sylvia Ferguson
(Sedgefield, South Africa)
Swartvlei Beach is a fascinating beach for many reasons. It's close to the popular Swartvlei Camping site on the banks of the Swartvlei Lagoon. Behind the camping ground is a pristine Dune that has been given in Trust to Sedgefield so it cannot be developed. In front of that is Swartvlei Beach.
Another section of the beach is backed by some of the highest dunes cliffs in South Africa, some 6000 years old. The cliffs provide roosts and nests for two colonies of Cape and White-breasted cormorants.
This beach is also a protected area because it is a breeding area for the vulnerable endemic African Black Oystercatcher. These can be sighted whenever one walks along the shoreline.
Then there are the wonderful rock pools at the end of the beach that one can spend hours exploring and swimming in at low tide. The beach and these rocks are frequented by fishermen.
From a large sculpured sandstone relic called the Lion's Head you can sit and often observe the bay's resident Humpback Dolphins and between June and November you're very likely to see Southern Right Whales when they come to our shores to mate and give birth.
At low Spring tide a guided "Moonlight Meander" is conducted along the beach to the exposed rocky pools at Gerrike's Point where you are told and shown the interesting facts about life in the inter-tidal zone. The beach has a totally different feel at night!
Last but not least the surfing and swimming are great. As beautiful as it is, the beach is large and long and never overcrowded. You can walk along it to the river mouth and when the tide is coming in you can have great fun surging in on the current. You get off at one of the shallow sandbanks and then go back to the beginning to do it again!
Sedgefield has 5 beautiful beaches but Swartvlei has got to be my favourite.Sylvia is the owner/editor of the informative site Discover-Sedgefield-South-Africa