Western Cape DestinationsDoringbaai, Cape West Coast
Further up the West Coast even than Lamberts Bay and Elands Bay, Doringbaai lies just south of Strandfontein and Papendorp, deep in the heart of 'gone fishing' land where time slows virtually to a crawl, and the sea and the sky become your daily barometers.
Doringbaai is essentially a little fishing village that used to be known as Thornbay. It's well known as a bay where the Southern Right whales enter every year to calve between May to November. It's a charming little village ideal for getting away from it all, but not for those seeking constant entertainment, unless the sounds of crashing waves, water birds and the constant proximity of Doringbaai lighthouse are your kind of thing.
The lighthouse is one of the prominent features of staying here, and it's a particularly pretty lighthouse that has elicited a fair amount of interest lately, and was built in 1963.
Walking deserted beaches, hiking trails not only in the surrounding mountains but on the hills close to the beach that grant you a bird's eye view of the whales, a world-renowned succulent nursery, and access to the Namaqualand flowers during late winter and early spring are all reasons for your heading out here, up the deserted, wind-swept, but utterly gorgeous West Coast region.
Today the remnants of a thriving fish processing factory stand, lambasted by waves during the dire days of winter. It tells the tale of the days when there was an abundance of pilchards and sardines in the area. Today you're still allowed to feast on black and white mussels and lobsters, if you're prepared to collect them once you're issued with a licence, and if there is no red tide.