Western Cape Tourist AttractionsSoetwater
Where? Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie, Cape Town
How? Call +27 (0)21 788-7881 or +27 (0)21 783-5914
The coastal conservancy of Soetwater lies south of Kommetjie below the coastal road to Misty Cliffs. Historically it has served as a camping site and continues to do so, but not without a serious environmental challenge in the process.
This thin strip of coast that lies between the sea and the towering Slangkop mountain has a phenomenal coastal biodiversity. It has one of the highest densities of endangered oystercatchers, as well as active otter and caracal families. Just off shore are dense kelp beds, and a series of unique coastal wetland lagoons litter the shore.
Soetwater is the only remaining stretch of virtually undeveloped coastal terrace on the Cape Peninsula; a tapestry of rocky shores, vegetated dune systems, seasonal wetlands, coastal flats and mountain scree slopes.
There are even three protected, ancient KhoiSan fish traps, known as 'viswywers', along the coastline at Soetwater.
Despite the cultural and biodiversity relevance, Soetwater remains a recreation facility located within a nature conservation area; a hugely popular holiday resort with 61 electrified camp sites at Medusa caravan park, and just under 160 non-electrified sites at De Anker and the bus parking area.
People from nearby Ocean View, and from Athlone, Elsies Rivier, Bothasig and Bonteheuwel have been coming here since they were children.
There are two tidal pools (although the first is often dry), a boat launch at Witsands slipway, plenty of beach for long walks, and trails up Slangkop. The beautiful, natural rock pools along the coast are filled with sea life because of the flat rocky banks and kelp forests off Soetwater.
Look out for the quick movements of the white-fronted sand plover, and the black oystercatcher. Both lay their eggs in the seaweed on the beaches. Whilst dune molerats, tortoise, and grysbok live in the dunes, if you can spot them.