Rooi-Els, Afrikaans for red alder (which coincidently is apparently not actually found in Rooi-Els), is the first settlement to greet you along the R44 coastal drive that starts as you leave Gordon’s Bay and travels along the gorgeous Clarence Drive toward Kleinmond on the other side. Situated on the eastern shore of False Bay and just 5km north of Pringle Bay, Rooi-Els was declared a township in 1948, taking its name from the farm and river that originally covered this piece of the land.

The village resides in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and is itself a registered conservancy. Roads are narrow, untarred and without street lights, and just a miniscule sprinkling of shops/eateries found at the entrance to the settlement serves as the commercial hub of the place. Roaming chacma baboons keep you on your toes, while the abundant bird life, in particular the Cape Rockjumper and Cape Thrush, keep the twitchers coming back.

Unlike other towns along the route, Rooi-Els, thanks to its angular nature, doesn’t boast a long strip of sandy beach to stroll along – in fact, its shape is such that the town is actually surround by water on three of its sides! That said though, with the landmark Hangklip rock face towering above you, the unrelenting lack of people, the varied coastal fynbos, the crashing waves, and indeed, the little sandy coves and rock strewn coastline beaches, this place really does make for an incredibly special place to traipse about.

So, I guess that is why then we try to do just exactly that as often as what the opportunity to do so presents itself.

Related Link: Rooi Els | Overstrand