Drinking in the beauty of Leentjiesklip
By Wessel Badenhorst
It’s hard to leave a party before the braai. Some would argue it is morally and ethically wrong to miss the braai. It misses the point of going in the first place. But kids ‘parties have different rules – your little one needs at least to put in an appearance. My mission was more important than social conventions, new friendships, and the sizzling meat. A family getaway weekend was waiting.
Before we could hit the road we first had to pack. An easy activity for the adventurous bachelor tends to be an adventure in its own right for parents in a rush. You also get to see your children in a true expression of themselves. The girl, the eldest, is logical, methodical, and given a mental checklist, practically perfect. At the age of three, I do not expect a boy to pack for himself, but he does try to help by tossing a single shoe and a pair of underpants into the suitcase. I remember thinking that the camera bag was not the right place to put the matches, but that was the only bag close by at the time.
Our destination was Leentjiesklip Caravan Park in Langebaan.
Leentjiesklip, or Lynch Point as it was originally named, got its name from a runaway sailor named Lynch. The name changed over time to reflect the inhabitants of the surrounding area, first to Lynch se Klip, and finally to Leentjiesklip as it is known today.
We quickly decided on a stand right next to the ocean and pitched a small half-dome tent to reserve our spot. Then we took the kids for a pit stop at the shared ablutions which were very clean and headed out to find something to eat.
Die Strandloper beach restaurant
Following in the footsteps of the famous Muisbosskerm beach restaurant, Die Strandloper is an embodiment of the word casual. Over the course of three and a half hours, you are treated to everything from freshly baked bread and mussel stew to West Coast rock lobster grilled on an open fire.
When you go to Langebaan to feel the sand between your toes, you’ll want to visit Die Strandloper. The beach toys for the kids are a fitting addition to this fishing themed restaurant hiding among the dunes. It is easy to imagine yourself as a fisherman in days gone by, dragging your skiff out of the waves and cooking up a feast right there. But since the children missed their afternoon nap, which causes them to lose form early, we knew that we would have to come back some other time to fully enjoy the experience. With heaviness in my heart, we bade the smell of crayfish farewell and headed for the local Spar to grab a couple of steaks for the braai.
Back at Leentjiesklip, we were not even done setting up camp when a young girl from the stand next to ours came over offering mini aquariums she had made in a couple of empty glass bottles. Instantly the ice was broken, and the little ones were laughing and playing on the sprawling jungle gym and swings.
After settling in, we headed for the beach 10 metres from our stand. There the kids, with their new friend and her dad in tow, ran around on the sand and jumped over the breaker in the shallows. Strangers became friends.
With the sun setting, I started looking for the matches I was sure I had packed. There is always that one camper who forgets the salt, bottle opener or matches. After unpacking the suitcases and checking the car for the third time, I was that camper, and my wife borrowed a lighter from the neighbours. Just like that we settled down in front of the fire, watching the orange sunset captured in the flames.
We stared dreamily out at the stars. The fresh air took effect and soon the kids were ready for bed. My wife and I sipped on a glass of wine while listening to a slow beat drifting over the campground. Someone tried to get the hang of Ou ryperd without success. By the time he turned in for the night, all was quiet. Occasionally we heard the guards on patrol around the park. The sound of breaking waves swept us off to sleep.
Morning greeted us in calm perfection. The ocean was like glass, with a dove grey pre-dawn mist lightly resting on the caravan park. With a sense of fresh joy, we sipped on drinking yoghurt while we waited for the coffee pot to work its magic, and looked forward to the adventures of the day.
Usually, a day at Leentjiesklip would involve fishing, hunting for rare and beautiful seashells, or strolling for miles on the fine sand, but this time Elzain Wroth from Advencha. Guru had an amazing day planned for us.
We met Brian form Brian's Tours at the Langebaan Yacht Club and headed to Kraalbaai on his rubber duck. Kraalbaai is like a mini Mauritius with white sandy beaches, houseboats and turquoise water.
The lagoon is a mecca for water sports, from the projected teething grounds for beginner kitesurfers to tubing, skiing, and kayaking lose to the Kraalbaai beach. My 5-year-old and I took a chance on the tube and were pleasantly surprised to find that the lagoon water is significantly warmer than you would expect on the West Coast.
Since we had another excursion waiting, we opted for the quick trip, but there is an option to make a day out of the lagoon adventure or going on a fishing trip. After a quick bite to eat at the yacht club, we headed to Thali Thali.
Thali Thali - Family Getaway
The kids simply loved the game drive through the Thali Thali game reserve where we spotted some big antelope, a cape cobra, and a family of friendly giraffes. You can also enjoy three hikes, hunt 3D targets with bow and arrow, or take an archery class. On warmer days there is a pool to cool off in, and an outdoor kids' play area to keep your little ones entertained.
Our day ended with a delectable meal at the Thali Thali Restaurant, where you cannot go wrong with the spare ribs.
Advencha Guru Information:
To have your own adventure designed around your interests and available time, head on over to www.advencha.guru and talk to Elzain. They have something for every type of adventurer.
Rates: from R250 pp for sightseeing or R350pp for tube trips. They also do fishing trips from R750 per person.
Rates were correct at the time of publishing in April 2018- please call Advencha Guru to get the latest info: +27 (0) 22 707 7000
For more information please visit: Things to do with kids in Cape Town