So many best-kept secrets along the Garden Route has been discovered it seems, but the tiny hamlet of Vermaaklikheid truly hasn’t. So off the beaten track that there is nothing to discover, nothing except peace, tranquility, and the winding Duiwenhoks river flowing down to a quiet private nature reserve. And lots of fynbos. To call it sleepy is an understatement, but it’s the perfect place to escape modern life and just relax, tune into the ebb and flow of the tidal river on your doorstep, listen to birdsong and sit by a firepit at night looking up at the stars.
It’s a place where you take off your watch and live life by the tides and the sun. While away mornings playing about on the river in kayaks, swimming or fishing for cob, spotted grunter and white steenbras. Paddle downstream and make your own discoveries of secret river beaches to swim from at low tide. Drift back up with the tide and watch the river bird life as you go. (No waterskiing or jet skis are allowed on this peaceful river so it’s a real haven for nature lovers and a bird-watcher’s paradise). Explore the fynbos trails on mountain bikes or on foot, and return home to spend the afternoon in a hammock or with a book while you listen to the sound of the river in the reeds.
If this idyllic pace of life needs any variety, drive the quiet dirt roads to Witsand at the mouth of the nearby Breede River, a favourite breeding ground for Southern Right whales in winter and spring. But really, once you’ve settled in to the easy drift of life in this place that time forgot, you won’t want to remind yourself of the outside world by driving anywhere, content to flow with the river and reconnect with nature and family.