An oceanside stroll to the Slangkop Lighthouse is wonderfully easy – a toddler could manage, and it’s a good leg-stretch after a drive through Simons Town / Cape Point / Scarborough.
From the beachside conservation village of Scarborough you drive along the magnificently scenic coast past Misty Cliffs to Kommetjie – a delightfully laid-back little village where there’s great surf, good fishing, lots of walking and excellent diving.
At Kommetjie a timber boardwalk snakes its way along the pebbly ocean shore to the Slangkop (snake head) Lighthouse. On one side of the boardwalk huge waves curl over, crisp as green calcite, before crashing down just metres away. Watch local surfers and boarders mastering the surf, which they do incredibly well. On the other side, milkwoods and private homes lace the lower mountainside.
The boardwalk leads you right up to the Slangkop lighthouse, which was commissioned in 1919. It’s a familiar beacon in Kommetjie, flashing every 30 seconds, and it’s open for visiting from Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, except between 12.00 and 12.30 pm.
The boardwalk begins near the “kom”, meaning “little basin” – a large, tub-shaped inlet that fills and empties along with the tides, and was apparently once used as a fish trap. Locals paddle around in the kom, and the day we went, a younster was trailing his dog across its placid surface on a surfboard! Life in Kommetjie is laid-back, remember …
Just around the corner from the kom is the exquisite Long Beach, also a popular haunt for pro surfers. You can walk about 8 km along the beautiful milk-white beach sands of Long Beach, all the way to Noordhoek.
What’s also special about Kommetjie is its indigenous milkwood trees, most of which are hundreds of years old. All the milkwoods in the area are protected. They make wonderful natural canopies of shade for picnics near the sea. The area is also blessed with fynbos, baboons, tortoises and birds, snakes, clawless otters, genets, porcupines, frogs and toads. The Kommetjie wetlands are another of its many endowments.
When you’ve had your fill of traipsing about in Kommetjie, you could make your way to Imhoff Farm (in the direction of Sunnydale / Sun Valley) for a cup of tea and a camel ride.