For Sea Breeze Devo­tees – Vic­to­ria Bay

In an area famed for its lovely beaches, sweep­ing views and rocky promon­to­ries, it can be hard to pick one spot that en­cap­su­lates the very best of the Gar­den Route. But then if you visit Vic­to­ria Bay, wedged be­tween Ge­orge and Wilder­ness, the choice be­com

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As dinky as it is beau­ti­ful, Vic Bay, as it’s known to lo­cals, is just about the tini­est hol­i­day ham­let you’re likely to come across on South Africa’s coast­line. With lit­er­ally one road in and out, it’s es­sen­tially lit­tle more than a cove, with a lovely white sand beach hemmed in by jum­bles of rocks and steep hill­sides. The only way it could be quainter was if it was Bri­tish and pop­u­lated by hol­i­day­ing an­thro­po­mor­phic dormice.

De­spite its diminu­tive size, it de­liv­ers in spades ev­ery­thing from sea views and world-class surf­ing to su­perb walk­ing routes and the fam­ily-friendli­est beach you could let your tod­dler loose on.

In and Out of the Wa­ter

The beach at Vic Bay is one of the neat­est you’ll come across. Well-man­i­cured lawns nes­tle be­neath a veg­e­tated slope and run the width of the beach it­self – so if you don’t like sand in your thong, you can pitch your um­brella on the green stuff. There’s ex­cel­lent swim­ming to be had, and on the western end of the beach are a smat­ter­ing of rock pools and a large tidal pool. If you have small kids, they can splash around here and chase the abun­dance of small fish.

Speak­ing of fish, the bay is pop­u­lar with surf fish­er­men who ei­ther find their own spot on the rocks on ei­ther side of the bay, or cast off from the small jetty next to the tidal pool on the eastern side. Con­di­tions are best when the tide is com­ing in, and dawn and dusk are your best bets – it will also mean you’re more likely to land a kob than a surfer.

Most surfers have no trou­ble speak­ing ad nau­seam about the great waves they’ve caught (they’re not un­like fish­er­men in a sense), but Vic Bay is of­ten spo­ken about in hushed tones – per­haps so it doesn’t get over­run. Sim­ply put, the surf is amaz­ing. There’s a con­sis­tent right point break that runs for about 300 m, so it’s a long, steady wave. As if this isn’t enough, the wave breaks from the point, so you can prac­ti­cally walk to the back line, hop in, and grab an­other.

Surfers of all lev­els can get some­thing out of the wave, and it’s con­sis­tent through­out the year, though con­di­tions are best May through to Au­gust.

The dol­phin and whale watch­ing at Vic Bay is also su­perb. The wa­ter is deep enough just off the rocks along the eastern side that the whales some­times come ex­tremely close to shore. South­ern right and Hump­back whales pass through in the win­ter and spring months – they calve and nurse their young in these wa­ters, mak­ing the area one of the best in South Africa for whale watch­ing. Dol­phins are also res­i­dent year-round, the most com­mon be­ing Heav­i­side’s, Com­mon, Dusky and Bot­tlenose dol­phins.

Lace Up

If you fancy a bit of ex­er­tion, you can walk the old rail­way line from Vic Bay to Wilder­ness. A path leads up from the bay onto the line, which fol­lows the curve of the seashore, of­fer­ing lovely views of the ocean, so bring binoc­u­lars for a bit of whale watch­ing. The line will take you through a few short tun­nels, and as the line turns north to­wards the Kaaimans River mouth, you’ll be pre­sented with a lovely view of the strik­ing Kaaimans River Bridge.

Be­fore cross­ing the bridge, look out for a small path lead­ing up the hill. The as­cent is steep, about a 130 m gain in al­ti­tude, but you’ll be re­warded with gor­geous views of the river, bridge and Wilder­ness in the dis­tance. There’s a cir­cu­lar trail through in­dige­nous fyn­bos you can fol­low while you’re up there, so give your­self plenty of time to ex­plore. Back on the tracks, you’ll go around a tight bend, known as Dol­phin Point, which is tech­ni­cally a view­point on the N2 right above you. You’ll pop out on Leen­tjies Klip, the west­ern­most end of Wilder­ness’ stag­ger­ingly long beach. Have a quick dip, then en­joy the view in re­verse as you head back the same way. Make sure you bring plenty of wa­ter and sun­screen.

Homely Hos­pi­tal­ity

Vikki’s at the Beach (+27 44 889 0212) is ev­ery­thing a beach­side restau­rant should be – friendly, re­laxed, well priced, and with killer views of the sea. Of­fer­ing up the best in hol­i­day grub – think hake and chips, cala­mari and pizza – you’ll feel at home whether you’ve come fully coifed out of your hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion, or have hor­ren­dous beach hair.

If you’re a do-it-your­self kind of per­son, Vic Bay Car­a­van Park (www.vic­to­ri­abay­car­a­van­park.co.za / +27 44 889 0081) has some of the best po­si­tioned plots in the coun­try. Set above the sin­gle strip of ac­com­mo­da­tion, it of­fers grassed stands with phe­nom­e­nal sea views, elec­tric­ity and braai fa­cil­i­ties, with some stands even in­clud­ing pri­vate ablu­tions.

Re­ally though, if you’re go­ing to do this, do it prop­erly. Un­doubt­edly the most spe­cial place to stay is Land’s End (www.vicbay.com / +27 44 889 0123), right on the south­ern tip of the bay. You can prac­ti­cally step out of your room and onto the rocks, with the waves rolling past just me­tres away. It’s the kind of set­ting that will have you up­dat­ing your In­sta­gram fu­ri­ously and coo­ing to your­self at the jeal­ous com­ments you re­ceive. Land’s End’s six self-cater­ing apart­ments all have sun decks or veran­das, sea views, fully-fit­ted kitchens, DStv, braai fa­cil­i­ties and WiFi, not to men­tion ac­cess to a fully stocked wine cel­lar and wa­ter­sport equip­ment to rent.

You’ll want to give your­self a lot of time in Vic Bay. Sure there’s loads to do in the sur­round­ing area, but while you’re there, turn off your phone, sit still and soak in the chilled, beau­ti­ful vibe. It’s thor­oughly en­chant­ing.

The surf is amaz­ing. There’s a con­sis­tent right point break that runs for about 300 m, so it’s a long, steady wave. As if this isn’t enough, the wave breaks from the point, so you can prac­ti­cally walk to the back line, hop in, and grab an­other.

In a cross-cul­tural world that is po­lit­i­cally com­plex and dig­i­tal, with civil and eco­nomic dis­par­i­ties, in­fused with chal­lenges of mass mi­gra­tion, ter­ror­ism, racism, uni­lat­er­al­ity and global coali­tions, cli­mate change and in­fec­tious dis­eases; the need for soft pow­ers, strong prin­ci­pled pub­lic diplo­macy and pi­o­neer­ing lead­er­ship has be­come un­de­ni­able ne­ces­sity; hence, pro­vid­ing an ad­e­quate train­ing and true in­for­ma­tion, for those who seek gov­er­nance ex­cel­lence, knowl­edge, se­cu­rity, cred­itabil­ity and ca­reers to cre­ate a wise and pos­i­tive force for Africa, for South Africa, and for the his­tory mak­ing…

I ded­i­cate the “School of Di­plo­ma­cyTM”

Since the first elec­tions by uni­ver­sal suf­frage, which con­sol­i­dated the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has made re­mark­able progress in a num­ber of ar­eas. It has cre­ated a demo­cratic so­ci­ety based on eq­uity, non-racial­ism and re­spect for the rights of re­li­gious, cul­tural, lin­guis­tic and in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, and has brought about in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal and macroe­co­nomics sta­bil­ity. Although South Africa sig­nif­i­cantly and tire­lessly plays an im­por­tant role at na­tional, re­gional and global lev­els to pro­mote and bring democ­racy, se­cu­rity, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic sta­bil­i­ties so to end con­flicts and wars; main­tain­ing peace is a lot more volatile.

South Africa School of Diplo­macy, Pro­to­col and Pub­lic

Ad­min­is­tra­tion TM, is a self-funded in­de­pen­dent, so­cial, po­lit­i­cal, aca­demic, re­search, train­ing and de­vel­op­ment pri­vate in­sti­tu­tion first of its kind in one of the most pop­u­lated diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tion cap­i­tal in the world – Pre­to­ria. The School of Diplo­macy em­pow­ers in the ar­eas of Diplo­macy, Pro­to­col and Eti­quette, Strate­gic and Sus­tain­able Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ne­go­ti­a­tions, Con­flict Man­age­ment and Trans­for­ma­tion, Gov­er­nance and For­eign Af­fairs. The School of Diplo­macy, its diplo­mas and cour­ses are “In­ter­na­tion­ally Com­pa­ra­ble” (a key recog­ni­tion) as it has re­ceived ac­cred­i­ta­tion for 7 Na­tional Diplo­mas (in­clud­ing hun­dreds of unit standers -cour­ses-) by Pub­lic Ser­vice Sec­tor – Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Au­thor­ity (PSETA), South African Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Au­thor­ity (SAQA) and the Qual­ity Coun­cil for Trades and Oc­cu­pa­tions (QCTO); and we shall seek and di­ver­sify fur­ther as the School con­tin­ues to grow. The School of Diplo­macy will be an es­sen­tial con­trib­u­tor and also an ex­ten­sion to com­pli­ment and com­plete train­ing in South Africa and in the African Con­ti­nent and will pur­sue col­lab­o­ra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion mem­o­ran­dums with lead­ing train­ing in­sti­tu­tions and acad­e­mies na­tion­ally and world-wide, in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. The School shall be cost-ef­fec­tive and com­pet­i­tive to other For­eign Schools op­er­ate glob­ally. In the next 3-5 years The School of Diplo­macy will be a world-wide hub for Gov­ern­ment Agents, Diplo­mats, Busi­ness Ex­ec­u­tives, and Ex­change Stu­dents in Africa and around the World; In essence, it will lead to the es­tab­lish­ment of a “Diplo­matic Club”.

In three years plan, The School will launch a “Re­search Cen­tre”, “Diplo­matic Li­brary”,

“Magazine”, in which, the School will be an ad­vi­sory and ad­vo­cacy in­sti­tu­tion to South African Gov­ern­ment. Due to the na­ture of trainees, the en­ti­ties they are sent (come) from, their time avail­abil­ity, and based on our cur­rent and pend­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion/s, the School will of­fer com­pe­tency cour­ses, ac­cred­ited cour­ses, spe­cial pro­grammes and full ac­cred­ited na­tional diplo­mas. Cour­ses range from one-day crash cour­ses to three-months pro­gramme. A di­ploma would con­sti­tute a nine-month pro­gramme. We have set cour­ses, pro­grammes, and na­tional-diplo­mas (listed on our web­site along­side the vi­sion, mis­sion, rea­sons and goals), and we wel­come and in­vite all of­fices, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, cor­po­rates, con­sulates, em­bassies, and de­part­ments to en­quire or and re­quest on se­lec­tive and tai­lored spe­cial cour­ses to meet cer­tain emerg­ing and per­sis­tent chal­lenges. The School is reg­u­lated and gov­erned by Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment, Eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment, and South African Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Au­thor­ity (SAQA), and all our cour­ses, pro­grammes, and diplo­mas are up to world class stan­dards (“In­ter­na­tion­ally Com­pa­ra­ble”) and in line with world pol­i­tics and de­vel­op­ments. All classes are taught in English Lan­guage by a highly dis­tin­guished train­ers, aca­demi­cians, na­tion­ally renowned pro­fes­sors, state of­fi­cials, cur­rent field ex­perts and prac­ti­tion­ers, and am­bas­sadors; More­over, guest speak­ers and other na­tional and in­ter­na­tional fig­ures in the field will be in­vited con­trib­u­tors. And since diplo­macy is a skill set that en­hances the abil­ity to man­age in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal, per­sonal and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tions and re­la­tions in a job, the school will pro­vide cour­ses to the pri­vate sec­tor for suc­cess­ful re­sult-ori­ented man­age­ment.

Text: Will Edgcumbe Im­ages © Land’s End & Vic­to­ria Bay Car­a­van Park

Tariq Dah­man - Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer

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