Situated between Sedgefield and Knysna , Buffelsbaai is a tiny holiday village surrounded by the Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area. Rather unique amongst South African coastal resorts, Buffelsbaai comprises only 200 odd houses with no further development envisaged! Very much a family oriented holiday destination, the village is renowned for its magnificent beaches and safe swimming.
Nestled on a rocky promontory known as Walkers Point, Buffelsbaai’s charm lies in both its lack of urban development and its situation in a protected environment. The village looks out onto a magnificent bay, with a beach that stretches eastwards for some 7km to Brenton on Sea. Walker Point itself features a myriad of tidal pools perfect for the kids to explore.
A variety of short walks and trails are available, both on the beaches and in the adjacent Nature Reserve. Dolphins and, in season, whales are regularly spotted in the bay whilst the Marine Protected Area is a delight for shorebird enthusiasts – regular sightings are recorded of the rare African Black Oystercatcher. The Goukamma Nature Reserve contains a range of small mammal species, including grysbok, bushpig and honey badger. The village also offers excellent angling opportunities for both rock and surf fisherman.
Buffelsbaai has become firmly entrenched as a top destination for board surfers. Walker Point is surrounded by waves, a paradise for surfers from the Bay’s fairly predictable beach breaks in the east to the more challenging surf on the western ‘wild side’. Excellent tuition for novices is available from local instructors, such as ‘Darkwing’ Don from Trip Out Adventures. Accomplished surfers flock to the village each year to compete in the annual Ross Taylor Surf Contest, being held this year from 10-12 August. This special event brings together surf communities, local businesses and charities in a celebration of the life of Ross Taylor – a remarkable young man who devoted his life to surfing. Ross battled cancer with the same spirit he tackled life in general, but unfortunately succumbed at 29 years of age. His final wish was that an annual surf contest be held underpinned by the spirit of “love and fun through giving”.
Where are all the buffalo one may well ask? The Bay was indeed once home to large herds of Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), but alas, as occurred throughout much of South Africa as the European settlers ventured further afield from their original settlements, the impressive herds were rapidly decimated. The last buffalo in this area was shot in 1883. Perhaps one day we may see the return of these magnificent creatures in the Goukamma Nature Reserve!