The play of colours in the morning. Sunlight filtering through the leaves. Tinged in gold, soft hues, serene warm winter colours. I wake up early here. My time frame distracted from long European afternoons to pre-dawn awakenings. Not sure if it’s bird calls or early evenings but time shifts into a different space. Rupert, my 1 year old nephew is up first, greets the day with exuberant kitchen cupboard banging, “Yes! This! This!” he tells us. A week in Kenton.
Kenton-on-Sea a small coastal village in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Linking the Western Cape, home to Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal to the north. Sandwiched in between, the Eastern Cape has it’s own smells and sounds, and is home to one of my favourite areas – The Transkei. At 168 966 square kilometres, the Eastern Cape is roughly the size of Uruguay. It’s the South Africa’s second-largest province with a population of around 6.5-million people. -Read more
Kenton is situated between the Bushman’s River and the Kariega River, and lies approximately half way between the coastal cities of East London (180km) and Port Elizabeth (130km) in an area known as the Sunshine Coast. It is home to many pristine beaches, green rolling hills, and nature reserves along the shores of its rivers and coastline.
The Sunshine coast is a hauntingly beautiful region, with a vibrant mix of all the best that Africa has to offer. 30 minutes from Kenton, Grahamstown forms the historic centre of the region, full of museums and cultural points of interest, a visit to the Observatory Museum which houses one of only two Victorian Cameras Obscura in the world is a fun family trip. There is much for the outdoor enthusiast and adventurer from skydiving, river rafting to mountaineering and whale watching.
The region is Malaria free and offers endless stretches of sandy beaches, interspersed by tidal rivers navigable for as far as thirty kilometres – ideal for water sports. Kenton is a short drive from the Addo elephant park which offers amazing game viewing, and is a fabulous excursion to make on a rainy day. There are also fascinating rock formations and rock pools to delight any child’s heart and safe swimming in the rivers – amongst South Africa’s best.
A horse back ride can take you on beach trails over sand dunes, forest, and undulating farm lands, from scenic dairy farms to chicory and pineapples.
How Lucky I am! No work and a holiday with family beckons. The coral tree outside filled with photogenic birds, a language of feathers, vowels of song, colours and iridescent plumes. A river to explore, a beach to wander.
Later a boat ride to find elephants, a moment in silence and appreciation, as the river sits still, a cormorant notices, it’s oily wings flap, and the river is ruffled into motion.
We watch the sluggish Sea Hares as the boat is loaded, it’s cold, a breeze, the call of a Loerie, raucous family, and we’re off. Speed up, Slow Down! Coffee and rusks later, but no elephants, we return home. Rupert likes to drive. The Euphorbias frame our passage in a perfect mirror, their spiny hands touch the sky. A fish eagle cries and I have a cascade of holiday memories of Kenton, canoeing through jellyfish, night-fishing, seal sightings, new years and Christmas, family dinners. Grannies spice cookies keep us warm till we unload and get home.
The Sea Hares have concluded their morning meeting. At home the Sunbirds chatter amidst the coral flames outside my window.