Tucked away in the wildly beautiful West Coast National Park is a cute little hideaway that’s, well, almost hidden in plain sight. Right on the lagoon shores in the Skrywershoek section of Churchhaven, is Fishermen’s Den. The naming is quirky though no fishermen live here now. Rather, it’s for those who love being at ground level with nature and close to her tides and seasons.
The original living space of the cottage was built from stone in the 1960s, and the two bedrooms – one queen and one twin – were added in the eighties. So the cottage walls certainly have stories to tell of life on the lagoon, while outside the huge gum trees whisper in the breeze. An attached hammock is a choice place for afternoon naps and gazing across the lagoon’s tidal waters. These gum trees see plenty of good times though, with braaiing, eating, drinking and chilling with friends happening in their shade. Sometimes even game viewing, as bontebok, steenbok and eland pass by in search of grazing. Tidal flats alongside are a favourite hangout for water birds, including flamingos, while opportunistic raptors fly overhead.
The shabby chic style interior of the house is ideally suited to true relaxation, and easy days. In winter, you can cosy up to the log fire when the mist rolls in, in summer there are endless dips in the lagoon just a few steps away – and views to the horizons. Rinse off at the outside shower and grab a tall one to cool off with. But don’t miss the magical sunsets here, when the waters of the lagoon look like a liquid gold. Then stoke the fire and celebrate the evening in this blissful space.
In the morning, when the sun rises over the water, you’ll be inspired to hike, swim, paddle or windsurf. Or maybe just follow the worn path from the cottage to 16-Mile Beach. It’s 20 minutes away, and again a world apart; wild Atlantic Ocean meets a deserted white beach where only kelp gulls gather. So nature lovers unite, as this is your ultimate hideaway from the world to savour and explore a timeless landscape, or simply do nothing at all but soak up sunshine and refresh body and mind.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey
What we love:
- that the cottage is off the grid, and uses solar lights and a gas stove and fridge.
- how isolated it feels, though the town of Langebaan is just out of sight behind a hill
- the weaver birds nesting in the blue gum trees
- such magical sunrises and sunsets
- seeing wildlife wander past
What you need to know:
- the cottage sleeps four in two bedrooms, with one bathroom
- bring along your own kayaks, windsurfers and paddle boards
- wood is supplied
- no plugs