The Nahoon Estuary Nature Reserve, situated on the Beacon Bay side of the Nahoon River is open weekdays 8am – 4pm. Pack the kids and a picnic, and head off to the Estuary for a lovely walk and play on the beach.
The delightful Dassie Trail is short and level, making it well-suited for family outings. It starts at the Visitor Centre (which also has a quaint bird hide) and proceeds through a forested section before opening up on a wide vista of mud flats lined with mangrove trees. A 500 meter-long boardwalk, made from recycled plastic, forms the main part of the trail. From here one may delight in the pristine estuarine environment, representative of the bigger river systems in the area. Informative sign boards and tree labels along the route add to the experience, informing you about estuarine dynamics, bird life (at least 202 species of birds have been recorded), fish, mangroves and the riparian forest (wooded area of land adjacent to a body of water). The first part of the route takes one to the eastern end of the reserve where a small sandy beach and views to the river mouth can be enjoyed. This spot is impressively framed by high sandstone cliffs – the product of millions of years of erosion.
Then, to get back to your car, take the Forest Walk … a shaded, cool and protected area of sand forest. Deer droppings and nibbled leaves reveal the presence of abundant bushbuck, and blue duiker often dart back and forth. A few tortoises are recent additions to the reserve. Plan to spend at least an hour or two doing the trail (especially the forested bit). If you are a keen birder, plan to spend a lot longer, particularly in the summer months, when waders are plentiful.
Tread gently as you explore this area, break nothing, be careful to leave no refuse, and if you see any, please pick it up and dispose of it in bins provided.
Where: BLUEWATERS ROAD, BEACON BAY. LAT. S32.98267º LONG. E27.9351º
Times: OPEN WEEKDAYS 9:00 AM – 16:00 PM
Contact: BCMM COASTAL CONSERVATION OFFICE: 043 748 1722