Pack your snorkel, braai and binoculars, because at Cape Vidal you can have lunch on the beach, snorkel the reef and see amazing wild animals on the way.
Entering Bhangazi gate on the Eastern Shores of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, an exciting game drive awaits. Of course there are entrance fees at the gate which contribute to the upkeep of the park and looking after the wild animals that live there. The drive to Cape Vidal is about 40 minutes and there is a strict speed limit which we all have to adhere to (you know, for the safety of the animals). For more information on Park entrance fees and gate times, click here.
Along the way, there are loops, lookout spots and picnic spots if you are interested in a “bushier” experience. If you are lucky, you might see elephant, the mysterious leopard and hyenas on the way to and from Cape Vidal. Also keep a lookout for baboons, kudu and of course, hippos.
Entering Cape Vidal, the landscape changes to thick coastal forest. I always imagine this is where forest fairies live, because the forest has a truly magical feel. The area is home to the endangered Samango Monkey and lots of shy Red Duiker.
Amongst the trees, you will find “braai” areas where you can make your own lunch and enjoy a cold drink. Just a friendly warning; there are many friendly monkeys at Cape Vidal. They like to grab your lunch and many people find it quite annoying. They WILL open your bag and they WILL try to break in your cooler box. Hehe, they have become little experts yes. Please do not feed the monkeys, as they can become a problem which then have to be dealt with in manner that does not have a happy ending for the monkeys.
At low tide, the reef at Cape Vidal surfaces and the rock pools are perfect for snorkeling. Beautiful reef fish and other marine animals can be spotted, including cuttlefish, sand sharks and eels.
Just be aware that the tides and currents are strong and there are no life guards on duty.
And then of course there is a small convenience store where we always buy ice cream on the way back. There is nothing that ends a super beach day with an ice cream while trying to spot that leopard.
With the sun setting, the Eastern Shores glows while preparing for the coming night. It is magic and you just have to experience it.