The little seaside village of Kommetjie has a secret. Tucked away between trees on the very outskirts of town lies one of the best sundowner spots on the Cape Peninsula. By Magriet Kruger

1 SlangkopCabin-RiaanVermeulen-Jun2011

Pictures by Riaan Vermeulen

The large wooden deck at Slangkop Tented Camp has clear views of the Atlantic Ocean and is sheltered from the worst winds. Section ranger and conservation manager Mathabatha Matjila says it’s the place to be at sunset – but I imagine it’s pretty idyllic throughout the day.

Slangkop is one of four tented camps established for hikers on the Hoerikwaggo Trail, but now available to anyone who wants to spend a night in Table Mountain National Park. The camp consists of five safari tents, a shared cooking and dining area (boma), and communal toilets and showers.

It may sound basic, but it’s really comfortable. The safari tents have proper beds (although you have to take your own bedding) and the showers are hot. The boma is fully kitted out – even an antique woodburning Dover stove for cold nights.

The camp makes the most of the seaside setting and there are picture windows so you can look at Slangkop Lighthouse while brushing your teeth or gaze out at the ocean from indoors.

Whales are often spotted around here, so it’s fitting that the design draws on the ocean greats. The rounded shape of the tents echo a whale’s gentle curves and old whalebones have been used as light fittings.

2 SlangkopWhale lights-RiaanVermeulen-Jun2011

From the camp it’s a hop, skip and a jump to the beach, so it’s ideal if you’re a surfer (Kommetjie’s breaks are famous). Sitting among the trees and looking at the wild ocean, you’ll feel like you’re miles away from civilisation, but it’s really just a short walk to the shops.

“It’s the perfect combination of town and nature,” Mathabatha says. If you’re thinking of a night in the wilds, but you’re not exactly a self-sufficient camper, this is place for you.

Trip planner

For bookings or further information call +27 (0)21 422 2816 between 07:30 and 16:00 or email [email protected]. You can also check availability and book online.