Hartenbos, which is broken down into the two words 'Hart en Bosch', is derived from the Afrikaans language to mean 'deer bush'. Now a popular seaside resort, Hartenbos started out as a rural farmland granted to a local farmer. The piece of land was a gift to the man after he rescued drowning sailors from a shipwreck. Following his demise, Hartenbos was bought by the Afrikaans Language and Culture Organisation and was used as a holiday destination reserved for its members. Today it is now a popular seaside resort available to the public, where thousands of holidaymakers make their way up from the Limpopo Province all the way to the Western Cape. During school holidays and family vacations, the tranquil town is transformed into a hive of festivity.
One of the biggest attractions to Hartenbos is, of course, the beach. Hartenbos Beach has, in recent times, received an official flagship status. This means that beachgoers can take comfort in knowing that it is clean, safe and environmentally friendly. With its long stretches, walkers can take long afternoon meanders along the coastline. It is also a great place for anglers, where one can cast off on one of the many rock stacks found along the beach. For bathers looking to take a refreshing dip in shallow waters, the lagoon makes for safer swimming.
Apart from frolicking in the waves and basking in the sun, marine spotting is also a popular activity upon one's visit to the beach. Between the months of May to November, one can view pods of whales, school of dolphins and seals swimming, calving and playing in the waves.
Once you get tired of being covered in sand from top-to-toe, spoil your children with a visit to the Hartenbos Waterpark. Considered to have the biggest variety of slides in the Western Cape, you're bound to have endless amounts of fun while whizzing down the chutes and water tubes.
After a sun-kissed day on the beach and surrounds, nurse that sunburn with a comfortable night's rest at the various holiday accommodation establishments in the area.
While water-based activities and many trips to the beach are mandatory on a visit to Hartenbos, there is plenty to do in the small, but thrumming town. If you're looking to learn more about the history of the town and their ties to the Voortrekkers, take a stroll down the main street to visit the ATKV Hartenbos Museum. The museum documents the lives of the Boers as they relocated en masse away from the chokehold of colonial rule to greater pastures elsewhere. Their journey known as the 'Great Trek' was tumultuous, passing through mountain ranges and crossing over rivers to reach their final destination.
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