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Roberg Island – The Fountain Shack Hut

It has been on my bucket list for a while now, to spend a night at The Fountain Shack on Robberg Island.

Robberg, situated 8km south of Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, is not only a nature reserve, but also a national monument and World Heritage Site. Rocks from this region date back 120 million years to the break-up of Gondwanaland and evidence of middle and later Stone Age inhabitation has been found in a few of the caves along the peninsula. Visitors can find out more at the Nelson Bay Cave interpretive centre.

Some highlight features of a visit here include spotting the rare blue duiker, the Western Cape’s smallest antelope; walking alongside one of the seven climbing-falling dunes on the Cape coastline; and viewing the highest navigational light on the South African coastline, at the Cape Seal Lighthouse (146m above sea level). The reserve also extends 1.8km offshore, providing protection to a range of vulnerable fish species. Visitors can expect inspiring landscapes, exciting dolphin and whale sightings in season, and to be accompanied on their walks or hikes by a variety of bird species and the occasional seal. An overnight hut is available for those who want to spend more time on this beautiful reserve.

The Fountain Shack

Overlooking the Indian ocean, with spectacular views of the Robberg Peninsula, lies the renovated wooden shack called The Fountain Shack. It sleeps up to eight people in four double bunk beds in an open-plan room. Only one group can book at a time. It does have solar power which can run a few lights and also a small geyser, at the time of our visit the batteries where faulty, check with Cape Nature before you go if this is a necessity.

I decided to book this for a night for a family adventure to celebrate my wife’s birthday . One can book the hut directly with Cape Nature, it is fairly simple and also fairly affordable. Remember that there are also reserve fees payable to Cape Nature for entry into Robberg Nature Reserve. I obviously took the opportunity to drag along my camera gear and shoot some stock imagery, view a selection of images online – Click Here

On arrival at the Robberg gate, one collects a bag with dish clothes, charcoal, abag for rubbish and the hut key. Remember the hut is not serviced so the simple rule of what you take in, you take out applies. We hiked in with the kids and enjoyed the views over the ocean and rocks, it is not a difficult walk and should take you roughly 1 hour if you walk direct. When we opened the door to the hut we where disgusted to find that the people from the night before had left their plates, dishes, glasses and food all over the place. They didn’t bother to clean up the shack when they left. I have since reported this to Cape Nature and I do hope they do something about it. As a passionate adventure seeker and lover of the places we go to, it disturbs me that some people just do not care. PLEASE, if you do book, remember this and leave the place spotless.

After we cleaned, we where treated to probably one of the most amazing sunsets and evenings that I have experienced in a while. It was absolutely majestic, the time with the family was precious and my wife and I savored every moment. We had carried in some wood, so we lit a fire and made some traditional Braai Brooitjies. The sound of the waves pounding against the coastline is mesmerizing.

My time lapse over the rocky coastline. Fuji XH1 with Fuji XF 16-55 F2.8 Lens

The next morning had us waking early, putting our running shoes and gear on as we headed out on the +/-4km hike/run/walk around the tip of the island. The kids loved it, the views, sea birds and seals all made for a spectacular trip. The path is well marked and leads you around the point of the island.

All in all, The Fountain Shack is highly recommended for any outdoor enthusiast, the next time I book, I will definitely book for 2 nights.

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