Paternoster beach

  • Paternoster beach - South Africa
    © Adele Van Schalkwyk Pinterest
  • Paternoster beach - South Africa
    © Mike Lomax / CC BY Pinterest
  • Paternoster beach - South Africa
    © Octagon / Pinterest

Paternoster is a small, laid back fishing village within a stones throw (well, 150km) of Cape Town. With its attractive cluster of whitewashed cottages and long sweep of pristine sand it is little surprise this is a popular weekend getaway spot for Capetonians. If you are a fan of seafood and like long walks on white sand beaches, watching the sun set, then Paternoster is definitely the place for you.

Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the coast and it is often said that the name, meaning “Our Father”, came from the prayers of Portuguese sailors who were shipwrecked here. Whilst tourism now plays a major part in the seaside towns economy fishing is still very much big business here. This is great news if you like lobster, crayfish, oysters and abalone as they are here in abundance. For those who prefer to catch there own dinner there is great fishing here, both off the beach and from deep sea charters. A local favourite that might not be to everyone’s taste though is “bokkom”, a type of salted and dried mullet which can be seen drying on racks on the beachfront. Also referred to as “fish biltong” the name bokkom comes from the Afrikaans word for goat as they are as hard as goat’s horn and smell as bad as a goat!

The area in and around Paternoster is teeming with wildlife; there are apparently over 225 bird species in the area along with whales, dolphins, seals and penguins. Nearby is Cape Columbine nature reserve with its dramatic coastline, wild flowers and the Cape Columbine lighthouse - the last manually controlled lighthouse in South Africa.

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