WORDS: KIT HEATHCOCK IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK & GOOGLE MAPS
First established at the beginning of the 20th century as a cluster of holiday homes and now grown to about 3,000 residents, Kommetjie still emanates the relaxed holiday feel of its past. A rural escape from the city, it’s about an hour’s drive to the Cape Town CBD via Ou Kaapse Weg or Chapmans Peak Drive.
Resident Roger Bain ﬁrst came here to surf Long Beach and fell in love with the place. “It’s just different. I love that it’s virtually surrounded by nature reserves, the close proximity of the mountains and the ocean, the milkwood trees and other vegetation which grow right down to almost the water’s edge in places. I love the incredible array of bird life you can see in Kommetjie, that you can still see baboons, otters, porcupines, tortoises and even snakes occasionally.”
Sooner or later everyone mentions the close community of long-term residents, who Roger describes as, “often genuine, friendly, slightly eccentric, and caring of the environment and generally just passionate about living in Kommetjie”. Steve Erlank of Deep South Distillery agrees. “The best thing about Kommetjie, and in fact the whole of the Deep South, is the people. The denizens of Kommetjie are a diverse, quirky and fascinating lot and live here for the natural beauty, the village lifestyle and the sense of community.”
Cathy Stadler appreciates the active residents and ratepayers’ association. “People work together on issues like safety and security and as a result our crime rate has halved. If your dog is lost, someone will ﬁnd it for you.” Steve also acknowledges the huge spirit of volunteerism in Kommetjie. “Whether it’s volunteering, fundraising, social work, or more active direct support, there’s an amazing number of people whose focus is to help others.”
The outdoor village lifestyle is what appealed to Robyn Smith, who originally founded Faithful to Nature from Kommetjie and returned to live here permanently ﬁve years ago. “Our kids still ride bikes and ride their skateboards on the streets, and whether we’re walking to the local deli, the beach or sitting on the kerb watching our kids skateboard, we know we’re always likely to bump into someone we would love to see.”
Freehold family homes of three or four bedrooms, old and new, form the biggest percentage of Kommetjie’s property pool. Houses tucked among the milkwoods just back from the beach are highly sought after, as well as those with unobstructed views over the bay. But with the 360-degree ocean and mountain scenery, it’s hard not to have a good view wherever you are in Kommetjie. Klein Slangkop private eco estate next to the village and overlooking Long Beach offers new-built homes in a gated nature reserve.
Kommetjie Primary and Pre-Primary have served generations of local kids and continue to be warm and nurturing. Just outside the village Imhoff Waldorf School offers an alternative primary education, and a recently established Generation Schools goes all the way to Grade 12. Other high school options are slightly further aﬁeld at Fish Hoek High School, or going over Ou Kaapse Weg to Constantia Valley for schools such as Reddam House and Constantia Waldorf School.
Surﬁng is one of Kommetjie’s prime attractions with a variety of world-famous breaks for experienced surfers besides the surf hub at Long Beach, a regular contest venue. This stunning 8km stretch of sandy beach is also a favourite for dog walks and horse riding, the shipwreck of the SS Kakapo a well-known landmark. Another top surf and beach-walking spot is Witsands below Misty Cliffs, south of Kommetjie.
The Kom tidal pool that gave the village its name is still a social gathering point, the catwalk along the Inner Kom a favourite walk for locals, as is the walk to the 100-year-old cast-iron lighthouse. Then there are longer mountain hikes at Cape Point and Silvermine nature reserves. Imhoff Farm is the spot for family outings and kids’ parties, with an assortment of small shops, galleries and restaurants, cheese-making, farm animals, a maze, horse-riding, paintball and laser-tag.
A Century of Kommetjie, a book originally published in 2002 by the Friends of Kommetjie Library, is currently being updated for a new edition by residents Duncan Duffett, Marilyn Metcalf and Roger Bain, a testament to the love and pride Kommetjie locals feel for their village.
“I love everything about living here. The community is amazing – engaged, active and authentic. The environment is breathtaking, so many amazing places to go and connect in. The smell and sound of the ocean is like manna to the soul! Plus, I do believe our beaches are among the most exquisite in the world.” ROBYN SMITH, FAITHFUL TO NATURE
- Blue Water Café: pizzas, Cape dishes with fresh farm ingredients
- The Green Room: burgers, nachos, breakfasts
- Umami: sushi and Asian food
- Espresso.Kom: breakfast, cafe food and great coffee
- Fishermans: seafood, fish and chips, pizzas, tables under milkwood trees
- Lighthouse Pub and Grill: pub food, steaks, ribs, garden tables, sport on big screens
- Surf, swim, boogie board, SUP, kitesurf, windsurf
- Walk and hike on the beaches and the surrounding nature reserves
- Imhoff Farm for a family outing with small shops and galleries, restaurants, horseriding, Faraway tree, kids play area, farmyard, paintball and lasertag.
- Gin tasting at Deep South Distillery
- Climb the Slangkop lighthouse to enjoy views all the way to Cape Point and Hout Bay
- Birdwatching around the Kom, Bird island, Long beach and Slangkop mountain
- Fishing and cray-fishing
- Imhoff Farm: art galleries, farm shop, artisan shops, plants and more
- Kommetjie Main Road and Village Place: surf shop, superette, pharmacy, deli and wine shop, and various services
- Neighbourhood Farm Shop at Kommetjie Primary School: organic produce, dairy products and bread
- Far Out Kites: specialist handmade kites
- Longbeach Mall: high street stores, supermarkets and services
- Fish Hoek is the nearest town with municipal offices, traffic department and other services, and more shops