Words: Robyn Anthony | Images: Supplied & Werner Hills

Sardinia Bay is one of Nelson Mandela Bay’s most peaceful and picturesque areas, especially loved by residents and visitors for its beautiful beach. Known for its huge dunes and seemingly endless sandy shore, Sardinia Bay Beach is a favourite spot for sandboarding, surfing, kite surfing and horse riding.

As it’s some distance away, visiting Sardinia Bay Beach is an ideal way to avoid the crowds that typically descend on Port Elizabeth’s main beachfront. Animal rights activist Marizanne Kemp Ferreira fell in love with Sardinia Bay’s secluded feel and proximity to nature. She’s lived in the area for 10 years and says she couldn’t be happier in her ideally located home in the Sardinia Bay Conservancy.

“Living in a conservancy where animal life is protected and respected, what more would anyone ask for? We have the space, all the trees and natural vegetation, and the glamour of Sardinia Bay Beach and its golden dunes,” she says.

Marizanne was born in Queenstown, but has lived in many places, having “travelled most of the world on a penny and with a backpack”. She’s heavily involved in animal welfare and is particularly committed to rescuing pit bulls from abuse and dogfighting. She’s also heavily involved in the rescue of wildlife and livestock.

Marizanne says the Sardinia Bay area is generally quiet. Although some event venues can be a bit noisy at times, she says the area is generally peaceful and a place where neighbours look out for each other. “It has rich indigenous vegetation and game native to the area. Let’s not forget the stunning beaches and many walking trails. I love it here.”

Home sweet home

Marizanne says she loves the openness of her home and the privacy it offers. “I also love the fact that it’s set between indigenous trees. I enjoy walking in the bush and picking up buck spoor, watching the monkeys frolicking and listening to the owls at night.”

In her downtime, she likes to sit on the couch on her veranda with a cup of coffee and breathe in the clean, fresh air while listening to the birds sing.

Hidden gems

Marizanne says that the dune area at Sardinia Bay Beach is a local treasure. While people know about it, she says many don’t always appreciate it. “The dune is a natural wonder and I hope the authorities leave it alone to do what nature intends it to do,” she says.Perfect Sunday 

A perfect Sunday for Marizanne entails waking up early, opening all the doors leading outside and breathing in the country air. She then feeds all her animals, makes a cup of co­ffee and gets back into bed for an hour or so to enjoy some light reading.

“I also love pottering about in the garden, going for a walk on the beach and generally just spending time outside with my animals. Bad weather means a di­fferent outfit, but I’m doing very much the same thing then.”

“Sardinia Bay is in a conservancy and part of the nature reserve. If people can learn to cohabit with monkeys, badgers, caracal and so on, then this is the best place to live! It’s a privilege to live in this suburb.”

Marizanne Kemp Ferreira

Marizanne’s favourite places:

  • Sardinia Bay Beach
  • The Sacramento Trail: a popular 8km round trip coastal walk through the Schoenmakerskop-Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve.
  • Grass Roof Farm Stall & Restaurant: for the varied menu of hearty country fare.

Three things people might not know about the area (according to Marizanne):

  • It’s illegal to walk your dog in the reserve without a leash.
  • There are no municipal services in the area.
  • There are often power cuts when the weather is bad.

Things to do:

  • Ride horses at Heavenly Stables.
  • Spend the day on Sardinia Bay Beach swimming, enjoying water sports or even just lying on the dunes and soaking up the sun.
  • Visit the Old Cash Store to enjoy great food at great prices.