When the rocky coastal shelf is exposed during a spring low tide, it is characterised by a patchwork of tidal pools. Within these pools a kaleidoscopic world of life and colour exists.
Flanked by blonde fossilised dunes on one side and an indigo ocean on the other, Gericke’s Point just outside Sedgefield is an inspiring coastal gem. One of the most iconic features along this section of coastline is the prominent lion-like sandstone peninsula, also referred to as Lion Rock. Here, where the wild Indian Ocean meets the shore, you will find a dynamic and ever-shifting world of intertidal life, and exquisite views if you climb to the top of the boulder.
During spring low tide when the water recedes far enough for safe and leisurely snorkelling, these tidal pools beg for underwater exploration, offering a small glimpse into the intriguing marine ecosystems of our Garden Route coastline.
A world of wonder awaits you beneath the surface: dazzling displays of vividly-coloured anemones, spiky urchins, other-worldly granular starfish, Cape rock crabs, octopus, nudibranch, sea hares, limpets, mussels and an assortment of fish of varying sizes. There is something at which to marvel in every nook and cranny. After an hour or so of underwater exploration, you will emerge inspired and energised.
The weather-sculpted dunes at Gericke’s Point are some of the highest fossilised dunes in the country and serve as roosting sites for Cape and white breasted cormorants. Kelp gulls, African black oystercatchers, white-fronted plovers and terns and other seabirds are often seen taking advantage of the low tide surf and exposed rock pools that dot the shoreline.
Keep an eye out for whales & dolphins
Bottlenose and the rare Indian Ocean humpback dolphins are seen often feeding off the rocky shelf, and you may spot the occasional seal. During the annual whale migration, keep your eyes peeled for the southern right and humpback that skirt this peninsula.
A not to be missed activity
The treasure chest of life that exists in this intertidal zone, coupled with some rather breathtaking scenery, makes Gericke’s Point a must-do jaunt when visiting the Knysna area.
Distance: Approximately 4km to the point and back.
Difficulty: Easy, make sure you set off on this excursion on a low tide (even better, a spring-low tide), as part of the beach becomes inaccessible at a high tide and you may not be able to walk safely back to the parking lot.
Facilities: Basic ablutions at the parking lot.
Directions: From the N2 take the Sedgefield links turn-off just outside Sedgefield. Follow this road to the parking area. (The turn-off from the N2 is right next to a small golf course.)
Top tip: If you are planning a trip to Gericke’s point on a Saturday, make sure to stop at the Wild Oats and Scarab Markets to pick up some scrumptious supplies for a beach picnic after your snorkelling. “Upstairs at Rosie’s” (link to restaurant listings) (just after the turnoff from the N2 on your left) is open Wednesdays to Sundays and serves lunch and dinner and is the perfect spot to relax after a day of snorkelling – they are famous for their steaks!