After our stay at Hotel Portao Diaz in Mossel Bay, we were off to Dibiki, a self-catering resort near the Hartenbos River. My grandparents lived in Hartenbos, so growing up our family spent much of our summer holidays in this quaint holiday town.
I have very fond memories of making new friends, spending days on the beach and walking to the cafe for an ice cream. If we weren’t staying with Oupa and Ouma, we would stay in a chalet or caravan park on the beachfront, so Dibiki would be a new experience for me.
The resort is located at the dead end of a small road to the north of the lagoon. It offers fully grassed camping sites, wooden self-catering chalets and luxury safari tents as accommodation. It looked peaceful and as it was out of season, it was pretty quiet. The resort’s friendly owner, Martie, gave us a warm welcome at the reception area and pointed our cabin out to us.
The immaculate chalets are pretty close together but built to offer privacy from each other. They are fully kitted with all you can expect from a self-catering resort, complete with washing machine and tumble dryer. All the rooms are spacious – the open plan kitchen and living area, the main bedroom with a queen-sized bed, a second bedroom with two three quarter beds, and the bathroom. The lounge doors lead onto an undercover deck with a built-in braai, which as a typical South African family, we made good use of.
Our deck overlooked the camping area, with a glimpse of the ocean beyond. The grass-covered sites are neat and have both water and electricity. The two sites opposite our chalet even had their own private wooden ablutions.
I had to check emails but I had a bit of a battle with the Wi-Fi connection. Although they do offer it, Martie warned me that the signal isn’t always that good. I did, however, find a strong enough signal at the communal braai area, where there is also a spacious lawn and a pool. The water was icy but the girls attempted a dip anyway. While we were there, there was also a trampoline which was to be moved elsewhere to make space for a new coffee shop. Dibiki also has a wreck room and a TV room.
At the back of the property, a pathway leads to the railway track where passenger trains pass every now and then on their way to George. You can walk about 500 metres, along the track until you get to another path that leads down to the beach and comes out alongside the lagoon. The long white sandy beach stretches far and it’s safe for swimming. For families with smaller kids, it’s also great to enjoy the calmer water of the lagoon. Early one morning, we packed a picnic basket and did the short walk with the girls. Breakfast on the beach was fantastic and a great way to start our day.
We decided to venture into Hartenbos to buy a few provisions for our stay. The village has changed somewhat since I was a child but that nostalgic holiday atmosphere still lingers. We took a drive to the little waterfront. What used to be a diner overlooking the beach, is now a Spur and the little cafe next door is now a Pick n Pay. Although the supertubes have moved to Diaz Beach, the heated indoor swimming pool is still there and a blessing on a cold day when all the girls want to do is swim.
The time spent at Dibiki was a total reprise. Days spent lazing on the beach and walking around town, and in the evenings playing board games at the table by the braai. As always, our stay was too short and we weren’t ready to leave when the time came. We’d definitely go back in a flash, perhaps next time with extended family or friends. If you are looking for a peaceful family holiday near the beach, we highly recommend it.