McDougall’s Bay, Northern Cape

mcdougalls bay
The main beach at McDougall’s Bay.
In the 1980s, the little coastal village of McDougall’s Bay was a kind of salty sea dog hang-out. The only guys living there permanently were, well, salty sea dogs. And then you had the seasonal holiday makers who owned shacks of many shapes, hues and tones.

Somebody even hauled an old expired double-decker bus over to McDougall’s Bay, plonked it on the sand, hooked it up to power and lived in it.

That’s mostly all changed nowadays. There’s been some significant investment in the area and the general mien of most of the village homes has risen dramatically.

It’s still a holiday haven for Namaqualanders and the odd long-distance Gautenger, and there are still a few colourful mariners lurking about, but one look at the rise in local property prices will tell you McDougall’s Bay has become very popular.

During the lazy summer months at the year’s end, McDougall’s Bay is awash with jetskis, kayaks and surfboards. Crayfish braais are the order of the day.

McDougall’s Bay lies a spit away from the legendary Port Nolloth, where it’s all about the diamonds that are dredged from the ocean banks along the coast.

One such legendary diver now living in semi-retirement in McDougall’s Bay is George ‘One Time’ Moyses. He’s a colourful, friendly character who has turned his beach hut into a museum of local lifestyles.

And it’s right in front of George’s shanty that the annual McDougall’s Bay Sand Festival takes place on New Year’s Eve. The party begins with beauty competitions, beach braais and Christmas lights, and culminates in a large fireworks display.

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