Pringle Bay at a glance
Pringle Bay is a small coastal hamlet nestled under the Hangklip Mountain and forms part of a UNESCO Heritage Site known as the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. Situated between Gordon's Bay and Betty's Bay in the Western Cape's Overberg region, Pringle Bay's heritage dates back to the Stone Age when nomadic tribes roamed the rugged mountains and coastline. The Hangklip (hanging rock) Mountain is situated 484m above sea level and its many caves provided a natural refuge for bandits and slaves who escaped from their Dutch masters. Pringle Bay was given its name in the late 1790s by Sir Thomas Pringle, who was the Royal Naval Commander-in-Chief of Simon's Town. Sir Pringle wanted to transform Pringle Bay into a shipping port from which to transport farm produce, across False Bay, to the Simon's Town naval base. The plan never materialised and Pringle Bay remained a quiet hamlet that has attracted property investors seeking a quiet haven from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Local ghost stories
One of the main attractions of Pringle Bay is the Hangklip Hotel which is situated below the Hangklip Mountain cliffs. The hotel lies two kilometres out of town and is accessed via a dirt road. It is a drawcard to weekend visitors who enjoy live music and other entertainment provided at the hotel but is notorious for the many ghost stories that emanate about the property. The building originally housed British servicewomen during World War Two. They operated a top-secret experimental radar station from the slopes of the Hangklip Mountain above the hotel. The servicewomen tracked U-boat activity in nearby waters and the remains of the radar station are still visible today.
Although good for swimming and dog-walking, Pringle Bay's main beach is often deserted because of its exposure to the chilly winds blowing off the ocean. However, local residents flock to a gloriously secluded beach with an aquamarine ocean and white sandy beach known as Moonlight Bay. This is situated 10 minutes out of town and is a closely-guarded secret that nevertheless has been uncovered to many a visitor.
The area is also a hotspot for watching whales and dolphins and is a popular nesting enclave for Oystercatchers.
Hikers are also drawn to Brodie Link and the Hangklip hike. Brodie Link is an easy 30-minute hike to the crest of the mountain ridge above Pringle Bay and offers spectacular views of the Cape Peninsula. The Hangklip Hike is for the more energetic and takes about 3.5 hours to complete.
Food and drink
Pringle Bay is a natural enclave for artistic souls seeking an escape from city life and, for this reason, visitors will find many interesting gifts and curio shops in the village. The hamlet is also something of a culinary drawcard with no less than eight restaurants, as well as take-away outlets and delis. Most of the restaurants also offer vegetarian or vegan options.
The children of Pringle Bay can attend a Pre-and-Primary Eco-School in the village. High school scholars are catered for in Somerset West or other near-lying larger towns.
Pringle Bay consists of 1 712 freehold properties with a very stable population, 55 per cent of whom have owned their homes for upwards of 11 years. The bulk of the residents are aged between 50 and 64 (45%), while 35% of local property owners are pensioners aged 65 years and beyond.
Only 1% of the population is made up of people between the ages of 18 and 35 years but there has been a recent upsurge in sales to buyers in that age group, peaking at 20% by the end of April 2019. During the 12-month period from May 2018 through to the end of April 2019, a total of 77 homes worth R121.162 million were sold. The bulk of these (30) was in the R1.5 to R3 million price range. Coming a close second, at 28 sold, were properties in the R800 000 to R1.5 million bracket. This illustrates that there are still many affordable homes available in this crime-free haven.
Investors also bought 121 undeveloped erven, totalling R143.364 million. The bulk of the sales were for plots in the R400 000 to R800 000 range.
This 12-month period saw property sales achieve their best-ever levels, with houses selling for an average of R1.75 million and vacant land for R760 000. Pringle Bay is proudly ranked at 81 out of 850 towns.