by: Graeme Mackenzie
Kingfisher Lakeside Retreat, situated at the bottom of a verdant valley, is surrounded by lush green coastal forest and borders on Mpenjati beach. Unsurprisingly the beach with its wide flat sands and the retreat itself, have become a firm fixture on the regional naturist association’s (KZNNA) calendar. While the retreat is naturist friendly, meaning that nudity is tolerated even if it is not booked out by naturists, as it was by KZNNA, the status of the beach as SA’s first official nude beach was overturned some time ago by a pressure group, who have since moved on.
The retreat is covered by thick, green lawn and features four comfortable glamping tents, all of which can accommodate four people, together with a brick cottage, whose covered verandah, deck and kitchen served as a comfortable focal point for most group activities.
Suitable for partying, drinking, and eating in all weather conditions.
Although the cottage was also the venue of the darts contest and beer pong championship, it was not the only party venue. When the clouds cleared on Saturday night we all gathered on the deck between the glamping tents, to braai under the wide canopy of a coastal fig.
Another great party around a wide fire pit, under the star studded African sky, complete with ghostly figures dancing to random favourites courtesy of the internet. Socializing and catching up with friends old and new aside, the main purpose of the weekend was to spend time on the beach. Despite the clouds and stiff on shore breeze, on Saturday morning we all trooped off down the short pebble lined path to the beach, covered in sun block, shod in slops and hats, carrying nothing but towels and assorted sports equipment. Fisherman and bathers on the contiguous Trafalgar Beach paid us no heed and we were soon perched in a line along the top of the beach, to watch grown men and a brave woman attempt to get a kite aloft and throw and catch a frisbee.
Having abandoned the kite and frisbee, we inspected the sparse rocks and then settled on our perch to watch a few random (clothed) beach walkers, who passed by without tuning their heads until two groups of back-packers came by. Both parties smiled as they greeted us, while a woman in the second group shouted, “yay for the naturists” as she waved. So much for the so-called opponents. Sunday which dawned with golden sunlight and almost no wind was a much better beach day.
Mpenjati beach was deserted and happily we were joined by several local naturists, as many of us enjoyed the warm surf, while others expressed their appreciation by collecting plastic flotsam from the sands.
At the end of it all, for most the enduring memory of the weekend is likely to be falling asleep to the constant sound of the Indian Ocean breakers.