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Find your happy place in nature

One of nature’s greatest gifts is space. The space to immerse in nature’s beauty and reconnect with yourself.

© WWF South Africa Eitan Prince
The coastline that wraps around the Cape Peninsula is blessed with a variety of beautiful swimming spots.

It is shortly after 9 on a Sunday morning. Already the beach is teeming with people. It’s late Spring in Cape Town , which means the sun is already high above the horizon and the air is a warm, but not yet uncomfortable, 25 degrees. There’s a shimmer on the water as the sun’s rays dance on top of its ripples and the motion of the sea brings the smallest of waves to lap at my toes. Bliss.

I am at Dalebrook, a popular spot in the Kalk Bay area, famed for its picturesque harbour, fresh seafood, eateries and twin views of mountain and surf. This is my happy place. It’s where I come to recharge. In particular, I find Dalebrook’s combination of open sea and the rugged walls of its tidal pool both liberating and protective. It provides the best of both worlds.

© WWF South Africa Eitan Prince
My favourite swimming spot is Dalebrook tidal pool, which was the first to be built in the Kalk Bay-Muizenberg area back in 1903.

But in 2020, “best” and “world” were two words that rarely seemed to go together. There were several waves, sure, but they brought illness and hardship. They swept us off our feet and sent us tumbling. But mostly these waves sent us back indoors to find protection behind a different set of walls: the walls of our homes, for those of us fortunate enough to have one.

“It has not been an easy year” may be the understatement of this century. Around me, everyone was going through their own challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic whether physically, mentally, financially or socially, left no one untouched. Me included. The loss of a loved one. The inner struggles of those closest to me. The rapidly changing ways in which we do business. The constant state of flux of this year was often too much to bear on one’s own. But for me there was always Dalebrook

© Thokozile Madonko
I consider the ocean my other “habitat”.

You could say it became my safety net: the place I could go to, to connect with nature and myself. Especially after long spells of being confined to home. This was where I could take in a deep breath of fresh ocean air, immerse myself in the cool water of the Atlantic Ocean and also feel grounded – there’s something about the sensation of the beach’s coarse sand massaging your feet.

Visiting Dalebrook has become a routine. When time and restrictions allow, I aim to get to the sea at least once a week. It’s where I find closeness with nature, which already provides so much (food, water, clean air) and so much more that we can’t put a price on – beauty and peace of mind. Among many lessons this year, one thing it has guided me to is the importance of this special place.

© WWF South Africa Eitan Prince
As the sun sets on 2020, let’s carry the personal and collective lessons learnt into the New Year.

As I write these closing words, we’re just a few days away from 2021, and like you I am unsure of what the next year holds for me, my community, our country, and our planet. What I do know is we’ll be carrying some real struggles into the new year, including how we deal with the climate crisis, manage the ongoing health crisis and build back better (a phrase that is apt for both the economy and ourselves). But what I can say with certainty is that life is that much more livable and rewarding when we find our balance in nature.

I have found my special place. What's yours?

Eitan Prince Photo
Eitan Prince , Digital Communications and Content Manager

Eitan Prince loves the outdoors, both urban and natural. He's also a passionate photographer who loves to capture street scenes.

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GIFTS FROM NATURE

This festive season we're unwrapping free gifts from nature that we can all enjoy. Nature is the gift that keeps on giving. Make time to enjoy it.