Bat's Cave, Nahoon
Eastern Cape,  Hiking,  South Africa,  Travel

Bats Cave East London: How to visit this secret destination

Nature amazes us with its incredible creations, and one such wonder is the Nahoon Bats Cave. Tucked away in the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve in South Africa‘s Eastern Cape Province, this special cave is still a hidden spot for most people.

Before setting out for Bats Cave, it’s important to consider two things:

  • For your safety, the trail is not recommended for solo walking. Therefore, it is advised to gather a group of at least six people.
  • To access Bats Cave, it is crucial to plan your walk according to the low tide. Make sure to check the tide timetables to determine the best time for exploring the cave.

The Trail to Bats Cave

While we could have followed the official trail, to Bats Cave, our hike leader took us a different way. If it’s your first time visiting Bats Cave, though, I’d advise following the official trail instead. It takes around 1 hour to reach Bats Cave, although this will vary if you stop for a lot of pictures and views along the way.

Our walk to Bats Cave started at the parking lot of the ‘Reef Cafe‘ or the MBSA Coastal Education and Visitors Centre. After that, we walked up a paved road from the parking lot, heading towards a dune forest.

After about 10 minutes of walking, we passed a speed bump in the road. Just after the speed bump, we then took a left turn into a path entering the dune forest. Unfortunately, there are no specific markers indicating the exact location, so it’s hard to give a precise point.

The sand dune path towards bats cave
The first part of the trail, through forested sand dunes

As you continue along the sandy dune trail, make sure to keep to the left at the first fork in the path.

Although we were on the lookout for dolphins or whales at the two ocean viewpoints along the way, we weren’t lucky today. Nevertheless, the incredible shades of blue in the water below were absolutely mesmerizing.

As you continue your walk along the top of the dune, tracing the coastline, the trail then leads you to the Nahoon Beacon. After looping around that, you descend towards a paved road. Finally, at the bottom of the road, there’s a T-junction where you make a left turn.

Arriving at a Beach Paradise

As you turn the corner, get ready to be amazed by the stunning view of the entire beach right in front of you. Words and pictures don’t do justice to how beautiful it is. You’ve got to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it.

Facing the ocean, take a left and head towards the rocky area of the beach. Keep your eyes peeled for some incredible rock formations along the way. Shaped by erosion over the years, the rugged rocks jutting out of the golden sand are quite the spectacle!

Although it’s easy to get distracted by the scenery, keep an eye on your watch. Remember, visiting Bats Cave is tide-dependent. As such, you need to be sure to reach it at low tide for a safe crossing.

We spent quite some time crossing this rocky area, appreciating the crystal clear water and animal life along the way.

At low tide, smaller rock formations and tide pools may appear, providing a glimpse into a miniature marine world. We loved spending time looking for the colorful anemones and tiny fish darting in the pools. We even spotted a tiny puffer fish, which was rather exciting!

Top Tip: Wear appropriate shoes with a good grip as the rocks are quite slippery.

Reaching Bats Cave, a Hidden Gem Revealed

Excited about reaching Bats Cave, we kept going, picking our way through the rocks for another 5-10 minutes. Then, like a beautiful surprise, we saw the swimming hole in front of the cave. Wow! It looked like something from another world. I couldn’t believe this amazing place had been here all along, and I was just finding it now.

Swimming in the natural pool at Bat's CAve

No matter which angle you choose to look at the scene from, the area in front of the cave is undeniably impressive.

The geological formation of Bats Cave is like a work of art created by nature. The rocks, shaped by natural forces over many years, create a cool mix of textures and shapes. The mix of green, brown, and purple colors makes it even more fascinating.

Finding Our Way Back

After enjoying a refreshing swim for approximately 30 minutes, we retraced our path along the rocks back to the parking lot at the end of the beach. From there, we followed the paved road all the way back to the Reef Cafe/MBSA Coastal Center.

If you’re ever in the East London area, make sure to check out Bats Cave. It’s a hidden gem, and the best part is, it won’t cost you a thing.

Where to find Bats Cave

The Bats Cave trail starts at the MBSA Coastal Education and Visitors Centre in the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve. For exact location of the MBSA Center/Reef Cafe, click on this GOOGLE MAPS direction link.

Contact Nahoon Point Nature reserve through their Facebook page or at one of the details below:

  • Email:
  • Phone: +43 7355 015

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