If you’re looking for a totally lekker possie to stay in Port Alfred head over to the Shaka Surf Lodge. Built and managed by local surfer David Macgregor, it has just recently opened its doors.
Caught up with Dave to find out more.
When was the idea of opening a surf lodge born?
I have always been passionate about surfing and the lifestyle that comes with it and have spent years dreaming of finding an isolated spot somewhere to build a spot. After many moons in the Kowie, I realised paradise was right here and decided to open our space and home to others. We love nature and this was key to choosing our location.
It’s a super rad looking spot – you build it yourself?
I have spent the past 15 years building our treehouse home - eight metres up on stilts, on the edge of an ancient dune forest, one dune from the beach - using mainly upcycled and reclaimed materials. It is amazing what you can do if you have a little vision and creativity. Being close to nature means there is heaps of wildlife, from loeries to bushbuck, in our backyard. We also have the Loeries Loft treehouse made from upcycled garage doors, shipwreck and other interesting materials.
It looks really authentic, no Ikea pop-out furniture here. What’s the story behind that?
Although we have a sick leather sofa, most of the stuff in our treehouse is built or salvaged. Everything from old sneezewood poles to salvaged shipwreck and driftwood have found a home in our home.
Is there good access to the surf from your spot?
We are one monster dune from the beach and the views into the barrels at East are amazing, once you have walked our forest hiking trail. We two minutes from the beach by car if you are not feeling that energetic.
Is it a case of guys come stay and just cruise about and surf on their own mission, or are you also offering a bit of surf guiding and trips to spots in the area?
I also run Shaka Surf School and Good Vibes Road trips which are all about surfing. My groms Cuan and Kye and their mate Andrew Laverge all rip so there is no shortage of froth this side. I have also teamed up with a mate to set up Good Vibes which offers road trips from the Shaka surf camp to two other sick spots we have near Yellowsands and an epic Transkei spot. I bailed my journalism job to do this and am amped to surf anywhere from Cape to Cairo.
Tell us a bit about that epic looking skate ramp!
The skateramp is sick, I have always tjooned the groms I am gonna build you guys a ramp and finally got it together after years of talk. It is a three metre wide by seven half pipe that has been sited under our house. The groms and people who stay over ride it and chill out on sofas messing around on the wifi between skates. The idea is to also offer holiday surf camps for the groms where they come hang for a week and surf, fish, skate, camp on the beach and do other cool things we used to do back in the day. The dream is to try spread the stoke.
You’ve been open for business for a coupla weeks now – what’s the feedback been like?
Officially open for a few weeks but we have been hosting people from all over the world for several years in our Loeries Loft camp. Our spot is quirky and surfers from Aussie, Hawaii, US, Germany and SA have visited the island style camp. I have a guest book and the comments are lakka encouraging. Before they leave, I always ask what I should change or improve and most people say I should keep doing what I am doing, so I guess we doing something right.
What sorta accommodation do you guys have – how many rooms etc?
We have a guest treehouse called Loeries Loft, a cool off area and ablutions and are working on turning a loft room in the family treehouse into a space for people to stay. The guest treehouse has a double bed in the loft, with a huge window onto the milkwoods where Knysna loeries sometimes chill, as well as a couch which folds into a double as well as two single beds. It can sleep up to six. It can be hired for a couple, family or as a dormitory. The loft in the main house has an upstairs double, accessed by ladder, a downstairs double and a single and can be used if Loeries is full
How do peeps get in touch with you to find out more?
Details are on FB and Instagram under Shaka Surf school…
The Shaka Surf camp evolved over the years from building our dream forest spot to sharing it with others who surf or connect with nature. It is a zen space where a person can chillout in hammock after a good day surfing. We not a backpackers, but rather a surfers homestay that offers authentic experiences. If you looking for a backpackers, there are those establishments nearby. Ours is about making new friends.
Thanks for hitting me up Millers Local, but sorry I gotta go now cos the surf is cooking!