Paternoster’s plastic-free, eco-friendly getaway spot to visit this summer

Posted by Anita Froneman on 27 October 2021

By Ashleigh Nefdt 

Just under two hours away on a coast-hugging road where the city’s roar is politely left behind, lies the little paradise of Paternoster, and a darling guesthouse that has a refreshing, eco-friendly take on life.

Picture: Gonana Guesthouse

I will unapologetically admit that I quickly developed a crush on the old fishing town where I stayed at Gonana Guesthouse, ‘gonana‘ being a Zulu word that translates to ‘embrace’ – an apt name for a place that welcomes its guest with wide open arms and warm smiles.

From solar-powered hot water showers that will wash away your city sins, to the overall ambient energy of kindness to the planet, the recently renovated abode should receive a boatload of organic brownie points for captivating the owner Jonas Sandstrom’s ethical imaginings in eco-luxury.

Pictue: Gonana Guesthouse

Gonana is completely plastic-free, taking a huge step toward minimising waste and encouraging a kinder approach to the environment. The interiors and bathroom supplies are all locally produced and all the guest house staff is from the Paternoster area. ‘Grey water reticulation systems, rainwater collection tanks, water-saving showers as well as a robust recycling ethos makes this an eco-friendly and almost self-sufficient guest house, well in line with modern trends of sustainability,’ the website states. ‘We are proud to have created a space that is as friendly to its environment as it is to its guests.’

Picture: Gonana Guesthouse

Now, while you might be on a sustainability adventure, you’ve also got other adventurous temptations to look forward to in Paternoster.

Picture: Ashleigh Nefdt

Get active 

Smooth walks through the town will have you wondering if you accidentally stepped onto the set of Mama Mia as you wander through quaint white and blue houses. The unpolluted ocean air will be your fabulous companion, and you’re destined to find treasures in the people and quirky curiosities of the town. An engineer-turned-toymaker whose workshop has all the vintage toys you could ever want, a kilt-rocking Scott whose waffles at the Whale Ribs Waffle Warf will have you drooling, and at night, a tribe of stars in the clearest skies that will have you sighing in awe.

If you want to kick it up a notch, there’s plenty of ways to get active. Now, for those who aren’t exactly candidates for the Cape Argus such as myself, the e-bikes from WOW e-bikes will turn any ride into a smooth sail. Even I was able to travel 32.2km through beach valleys and fynbos-covered hills, where you can cruise along the shore as your tyres and weave through a kaleidoscope of wildflowers.

Picture: Ashleigh Nefdt

Pro-tip: if you happen to get so distracted by the visions that you fall off your bike, the WOW e-bikes staff are legends and will help you back up immediately with a laugh and a knowing smile, tried and tested!

Picture: Ashleigh Nefdt

If you’re peering beyond a land-loving adventure to an ocean outing, Kayak Paternoster will guide you through deep turquoise waters where you can spot whales leisurely gazing at you if you’re very lucky.

Picture: Ashleigh Nefdt

As for the foodies, Paternoster is home to an array of wonderful restaurants. Enjoy a front-row seat at the foot of the ocean for a delicious lunch or dinner at Voorstrand Restaurant where the sea will be your evening entertainment, waves crashing all night long.

Or, treat yourself to a five-star experience at the Leeto Restaurant. The menu is serving up sustainability, from the tastiest vegan options to their scrumptious seafood delicacies. I still think about their seafood pasta at least three times a day, and would happily make a trip to Paternoster for that dish alone.


Call +27 (0)66 194 1105 or email [email protected]

Rates start from R1,140 per night for a twin room

Visit their website here

Featured image: Gonana Guesthouse


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