Xplorio Overberg


Searl Derman, the owner of Aquila Private Game Reserve…

…the world-renowned Big 5 game reserve in the Western Cape, is investing in the future of Struisbaai. He is the mastermind behind the new Two Oceans Waterfront Development at Struisbaai Harbour which is set to become a favourite destination in the Western Cape.

The first phase will be the opening of the scenic Catch Cook Restaurant on December 1 this year.

The restaurant will boast both an indoor area and a large outdoor area where you will be able to sit under umbrellas with your feet in the sand. The existing building, which used to be occupied by a restaurant, surf shop and fish processing facility, which has been renovated to create the new restaurant that will also have a take-away service.

Although focusing on seafood…

…the restaurant will serve burgers, ribs, chicken wings, etc. as well. An upstairs deck, with a spectacular view over the working harbour, the slipway, the ocean and the beaches both to the left and right, will be added.

Also in the pipeline are facilities for traditional, commercial, weekend and holiday fishermen as well as the club, boating and angling fishermen, which currently form a large portion of domestic tourists attracted to the area. The developer plans to base approximately four new, or partner with existing, well-marketed and sponsored annual fishing competitions/events with huge incentives and prizes at the harbour. This should attract more local tourism. There will also be a fish market, tourist information and booking centre and a host of marine charters and activities.

Plans for early next year:

To build an environmentally friendly, critical mass eco-hotel that will accommodate approximately 166 pax and Mr Derman Is hoping to “break ground” as soon as the summer season starts to slow down. As soon as the hotel is built only then will the true value of Aquila’s marketing infrastructure and the benefit to local businesses and residents be materialised, as we believe it will attract the international tourists with their foreign currency spend and keep them in the town longer.

The Aquila Collection remains available to consider supporting local charities and social upliftment projects in the area, for which they have become renowned.

Mr Derman hopes to repeat the success of Aquila Private Game Reserve at the Two Oceans Waterfront Development. The game reserve was awarded the 2017 and 2018 Provincial Lilizela Award for Best Game Lodge and was a finalist of the prestigious Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards, hosted by the National Department of Tourism, for three consecutive years. In 2014 Aquila Private Game Reserve won the Lilizela Imvelo Award for “Best Economic Impact by a Large Tourism Establishment in South Africa: promoting the local economic development of communities for ensuring industry sustainability”, which was presented by former minister of tourism Derek Hanekom and the former deputy minister of tourism, Tokozile Xasa,.

Mr Derman believes the new development is in a unique position to put Struisbaai and L’Agulhas on the map very quickly as a preferred tourist destination that will add value to all businesses and property in the area. The development is sticking to a traditional coastal fishing town concept, which should be well received by the community as opposed to an ultra-modern, high density concept. Several empowerment and job creation strategies were identified to be implemented immediately. The developers’ achievements, awards and track record to date are proof of their credibility and commitment to job creation and empowerment. The development is therefore in a unique position to expedite tourism growth that will enhance the value of properties, restaurants, accommodation and businesses in the area, create more jobs and indirectly decrease crime.