South Africa’s coastline is almost 3,000 km long, offering a wonderful variety of experiences. In this series, SA Blog dips a toe in the country’s major destination coasts.
The West Coast
- Where: Technically, the full strip of South Africa from Cape Town to Alexander Bay, but as a destination, the first fourth of this strip, from Cape Town to Velddrif, which is serviced by the R27.
- Attractions: Langebaan, with its beautiful lagoon, the nearby West Coast National Park (homepage & map), and, during flower season, the park’s Postberg Reserve.
- How to get there… By car: *Best Option* The entire stretch of the West Coast, from Cape Town in the south, to Velddrif in the north, is serviced by the well-maintained R27, and nothing is more than 3 hours’ drive away. Take this road to any spot on the coast your heart desires – or enjoy a leisurely country detour, on the R307 and R315, which passes through Darling before reconnecting with the coast road.
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By guided tour: There are hundreds, from motorcyle escapades to birdwatching by minibus. Best first resource for enquiries is Cape Town Tourism: +27 (0) 21 426 4260 / 405 1500.
If you’re wild’n’crazy (& with a travelling companion): A. Proceed to the Cape Town minibus taxi terminus, on the roof of the central train station. B. Ask random people about taxis to Saldanha Bay or Velddrif. C. Having found one, hop in, and you’re off!
- Highlights: The Postberg Nature Reserve, which is inside the larger West Coast National Park (see link above), and is only open for two months a year, during the Cape’s wildflower season in August and September. When the flowers bloom, blanketing the coastal fields, the Postberg gates open, and visitors can enjoy sights of eland and gemsbok lying placidly in beds of daisies. It’s ridiculously beautiful.Outside of flower season, a dip in the park’s Kraalbaai lagoon (open year-round) is a must – with the option of swimming over to your houseboat accommodation for the night – as is a meal at the Strandloper, situated under old fishing nets right on the beach. Further up the coast, the rustic village of Paternoster will provide quite possibly the most peaceful rest you’ll have during your stay in Africa.
- More information: