The Cape West Coast starts at Cape Point and stretches all the way to Namibia, offering delightful accommodation and packages for family adventures and couples’ retreats all along the way. This dynamic piece of Western Cape coastline boasts unspoilt white sandy beaches and wild stormy seas, the friendliest of traditional fishing communities, kite surfing bays and the azure water sports attraction of Langebaan Lagoon.
A self-drive holiday along the Western Cape’s West Coast is a pleasurable vision of stunning mountain ranges, geographical diversity, and the spring flowers towards Namaqualand in their riot of neon wildflowers. This is Route 27, running 270 km up the West Atlantic Coast, a very rewarding road to drive with its series of quaint historic towns and fishing villages – popular Lambert’s Bay, Paternoster, Saldanha and Langebaan.
We love the magical West Coast National Park which in flower season is a Cape West Coast bucket list destination – and the Fossil Park next door has uncovered over 200 different kinds of animals, many of them new to science! Make sure you take a walk on the 16 Mile Beach at Yzerfontein and watch famous South African satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys at his own “Evita’s Perron” in Darling.
Hiking in the rugged and spectacular Cedarberg should not be missed, its many rustic accommodation choices catering for adventure travellers on a budget. Stop to fish a bit at classic fishing dorp, Velddrif, and dine on fresh crayfish in a beach café at Paternoster.
Cedarberg – oranges, lemons, naartjies and grapefruits fill the valleys here on lush trees and fresh golden peaches lie drying on huge sunny cement blocks. The massive Olifants River runs through the valleys, craggy rocky outcrops line the horizons and plenty of Cederberg accommodation in campsites, rustic cabins and self-catering cottages line the foothills. Climb up behind the sandstone cliffs and come upon mountain plateaus filled with Rooibos tea.
Peninsula – this part of the West Coast juts out into the ocean at Saldanha Bay where several charming fishing villages lie peacefully and canned fish factories fill the air with their fish aromas and machinery sounds. Stop in a few seaside resorts for a few nights and sample Cape fishing village life, climb tall lighthouses and hike on lush cattle farms.
Bergrivier – this region is named after the Berg River down south near Stellenbosch and continues to the town of Velddrif, including many coastal bays and villages, farms and fruit stalls. Wine farms grow grapes along the river banks and birders love to find rare species in the lush riverine vegetation. The Berg River hosts the annual canoe marathon and it’s worth visiting Port Owen’s deep-water marina.
The Matzikama region – running along the cold Atlantic Ocean encompasses the Sandveld and Knersvlakte below the fascinating Matzikama mountains of Gifberg, Maskam and Keoberg. Look for migrating whales from winter onwards as they travel south to False Bay to give birth.
Swartland – think Afrikaans rusks and Weetbix cereal from the wheat fields here near Malmesbury where the local people speak with a rolling ‘rrrr sound’ called the brei deep in their throats. Come wine and olive tasting and tuck into freshly baked bread and rusks as you explore homely Afrikaans accommodation establishments and stores. This area was once covered in indigenous Renosterveld which is now endangered and increasingly threatened with ongoing habitat loss.
Hardeveld – its largest town called Bitterfontein is where the railway line ends and the Bokkeveld plateau begins, the ocean in the west and the tiny villages still traditional. Green granite is found here and many of the first settlers here were missionaries.
Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing towns in the Western Cape, a tiny little beach and foodie hot spot. Eat fresh fish at rustic eateries in the sand near Lamberts Bay and the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve is a haven for hiking, birdwatching, diving, fishing, kayaking and visiting the 15 m tall Cape Columbine lighthouse.
The Cape West Coast is today a diverse farming region, ocean activity mecca, fishing hotspot and tourist attraction. Stunning beaches, majestic mountains, amazing fruit orchards and vineyards, olives and wheat farms provide plenty of scope for outdoor family holidays and romantic honeymoon escapes.
Diverse accommodation options in this region on lush verdant farms, on wild beaches and in serene mountain settings include campsites made for family fun, thatched cottages with fireplaces, wooden cabins with open decks and fishing lodges for the men. Chat to Voyage2Africa about your special holiday package deal on the Cape West Coast.