The Cape’s West Coast

The West Coast, a previously unexplored region for tourists, is a popular retreat for locals.  Tourists are slowly starting to wonder further into this region although it is still a hidden gem if you are looking for peace, quiet and an authentically South African experience. This is a region that has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world with breathtaking mountains, sparkling blue oceans and spectacular views of the beautiful surrounding areas.

The secluded West Coast is a cultural mix of museums, memorials, historic architecture and impressively striking coastal wild flower reserves. The West Coast National Park contains 40% of the earth’s remaining strandveld fynbos and is also home to 50,000 migratory birds, which make it their home during the summer time. The West Coast also has two official wine routes, the Swartland Wine Route and the Olifants River Wine Region. There is a big fishing community along the West Coast and the fishermen are great characters!

Paternoster is one of the oldest towns on the West Coast and is famous for its traditional fisherman’s architecture and abundance of pristine sandy white beaches. For bird lovers, Paternoster is a haven with more than 250 species of birds that use this coastline as their breeding ground. Holidaymakers can enjoy a wide variety of activities and attractions like whale and dolphin watching, beach buggy trips along the coastline, land and boat based fishing, as well as Cray fishing, diving, mountain biking and sea kayaking.

Churchhaven is a beautiful little fishing village that is well known for its amazing examples of restored whitewashed fishermen’s houses. The town is situated in Postberg, a section of the Western Cape Nature Reserve that is only accessible at certain times of the year between August and September. It is one of the best places in the country to view the beautiful Namaqualand spring flowers in full bloom.

Langebaan is the biggest town on the West Coast. The Langebaan lagoon is protected from the open ocean and offers the perfect place to learn how to kiteboard or sail and is popular with water sports enthusiasts.

  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Hiking
  • Whale and dolphin watching
  • Kite surfing
  • Snorkelling
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Ostrich riding

As soon as the spring rains have passed around the end of August, the landscape is transformed into a spectacular sight when millions of flowers burst into a sea of colour. Summers are dry with a constant south easterly or south-westerly wind blowing, but visitors can expect a pleasant coastal climate for most of the year. West Coast waters deliver a bounty of excellent seafood although being on the Atlantic seaboard does make for some very cold water which may put some swimmers off.

  • Impressive arid terrain
  • Incredible spring flowers
  • Icy cold waters
  • Fresh seafood
  • Afrikaans widely spoken