There is no better way to experience a destination than by immersing yourself completely in its beauty, its experiences and its people.
Our latest series of blogs aim to help you to fully experience Cape Town and the Western Cape by wholly embracing it with all your senses in all six regions of our incredible province.
This blog is dedicated to the Cape West Coast and all it has to offer. This epic, diverse region makes for an awesome surfing road trip linking towns like Yzerfontein, through Langebaan until Lambert’s Bay, with in-land treasures like Clanwillian, Citrusdal and the Cederberg like nowhere else on earth.
How to TASTE the Cape West Coast
To truly get an authentic taste of the Cape West Coast, some of the best spots can be found in Paternoster, one of the oldest fishing villages in the region. Start off at The Noisy Oyster, a cosy and unassuming environment with wholesome seafood and service. Be sure to also try Chef Jaco Kruger’s food at Gaaitjie; the bright and breezy seaside décor compliments the ocean views just above the sands. For a spot to celebrate, remember to visit Leeto Restaurant, the menu has an elegant twist to the traditional local cuisine. But to really treat yourself, visit Kobus van der Merwe’s Wolfgat, winner of the World Restaurant of the Year. The 7-course tasting menu is described as “pared down, pure and perfect”. A bucket-list worthy experience!
When traveling further up the Cape West Coast, you’ll find Langebaan. Pearly´s on the beach, which was founded off of a passion for hospitality and food, head over to this Langebaan landmark for a taste of the coastal town’s cuisine with a view of the lagoon. To get a bite of everything, Die Strandloper offers a 10-course tasting menu cultivated by the cultural and coastal influences. In that kitchen, the phrase ‘local is lekker’ is truly embraced!
If you’re in the mood to taste a variety of local ingredients, Darling offers a host of options that will ensure foodies avoid flavor fatigue! To savor the saltiness, the family-run Darling Olives showcases their produce in tours and tastings, a wonderful way to enjoy the Mediterranean climate’s crops. You don’t need to be a kid to understand the joys of a candy store and Darling Sweetentices any sweet-tooth, offering anything sugary from toffees candies to spread.
This can be followed by the Darling Brew Taste-room & Brewery; ideal for a gathering with friends or to wash down the sweet and salty snacks. If things don’t feel like they’re moving around you, then the Weskus Wine & Beer Touris a fun and interactive experience. Staring in Lambert’s Bay, the road trip visits a variety of stops for drinks and snacks. If you know exactly what you want, Charlie’s Brewhouse in Port Owen is a great place to sit back, relax and enjoy a beer with good company.
For a tamer tasting, visit the Rooibos Tea House in Clanwilliam. Rooibos is only cultivated in this region, with the Cederberg as backdrop. After you try the many different variations, you can take look at the plantations by jogging, hiking or horse-riding.
How to SEE the Cape West Coast
Often, what makes an area is its people. For this reason, make sure you visit Pieter-Dirk Uys’s cabaret theatre and restaurant, Evita se Perron, in Darling. It is an ideal place to see some of the local characters come to life: all in a one-man show. Shows by ‘Tannie Evita’ are a must, along with a walk through the satirical garden, Boerassic Park, and unique museum (nauseum) of apartheid artifacts, reflecting the madness of the past. It is arguably the only satirical exhibition of South Africa’s recent past.
To take a look at some of the art from the area, take a turn down the Langebaan Art Route: a collection of supremely talented individuals who bring their own blend of Cape West Coast creativity. It is open the last weekend of every month, or can be arranged with the relevant studios independently.
For a glimpse into the natural world, Lambert’s Bay has the only accessible spot in the world to see Cape gannets breed. Bird Island, as the name suggests, is a bird-watcher’s paradise. The hide is perfectly situated to observe and learn more about the birds’ breeding habits. Other birds include the African penguin, the Cape cormorant and the kelp gull. Additionally, you can go whale spottingon a scenic drive along the West Coast on your way to Bird Island. There, you may see these majestic creatures close to the shore, as southern right whales migrate from Antarctica (whale season is from June to November).
How to HEAR the Cape West Coast
It is the story of humankind, and so the story of you too: visit the ‘embassy’ of the San of Southern Africa and home to a unique cultural experience. !Khwa ttu San Heritage Center shares the stories and history of one of the last hunter-gatherer societies left globally.
To hear about some of the older tales and tails, take a guided tour at the West Coast Fossil Park, close to Langebaan. You can see the fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the West Coast some 5 million years ago!
If you would like enjoy the sounds of the Cape West Coast while drifting into a deep sleep, give our podcast a listen: https://podcasts.apple.com/za/podcast/dreaming-of-one-day-podcast/id1518626922
How to SMELL the Cape West Coast
The ‘Weskus’ is known for its seasonal scents: from sand and sea, to soil and seed, there’s an array of amazing aromas in the area.
Every spring, the West Coast National Park (between Yzerfontein and Langebaan) becomes a popular destination for flower & flora fanatics, and anyone with an instagram account and camera. The colorful fields of flowers offer a wonderful sensory experience as you journey through the gardens.
While you can (and should) visit as many beaches along the Cape West Coast, Silwerstroomstrand in Grotto Bay is a popular, yet secluded, choice! Its blue flag status can be verified through the excellent water quality and an expansive stretch of coastline. A small rocky point called Wintersteen provides protection from the swell for safe swimming, and there is also a tidal pool for those wanting a warmer dip without the waves.
How to FEEL the Cape West Coast
To truly get a feel of the land, grip it with your hand with Rocklands bouldering near Clanwilliam. Die Poortis a hidden jewel in the heart of the beautiful Cederberg mountains, offering a safe and secluded setting for boulder and sport climbing. For those that are not yet familiar with the activity, bouldering is free rock-climbing, without ropes, typically relatively close to the ground, with mattresses used to cushion any falls. By the end of your adventure, you may sound like Donkey from Shrek as you pass any large rocks: “ that’s a nice boulder”.
While the Cape West Coast allows you to zone out, Thali Thali Game Lodge offers activities that keep you zoned-in with your eyes on target. Archery is a fun sport to try out, especially with the accredited coaches at the lodge.
For something more sandy, adventure awaits at the Atlantis sand dunes. It’s a haven for sand-boarding, quad biking, extreme 4×4 rides and self-drive dune tours, and off-roading. The dramatic dunes are also frequented by film crews, as the landscape appears in countless movies and adverts. If you love this kind of environment, but just want to enjoy a relaxed seaside holiday, most of the beaches in Langebaan offer a host of water-sports and beach activities!
How to get in touch with your 6th SENSE in the Cape West Coast
While the region caters for both the quieter holidays and adventurous getaways, the Cape West Coast is also a wonderful place to reconnect with the self. One of the ways to find your zen could be through pampering at a spa. Club Mykonos'sLa Vita Spa is a beautiful spot to transport you to a more relaxed state, with the influences of the Mediterranean around you. Another one of Langebaan's treats is at Kleine Aussicht Medi Spa and Laser clinic; a haven to rest, relax & revitalize the heart & soul.
Another way to find that inner-connection is to disconnect a little: switch from surfing the web to hitting some waves along the coast. The combination of adrenaline, sun, salt and sea may be the perfect remedy for rejuvenation.