Road tripping up the Cape West Coast this holiday
Mid-year school holidays are upon us, and just in time, considering that it is that time of year when people start to feel the need to get away from it all! Work remains busy, kids have just completed exams and families need a break to rest and recharge.
The Cape West Coast is the perfect venue for a bit of R&R. Situated on Cape Town’s doorstep it offers a myriad of attractions and activities for all ages and everything is so close you can plan an amazing day trip with the kids or with friends, and still expect to come home feeling like you have had a lengthy holiday.
So much to see and do
Load the kids in the car and pop into the town of Hopefield on a Saturday and enjoy the local eats and treats at the Old Mill Country Market. Visit Paternoster to savour some fresh seafood (or some Bokkoms); play on the pristine Langebaan lagoon beach, or explore the waters of the lagoon itself on a chartered yacht with Elite Charters.
Perhaps a game drive at either the Buffelsfontein Game & Nature Reserve or the Thali Thali Game Lodge is more your speed. Or a San guided tour at the !Khwa ttu Educational & Cultural Centre. !Khwa ttu also offer fantastic mountain biking trails for the more active. For the beer lovers visit Darling Brew, a fantastic experience where you can savour craft beers; or if wine is your tipple of choice then try some wine tasting at the awarded Cloof Wine Estate, the Ormonde Wine Estate and the Darling Cellars – all in Darling. And whilst on the topic of wine, make sure that your road trip includes a stop at Groote Post Winery, which offers an interesting and alternative farm drive experience, not to mention delicious wine and food.
And if you are a golfer then a round of golf at the Langebaan Country Estate or at the Shelley Point golf club is a must.
West Coast’s Top 10
Your West Coast road trip should definitely include a visit to the West Coast Peninsula leisure stops of Yzerfontein (which is an urban conservancy); Langebaan (an internationally acclaimed Ramsar site); Darling (home of well-known political satirist Pieter Dirk Uys and his theatre, Evita se Perron); Saldanha (hot spot for water sport lovers); Paternoster (and the Cape Columbine Reserve); Shelley Point (with its golf course and wellness centre); Hopefield (with its birdlife and hiking trails) and Mamre.
All of these towns, as well as the West Coast National Park and the Groote Post Wine Cellar, were all voted as the top ten destinations on the Cape West Coast by the public and are well worth exploring. Also well worth a visit are the towns of Vredenburg, Jacobsbaai and St Helena Bay.
West Coast sightseeing routes to guide you
Most of these attractions fall within the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor, while others are just a leisurely drive away, and the good news for those who are keen to explore these attractions and more, is that they are included on two exciting circular sightseeing routes, the GroeneKloof Route and BlueBenguela Route, that have been launched by West Coast Way.
Carmen Lerm of West Coast Way, says that whether your focus is taste, heritage, adventure or luxury, the Cape West Coast has so much to offer. “It is about family fun, about making memories, about the rich experience, the vibrant people, food and colours you will find here. Not to mention the beautiful unspoilt environment and the myriad of attractions and activities that can be enjoyed on the Cape West Coast.”
Park & Ride
A new Park & Ride offering from West Coast Way has been launched that connects visitors and Capetonians to the Cape West Coast and surrounds. Whether you are looking to attend an upcoming festival, enjoy a day trip, or even stay over for a few nights, the Park & Ride service is the ideal option. Pick up is available from the Northern, Southern and Central suburbs of Cape Town and for every full paying adult, one child under the age of 13 can travel for free.
You can leave your car behind and head up the West Coast to enjoy some wine and beer tasting, a game drive, some sun, sea and seafood, a guided tour of the Fossil Park – whatever grabs your fancy – and return safely to the City by 8pm.
With some exciting West Coast festivals on the cards in the coming months, such as the Hopefield Fynbos Show in August, the Darling Wildflower Festival in September, Rocking the Daisies in October, the Paternoster Seafood Festival in December, and many more, this Park & Ride service should be in high demand.
Sleep over in style
For those who can grab a few days away, the Cape West Coast offers great value, with many accommodation options and attractions offering great winter deals and specials.
The Protea Hotel and the Blue Bay Lodge in Saldanha as well as the Thali Thali Game Lodge and the !Khwa ttu San Cultural and Education Centre are all offering great winter deals.
“School holidays are upon us and with the Cape West Coast on our doorstep, Capetonians don’t have to travel far to access all of the amazing attractions and activities on offer here,” says Lerm, who explains that by far the most richly and uniquely abundant natural area in South Africa is the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor – home to thousands of species of plants, including fynbos which is found nowhere else in the world. The region is also home to a rich diversity of marine life and wildlife and has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area.
The old adage goes that it is not just about the destination but also about the journey. With the amount of wonderful towns, attractions and activities that are available all within short distances of each other on the Cape West Coast the entire journey is the destination!
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