Discover a unique collection of themed routes on adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trips or as you head out on your West Coast Holiday. Experience true South African hospitality on the West Coast Way fun routes: Foodie Route, Culture Route, Berg Route, Scenic Routeand the off-the-beaten-track Wild Route – with a Sustainable Seafood Track and People Rocking Nature Track…
Each route takes you to a selection of unique towns, locations and attractions off the main arteries– R27 and N7 highways – that service the West Coast. We are blessed with the biggest natural garden in spring. For miles on end one can see the wild flowers blooming, fields of white flowers and next to it, fields of orange. The people living in the Weskus is another blessing for nowhere else in this country you will get friendlier and heartier people than here. They speak the Afrikaans language with a typical burr, that you will find only here and not in the other parts of South Africa, humorous people and a lot of fun, when you get to know them. The West Coast is famous for it’s food, wine and craft beer grown sustainably from the land.
This is the gateway to the West Coast and the most southerly of the sub-regions, with Malmesbury being a mere 64km from Cape Town. It is best known for its undulating yellow wheat fields, interspersed by vivid green vineyards.
The land has, for most of its recorded history, been used for large-scale wheat farming and has become known as the breadbasket of South Africa, with wine- and olive production becoming more prominent. The oldest wine estate dates back to 1696. The name ‘Swartland’ (black land) originated from the indigenous Renosterveld, the unique and threatened vegetation of the area. These shrubs are dark grey and turn almost black in summer, therefore the name.
The Olive festival (Riebeek Valley) as well as outdoor activities on the Berg River and Misverstand Dam (Moorreesburg and Koringberg) attract many tourists to the Swartland region. The wineries of the Swartland produce top quality wines and most offer tasting centres that are open to the general public. Wild flowers are prolific in the areas closer to the coast during spring, while Southern Right and Humpback whales often visit the sheltered bay of Yzerfontein from June to November. Darling is a harmonious blend of old and new, inspiring the creativity of the many artistic souls who reside in the town, the most famous being Pieter Dirk Uys and his Evita se Perron.
For many the Cape West Coast Peninsula (Saldanha Bay Municipal Region) typifies the West Coast with its quaint fishing villages, sea-side resorts and ever popular lagoon. It lies south of the Berg River mouth and includes the West Coast National Park, stretching inland to Hopefield.
The harbour of Saldanha and administrative centre of Vredenburg are within sight of each other and are both major contributors to the economical well-being of the West Coast. Fishing and watersports are popular attractions throughout the region. The coastal towns in the region boast rocky and sandy bays, beaches and an abundance of seafood. Boardsailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, diving and angling, as well as whale watching in season are very popular.
The playground of the Cape West Coast Peninsula is undoubtably the Langebaan Lagoon. This natural watersport haven, with its sandy beaches and calm waters also borders the West Coast National Park. There are myriads of restaurants and accommodation establishments on the banks of the lagoon. Langebaan is only minutes away from the Greek styled Club Mykonos Resort with its casino and ocean yacht marina.
The Bergrivier sub-region is named after one of the major rivers of the Western Cape. It starts in the mountains of Stellenbosch and eventually reaches the Atlantic Ocean at Velddrif.
The river is the main water source for the numerous wine farms along its banks. It is heaven to bird-watchers, fishermen and sailing enthusiasts. It is here where the meandering Berg River flows into the Atlantic, and also the finish-line of the annual Berg River Canoe Marathon. Nearby Port Owen also offers a deep-water marina.
Birdwatchers can spot 183 species, of which at least 70 are water birds in Velddrif itself, or at nearby Rocherpan Nature Reserve. But its not just about the river and the coast.
The inland town of Piketberg stands at the foot of the towering Piketberg mountain in the middle of undulating fields of wheat, green vineyards, fallow land and flowering yellow canola.
Porterville is a picturesque, country town on the slopes of the Olifants River Mountains and is well known for its nearby mountain waterfalls.
The town of Aurora and mission station villages of Goedverwacht and Wittewater are full of character, with many of the original thatch houses in the latter village having recently been restored.
The town of Redelinghuys is situated on the banks of Verlorenvlei, meaning ‘Lost Marsh’, which houses a wealth of rare bird species and is one of the most rewarding birding destinations in the Western Cape.
Eendekuil is ringed by the Piketberg in the west and Swartberg and Olifantsrivier Mountains in the north-east.
The region offers a rich natural heritage, fruit-filled valleys and towering mountains. The beautiful Olifants River Valley, with its snaking irrigation canals, sustains a large citrus industry which is a hive of activity during the winter harvest time. This is also Rooibos tea country, being the only place in the world where the bush, producing this healthy beverage, is grown.
San rock art can be viewed. Hike amongst the spectacular rock formations or cool off in the clear mountain rock pools of the spectacular Cederberg Wilderness Reserve. Wupperthal is a picturesque Moravian Mission Station in the heart of these mountains. A feeling of calm peacefulness envelopes one on arrival in this serene valley.
Down on the coast you can relax on the unspoilt sandy beaches of Lamberts and Elands Bay where whales and dolphins can be spotted from August to November. Not to be missed is the famous Bird Island at Lamberts Bay, with its thousands of cormorants and gannets. These coastal towns are also renowned for angling and crayfish diving. During August and September the spectacular spring wild flowers are a sight to behold. There are also numerous good birding sites along the beautiful wetland area of Verlorenvlei.
Namaqua West Coast
The Namaqualand has an extraordinary botanical heritage that ranges from the drama of the blooming vygieveld in spring, to the eccentric miniature succulents and obscure soil lichen of the Knersvlakte. What these plants have in common is that they represent one of the world’s most unique and threatened collections of plant species.
For those who prefer a more action packed holiday, the Namaqua West Coast has much to offer: from hiking in the Matzikamma, Koebee and Gifberg Mountains, to canoeing and river rafting on the Olifants River. Alternatively, take an off-road bike or 4×4 along the coast from Strandfontein to Jurge-se-Kaya or Brand-se-Baai, or visit the people of the hardeveld and towns like Molsvlei, Stofkraal and Putsekloof.
The West Coast Wine Route promises a more leisurely experience and usually begins with a visit to Trawal in the south and ends at Doringbaai. Truth be told: there is no better way of concluding a visit to this amazing region than to enjoy a plate of fresh crayfish and a glass of regional wine in the shadow of Doringbaai’s lighthouse.