- Spring flowers
- Game viewing
- Scenic viewpoints
The pristine West Coast National Park is only about 1.5 hours’ drive north of Cape Town, but it feels like a thousand miles away from city life. On one side are the beaches of the cold Atlantic Ocean, and on the other the almost impossibly turquoise waters of the extensive Langebaan Lagoon lapping on white sandy shores. The scenic beauty of this park cannot be overemphasised, and you won’t regret a visit during the optimum season.
The best time to tour the park is during August and September when the reserve is open to include the privately-owned section of Postberg. Every year after the winter rains, the celebrated West Coast flowers make an appearance, carpeting the landscape in swathes of jewel-bright colours. The park is home to a variety of animals, including eland, springbok, bontebok and zebra, which can be seen browsing among the fynbos or on the open grasslands. Other species include tortoises, caracals, foxes, rock hyraxes and honey badgers. The salt marshes play host to a phenomenal range of indigenous and migratory birds, making it a paradise for bird-watchers.
The reserve is dotted with vantage points offering breathtaking vistas over the ocean and the lagoon. Visitors can choose to enjoy a scenic picnic lunch or dine on traditional South African cuisine at Geelbek restaurant, housed in a charming historic Cape Dutch farmhouse which has National Monument status. Certain areas of the park have a fascinating history dating back hundreds of years.
TIP: Add-ons to the day trip – visit the !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, or the Fossil Park, or take a short drive to Paternoster, one of the oldest fishing villages along the West Coast. Or add a second day to include an overnight stay and return via the quaint town of Darling.