The West Coast of South Africa is an alluring place that holds a special magic that remains with you long after you have gone home. The contrasting landscapes hold legends, history and beauty from delicate daisies, forgotten shipwrecks, crashing waves, misty mountains and sand dunes.
An obvious time to visit the West Coast is in spring when the barren landscape transforms into a magic carpet of colour. The Namaqualand daisies are famous worldwide for their beauty and splendour and a tour from Cape Town to Springbok will make you feel like you have taken a magic carpet ride to a fairytale land with millions of daisies stretching as far as the eye can see.
The coast is dotted with quaint fishing villages including Paternoster, Saldanha and Lambert Bay, where the local fishermen make a living out of the ocean. These villages are well worth a visit and if you have the palate, you can try the local delicacy, bokkoms, which is fish biltong or dried and salted fish. If you don’t mind the icy cold water, dress up in your diving suit and try your hand at catching your own crayfish. Remember that you will need a permit and it’s best to check with the locals where the best and safest spots are.
The most popular town on the West Coast is Langebaan, an idyllic little seaside town about an hours drive outside of Cape Town. This village is popular for its lagoon, water sports, golf course, restaurants and stunning accommodation. Die Strandloper in Langebaan is a unique restaurant on the beach and is famous for it’s fresh and delectable seafood and the experience rather than the eating.
Inland you will find the charming little village of Darling tucked away between vineyards and wheat fields. Victorian homes and old trees made an idyllic setting and it is traditionally known as the home of well-known satirist Peter-Dirk Uys. His theatre, Evita se Perron, is a cabaret venue and restaurant and is named after his alter ego, Evita Bezuidenhout.
The Cederberg region includes Clanwilliam, Citrusdal and the spectacular Cederberg mountain range and is popular for its world class climbing and hiking and is home to historic bushmen paintings. The solitude and breathtaking natural beauty of the area is captivating.
Further up the West Coast you will come across isolated places that escape the tourism brochures. One such place is Noup about 6 hours drive from Cape Town. The divers cottages overlooking the Atlantic provide memorable sunsets and a magical stay. Crayfishing, hidden surf spots, 4x4ing and shipwreck tours are a few of the activities that you can engage in with locals.
The West Coast is place of magic and instills a sense of belonging. Once you have been there, you will forever wonder around with the longing to return.