Travel: Day tripping up the West Coast

WEST COAST, SOUTH AFRICA

Justin Hawthorne

Just beyond Blaauwberg on the outskirts of Cape Town lies the gateway to a gorgeous region of South Africa, the Cape West Coast!

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Beautifully simple scenes on the West Coast

Here’s my journey on what’s dubbed the Foodie & Scenic Routes

It’s late summer, the farmlands dry & dusty in the distance as we cruise up the R27 en route to Langebaan. The charm of this region is certainly the wide open spaces, rolling hills and endless coastline. It’s no wonder many Capetonians head to coastal getaways such as Paternoster or Yzerfontein to slow down and get some well deserved R&R.

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Route 27 Roosterkoek prepares delicious bites and coffee

A stop at Route 27 Roosterkoek for authentic padkos and moerkoffie hits the spot. Road trips are all about long open roads and the constant look out for a farm stall to stretch the legs and sample interesting products from the region.

Roosterkoeks, freshly baked and filled with delicious cheese & jam, complimented the steaming traditional moerkoffie, a strong and powerful morning brew. Wide awake and stomachs content, the journey onward to the lagoon proceeded.

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Fresh brew at Route 27 Roosterkoek

Passing the West Coast National Park, you’ll reach the seaside town of Langebaan. Don’t be fooled by thinking you’ve magically crossed hemispheres and landed on a Greek island…it’s Club Mykonos, a West Coast institution for seaside vacations.

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Club Mykonos

The photogenic hillside structures of lime-washed walls with splashes of colours create an interesting West Coast visual backdrop!

Elite Charters, located at the Club Mykonos Marina, run daily cruises out onto the Langebaan lagoon and things can be tweaked according to your preferences. Heading out on their 39ft catamaran for a sunset cruise probably would be something special.

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Club Mykonos Marina

The flat, mirror-like water at the marina allows for wonderful yacht reflections. I’ve often looked out across the turquoise waters of Langebaan from Postberg during the annual Spring flower season when I visit the neighbouring West Coast National Park. Getting a cruise on the lagoon and looking up towards the granite hillside is on the wish list!

Not far from Saldanha Bay is Thali Thali Game Lodge, an old working farm which has become a game and fynbos reserve bordering the West Coast National Park.

Late afternoon coffee and rusks went down well at their cozy restaurant before we excitedly clambered into the game drive vehicles for a glimpse of the wildlife here.

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Scanning the horizon in search of another wildlife sighting at Thali Thali Game Lodge

Excitement levels rose with Black Wildebeest, Plains Zebra and Eland sightings. Big, powerful and majestic African mammals in comparison to the little springbok we had seen a short while earlier. Small herds of Kudu could be seen in the thicket vegetation, their ears conspicuously pricked with our presence and the obvious white stripe from the nose to forehead signified an endemic Bontebok not too far away.

An oryx kept its distance as the engines rumbled along the sandy road. The highlight on the drive happened when the long necks of four incredible Giraffes came into sight! It’s not everyday that you get the chance to see the worlds tallest mammals roaming the veld.

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Game Drive at Thali Thali

The male, with hairless horns, stood impressively tall as the female and two sub-adults made up the rest of this small family. There’ll soon be a fifth with the female being pregnant and a revisit after she gives birth will be worthwhile. It’ll be a real entrance to the world for the newborn as female giraffes give birth standing up.

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Incredible to see these Giraffes at Thali Thali Game Lodge

There are a number of accommodation facilities on offer ranging from cute self catering chalets to a big old farmhouse.

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Self-catering at Thali Thali Game Lodge

I envisaged myself getting back from a late afternoon game drive, getting a fire lit for an evening braai as the sky starts to glow pink, preparing for a gorgeous autumn sunset. After dinner chats at the kombuis tafel as a little indoor fire crackles to warm up the cottage after dark. The bottle of red picked up in town earlier gets a chance to breath as we sip slowly into the night.

The daydream continues with waking up early for sunrise, jersey and beanie on snugly as I brew a jug of fresh coffee. Now steaming in my mug I walk outside onto the patio to watch the new day start. I’ve got to come back here…

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Giraffe at Thali Thali Game Lodge

Whatever your interests, there’s a route for you. Take a look at the West Coast Way site to start building your personalised road trip up the West Coast!

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The sheds at Club Mykonos Marina

Make it an autumn day trip, a weekend adventure or even just a few stops en route to other regions such as Namaqualand or Tankwa Karoo when driving the R27 or N7.

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Club Mykonos

Situated near Melkbosstrand lies The Lodge at Atlantic Beach, a 4-star facility which has 20 stylish rooms overlooking the 10th fairway of the Atlantic Beach Golf Course’s 18 hole Championship Links-style course. Whether you’re playing a round of golf or simply meandering the estates rolling coastal dunes through pockets of fynbos, as steenbok and springbok share the grazing greens, the magnificent sight of Table Mountain is ever present. The lodge acts as a great base between the city of Cape Town and the Cape West Coast region and is nestled between the Table Bay, Blaauwberg & Koeberg Nature Reserves with the cool Atlantic Ocean waves crashing not far away.

The Lodge at Atlantic Beach - Justin Hawthorne

The view of Table Mountain from The Lodge at Atlantic Beach

 

Check out the websites of all the spots we visited during our West Coast Twist day trip:

All travel and tourism industry professionals in Cape Town between 18-20 April should ensure they’ve registered to attend WTM Africa 2018 where West Coast Way will be one of the exhibitors. It’s a great chance to discover the wonders of the region and connect with West Coast hosts.

This #WTMA18 / #ExperienceTheWorld trip was made possible by:

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