Since moving down to Cape Town, my explorations have been along the west coast. Just because it’s closer and mostly off one road, the R27. Which is great because I’m not yet up for getting lost in the city. Getting lost is great when you are on holiday or on a road trip but when you have an appointment, it’s not so fascinating. So for now, these are some of my ‘go to’ interesting things to do on the west coast of Cape Town.
!Khwa ttu is a project on a farm, just outside Yzerfontein, that is dedicated to highlighting and celebrating San culture. There is a newly opened heritage centre that shares information through multimedia, digital archives and tangible item to learn and create conversations about the San culture. All of the tour guides and most of the staff are from San groups and share a glimpse in to their lived experiences both past and contemporary.
The centre offers a variety of activities such as biking and e-biking, guided tours, home cooked meal at the restaurant or some relax and relaxation at one of the guest houses or tented accommodation. We opted for a the cultural guided tour (there’s also a garden tour/herbal tea) which I wrote about here. It includes a tractor ride through the farm with game wandering the plains to a replica village for a fascinating talk and a language lesson. It was a good way to spend the morning and the venison burger for lunch topped the experience.
Darling is about an hour drive from Cape Town. It’s lovely small town that is probably a good option for some down time. Also, It is a very picturesque town with a few activities to take part in while there. We often go through there in the warmer months but there is enough to keep you busy all year round. The town has a small museum, Evita se Peron cabaret theatre, walking trails in the reserves and tasty foods. And of course, the wild flowers in the Spring.
The Groote Post vineyards is one of out usual stops. Whether it be for wine tasting, food or the monthly market that happens on the last Sunday of the month during the summer, it’s always a nice afternoon out. If you have a sweet tooth, the Darling Sweet toffees are good. The Darling Brewery is also tasty stop for lunch (shout out to the slow cooked ribs) and it has a children’s area in front, so you can take the kiddies with you.
Blouberg beach is a great spot for kite surfers or kite surf watching which is more along the lines of what I do. It’s the Atlantic Ocean, so as usual – swim at your peril! However, small kids don’t know about this yet so the rock pools and beach always have small feet hopping along.
It is a great place for a lovely, clear view of Table Mountain. It’s one of those pictures that you find on postcards. In my experience it’s either the view from here, Robben island or over the city.
West Coast National Park
The West Coast National Park was initially created to protect conservation areas of the Langebaan Lagoon and the offshore islands in Saldanha Bay. Over time it has included a larger are that impact on the ecosystem. In the Spring, a section opens up for flower viewing but there are animals around the park. Walking trails, biking, bird watching and picnic spaces are also available.
This summer, we spent a hot day at Kraalbaai’s beach. It was a full day but there is ample space to throw down your blanket and take some time out. the lagoon’s water is cool and almost still. So, you did not worry too much about waves and little ones. Hop on your lilo and enjoy a chilled afternoon. The lagoon also has boat houses, which I’m certain we’ll be back to experience.