Things to do on the west coast of Cape Town

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.

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48 hours in Port Elizabeth

One of the lovely things about friends and family moving away, is that it gives you the task of visiting places that you may possibly give a miss on an another day. A friend of ours recently moved to Port Elizabeth (PE) – the friendly city – and it’s the reason we drove those extra kilometres through the garden route for a brief 48 hours.

Morning view of the harbour and beach from the apartment.
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Great Farm stalls for a Road Trip pit stop

Packing a nice lunch with all your favourite tasty goodies for a long road trip is always a great idea. You know what is also a good idea? Stopping at local food stalls along the way. The food is fresh and locally sourced, it feels like part of your destination and you are helping small businesses thrive. Wins all around. Our trips usually start in Cape Town and up the garden route. These are some of the best farm stalls to stop for lunch, coffee or stretching on your road trip. 

Open road – The joys of a road trip.

 

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Spring Flower Power: Best places for West Coast Flower Spotting

The days are getting warmer and longer, cocktail hours are springing up again and the flowers are peeking out to prepare their brilliance. I call it ‘faux Spring’ because it’s that time of the year when you start to pack away jerseys, coats and soup recipes. You start getting invited to outside events, hear things like ‘summer body loading,’ and then Nature comes along with one last heavy, cold front and screams, “Lies – I said it’s still winter.” Even so, the Spring flowers defiantly come out. I always try a plan a trip to Cape Town (I live her now, so it’s a no brainer) around this time of the year, so I can take a drive up the West Coast to do some flower spotting.

Flower Route

When I tell people that I am going to see the flowers, people ask “why?” or “what happens there?” I suppose, it’s because the flowers don’t do anything – other than just exist. No one asks this when I go on a game drive, or when it snows in Matroosberg or whale watching in Hermanus. The wild flowers aren’t planted, they just naturally come through year after year. So, if you just like pretty things then take a stop off at these places for some spring flower viewing. Continue reading

Sutherland – Stargazing, relaxation and getaways.

Star gazing, cosy nights, good company, and fresh air are the makings of a great holiday getaway and the small town of Sutherland has all these ingredients. This Karoo town in the Northern Cape is a quiet town known for its snowy winters, striking landscapes, and clear skies for astronomy. There isn’t a bombardment of activities to do there but sometimes, relaxing under the stars is just what the doctor ordered.

The Rooikloof Farm where we stayed.

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A Day Trip to Kalk Bay

Kalk bay is a suburban fishing village along the coast of the False bay in the Western Cape. It’s a trip we often make when we feel like a change of scenery and tasty lunch of the freshest fish on the coast. Despite its eclectic vibe, there are so many different things to do in Kalk Bay that everyone can find an activity to enjoy. A trip here probably warrants a whole weekend if you have one to spare.

Kalk Bay Harbour over looking a colourful town

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The Valley of Desolation

The first long distance trip that I remember was when I was eight years old and drove down to Cape Town with my family. We listened to the Quincy Jones album “back to on the block” so much that we knew all the words by the end. We stopped for loads of junk food (and peeing) and it was a long drive. My dad was so over it by the time we arrived in Cape Town, that he flew my brother down to drive us back home.

On the drive back, my mom made my brother stop off in the then Transkei (Eastern Cape) to visit her friend and a national park. It was great. That’s because mom knew how to road trip. You need music, a good temperament, food and stops. Stops maketh the road trip!

 

 

Bird Watching - Camdeboo park

Camdeboo National Park game viewing and bird watching.

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Things to do in the Drakensberg on a rainy day

The Drakensberg is a phenomenal destination for outdoor activities. It has great hiking trails, zip lining, swimming and waterfalls. But what happens when it’s rainy, misty or cloudy? Which was the case for two of days we were on holiday. You can’t stay inside all day because that would be a real waste. You could snuggle up by the fire with a good book but let’s be honest, you could have done that at home. Thankfully, although its chilly, there are loads of activities to keep you entertained while waiting for the sun to make an appearance.

 

We came all this way, so come rain or shine, the adventures continue!

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Bonnievale, Wine and Indulgence

Like many, I had the high hopes of starting the year with a bang, hit the ground running…full steam ahead. Just ticking off items and singing affirmations. Then I got ill and was pretty much home bound on painkillers while I waited for a specialist to come back from leave. I missed Christmas, New years and every festive event. Basically, the universe said “just sit down, you’re not going anywhere.” So I did that (well, it was more like lying in foetal position). Once on my feet again, I eased my way back into life with a weekend getaway to Weltevrede estate in Bonnievale.

dink-oclock

A glass of wine overlooking the vineyards? Why not?

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The Cradle of Humankind – A whole lot of living where life began

My first visit to the Cradle of Humankind (a UNESCO World Heritage site) was an afternoon at the Maropeng visitors centre about five years ago and I was thrilled by how interactive and enjoyable it was (even though calling a dodo creeped me out a bit). This time around, I got a taste of more than just the visitors centre with a visit to Sterkfonteinn Caves, a night at the Maropeng Boutique hotel, fine dining and stargazing.

Sterkontein Caves

Sterkontein Caves Exhibition

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