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16 Fascinating Things to Do on South Africa’s West Coast

16 Fascinating Things to Do on South Africa’s West Coast

Ever wondered what makes the West Coast of South Africa an absolute gem?

Well, here’s a nugget for you – it’s got a jaw-dropping 16 Mile Beach at Yzerfontein and the must-see West Coast National Park, cuddled up against the tranquil Langebaan Lagoon. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! 

Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite activities on the West Coast. Read on and add some things to your bucket list!

Explore West Coast National Park’s diverse flora


Address: Western Cape, South Africa (33°7′15″S 18°4′0″E)

Alright, nature lovers, you’ve got to hit up the West Coast National Park, a place of coastal wetlands, lagoons, rolling hills, and mountains. It’s a massive 36,259-hectare wonderland recognised by UNESCO for its awesomeness. 

And it’s not just for show – there’s hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and even whale watching. Oh, and history buffs, don’t worry, there’s cool stuff for you too – check out the Geelbek Visitor Centre, Eve’s Footprint, and the Postberg Heritage Site. 

Pro Tip:
Time your visit right from August to September to witness a jaw-dropping display of colours during the annual flower season.

Hike Blaauwberg Nature Reserve for stunning views

Address: Eerste Steen Resort, Otto du Plessis Dr, Bloubergstrand, Cape Town

Phone: 021 444 0454

Email: [email protected] 

Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is a secret spot with a bit of everything – rare fynbos, coastal dunes, and a hint of history from the Battle of Blaauwberg. Now, when it comes to trails, you’ve got options. 

There’s a 4.4 km Coastal Hiking Trail for a relaxed 1.5-hour coastal stroll and a more challenging option, The Two Hills Trail – a 7.3 km hike around Blaauwberg Hill and Kleinberg Hill. Quick heads up, though: it’s not open to the public all the time.

Pro Tip:
Before you hit the trails, remember the essentials: water (hydrate or die, right?), sunscreen, a hat for those South African rays, some snacks to keep the energy up, and, of course, comfy shoes for the hiking dance.

Birdwatch at Koeberg Private Nature Reserve

Address: 9798 W Coast Rd, Cape Farms, Cape Town

Koeberg Private Nature Reserve is this massive 3000-hectare space, and guess what? It’s right next to South Africa’s only nuclear power station – don’t worry, it’s all safe vibes. 

Now, the real show here is the wildlife, especially the birds. With 153 species, including rare and endangered ones like African fish eagles and majestic blue cranes, it’s a birdwatcher’s dream.

Pro Tip:
The best time to visit the reserve for birdwatching is from August to March, when many migratory birds arrive.

Sunbathe at Silwerstroomstrand’s golden shores

Address: Cape Farms, Cape Town, South Africa

Phone: 021 444 7621

Silwerstroomstrand is a cool coastal spot tucked away on the Cape West Coast, not too far from Melkbosstrand and Atlantis. It’s a Blue Flag beach for its top-notch water quality and a whole lot of coastline to explore. 

Now, the best part – they’ve got it all including camping, caravans, and BBQ spots for those impromptu grill sessions. There’s even a tidal pool that’s basically a natural spa, a picnic area for snacking, and a playground for the kiddos.

Pro Tip:
Bring along a pair of binoculars! You don’t want to miss the chance to spot some incredible birdlife in the nearby nature reserve. 

Discover Witzand Aquifer Nature Reserve’s unique ecosystem

Address: Atlantis Dunes, Dassenberg Drive (R307), Atlantis

Phone: 021 400 6000

Operating Hours:

  • September to February – 7 AM to 7 PM
  • March to August – 8 PM to 6 PM
  • December 25 – Closed

Nature enthusiasts, gather ’round because Witzand Aquifer Nature Reserve is your spot on the West Coast. Picture this – 3000 hectares of pure beauty guarding the Atlantis Aquifer, a crucial water source for nearby towns. 

The reserve’s uniqueness lies in its endangered vegetation, specifically Cape Flats dune strandveld and Atlantis sand fynbos. With breathtaking views of white dunes, red Kalahari sand, and the Langberg Mountain range, it’s a nature lover’s dream.

Pro Tip:
When visiting the reserve, bring your own drinking water, as there is no potable water available on site. 

Experience history at Mamre Mission Station

Address: Off R27, via the R307 between Atlantis and Darling

Mamre Mission Station is like stepping back in time on the West Coast of South Africa. You’ll find white cottages, the fifth oldest church in the country, a 19th-century watermill, and a school building that’s been around since 1825. 

It’s like an architectural scrapbook from the 1700s and 1800s. Plus, the station buzzes with life through a variety of events, including festivals, concerts, workshops, and markets.

Pro Tip:
Swing by the Tori Oso Geselshuis Coffee Shop, where local women whip up tasty homemade treats. It’s not just a spot for good eats; you can also chat with the friendly locals and hear their stories.

Savour fine wines at Groote Post Wine Cellar


Address: Darling Hills Road, Darling, 7345, South Africa

Phone: +27 22 492 2825

Operating Hours:

  • Open Daily – 10 AM to 4 PM

Groote Post Wine Cellar is a retreat tucked away in West Coast South Africa, and it’s not your run-of-the-mill wine tasting spot. Here, you’ll find an 18th-century farm with a rich history, once standing guard for the Dutch East India Company. 

Now, it’s guarding something equally precious – a collection of stellar, award-winning wines. You can take a leisurely stroll through the cellar on a guided tour and soak in the fascinating tales of winemaking and the farm’s past. 

Pro Tip:
Mark your calendar for the last Sunday of each month (excluding December). Why? It’s Country Market day – your chance to bag some local goodies, crafts, and delectables, all while grooving to live music and entertainment!

Immerse in San culture at !Khwa ttu Centre


Address: R27 West Coast Rd, Yzerfontein/Darling

Phone: +27 (0)22 492 2998

Email: [email protected] 

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 9 AM to 5 PM

!Khwa ttu Centre is a fascinating stop along the West Coast Road R27, roughly 70 km north of Cape Town. It’s a gateway to the rich history, culture, and heritage of the San people, the original inhabitants of southern Africa.

Here, you’ll get up close with San origin stories, art, and a wealth of knowledge in an immersive, interactive exhibit. For a deeper experience, join a guided tour led by a San guide who shares stories, traditions, and unique insights into their way of life.

Pro Tip:
Book your tour in advance, as they are very popular and fill up quickly. You can choose from different tours, such as the San Guided Experience, the San Language Tour or the San Tracker Tour. 

Unearth ancient fossils at West Coast Fossil Park


Address: R45, Langebaanweg, Vredenburg, West Coast

Phone: +27 (0)22 766 1606

Operating Hours:

  • Open Daily – 9 AM to 3 PM

West Coast Fossil Park in Langebaanweg, South Africa, showcases creatures from 5.2 million years ago, like bears, sabre-tooth cats, giraffes, elephants, horses, hyenas, and others from the Pliocene era.

They offer guided tours that take you to the fossil dig site, providing a crash course in the West Coast’s ancient geology, climate, and ecology. Plus, you’ll find out how those fossils managed to hang around for millions of years without turning to dust.

Pro Tip:
Pair up your fossil adventure with a trip to the West Coast National Park, just a breezy 30-minute drive south. This sprawling beauty covers over 36,000 hectares of lagoons, wetlands, beaches, islands, and coastal plains.

Indulge in local treats at Weskus Spens Padstal


Address: R27, Vredenburg, 7380, South Africa

Phone: 072 350 5330

Operating Hours:

  • Open Daily – 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM

Foodies, listen up – Weskus Spens Padstal is your foodie haven on the West Coast. This spot is all about handmade bread, biscuits, honey, local wines, and spirits.

It’s basically a culinary adventure waiting to happen. And that’s not all – there’s a gift shop, a car wash (because why not?), and a kids’ play area. 

Pro Tip:
What’s the perfect companion for this farm bread delight? Well, you’ve got options – snoek pâté or a classic combo of butter and konfyt (that’s jam, in case you were wondering).

Spot wildlife at Thali Thali Game Lodge


Address: R27, Vredenburg, 7380, South Africa

Phone: 082 372 8637

Thali Thali Game Lodge is a unique gem on the West Coast of South Africa, nestled in a vast 1460-hectare game and fynbos reserve. It’s a wildlife wonderland that’ll take you up close and personal with Cape buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and more.

But here’s the twist – they’ve got archery lessons too. It’s like a mix of nature and medieval vibes.

Pro Tip:
If you are looking for a fun and exciting way to improve your archery skills, you should consider having archery lessons at Thali Thali Game Lodge. It’s a great opportunity to have fun, learn something new, and connect with nature. 

Taste Bokkomlaan’s delicacies in Velddrif

Address: Bokkom Ave, Velddrif, 7365, South Africa

Bokkomlaan is a spot worth checking out if you’re up for a culinary adventure on the West Coast of South Africa. Nestled along the Berg River in Velddrif, this historic lane is all about one thing – bokkoms (a dried fish delicacy). 

Walking down Bokkomlaan, you’ll spot reed scaffolds adorned with hundreds of these fish, like a scene from a postcard. You can snag some fresh ones from the local fishermen or grab a bite at one of the restaurants with a view of the Berg River. 

Pro Tip:
For a little more action, hop on a boat tour with Cracklin’ Rosie to explore the natural beauty of the area. 

Take a tranquil getaway in Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

Address: Paternoster, Cape West Coast, Western Cape, South Africa

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve is a laid-back gem on South Africa’s West Coast, tucked at the far edge of the Western Cape. This 263-hectare haven embraces the rocky coastline near Paternoster, a charming fishing village.

The reserve hosts diverse flora and fauna, like fynbos, succulents, birds, antelope, and marine life. You can explore the reserve on foot or by bike, following the hiking trails that offer stunning views of the ocean and the rugged landscape. 

Pro Tip:
Book your campsite well in advance, especially during peak seasons like Easter or December. The campsites are very popular and fill up quickly, so you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. 

Bask in Britannia Bay Beach’s serene atmosphere

Address: St Helena Bay, South Africa

Britannia Bay is a tranquil coastal retreat with warm, cosy beaches that provide an ideal escape from the West Coast’s usual chilly currents—perfect for a dip or a leisurely boat ride.

And get this, the wildlife game is strong. Southern Right and Humpback whales, chilling for almost ten months a year, are joined by playful dolphins, making regular appearances in the scene.

Pro Tip:
If you want to enjoy the stunning views and relaxing vibes of Britannia Bay Beach, book your stay at Silversands Villa. This cosy and spacious villa offers direct access to the beach, as well as a private pool and garden.

Visit Laaiplek Harbour for maritime charm

Address: Laaiplek, Velddrif, 7365, South Africa

Laaiplek Harbour is a neat little fishing spot out there on the West Coast of South Africa, not too far from Velddrif. It’s got this historic vibe going on as the birthplace of the first fishing factory around these parts.

Wooden boats, quayside vibes, and the Berg River setting the scene – it’s like a postcard from the sea. You can take a stroll, explore the area, and indulge in local treats like bokkoms and snoek.

Pro Tip:
Throw in a boat cruise along the Berg River or the canals of Port Owen. Get up close and personal with those fishing boats, soak in the history and culture of the place, and let the calm waterways work their magic on you.

Enjoy the farm life at Vensterklip


Address: R366, Elands Bay, West Coast

Phone: 022 972 1340

Email: [email protected]

Vensterklip is this cool farm on South Africa’s West Coast, a nature paradise for people who love the outdoors, surfing, and adventures. They call it ‘Vensterklip,’ which means stone window, and it’s basically this awesome place.

The farm is in a spot that’s known worldwide for being super diverse and having this wetland charm. There are like 180 different bird species flying around, and if you’re lucky, you might even see a Great White Pelican – they’re pretty elusive.

Pro Tip:
Spring (August to October) is prime time. Wildflowers burst into a riot of colours, turning the landscape into a masterpiece.

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