Calling all nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, twitchers, foodies, devotees of good wine, beer aficionados, adventurers, adrenalin junkies, culture buffs, fun seeking families – and in fact anyone looking for something exciting, memorable and special to do.
Whether it is for a special occasion or just as an excuse to break away from the City, the Cape West Coast has so much to offer that you are spoilt for choice – and it is all available right on Cape Town’s doorstep.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner many people are looking for something impressive and romantic to do with their other half – often deciding on a pricey meal in what invariably turns out to be an overcrowded city restaurant. “This year, with Valentine’s Day conveniently falling on a Saturday, why not try something different and head up the West Coast to experience some of what this amazing area has to offer?” asks Carmen Lerm of West Coast Way.
So much to see and do
The Water Wheel Mill in Mamre is a little gem that is well worth a visit. The mill, which has not been in use since 1954, stands in a beautiful spot with horses grazing peacefully nearby under ancient oak trees. Be sure to visit the beautiful double gabled church (a national monument that is still in use today) and the fascinating cemetery on the hill. From here make your way to the Groote Post Winery for some wine tasting, an award-winning game drive, or a meal at the well-known Hilda’s restaurant (remember to book for this popular eatery).
!Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, whilst offering a fascinating insight into the culture, heritage, knowledge and modern-day life of the San of Southern Africa, is also fantastic place to enjoy a delicious meal in the beautiful restaurant, which is situated in the restored original farmhouse. You can also stay in the romantic accommodation options, such as the Bush House with its solar lighting and semi-outdoor bathroom or the unique tented village camp.
And for the energetic !Khwa ttu now also offers a new mountain biking trail suitable for all levels or experience.
Thali Thali Game Lodge is home to a plethora of birdlife and wildlife – including kudu, oryx, giraffe, red hartebeest, eland, zebra, springbok, black wildebeest, duiker, bontebok and steenbok. Here you can meet a four month old baby giraffe, go on a game drive, enjoy a superb meal in the restaurant and stay over in the 3 star lodge – Thali Thali is romance personified.
Darling itself has so much to offer. Visit the Darling Museum; the Darling Cellars, which host their Annual Crush Day on 28 February; Alexanderfontein Darling Olives; the Darling Brewery – and of course Evita se Perron – home to ‘Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout’, the world famous alter ego of Pieter Dirk Uys, South Africa’s best-known political satirist and impersonator. Evita se Perron is a transformed train station with two cabaret venues, a restaurant and a bar. Darling also offers fantastic accommodation such as the Disa Lodge as well as plenty of great restaurants and coffee shops such as Bistro 7, which is well known for its country cuisine. Until 15 February Darling is also hosting the Darling Music Experience.
Another wonderful option for accommodation whilst exploring the West Coast is the Blue Bay Lodge in Saldanha. Built only meters above the beach here is a romantic spot where you can have a glass of wine overlooking the bay, read your book while listening to the sound of the waves or taking a long walk along the beach.
Other towns on the West Coast include Yzerfontein (which is an urban conservancy); Langebaan (an internationally acclaimed Ramsar site and home to the Downwind Dash event taking place from 1 – 8 February 2015); Saldanha (hot spot for water sport lovers); Jacobsbaai (known as “Namaqualand by the sea”); Paternoster (and the Cape Columbine Reserve); Shelley Point (with its golf course and wellness centre); St Helena Bay (with its unspoilt coastline and magnificent views) and historic Hopefield (with its birdlife and hiking trails).
“These are just a very small example of some of the things that you can see and do along the Cape West Coast,” says Lerm. “West Coast Way has compiled a list of 101+ things to do in this area. Visit https://www.westcoastway.co.za/101-things/ for more info. You can also download the West Coast Way’s 101+ Points Of Interest app, which is available as part of an internationally recognised travel app called Tourism Radio City Guides, and showcases over 101 fantastic things to see and do on the West Coast – perfect for anyone who is travelling up the West Coast and wants to ensure that they get the most out of their travel experience.”
“Once downloaded, users of the app can ‘plug in’ their smartphone or device into their car radio, or listen from the handset as the app highlights lots of interesting things that you can see and do in the Cape West Coast Biodiversity Corridor and surrounds.”
The Cape West Coast is a short drive from the city of Cape Town and so it really does not have to be a special occasion to justify a visit to this region. Weekends, public holidays, school holidays (Easter is around the corner) – there are so many occasions that allow for a road trip up the West Coast and visitors will not be sorry that they made the trip to this special area.
What is your favourite – vote and win
Over the Valentines Month period West Coast Way is calling on people to vote for their favourite destination on the West Coast. “Please let us know what your top West Coast destination in by visiting our facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/WestCoastWaySA and voting. Everyone who votes stands a chance to win weekly prizes such as a game drive and meal voucher from Thali Thali Game Lodge or two nights for two people at the Disa Lodge in Darling, the BON Hotel in Shelley Point or the Langebaan Country Estate – just as an example of some of the prizes up for grabs when you vote.”
For more information on West Coast Way visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and twitter at WestCoastWaySA.
About West Coast Way
West Coast Way, headed by Carmen Lerm, is an initiative which actively markets and showcases the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor, thereby increasing visitor numbers and improving economic growth for locals. West Coast Way is Your Gateway to the Vibrant Cape West Coast, which offers plentiful heritage and adventure tourism locations and activities – two of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry.
The West Coast Biodiversity Corridor stretches from Blaauwberg to Saldanha and borders the Darling Heuwels along the scenic R27 highway. West Coast Way has developed two circular tour routes within the corridor that are being proactively marketed in an ongoing, planned and staged campaign that is generating focused interest on the attractions found along these routes. These routes are the Culture Route and the Foodie Route.
For more information on West Coast Way, the Biodiversity Corridor and the routes that have been developed, visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on +27 (0)861 321 777.