Experience The World With WTM Africa 2018. We got a sneak preview into some of the diverse attractions of the West Coast when WTM Africa, Red Lip PR and West Coast Way treated us to a day out to #ExperienceTheWorld on the doorstep of busy, bustling Cape Town.
Leaving the city and the traffic behind us, we headed out of town on the coastal R27 for our first stop at The Lodge at Atlantic Beach in Melkbosstrand.
In the cool air of the early morning, we congregated on the verandah overlooking the fairway of the golf course and tucked into a “breakfast on the go”. Large pots of coffee and tea warmed us as we gazed at the shimmer of Table Mountain in the distance, and watched, enchanted, as a group on deer emerged from the undergrowth and started grazing on the golf course. Warm muffins, sweet and crunchy fruit kebabs and traditional South African rusks disappeared fast as we all tucked in, fueling ourselves for the adventures ahead.
We went on a guided walk through the Atlantic Beach Estate to the grand clubhouse with outstanding views of the mountain, hills and beach in the distance. The Lodge has twenty 4 star rooms and guests have full access to the gym, swimming pool, Elemental Health & Beauty Spa, 2 tennis courts and driving range, as well as the Club House with a bar and restaurant. Golfers will appreciate the 18 hole Championship Links-style golf course.
Melkbosstrand is a short 50km drive from the city, making the Lodge at Atlantic Beach a quiet place to relax with easy access to the city attractions. It also serves as the gateway to the attractions of the West Coast.
From the Lodge at Atlantic Beach drove to Langebaan and found ourselves in a little Greek heaven at Club Mykonos. Whitewashed apartments with colourful shutters are mere steps from the sea, and cobbled pathways link the public pools, sports centre and public areas with the various accommodations. A private beach, a busy marina and a variety of water side restaurants all add to the island style living feel ethos of this resort.
Lunch was a luxury affair on board the catamaran of Elite Charters where champagne flowed, and the platters filled with pastries, seafood and other delights were consumed happily.
The entertainment on board came from a most unexpected source. Oom Hanri, owner of the Kardoesie Farmstall at the top of the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7, joined us on the boat.
A Kardoesie is the Afrikaans word for a paper bag, and in the old days, this is how travellers would pack their “padkos” or food for the trip. Like many locals from the West Coast, Oom Hanri is a natural storyteller and he had us spellbound as he gave us his take on the importance of padkos, the best way to eat West Coast delights like bokkoms (a dried, salty fish) and the best jam to smear on your roosterkoek. (another West Coast delight, fire baked bread.)
Kardoesie is much more than just a roadside farmstall, it should be a compulsory stop to view the scenery, taste the goodness of farm to table snacks and produce and to buy some padkos for your journey.
We disembark our catamaran and back on terra firma with our heads full of stories and our stomachs full of the West Coast treats we say goodbye to our Greek Island.
We leave the sea breezes and ocean blues and make the short drive to the gentle hills and huge clear skies of the African bush at Thali Thali Private Game Reserve.
Approached via a dusty road off the R27, the reception area is a cool haven of friendliness, cold drinks and homemade rusks. Refreshed, we climb aboard the game vehicle and head off to discover the zebra, antelope and giraffe that roam wild here. Thuys, our ranger, and owner of Thali Thali kept us entertained with anecdotes and facts about the various species as he drives and scans the landscape. He spots a snake in the undergrowth, an Eland before it runs across our path, and an oryx watching us in the distance.
He warns of the dangers of the flightless and rather comical looking Emu that runs alongside us for a while and points out the delicate little Fallow Deer that are very curious of us but keep their distance.
Zebra stand and outstare us and finally, the highlight, we come across three giraffes under some trees, ignoring us as they stretch to get the juiciest leaves from the top of the tree. We sit and watch them for ages while Thuys tells us about the crew that came to film the relocation of one of the males, and why it needed to be moved.
Returning to the restaurant and bar we flop down on the covered deck to enjoy coffee and cake. A fine mist sprayed from the overhead pipes provides a welcome relief from the afternoon sun. Before heading back to the bustle of the city, we visit the three different accommodation options and a lively debate follows as we argue the merits of each.
Thali Thali has 3 West Coast Style self-catering chalets, and 5 B&B luxury en-suite ‘glamping’ tents and a communal entertainment area featuring bar facilities and an open-air lapa.
The original farmhouse has 4 bedrooms and is separate from the other accommodation, ideal for families and groups. The massive kitchen fireplace and cool wrap-around porch make it a perfect winter or summer country retreat.
Thali Thali can accommodate up to 29 people in their 3-star luxury tents, chalets and farmhouse.
Experience The World With WTM Africa 2018
Discover the essence of the Cape’s West Coast by visiting stand J 09 at WTM AFRICA.
Meet the business owners, sample the produce, explore the destinations and be entertained by the characters and stories of this region.
WTM Africa is held at the CTICC from 18 to 20th April 2018.
Register here for your free entry to the show.
The Roaming Giraffe is Di Brown. Travel writer and blogger, mother, grandmother, avid reader, tourism professional, learner photographer, social media influencer, Twitter fan and lover of Instagram.
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. South Africans and visitors can explore a unique collection of themed routes to do adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trips or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Tractor Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many. For more information on West Coast Way’s #WestCoastTwist and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.