Why a WEST COAST road trip is this Summers must-do activity
Road tripping has become one of the hottest trends this year and looks set to remain at the top of many people’s travel plans for 2022 – and it is no surprise why! Few things compare to the freedom, exhilaration, sense of adventure and pure fun that road-tripping brings.
There are a variety of reasons why road trips are increasingly popular. Amongst these are the fact that they are great for family bonding time. You get an up close and personal perspective on the places that you visit. You will discover the lesser-known gems and smaller, off-the-beaten-track places. You will meet new and interesting people. You have complete control over where you go, when you go, how long you take to get there and how long you stay.
So, if you’re considering getting out there and embarking on a memory-making road-trip, hop in the car and go road-tripping up the Cape West Coast. From Darling to Garies, and Paternoster to Nieuwoudtville, the Cape West Coast has so much to offer that you may never want to go home again.
Follow the West Coast Way infographic with top West Coast road trip highlights:
Start your road trip with a visit to Studio 46 – a fine art and jewellery gallery – in Bloubergstrand’s historical Stadler Road. From here make your way to The Lodge at Atlantic Beach, situated on a protected fynbos green belt in Melkbosstrand, where you can enjoy 4-star accommodation, a delicious meal at the deli and restaurant, a relaxing spa treatment, or a round of golf on their premium course, as well as the other facilities at the leisure centre.
Moving on, be sure to explore the gorgeous town of Darling. Here you can do a wine tasting at the family friendly wine farm, Groote Post (founded in 1706). Also visit Darling Brew for artisanal beers, and you can’t leave town before stopping in at Evita se Perron – home of well-known political satirist Pieter Dirk Uys and his theatre – with a brand new traditional fine cuisine restaurant, museum and new quirky deli, jam-packed with Darling’s own toffees, olives, jam, rusks, honey and “padkos” treats.
Heading up the R27 towards Velddrif, the Thali Thali Game Lodge is not to be missed. Thali Thali is located less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and in addition to the restaurant situated next to the pool and kiddies play area, there is a choice of rustic accommodation – from a spacious farmhouse, to self-catering chalets and luxury tents. Guided game drives at Thali Thali reward visitors with sightings of cape buffalo, kudu, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, zebra, sable antelope, red hartebeest, springbok, duiker, bontebok, steenbok, and ostrich. There are also archery lessons offered for those keen to try their hand at this fun sport.
Further along, in Velddrif itself, road trippers will discover other “must-visit” attractions such as the heritage site of Bokkom Laan in Velddrif, which is a unique dirt road alongside the Berg River that is scattered with a cluster of historic buildings and jetties. Whilst here you can enjoy a river cruise on the Cracklin’ Rosie before opting for a delicious lunch at Ek & Djy, followed by artisinal coffee at The Columbine Co – all businesses that are run out of quaint, historic old fishing sheds.
Heading along the coastline from Velddrif towards Lamberts Bay, just 4km North of Dwarskerbos, travellers would do well to book in at the historical Wamakersvlei Beach Farm which offers luxury accommodation in a glorious private beach setting. From here drive to a tiny tranquil village named Aurora, which is set against the slopes of an imposing mountain in the middle of the Sandveld.
Heading further up, your journey will take you to Verlorenvlei, a long estuary that connects Redelinghuys, with it’s beautiful 3D-paintings, to Elands Bay. Here Vensterklip Guest Farm and Red Shed Farmstall, are both not-to-be-missed road trip hotspots that offer rustic accommodation, a restaurant located in a 300 year old converted farm shed, as well as breathtaking San and Khoe rock art in the Elands Bay Cave in the hills above the Elands Bay harbour,
Your road trip can also include visits to the towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West (pop in at the Riebeek Valley tourism office for more details on what to see while in the valley); Yzerfontein (whilst here be sure to visit Wright’s Gin to sample and buy their artisanal gins); Langebaan; Hopefield (with it’s Saturday market selling Kokerboom Cheese); Koringberg; Lamberts Bay (with its iconic Bird Island Cape Gannet colony – ask at the Lamberts Bay Tourism Office for advice on what else to see in this lovely town); Citrusdal (with Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort – a must visit with a zipline and plethora of family-friendly activities); Porterville; Piketberg; Vanrynsdorp; Clanwilliam; and Doringbaai (where a visit to the Fryers Cove wine farm is highly recommended) – to name only a few of the MANY towns and attractions that dot this wonderful part of the world.
Carmen Lerm, founder of West Coast Way (who developed South Africa’s Road Trip With The Most Twists – a series of fantastic themed self-drive routes that reconnoiter the entire Cape West Coast, showcasing the best things on offer, and who have also developed a list of 101 things to see and do on the Cape West Coast), says that whether your focus is relaxed sightseeing, photo opportunities, history, culture, food, fauna and flora or adventure and activities, the West Coast has it all on offer.
“Whether you fancy some olives and Rooibos tea tastings, Weskus cuisine and braaivleis (barbecue), wine, gin or beer tasting, ziplining, bouldering, a river or lagoon cruise, a hike through nature, a game drive, some archery or angling, sandboarding or quad-biking, horse riding, kite and windsurfing, kayaking or bird spotting – or perhaps just relaxing in nature – it is all on offer on the Cape West Coast – and more!”
December holidays are almost upon us and with the Cape West Coast on our doorstep, Capetonians don’t have to travel far to access all of the amazing attractions and activities on offer here. Did someone say road trip?
For more information on taking a West Coast road trip 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 and twitter at WestCoastWaySA.