A beautiful, often wild stretch of coastline peppered with small towns that offer a vast array of activities and accommodation options, as well as some of the most pristine and untouched nature reserves, wetlands, lagoons and more.
On 09 September 2020 the Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, visited tourism attractions on the West Coast to highlight the great experiences that we have to offer in the Western Cape.
With the move to Level 1 and the easing on travel restrictions, Cape Town the Western Cape and South Africa is now open as a tourism destination for travellers. We are already seeing an uptick in demand with data from TravelStart confirming that average flight booking numbers are up over 125 per cent from this time last month and are trending at over 53 per cent to last year.
This domestic demand is good news for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector, and we are encouraged that so many South Africans are already visiting the Western Cape to take advantage of our wide, open spaces and attractions that are family-friendly, unique, affordable and world-class. The West Coast is one such destination.
Stretching from Blaauwberg in the south to Kliprand in the north, the West Coast District region includes 44 small towns along the southwestern coast of the Western Cape. It lays claim to a variety of unique experiences, and the region is well known for its turquoise ocean, rugged coastline, farmlands and world-renowned annual wildflowers.
Easily accessible from Cape Town, the West Coast District offers visitors a range of different experiences throughout the year from our seasonal attractions such as the West Coast Flowers or kite surfing in Langebaan to those that are open all year round such as the West Coast National Park, the !Khwa ttu San Cultural Centre and the West Coast Fossil Park.
The first stop on Minister Maynier’s visit was the !Khwa ttu San Cultural Centre where he was joined by Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, West Coast District Municipality Executive Mayor, Harold Cleophas and representatives from West Coast Tourism, Swartland Tourism, Saldanha Bay Tourism and Wesgro on a guided tour.
The tour followed the San mandate of ‘telling our story in our own words, past, present and future’, and the exhibitions in the newly repurposed farm buildings, respectively named ‘First People’ and ‘Encounters’, presented themes ranging from storytelling to human origins, rock art, colonial encounters and current community initiatives. Guests were also treated to tastes of locally produced products available in the restaurant, including a wellness tea made from local herbs.
Reflecting on the visit to !Khwa ttu, Minister Marais said, “Yesterday’s visit to !Khwa Ttu on the West Coast was an incredible experience and indeed a must do. Here, our San heritage can be experienced visually and emotionally while intriguing all the senses.”
Next stop on the tour was the West Coast National Park where Minister Maynier met with representatives from SanParks, including the Park Manager Pat Bopape and Tourism Manager Ayeza Veldtman to discuss capacity management during the busy flower season which has attracted thousands of visitors over the past month.
The day concluded with a visit to the West Coast Fossil Park to see the new facilities including a world-class visitor centre, exhibition hall and restaurant. Of course, the main attraction is the internationally renowned fossil site which offers a richest and diverse accumulation of fossils where over 200 different species of prehistoric animals have been discovered.
Concluding the day, Minister Maynier said: “I have been very impressed with the diverse range of cultural and historical tourism attractions available to visitors travelling to the West Coast District. In addition, the beauty of the area, its wide, open spaces and friendly welcoming people make this destination world-class. We have seen a strict adherence to health and safety guidelines throughout our visit so visitors to the region can be assured that the Western Cape is travel-ready. And so I encourage all who can afford to do so, to support local business, stay safe and help grow our economy in the Western Cape.”
Find 101+ things to do and see on the West Coast Way