Learn about the origins of a Cape West Coast staple known as bokkoms (dried fish), explore Laaiplek’s harbour and cruise the canals of Port Owen.
An interesting Cape West Coast mix of bokkoms (dried fish), canoeing and salt
Situated next to the Berg River, Velddrif is a traditional fishing town where the Cape West Coast delicacy known as “bokkoms” has its origins.
“Bokkom Laan” is where the bokkoms, or Velddrif’s biltong, are made. All along the road you’ll find locals eager to share their knowledge and rows of “bokkoms” waiting to be tasted.
Velddrif’s dry summers make it ideal for the extraction of salt from seawater – the main reason why South Africa’s main salt brand, Cerebos, decided to open a factory here.
Famous for more than fish and salt, Velddrif also boasts pristine beaches and a host of restaurants and coffee shops.
Laaiplek is situated right at the mouth of the Berg River. The South African Sea Fisheries Museum is well worth a visit and since the Berg River is tidal, the area is also well-known for birding.
Upstream from its mouth the Berg River curls inland to form Port Owen – a series of canals that form a marina with the stunning Port Owen Yacht Club and a variety of guest houses within.
The region boasts abundant bird life. Look out for pelicans, lesser and greater flamingos, blue cranes, herons, the endangered oystercatcher and the European bee-eater. Drive from Velddrif to Rocherpan and Redelinghuys. Find Verlorenvlei at Redelinghuys – a recognized RAMSAR site.
Birdlife species list found in the Berg River Estuary are:
Bokkomlaan: Lesser and Greater Flamingo’s, White Pelicans, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Grey headed Gulls, Common Greenshank
De Plaat: At times more than 30 000 Cape Comorants can be seen going to the salt pans to roost in the late afternoon. It is estimated that between 70 000 and 80 000 birds use this area at night.
Berg River Bird Hide: Goliath, Purple, Grey and Black headed Herons, African Spoonbill, African Darter and Pied Avocet (Collect the key to the hide from Riviera Hotel, positioned next to the bird hide along Voortrekker Road)
Flaminkvlei A: Little Terns in summer. Marsh Owls and African Marsh Harrier
Swartjiesbaai: Red-necked Phalarope, Goliath Heron, Osprey, Common Redshank, African Purple Swamphen, White Winged Tern
HeronsRest Accommodation Bird Conservancy and Bird Hide: