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West Coast


Every year more and more visitors flock, from all over the world, to this once unknown region with unrivalled geographical diversity. The Western Cape's 'West Coast' has beautiful unspoilt beaches, magnificent mountain ranges, and the most spectacular wild flowers which bloom in the spring. The West Coast area of the Cape consists of three main areas, West Coast, Swartland & Sandveld and Olifants River Valley.

I n f o r m a t i o n :
West Coast Regional Tourism Bureau {+27 (0) 22 - 7142088}.
Swartland & Sandveld Regional Tourism Bureau {+27 (0) 224 - 22996}.
Olifants River Valley Regional Tourism Bureau {+27 (0) 27 - 4822024}.
Western Cape Tourism Board {+27 (0) 21 - 4265639/47} at the The Pinnacle, Corner Castle & Burg Streets, Cape Town.

West Coast

Travelling up the West Coast from Cape Town on the R27, through Milnerton, and Bloubergstrand, the first recommended stop would be Yzerfontein, a small holiday and fishing village. There is a deserted beach ideal for suntanning and surfing.

The town of Darling is best known for its Wild Flower and Orchid Show in September. The Darling Flora Reserve and the Darling Tienie Versveld Flora Reserve are both worth visiting.

Hopefield
is a quiet little town is in the centre of the fynbos area.

The Postberg section of the West Coast National Park is recommended for visitors (open during the flower season).

Take the road around the lagoon, to Langebaan. The lagoon is the focal point of this magnificent wilderness and wet-land area and of the growing West Coast tourist industry - the bird life here is a delight.

On the northern side of the lagoon is one of the finest natural harbours in the world, Saldanha Bay.

Vredenburg
is the business centre of the area. The small fishing village of Paternoster (Cape Columbine) has a beautiful, long, deserted beach to offer. Around the corner is St Helena Bay which was discovered by Vasco da Gama in 1497.

Further north, Velddrif is situated at the mouth of the Berg River, and the estuary attracts large numbers of flamingos, spoonbills, avocets and glossy ibis. The Rocher Pan Nature Reserve near Dwarskersbos is a must for bird watchers.

Olifants River Valley

The enchanting town of Citrusdal is at the foot of the Piekenierskloof and the majestic Cederberg peaks. It is one of the largest citrus growing areas in South Africa. Visit the Citrusdal Museum where tools and utensils used by the Bushmen are on display.

Clanwilliam is situated on one of the most spectacular dams (18 km long) in South Africa. The Pakhuis Pass, just outside of the town, is set in a magnificent landscape and is gateway to Wupperthal - a Moravian mission village.

Bushman Rock Paintings
are to be found in and around Clanwilliam.

The Cederberg Wilderness Area is 18 km from Clanwilliam over the Nieuwoud Pass. The Ramskop Nature Reserve on the southern outskirts of town boast 200 indigenous species of wild flowers.

The fishing village of Lamberts Bay is situated at the mouth of the Jakkals River.

Vanrhynsdorp
is a quiet town on the N7. Visit the Rock Art Exhibition and Education Centre and the San Rock Paintings.

Swartland & Sandveld

The Sandveld is the sparsely populated area between the West Coast and the Swartland. Elands Bay is a surfers paradise and the nearby Verlorenvlei is a breeding place for a magnitude of birds.

Piketberg
is positioned on the slopes of a mountain with the same name.

Porterville
is a picturesque town. Visit the Jan Danckaert Museum which depicts the history of the surrounding area. Moorreesburg is in the heart of the Swartland wheat area and the Wheat Industry Museum is one of only three in the world.

Riebeek West
is the birth place of two of South Africa's past Prime Ministers. Visit General Smuts' Birth House. Riebeek Kasteel is a tranquil town on the slopes of the Kasteelberg. The Church Museum was the first church built in the area in 1855.

Malmesbury
is surrounded by wheatfields and vineyards. Visit the Kalbaskraal Nature Reserve which has a wide selection of indigenous flora.


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