Our car needed a little love after we drove the first 10.000 kilometer with it. Therefore we drove from Franschhoek to Cape Town to service our car. After our fourbie was rewarded with some new oil we drove further north to the West Coast and took the R27. After driving through the harbour we passed the first little towns along the coast. If you want to see Table Mountain from another perspective than you need to stop at one of these places. We stopped at Woodbridge Island. You have great views of Table Mountain, Lions Head and Signal Hill. A famous stop is at Blouberg beach. Although you’re a bit further from Table Mountain you’ve got a clear view on the Cape Town and its iconic landmark.
Near the R27
After enjoying the views on Table Mountain we took the R27 towards Jacobsbaai. Huge and dry areas with a couple of grazing sheep on it is what you’ll find here. You’ll also find the West Coast National Park along this way, which I’ll describe a bit later on.
Once we bought some groceries we drove up a hill and saw a little town at the Atlantic Ocean called Jacobsbaai. There is a restaurant, little (only if you forgot something you’ll go there) shop, a backpacker hotel and some B&B’s. It’s a quiet little town with a view on five different bays. We were lucky that we could stay at our friend’s house. That night we sipped our Franschhoek port (ooh no you can’t say that it’s Cape Ruby) while the sun set.
West Coast National Park
The next day we visited the West Coast National Park. The Lagoon starts at Langebaan, here you can enjoy the beach or take a boat trip on the Lagoon. Once you’ve passed Langebaan you’re about to enter the park. The West Coast National is situated around the Lagoon. There isn’t much game around this time of year, we only saw some ostrich’s, but thousands of birds visit the Lagoon. Two of them are the the Lesser Flamingo and Pelicans. We were lucky at the first bird hide and saw some flamingos standing and eating nearby. Amazing to see these pink birds!
Right on the Southern edge of the lagoon you’ll find the Geelbek Restauarnt where you can grab a lovely lunch. There are also two good bird hides near the restaurant. Another option is to drive to the other side of the lagoon to either Kraalbaai, a fantastic beach or to Postberg which opens during the spring months August and September.
We drove up North the next day. Our route for that day was Paternoster to Velddrif with a stop at Stompneus Bay, St. Helena Bay, Laaiplek and Port Owen.
The first stop was Paternoster. This is an old fishermen’s village. It’s fun to drive through the village and drink some coffee at one of the cafes. You could also visit the lighthouse at Tietiesbaai, this is the oldest lighthouse of South Africa.
We continued the roadtrip on a gravel road to Stompneus Bay and St. Helena Bay. If you step outside your vehicle you’ll smell the fish fabrics next to the ocean. This is not the prettiest part of the route but hey, they’re canning the fish which they sell throughout South Africa.
We followed the road next to the ocean until we reached Velddrif. We passed the Cerebos salt factory where you can do a tour on Thursdays. At Velddrif, flamingo’s can be found as well. In the river that crosses Velddrif there’s plenty of fish to be found. Unusual for South Africa they also have a lot of small fish restaurants right next to the river where you can order the best fish in the area. We grabbed a lunch at Vishuis. A restaurant full of antiquities. Maybe you’ll have to wait a bit for you food but then you’ll have some extra time to enjoy the view and the locals enjoying their Sunday lunch.
After our lunch we drove to Port Owen and Laaiplek before we went home to Jacobsbaai. The West Coast is really different than others parts of South Africa. It consists of small villages where it looks like that no time has passed for decades. The landscape is vast and dry, we definitely have to come back here in spring time when there are flowers everywhere.