In photos: A West Coast roadtrip in South Africa
Posted by Chris Davies. Article from the Getaway Magazine Blog.
Since I was 16 years old, my camping trips up the West Coast have been held up by the nightmarish N7 roadworks. I set off on a recent assignment determined to avoid the stop-gos, and here’s what I found.
Get the full story of our West Coast roadtrip in the November issue of Getaway magazine – but click through below to get a glimpse of the pristine beach camping, beautiful flower displays and curious sheep we encountered.
My colleague Tyson Jopson and I started our West Coast assignment at Langebaan’s West Coast National Park. This lookout point just inside the northern ‘Langebaan gate’ has spectacular views across the lagoon.
A local flying his radio-controlled plane on the main Langebaan beach. Our beachfront bar waiter said the father and son flying team could be found most evenings, flipping their agile little planes along the wide, sandy beach.
For 90 kilometres, north of Lutzville, cove after sandy cove unfolded before us, and we cruised unhurried down the jeep track as it wound in and out along the shore.
Tyson posing for the setting sun at our wild, West Coast beach camp.
With miles of beach to yourself, there’s lots of opportunity to play for the camera.
Or just stroll along the empty beaches, looking at pebbles and imagining you might find a massive diamond glinting between the rocks.
Back on the road the next day we were blown away by the landscape. The sandy track was quiet and long. We didn’t pass a car all morning.
We stopped often that morning, heading down to explore the beaches and rock pools exposed at the low tide.
This was mid-September and there were still plenty of West Coast flowers on show.
This stretch of the coastline is not inside the Namaqua National Park and sheep graze freely between the road and the sea.
Namaqualand Tent Tortoises are everywhere along this stretch of coastline. Keep a sharp lookout for them crossing the roads.
The wreck of the HMSAS Aristea, just south of Hondeklipbaai, is a desolate and beautiful spot for a sundowner.
But Tyson and I preferred to head back into Hondeklipbaai to grab a sundowner at the Dop & Kreef restaurant on the town’s main beach. Tyson took this shot of their spectacular view.
And then it was time to head home. Our lasting memory of a wonderful West Coast road trip.
West Coast Directory
Places to stay
Oostewal Caravan Park
Stands are R119 per night (four per stand) 022-772-2442
Dorm B&B and self-catering rooms from R250/R325 per person 082-079-0500
Single, double and triple B&B rooms from R850/R1000/R1 250 per room 022-772-1064
Double B&B rooms from R725 per person 022-772-2062
West Coast National Park
Four- to six-sleeper self-catering chalets from R1065 for four people 022-707-9900
SAN Parks cottages and houseboats
Four- to eight-sleeper self-catering cottages from R1105 per person Park fees R40 per person, up to R56 per person in flower season. Wild Card holders free 022-772-2144
South of Lambert’s Bay Draaihoek Lodge
B&B rooms from R750 per person per night sharing 022-952-1170
Camping stands are R225 (five per stand) and the two-sleeper cottage is R650 per night 083-370-0400
Namaqua National Park
Stands are R116.15 per night (six per stand) Park fees R30 per person. Wild Card holders free
DB&B from R1850 per person per night sharing 0861-010-200
Three to six-sleeper cottages from R550 per night 082- 564-5471
Dop & Kreef self-catering cottages
Twin-sleeper cottages from R450 per night
West Coast Emergency Numbers
SANParks Groenrivier Office:
027-652-8100 Local ambulance:
|More info on the town of Langebaan||More info on the West Coast area|