Towns and Suburbs in Cape West Coast
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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.

What is still an almost undiscovered treasure trove of unspoilt beaches, incredible mountain ranges, rich geographical diversity, and the most astounding carpet of wild flowers in spring, has evolved into a major holiday route out of Cape Town along Route 27.

The Cape West Coast stretches from Cape Town as far as the border with the Northern Cape at Touws River, including within its parameters the indescribably beautiful Cederberg Mountains, famous for centuries-old rock art. All along this stretch of coastline is a series of quaint historic towns and fishing villages with names like Lambert’s Bay, Paternoster, Saldanha and Langebaan that today roll with ease off the tongue, but until fairly recently were left to languor in relative obscurity.

Salt of the earth residents make the area from Ganzekraal to Strandfontein their home, where snoek, mussels and crayfish are a way of life and ‘bokkoms’ (salted mullet strung up in bunches and left to dry) is the local delicacy. Route 27 is a seafood mecca and a number of open-air beach restaurants offer unsurpassed seafood fresh from the sea, cooked on open fires whilst you watch the sun sink slowly over the sea.

Just outside of Cape Town, the little town of Darling deserves a stop, especially in September for its Wild Flower and Orchid show and for its locally produced wines. A little further up the coast, the West Coast National Park is the closest spot outside of Cape Town where one can sample the spring flower season. The Fossil Park, which lies just next door to the park, has uncovered 200 different kinds of animals, many of them new to science.

Parallel to the R27, the N7 passes through the Swartland to the equally beautiful towns of Citrusdal and Clanwilliam. Take a detour to Ceres and travel from here to Citrusdal along the Gydo Pass. Just after you pass over the Koue Bokkeveld Mountains you reach the Koue Bokkeveld, a valley famous for its red apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots and unpretentious hospitality.

The Cederberg Wilderness, 71 000 hectares of mountainous terrain that runs almost north to south from Clanwilliam to Citrusdal, is renowned for its stark, rugged beauty, whilst gentle walks in the Cederberg when spring transforms the landscape into a carpet of yellow, orange and purple, will not fail to bring you closer to the natural rhythms of a world where fynbos, succulents and wide open skies couldn’t be more remote from city living.

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