Long roads to paradise

Explore the unique heritage of the Weskus via the R27

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Every continent has a West Coast region but only South Africa has a Weskus. The Weskus region stretches from Cape Town towards Namibia and includes the Swartland, West Coast Peninsula, Bergrivier, Cederberg and Namaqua West Coast areas. We offer a few select highlights.

Spirit of the San

On arrival at !Khwa ttu, a San Cultural and Education Centre (about 80 km from Cape Town), a San-guided tour is awaiting you, which is the best way to learn more about the first people on the West Coast of South Africa. Your San guide will not only enrich your knowledge about the history of the San but also introduce you to the medicinal plants that they use, and teach you how to make fire with just two sticks, without a lighter.

www.khwattu.org

Darling, Evita, olives, wine and beer

Take the turn off to the town of Darling where Evita se Perron stands tall as a must visit on your bucket list. You can experience real South African culture from the renowned SA personality Pieter-Dirk Uys. He is particularly well known for his character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita), a white Afrikaner socialite and self-proclaimed political activist. Uys converted the old railway station of Darling, where he now lives, into a cabaret venue called Evita se Perron (Perron is Afrikaans for station platform) and performs there regularly. After lunch at Evita se Perron you will visit the Darling Country Museum, where the lifestyle and growth of the village over 150 years is reflected. Tickle your taste buds with some local craft beer at Darling Brew. Darling Brew is one of South Africa’s first well established and award-winning microbreweries. Each beer in the range has unique characteristics and an inspiring story dedicated to the endangered animals which it honours and supports through various conservation programmes by donating funds. The Darling Wine Shop offers the award winning wines of the region and offers free delivery for online orders. Drive back to the R27 and stop over at Buffelsfontein Game Reserve where one can experience four of SA’s Big Five animals (lion, buffalo, leopard and rhinos). Self-catering accommodation is also available.

www.darlingtourism.co.za

West Coast National Park

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at Geelbek Restaurant in the historic manor house built in 1744 and was declared a national monument. The restaurant serves traditional Weskus food and delightful wine. You will get an opportunity to admire a replica of Eve’s footprint, which dates back to 117 000 years ago. It was discovered in 1995 and is one of the oldest known fossilised footprints of a modern human being. Visit Postberg private nature reserve (only open in August and September) and experience the wild West Coast Flowers like you have never seen before. The park is also a birders haven with 283 different bird species along the Langebaan Lagoon, a Ramsar site that is a wetland of international importance.

www.sanparks.org/parks/west_coast/

Sleepy fishing villages

Langebaan is the mecca for watersport, Saldanha and St Helena Bay share the stories of traditional fishermen and Jacobsbaai is home to the unique Pixie Village.

Paternoster is a quaint fishing village with a vareity of accommodation options. Enjoy dinner at one of the open-air restaurants on the beach, where you can enjoy the catch of the day.

www.visitwestcoast.co.za

Namaqua flowers and wines

The Namaqua West Coast Region is a place with endless horizons, clear skies with bright stars, carpets of veld flowers in spring and globally acclaimed wines. Klawer Wine Cellar is the gateway to the Olifantsrivier Valley and offers a warm and friendly welcome to visitors. Enjoy lunch at De Keldery, Namaqua Wine Cellar, near Vredendal, while tasting their authentic wines. After lunch drive to Doringbaai to experience a typical Weskus fishing village with a wine cellar on ocean level (Fryer’s Cove), the only one in the world that we know of in an old harbour.

Here one can also snack on delicious cheese platters, snoek pate and dried figs while tasting the award winning wines of Fryer’s Cove. Drive from here to Vanrhynsdorp and sleep over at Letsatsi Lodge. Enjoy the dinner at the Red Ox steakhouse where a wide variety of culinary delights and superior coffees is served.

There is an old Catholic church at the venue dating from 1904 and the only Catholic church where Afrikaans is used to describe the murals in the church. The original organ and wooden benches have been restored and is still in use, mostly for weddings.

www.namaquawestcoast.com

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