Defined by its rugged shorelines, coastal vegetation, heritage fishing villages and unpretentious lifestyle, the Cape West Coast still holds an element of the wild unknown. A tangibly strong culture of fisher-folk with their quaint small wooden fishing boats and simple lives on the sea, are qualities that draw visitors from across the globe.
Loved by many, the dramatic coastline, changeable seas, white sandy beaches and cerulean blue skies creep under your skin and seep into your soul. The most popular of all the quaint villages is Langebaan, with its natural wonders, blue lagoon and azure skies.
Established as a party town for lovers of water-sports, fishing or just a good time, Langebaan has an exciting buzz over the weekends and holidays. Visitors to the town are never short of something to do over a long weekend, with a plethora of water-sports equipment hire stores, restaurants, drinking holes, cocktail venues, hores-riding, playgrounds and even a casino resort.
Days are best spent on the water, skiing, canoeing or simply swimming and sunbathing, and the evenings are for soothing burnt skins and going out on the town to appreciate the sun setting over the vast lagoon.
There is a wilder, unknown side to this tourist town, available only to the keen senses of nature lovers and worshipper’s of silence, in the protected areas of the lagoon within the West Coast Nature Reserve. The West Coast is blessed with stark natural beauty and with residents fiercely protecting their piece of paradise, Shark Bay and Churchhaven have been preserved and sheltered from hoards of holidaymakers on their speed boats, leaving more than footprints and taking more than photographs.
This is where the sleeping beauty of Langebaan lies – in the rustic fisherman’s cottages, shabby-chic and weathered porch furniture and soutvis drying on ropes from the rafters on the stoep. This is where neighbours invite you in for a sherry after a day spent fishing and where photo moments wait for you to chase them down like seagulls, where the silence is only disturbed by the lilt of the lagoon waters lapping at the shore. These are places that seem to have been forgotten by time and yet preserved by it too.
Geelbek Restaurant in Shark Bay offers an authentic West Coast dining experience, offering unpretentious homestyle dishes and scrumptious teas.
Travel up the coast and spend the day in the quaint fishing village of Paternoster, famed for its inexpensive crayfish and picturesque wooden fishing boats scattered along the shoreline. Return for an evening at the Strandloper, an open-air seafood restaurant serving up to 7 courses of the most wicked seafood ever! It’ll be an experience you’ll remember with fondness for the rest of your life, for how could anything match the simple joy of dining on fresh seafood, freshly baked oven bread, homemade jams and farmer’s coffee out under the setting sun, on the sandy dunes of one of the most beautiful places in the world?
Spend some quality time in Langebaan and you’ll have an all encompassing experience. Rediscover the innocence of genuine hospitality. Rediscover the quiet beauty of the weathers moods. You’ll feel the weight of your fast paced life melt away as you slip into the warm waters of the lagoon, as your footprints dissolve into the sand …
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