The shores of the lagoon were the home of the Saldanha Man who lived here 100 000 years ago. Eve’s footprint - a set of 117 000 year old footprints was discovered here in 1997.
The Cederberg is a wilderness area with some fantastic indigenous cedar forests, San rock paintings, magical waterfalls and bizarre rock formations. In winter, you'll find snow capped peaks and in summer you'll trade your soul for an ice cube.
Paternoster and the adjacent Cape Columbine Nature Reserve are an easy drive from Cape Town - but far enough away to give a taste of true West Coast splendour.
Small, sweet and home to some serious satire.
Lying at the foot of the Cederberg, Clanwilliam's biggest drawcard is the Cederberg Mountains.
Citrusdal is home, as it's name suggests, to a citrus growing industry. Nestling in the beautiful Olifants River valley between fynbos clad mountains, it makes a great base for exploring the area and everything it has to offer - such as hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, spring flower hunting and the art of pure relaxation.
- Saldanha Bay
This safe natural harbour is home to a navy training base and a hub for the fishing industry. Thanks to its encircling arms, the bay is not only super safe for swimming and a top spot for sailing, but the water is also warmed by the sun, making it lekker* to swim in, unlike the rest of the West Coast, which is generally a breath-freezing temperature.
- Lambert's Bay
This large fishing village is something of a birdwatchers' paradise.
- Eland's Bay
This is a surfer's (and beach lover's) paradise with the best left hand break in S.A. according to Surf bum Geoff.
Namaqualand, on first impressions, is a harsh, relentless, arid wilderness. Its few inhabitants are burned and dehydrated by the sun and scorching winds, but far from loathing the territory, they have an intense affection for it.
The high places in the mountains around Piketberg once offered sanctuary to groups of San (Bushmen) and some fine examples of their rock art can still be seen in the area.
This wilderness vastness (bounded in the north by the curve of the Orange River) offers hilly, rugged terrain distinguished by weird wind-sculptured rock pillars and spires. It's brown and bone dry except for the odd astonishingly lush greenness of irrigated lands.
Springbok is the largest town in Namaqualand proper and at the centre of the spectacular springtime flower show.
Founded around a bubbling spring of clear water, and an important centre for sheep and wheat farmers, "the town of peace" is situated 13km inland from Saldanha and is one of the bigger towns in the area. This is the only town with real backpacker accommodation on the West Coast.
Set on the coast overlooking a beautiful azure lagoon, Langebaan is a watersports paradise.
The Langebaan lagoon is a magnificent stretch of crystal clear sheltered water warmed by the sun. It’s a great place for a picnic, a windsurf or a day trip from Cape Town. There are important sea bird breeding colonies on the islands off the coast and large numbers of migrant birds in summer. In winter and spring the adjacent West Coast National Park is renowned for its flower displays.
The lagoon has excellent sailing and windsurfing and the relatively shallow water is warmer than the sea. It is entirely marine, with no fresh water inlet. The sandy shores are populated with countless molluscs, crustaceans and other mud living organisms which provide the staple diet of thousands of wading birds (20 species, up to 55000 birds), many of them summer visitors from the Arctic. The islands off the coast are home to colonies of jackass penguins, kelp gulls and gannets. There are almost 250 species of birds in the area, and there are several walking trails and bird hides in the West Coast National Park (also called Postberg National Park).
*Watch out - for tortoises crossing the road.
(randomly selected service providers from all regions)
A backpackers in the (very large) penthouse - why not?
(Cape Town City Centre,Cape Town)
A great place for visiting Backpackers to meet Grahamstown University Students
(Grahamstown,Eastern Cape Inland and the Karoo)
Chill on the West Coast.
(Eland's Bay,West Coast)
This Hluhluwe backpackers is conveniently situated for easy access to Hluhluwe/iMfolozi park.
Immerse yourself in township life...
Adventure and cultural tours in Mozambique, Kruger and Botswana.
Offering 180 degree view of the mighty Tugela River and Indian Ocean, ideal fishing conditions and an untouched shoreline, Sensayuma Backpackers is a great place to recharge.
Go adventuring in the Wilderness - abseil, kloof or canoe.
Southern Comfort - a 26 hectare horse farm - is situated in the heart of the Knysna forest overlooking indigenous forest.
Cape Town backpackers says it all in the name......
(Cape Town City Bowl,Cape Town)