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.
Set on the coast overlooking a beautiful azure lagoon, Langebaan is a watersports paradise.
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.
The West Coast is wild, rugged, tempestuous and untamed. If you are looking for a wild backpacking experience in South Africa, you have found it....
The West Coast lets you rediscover yourself and touch the fingertip of God. Always through something small. Environmental conditions are harsh, the miracles minute.
Extraordinary succulents no bigger than your baby fingernail. A perfect shell smaller than a pea. The pinprick of a seagull high over head. The speed with which the wind robs you of your voice.
Fringed by the icy Atlantic and extreme mountains, this rugged landscape is one of contrasts where the angry shriek of a seagull is swallowed by a fierce wind, and once the rains have fallen, a carpet of delicate petals cover the ground in a magical tapestry of vibrant colour.
If you’re looking for wild beaches, miles of tranquil hiking and no people, then head this way…
A perfect view of Table Mountain
The West Coast starts, or ends, with a perfect view of Table Mountain and whether you’re a walker, climber, strandloper*, nature lover, photographer or artist, it will swallow you up whole.
Why we love the West Coast
We love the West Coast and have discovered heaps of isolated spots that are great for surfing or just kicking back beneath the stars with a fire crackling to the beat of crickets.
The Spring flowers
Don’t miss the Spring Flowers around August and September.
Take a camera, a bunch of spools and leave all photo-opportunity restraint at home.
Make daisy chains, get naked and take lotza photo’s.
Worship life on an altar of petals.
The flowers follow the sun so remember to turn around often.
Explore the Cederberg
The Cederberg Mountains and all their bizarre rock formations demand dusty exploration.
The West Coast is a great winter getaway because it’s usually a lot warmer than Cape Town.
Places to Stay
- Farr Out B&B
Farr Out B&B is situated on the outskirts of Paternoster on the West Coast.
- The Beach Camp™
This Paternoster backpackers could not get you any closer to the sea...
(randomly selected service providers from all regions)
Get your board and get out there…
(Northern Beaches,Cape Town)
They are less than 1km from a gate into the Kruger National Park.
Walk, hike or drive to the wild side of being in the Middle of Nowhere
This is the oldest lodge in Observatory and is the play ground of students....put your party shoes on!
A huge game conservancy
Daytrips to the Winelands
(Cape Town City Centre,Cape Town)
This Mozambique backpackers is located in Ponta D'ouro only 40m from the beach and a great place for diving, surfing and swimming with the dolphins.
(Ponta D ouro ,Mozambique)
Simon’s Town Boutique Backpackers is close to Simon's Town station and the beach, the backpackers is well situated for access to the best of the peninsula.
(Simon's Town,Cape Town)
Hermanus Backpackers just gets better and better, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the live-wire owners, Braam and Hayley.
Lying on the border of Mozambique high in the mountains, this is a community owned camp with good facilities.