Why Langebaan is the favourite holiday destination no one tells you about
The West Coast may be South Africa’s best-kept secret holiday destination. But visitor numbers show the secret is spreading.
Local holidaymakers have discovered that there’s so much more to the West Coast than the famous spring flowers. Fans love the friendly, uncrowded destinations on this secret stretch of seashore so much that they return year after year for business breaks, sport safaris, solitary retreats and family holidays.
Langebaan, just a stone throw outside Cape Town, is a favourite base from which to explore all that’s on offer and many prefer to make the Langebaan Country Estate their base. A quick look at the reviews on TripAdvisor illustrates that the popularity of the resort is due to the range of accommodation available, friendly and efficient staff, and the wide variety of activities and leisure options on the estate.
So what exactly is there to do? Well, of course, holidaymakers can simply relax and enjoy the excellent climate and incredible views of the famous Langebaan Lagoon. Or they can pack as much in as they want to. Every type of holidaymaker is catered for here.
The Langebaan Country Estate offers running and cycling, tennis and netball, golf on a magnificent 18-hole Gary Player Designs, Black Knight course, bowls and foot golf, a games centre and a spa. There is a wonderful restaurant at the resort, and excellent dining options in the nearby towns and villages like Paternoster.
The award-winning wines of the West Coast and Swartland wine routes have attracted cult followings, and many exceptional estates are between 30 minutes (Darling) and 90 minutes (Riebeeck Valley) away by car. If you have more time, take a longer trip up to the wine farms of Vredendal and Lutzville to discover the region described as ‘one of the most ideal wine growing areas due to its mild climate, misty mornings, sunny days and south westerly sea breeze’.
Do you want something exciting but educational? Langebaanweg is a world-renowned fossil site where a team of international researchers is currently unravelling the fascinating and unique history and the environment and climate of the West Coast some five million years ago. Learn more about the bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the other exotic animals that once inhabited this area at the West Coast Fossil Park – you can even visit the dig!
Something for the culture vultures? The first people of the Western Cape were the San and Khwa ttu combines adventure, relaxation and education that leaves a lasting impression and gives a new understanding of the culture, heritage, knowledge, skills and contemporary life of the San. Guided tours are offered daily at 10 am and 2 pm.
Did someone mention birds? Langebaan Lagoon is the most important wetland in South Africa for waders and 250 species can been spotted from bird hides at Geelbek and Oude Pos in the West Coast National Park. According to Birdlife South Africa, ‘the coastal strandveld supports several restricted-range and biome-restricted assemblage species, including the recently described Cape Long-billed Lark’. LCE boasts over 130 bird species on the estate and is a frequented stop for birds.
On a Saturday park run or Sunday mountain-bike ride through the Langebaan Country Estate you are sure to spot small game, and a game drive at Thali Thali or Buffelsfontein Wildlife Reseve will ensure exciting sightings.
And of course almost any watersport you can think of is catered for in Langebaan. From fishing to kite-surfing, kayaking to waterskiing, sailing to swimming… you can do it all! And after a lovely long day on the water, a sundowner cruise on the lagoon is the perfect way to end it.
So, what is the reason those who love Langebaan won’t tell you about it? They want to keep it all to themselves.
Contact numbers for Langebaan activities
Atlantic Yachting – 022 772 0718, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowls & Tennis – 022 772 2112, email@example.com
Buffelsfontein Wildlife Reserve – 022 451 2824, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Sport Centre – (kitesurfing gear, stand up paddle (SUP) boards, windsurfers and kayaks), 022 772 1114, email@example.com
Casino Mykonos – 072 709 9919, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elite Charters – 022 772 0265, email@example.com
Mashie Golf & Foot Golf – 022 772 2326, mashie@LCEIce.co.za
Oliphantskop (Horse Riding) – 022 772 2326, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pro Putt – 022 772 2112, proshop@LCE.co.za
Sunny Park – 082 379 0450, email@example.com
Thali-Thali Game Reserve – 082 372 8637, firstname.lastname@example.org
West Coast Fossil Park – 022 766 1606, email@example.com
West Coast National Park – 022 772 2144, firstname.lastname@example.org
Windchasers Kitesurfing – 082 079 0500, email@example.com
Windstone (Horse Riding) – 022 766 1645, firstname.lastname@example.org