The West Coast Fossil Park near the popular holiday destination of Langebaan, has one of the world’s richest concentration of fossils dating back some five million years ago. Discover fascinating stories of when sabre-toothed cats roamed the area, along with short-necked giraffes, four-tusked elephants and strange, three-toed horses. Adults can enjoy one of the fossil tours, and then grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, while the kids play in the play park.
West Coast Farm Stall
Eighty kilometres from Cape Town is a tranquil garden and nursery, the perfect place to catch your breath while enjoying a cappuccino and fresh scone with cheese and cream – YUM! There’s also traditional ox tail, fish and chips or eisbein and mash. The kids can visit the hundreds of birds and parrots on display in the garden and make their way onto a huge walk-on chessboard!
West Coast National Park
Considered a jewel of the Western Cape, the West Coast National Park is just a 90-minute drive from Cape Town and just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay. There is plenty to do, ranging from various hikes and mountain biking to kayaking and whale watching, while a picnic or lunch at the Geelbek restaurant are favourite pastimes in the park. There are also a number of fantastic accommodation facilities if you would like to spend some time exploring.
!Khwa ttu San Heritage and Cultural Centre
Embark on a fascinating journey into the culture, heritage, knowledge, skills and contemporary life of the San/Bushman people. Guided tours are offered and can be taken on foot or by bicycle. Indigenous to the area, the San have a wealth of knowledge of the region and are intrinsically tied to it. A great outing for young and old.
The Cape West Coast is known for many things - its pristine beaches, quaint seaside towns and rich cultural history among them – but come spring time, it plays host to the greatest flower show on earth as the areas natural wild flowers begin to bloom. Come August/September the West Coast is generally in full bloom and visitors from around the world flock to the region to catch the show.
The riel - or rieldans - is one of the oldest dances in the world. It is an ancient celebratory dance performed by the San, depicting diverse scenes from their life, from mimicking animals to sheep shearing. In recent years this dance form has enjoyed a revival among young and old. Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers - a riel group from the small Cederberg settlement of Wupperthal - has enjoyed immense success on the international cultural stage. They won several gold medals at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles in 2015.
The Weskus boasts some of the best surf conditions in the Western Cape (we say the country) and surfers consider it one of the top road trips to take. There are some epic secret spots (we could tell you…), but why not take a look at this incredible surf-themed itinerary to really immerse yourself in the local culture? And not to worry, there is plenty for the non-surfers in the family as well!
The Sevilla Rock Art trail is on Traveller’s Rest Farm, 34km from Clanwilliam, on the R364 regional route over the spectacular Pakhuis Pass. The 5km-round trail along the Brandewyn River includes nine fascinating rock art sites, which are some of the finest examples of San rock art in the region. This spiritual-cultural journey is enhanced by the natural surroundings, the rich birdlife, as well as the indigenous wildlife along the trail such as springbok, eland, dassies (rock hyrax) and other small animals. Visitors are required to buy a permit to enter the site at the Traveller’s Rest farm stall.
The Cederberg is dotted with rock art but Truitjieskraal, in the Cape Nature Matjiesrivier Reserve, is arguably one of the most impressive sites. Information boards along the Truitjieskraal interpretive trail provide insights into both the San and Khoe cultures, while at the same time educating visitors on the unique ecosystem surrounding the rock art with its various species of animals and plants. Similarly impressive, located just 20 minutes away from the Matjiesrivier Reserve, is the Elephant Paintings rock art site. These remarkably well-preserved paintings depict three lines of people and a herd of elephants. While it is difficult to exactly date rock paintings, archaeologists estimate that they are at least 1 000 years old.
To visit these two sites, visitors are required to obtain a permit from the Algeria campsite office or nearby Dwarsrivier farm, home to Cederberg Cellars.