PLAY AND EXPLORE
The Strandloper: If you’re looking for a really good West Coast seafood experience then The Strandloper is for you! Open for both lunch and dinner, the 10-part menu will have you going back again and again and again. Booking is absolutely essential. Eat, drink and be very, very merry. Give them a shout on 083 22 77 195.
Pearly’s: Very good menu and solid, friendly service. Awesome for sundowners while the kids kick a ball or two around on the beach. They have plenty of weekly specials to keep you interested. Their pizzas are outstanding (try Jan’s Salad pizza or Jackie’s Own). Bookings aren’t generally needed, but over the popular summer months it is probably best to book – 022 7722 734.
Boesmanland Plaaskombuis: If you’re searching for a plate or more of traditional South African Boerekos, then look no further than Boesmanland Plaaskombuis. From lamb chops, to chicken, from seafood to giant potjiekos pots filled with traditional delicacies you can eat all you like! But be sure to leave some space for desserts like koeksusters, milktart and homemade ice cream! You can call them on 022 772 1564.
Paternoster Hotel: If you’re into people watching then this is your spot. The service is sometimes a bit too slow, but it is worth the wait if you’re looking for a decent calamari or a solid burger. A visit to their famous Panty Bar is also a must. After lunch, take a look around the town – there are some terrific little shops and galleries. Tietiesbaai is just down the road as well which offers awesome photographic opportunities. If you have some time on your hands go for a tour of the Cape Columbine Lighthouse. Understanding the guide is somewhat challenging as you make your way up to the top of the lighthouse, but it’s definitely worth taking the tour. And for crayfish lovers, well, you’ll need some good negotiating skills to deal with the local fisherman… Call the Paternoster Hotel on 022 7522 703.
Langebaan and surrounds will keep you extremely busy if you’re looking to explore the great outdoors. Try these places for an unforgettable day out.
WEST COAST NATIONAL PARK
Seeberg: About a 10-minute drive from Langebaan-on-Sea lies Seeberg inside the West Coast National Park with it’s tiny little house perched high on a massive rock. It offers incredible panoramics of the Lagoon and on a clear day you can see Table Mountain in the distance.
Bird Hides: There are a number of bird hides in the park, but our favourite is the first one to your right as you enter into Geelbek. The walk down to this particular hide is spectacular as you cross over the wetlands. If you do go, early morning or late afternoon at low tide is best. Pack a picnic, relax and take your camera or binoculars for an absolute feast of birdlife.
Sand dunes: The dunes in the park are a must visit. Park your car at Duinepos and take the fairly gentle 20-minute stroll up to the dunes. Watch out for ostriches and snakes (the Cape Cobra and Puffadder are very active in the summer).
Kraalbaai: Next stop is Kraalbaai. In the summer months it can get extremely busy with watersport enthusiasts so you’ll need to get there early.
16 Mile Beach: This is the longest, uninterrupted sandy beach in South Africa and is magnificent to walk along, either in the hot summer months or in winter after the big Cape storms. The flotsam and jetsam you’ll find there is incredible. A walk to the wreck takes about 50 minutes, one way.
Postberg: Postberg is only open in August and September of each year and is extremely popular for those with a love of wild flowers in bloom and gently meandering herds of Eland. Try and visit Postberg on a weekday though because weekends tend to bring long queues of traffic.
Spreeu-Walle: Not many people know that this place actually exists (except for the most ardent of fishermen). It has a few paths that lead from the car park down to the beach. The beach itself has a lot of very crumbly rocks (be careful when you walk here). The trick is to get down onto the beach and then walk all the way along until you get to the iron ore harbour wall. Take along some water and some food – you’ll need it.
Sunny Park: A huge hit for kids with its trampolines, jumping castles, snooker tables, waterslide and go-karts. It’s about a 5-minute walk from Langebaan-on-Sea.
Veldrif: The sleepy town of Veldrif is situated about a half hour drive from Langebaan. Take a stroll around its working harbour or enjoy lunch and a beer in the serenity of Bokkom Laan with its quaint curio shops and old-style jetties. Veldrif is also home to the mouth of the Berg River which plays host to the finish line of the Berg River Canoe Marathon each year in July.
Tietiesbaai: Plenty of exploring opportunities for the kids (take bicycles and fishing rods as well). You really can spend an inordinate amount of time looking around here so if you’re going for the day, pack in your braai gear and be prepared to really settle in. In December it’s absolutely packed so unless you intend on camping for a few days it’s best to visit the area out of season when it’s well and truly deserted.
St Helena Bay Harbour: The entrance fee is a mere R5-00 if the staff at the entry point feel motivated enough to ask you for it! During the snoek season, you can buy your fish directly from the boats as they pull into the harbour. The fishermen make up every colour of the rainbow nation and their language is just as colourful so block your children’s ears or they’ll leave with a very interesting vocabulary. If you have a camera, take one because there are always some interesting photo opportunities.
Langebaan Main Beach: Very early morning just as the sun begins to rise is arguably the best time to go down to the seashore. The walk down Langebaan Beach is soul-uplifting and the people you pass are always cheerful and friendly. Fishing in the summer months is also good here. Use prawn and cast your line on the incoming tide or chances are you’ll go home empty handed. As far as kite-surfing goes, this is an absolute mecca. Take a listen to all the accents around you and you’ll very soon realise that Langebaan Lagoon now has some serious global appeal.