West Coast Culture Route : Swartland – West Coast Peninsula – Bergrivier – Cederberg – Namaqua West Coast – Swartland – Cape Town.

Tour highlights

  • !Khwa ttu
  • West Coast National Park
  • West Coast Fossil Park
  • Rocherpan Nature Reserve
  • Baboon Point
  • Bird Island
  • Muisboskerm
  • Rooibos Tea House
  • Cederberge
  • Darling Brew
  • Evita se Perron
  • Groote Post

DAY 1: DISCOVER THE SPIRIT OF THE SAN AND WEST COAST NATIONAL PARK

Travel north from Cape Town via the R27 to !Khwa ttu, a San Cultural and Education Centre. A san-guided tour is awaiting you which is the best way to learn more about the first people on the West Coast. Your San guide will not only enrich your knowledge about the history of the San but also introduce you to the medicinal plants that they use, and teach you how to make fire with just two sticks.

After lunch, your journey will continue past the West Coast National Park for breath-taking views, fresh air from the ocean. Your scenic drive brings you to the beautiful coastal town, Langebaan. After checking-in at the Windtown Hotel in Langebaan you can stroll down to the lagoon and enjoy a sundowner before enjoying supper at any of the local restaurants.

DAY 2: WEST COAST LIFESTYLE – NOW AND TODAY

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel before exploring the beautiful West Coast National Park. You will get an opportunity to admire a replica of Eve’s footprint, which dates back to 117,000 years ago. It was discovered in 1995 and is one of the oldest known fossilized footprints of a modern human being.

Visit Postberg private nature reserve (only open in August and September) and experience the wild West Coast Flowers like you have never seen before. The park is also a birders haven with 283 different bird species along the Langebaan Lagoon, a Ramsar site that is a wetland of international importance. From there you will continue your journey to the West Coast Fossil Park where the extraordinary discoveries will blow you away. Fossils of the African bear, sabre-tooth cat,

short-necked giraffe, which first dwelled the West Coast plains and are now extinct, can be seen here. Learn more how this was possible and what other exotic animals roamed the West Coast 10 000 years ago.

Enjoy lunch at the Geelbek Restaurant in the historic manor house built in 1744 and was declared a national monument. The restaurant serves traditional Weskus food and delightful wine.. From here you will drive to Paternoster a quaint fishing village, and book into Paternoster Lodge, a 4* Guest House overlooking the beach. Dinner will be enjoyed at one of the town’s most known seafood restaurants on the beach, where you will enjoy the catch of the day.

DAY 3: FISHING VILLAGES OF THE WEST COAST

After breakfast, you will drive to Velddrif and visit the SA Fisheries Museum, the only one of its kind in South Africa. From there you will visit Bokkomlaan, where three generations of anglers still operate to catch Mullets and dry out to make the local and unique delicatessen, Bokkoms. Lunch will be enjoyed at the Vishuis restaurant that used to be a factory to salt the Mullets in big tanks.

Your afternoon will not be complete without a visit to Rocherspan Nature Reserve. Birds and flowers come together in the West Coast. You will see anything from a pied kingfisher, greater flamingos to a fish eagle on the banks of the Bergrivier. Dinner and overnight at Draaihoek lodge. For a comfortable stay and some local entertainment by your host.

DAY 4: BABOON POINT A DECLARED HERITAGE SITE

Draaihoek lodge will dish up a scrumptious breakfast. Pack up your bags and drive to Baboon Point in Elandsbaai, which is a declared heritage site. There is no other area along the entire coastline of the West Coast of South Africa that concentrates a diversity of heritage resources of such significance due to the San rock paintings and artefacts that were found there.

After your eventful visit to Baboon Point drive to Lambert’s Bay and stop for lunch at Muisbosskerm, Bosduifklip or Isabella’s, restaurant, right on the waterfront. A visit to the Bird Island is necessary. Here you will find the biggest colony of Cape gannets and crowned cormorants.

Returning to Draaihoek Lodge, enjoy a stroll along the open desolated beach which is the perfect setting for a sundowner before dinner.

Overnight again at Draaihoek Lodge.

DAY 5: STRASSBERGERS & LOCALS

Enjoy a traditional West Coast breakfast with your host at Draaihoek Lodge before continuing your journey towards the Cederberg region. The region offers a rich natural heritage, fruit-filled valley and towering mountains. This is also the

Rooibos tea paradise and the only place in the world where this healthy plant grows naturally. En route to Clanwilliam you will stop at Elandsberg Eco-Tourism farm. To experience how Rooibos tea is farmed and produced. Your visit to Clanwilliam will not be complete without experiencing the Rieldans, this unique and cultural heritage of the Khoi Khoi and San people is still alive, and you can experience it while enjoying a tasty meal at Floris Restaurant.

After we visit the Strassbergers Velskoen Factory. The astounding rich history of this shoe factory is unique and it has been in operation since 1834. Here you will experience how to make genuine handmade leather shoes by the best in the business.

We will spend the night among the mountains in one of Clanwilliam’s guesthouses for a comfortable stay and enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants.

DAY 6: MAJESTIC CEDERBERG MOUNTAINS & ROOIBOS

After breakfast, we are ready for an eventful day in the Cederberg Mountains. The Cederberg is one of the richest archaeological sites in the world, and the origin of modern humans is written on its rocks. Our drive to Wupperthal will take us through areas that will get your adrenalin pumping if you enjoy rock climbing or hiking. Wupperthal is a quaint Moravian Mission Station. Here you can learn how the goodness of Rooibos tea is packed and at the Red Cedar, you will learn how products such as soap are manufactured with Rooibos.

After lunch at Lekkerbekkie Restaurant, we will experience a donkey cart ride through the mountains and return for a home cooked dinner and a good night’s rest in Wupperthal.

Day 7: NAMAQUA WEST COAST WINES

A scrumptious breakfast at Lekkerbekkie will set the tone for the Namaqua West Coast Region. A place with endless horizons, clear skies with bright

stars and globally acclaimed wine triumph. Klawer Wine Cellar is the gateway to the Olifants River Valley and offers a warm and friendly welcome to visitors. The cellar’s aim is to produce top quality wines through the limited production of cultivars such as Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage.

Lunch will be at De Keldery, Namaqua Wine Cellar, while tasting their authentic wines. After lunch you will drive to Doringbaai to experience a typical Weskus fishing village with a wine cellar on ocean level (Fryer’s Cove), the only one in the world that we know of in the old harbour. Here you can also snack on delicious cheese platters, snoek pate and dried figs while tasting the award winning wines of Fryer’s Cove.

You can sleep over at Letsatsi Lodge in Vanrhynsdorp and enjoy the dinner at the Red Ox steakhouse. This steakhouse serves a wide variety of culinary delights and superior coffees. There is an old Catholic church at the venue dating from 1904 and the only Catholic church where Afrikaans is used to describe the murals in the church. The original organ and wooden benches has been restored and is still in use, mostly for weddings.

DAY 8: !XAM ROCK ART AT STADSAAL CAVES

After a hearty breakfast at Lestatsi Lodge we will hit the road back to Citrusdal to visit the Stadsaal Caves. The caves are a series of ancient inter-leading caves in the Cederberg Wilderness that hold excellent examples of !Xam rock art. The !Xam lived in the Cederberg for over 500 000 years, but stopped painting about 200 years ago. The caves are called Stadsaal (Afrikaans for city hall) possibly for the impressively spacious domed cave, into which

lead several small passageways and ‘foyers’ that easily remind one of a city hall.

After some insight to the Weskus indigenous people, it is just right to sleep in the mountains and you will make your way to the 4* Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort. The resort is nestled among the Cederberg Mountains and amidst citrus orchards, fields of rooibos, buchu and wildflowers, this quaint hillside lodge captures the breath-taking scenery of the natural landscape.

Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort boasts an onsite restaurant and offers guests a relaxed atmosphere, personalised service and simple elegance.

There are a variety of experiences to do from Piekenierskloof Mountain Lodge which include zip lining, 4×4, quad biking, rock climbing and mountain bike trails for the more adventurous, to lazy walks.

You’ll have an eventful day at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort as well as some good food and wine and a comfortable luxury bed to sleep in.

DAY 9: LOCAL GEMS IN THE SWARTLAND REGION

Your journey to the Swartland and Bergrivier regions is all about little rural gems. Your first stop is at Indie Ale. A local brewery that currently brew three different beers, including 24-River Blonde Ale, the Cochoqua Red Ale and the Porterville Porter, but it has ambitions of

becoming a spirit distillery. You will be enticed on a tour and tasting with the owners. Get comfortable at Indie Ale and enjoy a delicious pizza lunch with some live entertainment. Remember to book in advance.

Moorreesburg is about an hour away from Indie Ale, and here you’ll find out why it’s the bread basket of the Swartland region. You will visit the Wheat Industry Museum, one of only two in the world, to relive the history of wheat from the days of Pharaoh in Egypt until today.

Set for a relaxed evening, continue your journey to Riebeek Valley to the Grand Royal Hotel, where you’ll spend your night. The Royal Hotel is the oldest and most colonial hotel of the Western Cape and offers the most beautiful and most luxurious accommodation in Riebeek Kasteel. They have a 150-year-old colonial pub with adjacent smoking restaurant, non-smoking restaurant, lounge and (weather permitting) a stoep, two outside terraces, and outside bar with terrace and outside lounge.

Dinner is served at one of the exotic restaurants in the Valley and astounding amount to choose from. But make sure you book your spot to avoid any disappointments.

DAY 10: KASTEELBERGE & DARLING’S IN DARLING

Enjoy breakfast at the Royal Hotel. You cannot leave the Valley without some proper olive-and wine tasting. The wine and the olives is what this characteristic area is well known for. At the foot of the Kasteelberge (mountain range) lies Het Vlock Kasteel, an excellent place to taste olives where all olives are gently handpicked and processed.

After a well spend morning we drive to Malmesbury where a walk along the historic route will guide you through beautifully restored buildings depicting Victorian, Edwardian and Cape Dutch architecture.

You will drive to the town of Darling where Evita se Perron stand tall as a must visit on your bucket list. You can experience real South African culture from the renowned SA personality Pieter-Dirk Uys. He is particularly well known for his character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita), a white Afrikaner socialite and self-proclaimed political activist. Uys converted the old railway station of Darling, where he now lives, into a cabaret venue called Evita se Perron (Perron is Afrikaans for station platform) and performs there regularly. After lunch at Evita se Perron You will visit the Darling Country Museum, where the lifestyle and growth of the village over 150 years is reflected.

Tickle your taste buds with some local craft beer at Darling Brew. Darling Brew is one of South Africa’s first well established and award-winning microbreweries. Each beer in the range has unique characteristics and an inspiring story dedicated to the endangered animals which it honours and supports through various conservation programmes by donating funds.

From here you will experience wildlife and serene nature on a safari drive at Buffelsfontein Game and Nature Reserve, on the R27. A delicious meal awaits at the restaurant, on return from the safari drive and after dinner you will settle in and relax in your cozy and luxury accommodation. Do make sure not to miss the beautiful night sky for an amazing evening of stargazing.

DAY 11: GROOTE POST COUNTRY ESTATE

Your journey is coming to an end, but not before you visit Groote Post after breakfast. Groote Post is a historic 18th century farm on the Cape West Coast where winemaking traditions have been revived by the Pentz family. Take an easy walk around the farm and watch out for some remarkable birds on site. Time

your arrival back at the main house which also house Hilda’s Kitchen. The only restaurant in South Africa to be nominated by Eat out 2013 in both ‘Best Bistro’ and ‘Best Country Style’ categories in its region.

Your journey comes to an end with a scenic drive back to Cape Town will leave lasting memories.