A beautiful glimmer of hope following a very dry year for South Africa – This year’s flower season unveiled one of the most spectacular flowering seasons that the West Coast, Namakwaland and Richtersveld region has seen in many years.
The spectacular West Coast flowers were in full bloom from August to early October 2016 as the Namakwaland displayed, once again, a turncoat of colour moving into its warm period following the winter months. This sets a fantastic tone and lays the groundwork for the coming 2017 West Coast Flower season.
This flowering season attracted a tremendous amount of tourists to the Langebaan area, seeking the peace and tranquility, wildlife and birdflocks that can only be found in this unique form, period and location – selectively and freely created by nature on a yearly basis.
Here follows a brief display of our incredible and awe-inspiring West Coast Flower period:
“Langebaan also has so much more to offer its nature-loving visitors while spending time in the beautiful outdoors!”…
Here are a few items, only to mention a few, that will get you started on your visit to Langebaan during the yearly West Coast Flowering season!
Wonderful wildlife along the Atlantic shore: This is also an excellent place to go whale-watching between August and October when southern right whales cruise and breach along the coastline. The whales are attracted to the rich feeding grounds created by the cold Benguela current which moves up the West Coast, and come in to calve in the relatively sheltered environment of Saldanha Bay
Local flora and fauna: If you love the idea of escaping from civilisation into wild, challenging surroundings, then the fantastic West Coast National Park is for you! Holiday Guest House Langebaan is situated a mere 6km from the entrance and 2km from the first landscape views of the park. The park offers a unique and fascinating peek into the West Coast ecosystem, and it would be a terrible shame not to have an idea of what you’re privileged to be looking at. the visitors’ map that you are issued with (free of charge) on entry to the park also features a ‘tick list’ of animals and birds in the park – complete with photos for identification.
The Postberg Nature Reserve, also know as the Postberg Flower Reserve, is situated within the West Coast National Park in Langebaan. It is closed for most of the year, but is opened to the public during spring (August – September) where one can view the awe-inspiring, exceptional carpet of spring flowers in the reserve. Another positive aspect of the limited opening times is that there is game here that hasn’t quite learned to shy away from humans. Keep an eye out for zebra, wildebeest, antelope, ostrich, mongoose, rock hyrax, snakes, birds, and tortoises. The picnic and braai spots along the coast are fantastic for whale watching.
The unique West Coast Fossil park: You could be forgiven for not envisaging that you would ever be tempted to visit a disused mine site on your trip to South Africa, but perhaps the West Coast Fossil Park will make you change your mind! The fossil park is located approximately 150 km north of Cape Town (a 1.5-2 hour drive) on the site of the old Chemfos mine which mined phosphate for fertiliser manufacture. During mining, a huge number of mammal bones were unearthed, which provide a fascinating insight into the ecosystem of the region during the late Miocene/early Pliocene (circa 5.2 million years ago) – a blink of an eye in terms of geological time. The mine was finally closed in 1993, and the site was deemed to be of such scientific significance that it was handed over to Iziko (the South African museum).
Fishing: The lagoon was zoned as a protected area in 1976 and was later declared as a National Park and Marine Protected Area (MPA). MPAs are declared by law to safeguard the ocean’s diverse marine life. The lagoon was divided into three sections where fishing is allowed in zone A. Catching of linefish in terms of a recreational fishing permit or netfishing permit is allowed in this zone on a permit obtained from the West Coast Parks Board. Well-found species include Galjoen, Hottentot, Kabeljou, Mackerel, Mullet and Steentjie. Recommended bait to use includes hokka, crabs, mussels, limpets, redbait, musselworms, prawns, octopus, pilchards, worms, shrimps and vegetable matter.
Offroad Cycling: The West Coast National Park mountain bike trail is located on the Langebaan Lagoon. The MTB trail is a unique way to experience mountain biking in the West Coast National Park. Options include an easy(13km) and extended intermediate(18km). This trail is very scenic and is not technically challenging. It is a pleasant ride with great views and a unique opportunity to cycle in a national park. Out in the open it is like a biking safari that lets you feel and smell the park and see and hear the birds and animals. This mountain bike trail allows you to enjoy many experiences from an intimate up close feel in amongst the fynbos, to the breathtaking views of the Lagoon from top of Seeberg. A variety of animals can be spotted, including caracal, bat eared foxes, porcupines, duiker, bontebok, springbok, ostriches, and a world class selection of birds.
Kayaking: The Langebaan Lagoon and surrounding waters offer some incredible paddling experiences. The Lagoon is a RAMSAR site and is home to many flamingo’s, penguins, oystercatchers, whales, dolphins, along with nearly 25% of Southern Africa’s bird life. The waters of the Lagoon are not open to the extreme elements, so paddling on the Lagoon is easy and fun, and not to mention safe! A development program for previously disadvantaged kids is also run in Langebaan during the 1st, 2nd and 4th school terms. Langebaan plays host to one of the Cape Point Qualifiers where paddlers paddle out of the Lagoon on their way to the finish at Jacob’s Bay.