Take a drive along the West Coast, and you’ll be amazed not just by the wondrous beauty, but also by the incredible diversity of landscape for which the Cape is so unique. From the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters of the coast, to the flourishing and diverse plant life in the West Coast National Park, to the arid landscape and sacred solitude of the Cederberg, you could be travelling between different worlds.
Such natural diversity is fitting for a region that also has a rich cultural heritage. San relics dating back thousands of years tell stories of a land before time, while the fishing villages that dot the coast bear the legacy of Portuguese and Dutch traders.
With so much to see and do in this region, where does one begin? West Coast Way has the answer, in the form of a road trip divided into planned routes, each of which showcases a specific aspect of the West Coast experience. They call it the “Roadtrip With The Most Twists”.
Six Routes; Six Experiences
The road trip is divided into six themed routes: Culture Route, Foodie Route, Tractor Route, Berg Route, Wild Route, and the recently added Cape Way Route.
The Culture Route showcases the rich heritage of the Cape West Coast, and includes stops at Melkbosstrand (where invading British troops landed in 1806), the Moravian Mission Station in Mamre, and the !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre where the San spirit is shared.
The Foodie Route focuses on the culinary delights of the region, with stops at seafood hotspots such as Saldanha Bay and Paternoster, as well as restaurants showcasing traditional South African cuisine, such as the one on Thali Thali Game Lodge, where potjiekos buffets, bobotie and kudu steak are the order of the day.
The Tractor Route immerses travellers in the natural beauty of the region, and includes stops at Hopefield, Darling and Koringberg – the bread basket of the Cape – with a final sojourn at Yzerfontein. Spend a night or two with Yzerfontein Accommodation, and make sure to take a walk along the 26-kilometer beach.
The Berg Route is a homage to the mountainous regions of the West Coast, and includes ziplining at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort (which also serves as a gateway to the Cederberg region), and a visit to Kardoesie N7 amid the Rooibos tea plantations.
The Wild Route is extensive, and includes stops at Bird Island Nature Reserve in Lambert’s Way, The Dunes, Clanwilliam and surfing hotspot Elands Bay.
The Cape Way is a comprehensive circular route encompassing an impressive 28 destinations – starting at the V&A Waterfront and ending in Durbanville. Stops along the way include the Robben Island and District Six Museums; Groot Constantia Wine Estate (the oldest wine-producing farm in South Africa); Boulders Beach (home to the famous African Penguin colony); SANCCOB at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve; the little known but must-visit Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha; Rondevlei Nature Reserve; whale-watching hotspot Hermanus; the apple country of Elgin, and so much more.
A Twist in the Tale
All six routes start in the heart of Cape Town, but where your journey takes you from there is up to you. This is because the “twists” refer to points on the road trip where two of the six planned routes meet, meaning the traveller has the choice to continue on the route they’re currently pursuing, or diverge onto one of the other five routes.
For example, the Culture Route takes you from The Lodge in Atlantic Beach in Melkbosstrand to the town of Yzerfontein, where it overlaps with the Tractor Route, giving you the option of continuing along the Culture Route to West Coast National Park, or following the Foodie Route to Club Mykonos or Darling Brew.
The road trip effectively becomes a Choose Your Own Adventure, with no two journeys being the same due to the numerous crossroads along the way.
What about accommodation?
West Coast Way has got you covered here too, as it’s formed partnerships with various accommodation providers along each route, enabling travellers to book their stays at these stopovers.
See you on the road!