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Cape West Coast Accommodation

Mountains, citrus, golden sand and crayfish!

The region known as the Cape West Coast stretches from just North of Cape Town as far as the border with the Northern Cape and inland following the Northern Cape border to Touws River, and including the Cederberg Range of mountains.

The main coastal town of the Cape West Coast is Saldanha which, together with the Bay of the same name, gets its name from the Portuguese admiral Antonio de Saldanha who anchored his fleet in what is now known as Table Bay in the year 1503, naming it after himself. It was not until 1601 that the name was transferred to its present location. Saldanha Bay played a very important role during the second World War as an assembly point for convoys because of its strategic position and safe anchorage. Today Saldanha Bay is an important iron ore export harbour as well as being an important fishing port. A brand new steel mill has recently been built in Saldanha and the bay houses the South African Military Academy and a naval training base.

Immediately to the South of Saldanha on the Cape West Coast lies Langebaan and the Langebaan Lagoon, home to the West Coast National Park. Here the still waters of the lagoon with its early morning mists shelter thousands of seabirds and vast concentrations of migrant waders that have flown here from the cold northern hemisphere winter. This 20000 hectare National Park includes the offshore islands of Schaapen, Malgas, Marcus and Jutten and the salt marsh and mud flats are home to tens of thousands of birds. Over one third of the world's population of Cape Gannet breed on Malgas Island.

To the East of the Cape West Coast and halfway to the Northern Cape border lie the Cederberg range of mountains along with the Cederberg Wilderness Area. This 71000 hectare area runs from the Pakhuis Pass and the Middleberg Pass. Visitors will need a permit to enter this area and these are issued by a forester at the Algeria Forest Station. These mountains were once covered with the rare Clanwilliam Cedar trees but many of these were either burnt or felled by early pioneers. The Cederberg are home to many natural rock formations, including a Maltese Cross, the Wolfberg Arch, Cathedral Rock and the Pulpit and Finger Rocks. The flora of the Cederberg are quite unique - the snow protea is found nowhere else on Earth.

The town of Wellington is in the extreme South of the Cape West Coast region lying in a valley known as Val du Charron, or Valley of the Wagon Makers after the trade of many of the early French Huguenots who settled in the area at the end of the 17th Century. There are several excellent wine cellars in the Wellington area where the visitor can enjoy wine tasting. Wellington offers the visitor a magical and captivating atmosphere and friendly people.

The town of Malmesbury, named after the first Earl of Malmesbury, is a few kilometers to the northwest of Wellington. Originally developed around a hot spring and drawing a huge number of visitors to its baths, these have fallen into disuse and are now part of a large shopping complex. The surrounding areas draw crowds of visitors from all over the world in Springtime to view the breathtaking sight of millions of wildflowers.

Think of fresh seafood, combine it with the Cape West Coast and you will be drawn to Lambert's Bay, a seafood mecca just a couple of hours' drive to the North of Cape Town. Lambert's Bay is a holiday venue set among some of the most breathtaking scenery of South Africa. Just off the coast here is Bird Island, home to seals, penguins and cormorants and bird watchers from all over the world.
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Explore in pictures...

Only 6 km from Citrusdal, Waterfall Farm is a working Citrus farm of stunning beauty and fantastic views. Originally called Fonteinbult, the numerous springs coming out the ground pay justice to this name
Fruit Stall on N7, north of Citrusdal on the way to Clanwilliam, Cape West Coast
Awesome view from R303, between Ceres & Citrusdal
A typical view in the Citrusdal region
View over Ceres Valley from Gydo Pass on the R303
Dutch Reformed Church at Clanwilliam
The Clanwilliam museum is housed in the Old Gaol (old jail) situated at the end of the Main Road. The museum holds the history of this the 7th oldest town in South Africa.
Great Trek Centennial memorial, built in 1938 in Clanwilliam to commemorate the Great Trek
Rooibos tea, is harvested in the fields, then, crushed, and separated, laid out to dry, then finally packaged for consumption, at the Groenkol Rooibos Farm, in The Clanwilliam District
Rear view of Groote Post Farmhouse , Malmesbury District. In 1752 it was already one of the most important farms in the vicinity of Malmesbury. 1814-1827 it was the home of Lord Charles Somerset
Front view of Groote Post Farm, Malmesbury District
Babiana rubrocyanea. Common Name: Baboon flower. The lily-shaped flowers are lavender with a bright purple centers, leaves are pleated and hairy
A proud Velddrif fisherman holds up a collection of Bokkoms, a local delicacy. Velddrift is known as Bokkom country, it is here that large schools of harders are netted and hung out to dry in the sun to become fish biltong
Mussel Point (Mike Taylor's Midden), Elands Bay. The midden (old dump associated with past human occupation) lies in the foreground and was excavated by archaeologist Mike Taylor. In 2009 it was declared a provincial heritage site
Diep Kloof Rock Shelter archaeological site, Elands Bay
Archaeological Excavation, Diep Kloof Rock Shelter, Elands Bay
Colourful local eating and drinking hole at Elands Bay
World Heritage site - Verlorenvlei Heritage Village, Elands Bay
Kersefontein is a farm in the Hopefield area. Established in 1744, and owned by the Melck family since 1770
Paternoster - it's like taking a step back in time. Old world charm on the Cape West Coast
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If great seafood, fantastic seaviews and green tables are your thing - head straight to Paternoster
The fisherman's village of Paternoster
Paternoster, and a fishing boat called "little flower"
Tietiesbaai (Tieties Bay), near Cape Columbine, SW of Paternoster, Cape West Coast
Cape Gannet (Morus capensis) breeding colony in Bird Island Nature Reserve at Lambert's Bay
In the quaint fishing village of Lambert's Bay, only the sound of the fishing boats signaling their departure will wake you in the morning. Lambert's Bay is often referred to as the ‘diamond of the West Coast’ of South Africa
Entrance to the harbour at Lambert's Bay, as seen from Bird Island
Pelicans soaking up the last of the sun's warmth at Lambert's Bay
Looking across the crystal clear water of Saldanha Bay at Langebaan
Langebaan as viewed from Postberg, West Coast National Park, with Engelsman se Baken (Englishman's Beacon) mountains in the distance
Saldanha Bay at Langebaan, Cape West Coast
The Langebaan area offers so many hiking options. No matter which direction, the scenery is always breathtaking!
Dutch Reformed Church, Kerk Street, Philadelphia. Situated just off the N7 between Cape Town and Malmesbury, the quaint little town is worth the slight detour
Dutch Reformed Church in Porterville, Cape West Coast
Riebeeck West in the Cape West Coast region
Valley at Riebeek Kasteel, Cape West Coast
The Dutch Reformed church in Riebeek Kasteel, Cape West Coast
Oude Kerk (old church) Museum, Main Street, Riebeek Kasteel, Cape West Coast
Oval shaped fishermen's cottages, Saldanha. Built by George Goode Busch in 1918
Paradise Beach at Langebaan, Cape West Coast
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Mykonos, near Langebaan, Cape West Coast
Broken wind-powered water pump outside of Vredenburg. The sign "loosely" reads - "pumped to death"
Beautiful views in the Vredendal district
The fishing village at Yzerfontein has been redeveloped in recent years and is now a booming tourist destination
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