Outdoor, South Africa

7 reasons to visit West Coast National Park

About an hour outside Cape Town there is a little piece of heaven called West Coast National Park, a small corner of South Africa filled with beauty.

The beautiful turquoise water of the Langebaan Lagoon is certainly the main attraction of the park, but it is not the only one. Between white dunes, rare fynbos, green wetlands and the wild ocean coast, there is much more to experience!

The West Coast National Park is a paradise for watersport enthusiasts, hikers, cyclists, and nature-lovers alike. And it is also the perfect place to relax.

I decided to visit the West Coast National Park when the windy day started to be sparse and kiting was no more possible, and I am so glad I did! I had an absolute bliss during my time exploring the park!

In this article you can find out the 7 reasons why you should visit the West Coast National Park!

READ MORE: Kruger National Park – How to plan a self-drive safari

1. Views are stunning

The views during your drives in the West Coast National Park will leave you speechless. The best views of the park are offered by the Seeberg viewpoint. From here, you can see the Cederberg mountains and the southern part of the Langebaan Lagoon.

Seeberg viewpoint
Seeberg viewpoint

Perched at the top of the granite boulders at the Seeberg viewpoint, there is a little historical, stone cottage. In the interior of this small cottage, you can read the history of the viewpoint.

Seeberg viewpoint
Cottage at Seeberg viewpoint

Seeberg Viewpoint is closest to the northern Langebaan park entrance and the way to get there is well marked.

If you get lost, you can always have a look at the map of the park.

2. The sand dune system of the park is amazing

The dune system is the best-kept secret of the West Coast. When I tried to collect information about the park I didn’t find much about the dune system. From the information available on the park leaflet, it seems that it is not possible to visit the dunes unless you decide to walk the 14kms trail around them. Well, it’s not like this!

A 20 minutes walk can indeed bring you in the middle of these breathtaking ancient dunes.

Dunes in the West Coast National Park

To get there, follow the indications for the Duinepos Chalets. Once there, you can decide if you want to do the 14km trails which you can find on the map, or the shorter David Bester trail, which is about 1.5km long and brings you straight to the dunes.

3. The beaches are a paradise on earth

The best spots to soak up the sun inside the West Coast National Park are Preekstoel, with its fancy rock formations, and Kraalbaai, that with its immense white beach is a perfect spot for a braai or a picnic. These beaches are well sheltered from the wind, so they are the perfect place to relax when the wind is too strong in Langebaan.

Preekstoel
Soaking up sun at Preekstoel

The dreamy turquoise Langebaan Lagoon, inside the West Coast National Park, is one of the few places with warm water on the West Coast. It is the perfect place to enjoy a nice swim in an amazingly still, crystal-clear (and not freezing) waters! Plus, the very shallow water makes this place a safe paradise also for kids.

4. The wildlife is wonderful

The West Coast National Park is home of gemsboks, zebras and bonteboks and many bird species, which can be observed from the four hides inside the park.

Now, I know that bird watching sounds pretty lame, but please, listen to me and spend some of your time in the park to explore the hides for bird watching. I went into the hide which is beautifully located on top of the water of the lagoon and it was an amazing experience.

Bird hide on the Langebaan Lagoon
Bird hide on the Langebaan Lagoon

The atmosphere inside the place is quiet and calming, plus it offers a premium view over the flamingos which inhabit the lagoon.

This hide is located just beyond the Geelbek Restaurant and Visitor’s Centre. You can reach it walking from the restaurant for about 5 minutes.

Bird hide at West Coast National Park
Bird hide at West Coast National Park

5. The ocean coast is breathtaking

On the northernmost points on the peninsula within the West Coast National Park, there is Tsaarbank. An endless dune beach by the Ocean. The rocks by the beach are also a prime spot from where you might be lucky enough to see whales swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. The best months for whale watching are from August to October.

Tsaarbank
Tsaarbank

The way to this amazing spot is well marked, but if you get lost, you can always use the map of the park.

6. It’s a delight for watersport enthusiasts

Zone A of the Langebaan Lagoon is a paradise for watersport lovers! But, most of all, it is a paradise for kiters (like me 😉 )

There are two kite spots: Main Beach, which is in the mouth of the Langebaan Lagoon, and Shark Bay, which is located inside the lagoon.  

Don’t worry, there are no “dangerous sharks” in Shark Bay. The bay got its name from its numerous and harmless sand-sharks, not the greater and whiter variety.

So, there are no sharks, no waves, consistent wind, warm water. I couldn’t ask for more!

But the lagoon is also perfect to enjoy other sports: from waterskiing to fishing, kayaking, snorkelling, SUPing, boating – and anything else you can think of.

Main Beach in Langebaan
Kiters at Main Beach in Langebaan

And if you don’t fancy some action, you can always stroll along the pristine beaches to relax watching other people in action.

7. You can complete the visit to the park with an unforgettable food experience

On the beach in Langebaan there is a super special place, the Die Strandloper. A restaurant where no cutlery is allowed and you can bring your own wine.

Here, you get to enjoy amazing views, while experiencing local music and 10 courses of simply cooked but delicious seafood. But be careful of the delicious homemade oven bread. Together with the delicious jam it’s addictive and will kill your appetite to get through all the food.

Listen to me. Just book and go!

Die Strandloper
Die Strandloper

How to get to the West Coast National Park

The West Coast National Park can be easily accessed via the Culture Route and Foodie Route. Either via the R27 gate or via Park Street, on the Langebaan side of the Park, where the second gate is situated.

Opening times

The park is open from 07:00am to 19:00pm from September to March and from 07:00am to 18:00pm from April to August. The Postberg Section is only open during August and September (flower season) from 09:00am – 17:00pm (flower season). You can check the updated opening times on the SANParks website.

Conservation fees

On the SANParks website it is possible to find also all the details about the entrance fees. Keep in mind that you can always buy the Wild Card to have unlimited access to all the SANParks for one year. Here, you can find the price of the card together with the list of parks which are included in the card price. Just like the conservation fees, you can pay for a Wild Card at the gate of every SAN park. If you prefer, you can get the Wild Card in advance from the SANParks website.

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