Travel

South Africa: The West Coast

Great as the Garden Route is, there’s an even more striking stretch of road to travel along in South Africa. The West Coast offers amazing seafood and even better viewsMonday, 8 April 2019

By Heather Richardson
A modern spin on seafood along the West Coast.

You say West Coast, but where abouts is it?
A 90-minute drive from Cape Town, the West Coast is a local favourite for a restorative weekend away.

What can I do there?
Hike or bike trails through fynbos (shrubby heathland), or visit the icy waters of Langebaan Lagoon for kayaking and sailing. West Coast National Park is great for spring wildflowers (go between August and September when the blooms are at their peak) while southern right whales cruise the coast (August-November). In Paternoster, a sleepy fishing village, it’s all about unwinding with good food, good wine and reviving beach walks.

Where shall I eat?
Wolfgat is one of South Africa’s best restaurants where chef Kobus van der Merwe’s menus celebrate ingredients foraged in Paternoster’s Strandveld (beach vegetation). Start with a flute of MCC fizz, then savour tjokka (calamari) with wild garlic marsala and slangbessies (wild berry); West Coast oysters with kelp and dune celery; Strandveld lamb with succulent brakvygie leaves and nectarines with smoking wild sage. Garth Almazan’s new Leeto also serves a West Coast-inspired menu, while Noisy Oyster and Voorstrandt are two other popular dining spots.

Where can I stay?
West Coast National Park’s dark skies allow for excellent stargazing from the six-bedroom Abrahamskraal Cottage. In Paternoster, fishing cottages double as boutique guesthouses. Sugar Shack is minutes from the beach while the four-room Oystercatchers’ Haven overlooks the shore just outside town. Central Abalone Hotel & Spa houses eclectic art and decor; next door, Gilcrest Place offers three comfortable, marine-influenced suites, two with sea views.

Published in the April 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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