Friday, June 3, 2011

Unique Cape Town Add-On


The West Coast region of the Cape is a friendly and less commercialized area, encompassing many little paths less travelled. The region extends from Yzerfontein in the south, via the coastal towns of Langebaan, Saldanha Bay, Paternoster, St Helena Bay, Elands Bay to Lamberts Bay in the north.

This region falls within the internationally recognized Cape Floral Kingdom, which is characterized by its exceptional richness in plant species and floral diversity. The favourable weather conditions of the region are conducive to the agriculture of wheat, citrus, vegetables and wine which has shaped the landscape and contributed to the relaxed and genuine farm-style atmosphere of the area. Whitewashed fishing villages dot the coastline and seafood such as kreef (crayfish/ lobster), snoek (fish) and mussels are in abundance. For those folk wanting an action packed weekend of water sports and hiking, or simply want to escape the city and take a step back in time to enjoy a quieter pace, the West Coast is a peaceful pleasure to visit.

This tour can be booked on a self-drive or a guided basis. For more details on this itinerary, nett/commissionable rates and availability, please contact New Frontiers Tours or Kusini Collection.

Day 1 - Paternoster
Depart Cape Town, taking a leisurely drive up the R27 via Bloubergstrand, famed for its iconic view of Table Mountain and the mecca for wind and kite surfing enthusiasts. Your destination is !Khwa ttu, the unique San Education and Cultural centre situated south of Yzerfontein. The centre is focussed on the ‘Celebration of the San culture, present and past, for a better future’ and during your 3 hour tour you will gain a fascinating insight as told by the descendants of the first indigenous people of Southern Africa. Situated on an 850ha nature reserve, you will have the chance to glimpse some game species such as Eland and Oryx as well as indigenous fynbos flora which still play an important part in the lives of the San. You will learn about the many skills developed to be a successful hunter as well as the social aspects of daily life in the replica village. A moving and thought provoking exhibition at the end of the tour will leave a lasting impression, while the arts and crafts shop will provide some authentic gifts to take home. In addition to the tours, the centre is also home to an Education Support Programme which provides a combination of traditional and formal education to those people living and working at !Khwa ttu. The ongoing workshops in literacy, entrepreneurship, tourism, marketing and community development will assist the San in acquiring new income generating skills to enter the modern work place and give their children a chance to revitalize the traditional life supported by tourism revenues.

You will then make your way to Abalone Guesthouse, situated in the quaint fishing village of Paternoster. This typical thatch and white-walled house is set within an intricate indigenous garden and 8 of the 10 suites have sweeping seaviews. The lounge and the Africa Bar present modern pieces, mixed with antiques and rugs and the old silver lives alongside crystal. The Saffron restaurant showcases a menu of typical West Coast cuisine and fresh local foods and a Chef’s Table sits comfortably in the kitchen, where up to 10 guests can enjoy dining in situ. A rooftop jacuzzi is ideal for sundowners while a swimming pool provides welcome relief in the summer months.

Day 2 - Paternoster

You will have this day at leisure to explore the sleepy fishing village of Paternoster. Sea kayaking, whale, dolphin, seal and penguin watching; walks along the sandy beach or among the boulders or simply relaxing by the pool – Paternoster is the perfect escape.

Day 3
Breakfast & Lunch

This morning after breakfast you will head south to the West Coast National Park and its focal point, the Langebaan lagoon. Thousands of migrating birds visit the lagoon and surrounding fynbos, particularly during the summer months and spring is the ideal time to witness the tapestry of multi-hued flowers. After working up a healthy appetite, you’ll head to Die Strandloper, a unique seafood restaurant situated right on the beach at Langebaan. The menu incorporates the best in West Coast cuisine, with mussels, waterbloemmetjie bredie, braaied snoek and kreef on offer! Eat as little or as much as you like – this is casual dining with 10 courses served over the afternoon. This evening you will make your way back to Cape Town, batteries re-charged!

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