West Coast

9 days / 8 nights
Paternoster – Clanwilliam - Springbok/Naries - Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve – Riebeek Kasteel
South Africa's rugged West Coast
Depart from Cape Town along the R27 towards South Africa’s rugged and untamed West Coast. For years the West Coast has been unknown to many visitors, but with the secrets of its unique rustic beauty and the charm and character of its people starting to be revealed, it is becoming more popular with travellers who enjoy discovering “hidden gems” and taking the road less travelled. Amongst other adventures on this tour, experience the simplicity and tranquillity of West Coast fishing villages, kilometres of Namakwaland daisies in season, coastal diamond mining and San rock paintings on dramatic mountain formations.
Paternoster is a fisherman's village littered with small wooden boats
Your first stop on this unique journey is the West Coast National Park, which now covers more than 30 000 ha, including the Langebaan lagoon. The reserve is known for its concentration of seabirds (more than 750000), as well as tortoises and antelopes species. One can either drive through or hike in the park and have a picnic or take lunch at a nearby restaurant. Drive on to to the peaceful and charming fishing village of Paternoster, were you will be staying for the next two nights. Paternoster, which means “Our Father”, took its name from the heartfelt prayers of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors centuries ago. The old white washed fishermen’s cottage, gives the visitor a feeling of stepping back in time. Here one can truly relax and unwind, by enjoying lazy long walks on the beach and exploring the coastline. Watch the fishermen navigate the surf as they beach their small wooden boats with their catch of the morning, as they have done for generations.
Tietiesbaai in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve
After a sumptuous breakfast, visit “Tietiesbaai” in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, and the last manually controlled lighthouse to be built in South Africa. The area offers hiking, angling, bird-watching, diving and kayaking. Whales and dolphins also visit these waters for ten months of the year. In the afternoon, one can visit the West Coast Fossil Park, offering an on-site fossil experience, where visitors can learn about environmental changes in the West Coast region over the last five million years. These fossil deposits contain possibly the greatest diversity of five million year old fossils in the world. Some important discoveries include the first bear ever found in Africa south of the Sahara, an extinct true seal and four extinct species of penguins.
Flower season in Clanwilliam
In the morning, depart in a northerly direction along the coast for Lamberts Bay. Lamberts Bay, which is known as the seafood mecca, in the heart of crayfish country, is the major link in a chain of West Coast fishing Villages. No visit is complete without visiting one of its open-air restaurants for an unforgettable traditional West Coast meal. The town of Clanwilliam is your next destination.Clanwilliam is situated at the foot of the mighty Cederberg mountain range and offers bird-watching, historical buildings, the scenic beauty of the flowers in "Flower Season", as well as water sports. Further more, Clanwilliam is located in a part of the Western Cape, which is the only area in the world where Rooibos (Red Bush) is planted, cultivated and then used to make the uniquely South African Rooibos Tea. The town is also known for its "Veldskoene" (leather shoes), made by Strassbergers. A visit to the factory is worthwhile, and shoes can be bought from them in any size and colour.
The Namakwa region in the Northern Cape
After an early breakfast, continue your journey in a Northerly direction along the N7 to the town of Springbok, which is three and a half hours drive – 320km – from Clanwilliam. From Springbok, travel to Naries Namakwa Retreat where you will be staying for the next two nights. This road also provides quick access to the Richtersveld in the North and to the working diamond mines and ship wrecks in the west. Naries Namakwa Retreat is a beautiful hideaway in the heart of the Namakwa region, located on the border between the diamond and copper mining regions. It is claimed to be one of the best kept secrets of the Northern Cape Province. After a delicious dinner at Naries, take the time to relax and enjoy the evening sipping your favorite drink while stargazing.
Today, we suggest the following options: Option One: A half day tour to the De Beers – Namakwaland Mines. In 1927, diamond mining started on the farm Kleyne Zee, which has since evolved into the town of Kleinzee, serving one of the world's foremost alluvial diamond mines. The mine tour will expose you to the fascinating and high security world of diamond mining. Visit actual digging sights within the restricted area. Option Two: The full day 4x4 Shipwreck Tour Depart on a 37 km 4x4 trail with your guide to visit an un-spoilt part of the West Coast for an unforgettable experience. During the tour, you will encounter three shipwrecks, namely the “Piratiny”, “Arosa” and the “Border”. Along the way, your guide will point out and inform you of the rich cultural history behind the archaeological sites, isolated beaches and divers' camps. Option Three: The Namaqua National Park. This Park is renowned for its majestic colourful kilometers of Namaqualand daisies and other spring flowers. During early August and September, seemingly overnight, the dusty valleys of Namaqualand are transformed into a wonderland, carpeted with wildflowers. With its winter rainfall, Namaqualand is home to the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world and more than a 1000 of its estimated 3500 plant species are found nowhere else on earth.
Kamma Private Game Reserve in the Cederberg mountains
After breakfast, return to Springbok and follow the N7 in a Southerly direction towards Citrusdal. Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve is situated in the magnificent southern Cederberg mountains, known for its scenic beauty and dramatic rock formations typical of this region. During your stay, go on a San Cultural Tour and learn about the ancient Bushman sites and get an in-depth interpretation of the rock paintings which are more than 6000 years old. Your accommodation at the luxurious game lodge is nestled between unbelievable Table Mountain sandstone formations and resembles bushman “caves” and Rondawels. Breakfast and lunch are served at “Die Rotskombuis Restaurant” while dinner is experienced in an open-air boma under the Southern African sky.
Experience dinner in an open-air boma under the Southern African sky
Take a morning and evening 4x4 safari, which gives you the chance to learn more about the various species of plants and animals that inhabit this arid area. Enjoy stargazing with your guide at the mini observatory with a high-tech telescope, after a sundowner drink at the Ceres Karoo Escarpment. Go on a quad bike safari, which will take you into some remote, inaccessible parts of the reserve. Spend your free time hiking on one of the hiking trails, bird watching or relaxing at the lodge's swimming pool built into the stunning Cederberg rock formations. There is a Health and Beauty Spa, which offers a wide range of treatments including manicures and pedicures, hot stone therapy and luxury facials.
The Riebeek Valley
The Riebeek Valley consists of two small, picturesque towns – Riebeek-Kasteel and Riebeek-West. Riebeek-Kasteel is a beautiful little village, which is located at the foot of the Kasteelberg mountain in a Tuscany style valley 70 kilometres from Cape Town. It lies amidst the rolling wheatfields and vineyards of the Swartland. The tranquil village is named after Jan van Riebeeck and the Kasteelberg Mountain. It is primarily known for its wines, wheat and olives. Many artists live in this quaint town and a wide variety of art can be found in the valley. The wine cellars and olive growers welcome visitors to taste their produce. For the more adventurous there are hiking trails, 4 x 4 routes and mountain bike routes.
On your return to Cape Town take the R44 to Malmesbury where you will join up with the N7 which will take you directly to the Mother City.

Check in at Cape Town International Airport two hours prior to the departure of your return flight.

PLEASE NOTE: This programme can be modified at any time due to unforeseen circumstances such as the suppliers’ availability, transport and weather permitting.
Tel: +27 21 685 6460   |   Fax: +27 86 655 4760   |    info@findingafrica.com

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