Why would one want to stay at the West Coast National park?
Some history: The West Coast National Park was initially proclaimed in 1985 as the Langebaan National Park, with the name later being changed to the West Coast National Park. Situated approximately 100km northwest of Cape Town on the Atlantic seaboard. West Coast Tourism.
Heading off to our location
Like most families, every year we go on holiday somewhere, ideally to a location where we have not yet been. This year we decided that during December we will make a holiday out of our own surrounding locations.
Having decided that our December holidays in 2019 will consist of short day trips, we were quick to add this very close national park to our growing list of locations to visit. We have been to this park many times, but we have never spent the night.
What is on our things-to-do list?
On the agenda, besides the general exploring of our immediate surroundings, we chose kite surfing at Shark bay, birding and mountain biking to be listed as our target activities for the trip.
Upon Arrival at Geelbek
The Van Breda self-catering cottage is near the famous Geelbek Information Centre and Restaurant (as seen above). The cottage is a comfortable six sleeper (with electricity) that was perfect for our family and proved to be an awesome choice due to its central location for all our lined-up activities.
Getting our timing right is critical to maximising the fun
Waiting for the perfect tide and wind, our next stop was Shark bay. Having learned how to kite at this location many years ago, it was wonderful to now bring Keanin back here to practice his jumping. Flat warm water and a strong southeaster was the order of the day. Even our youngest son Andreya got into the action and made a few tacks with me on this very shallow and safe lagoon section.
Explorig the bird hides at Geelbek
Tired and hungry we made our way back to our accommodation for a well-deserved rest and some chill-out time. After unpacking, we decided to do some birding at one of the many bird hides in the national park. Bright sunny skies with amazing cloud formations helped to create a wonderful setting as we took a stroll to the bird hide. With more than 250 bird species recorded in the park, I had my work cut out to get some serious ticks knocked off. First, we tried for the Blue-cheeked bee-eater at Duinebos, but I dipped on that one, bummer.
The Van Breda Cottage
The recently renovated Van Breda cottage sleeping six was one of the original homesteads on the Geelbek farm. What a great choice this proved to be, as we managed to get nightjars on the road not far away. The same morning, two barn owls and a third one calling just meters away. Well, this was the highlight of the trip for me as both sightings were very special. The birds were not fleeting and we got to spend some time enjoying the presence of these nocturnal birds.
Cycling in the West Coast National Park
Having promised to complete a cycle around the lagoon some years back, we finally had the morning to ourselves to finalise our promised last section from Churchhaven to Kraalbaai. Not realising that it was New Year’s day we were unprepared for the number of day-visitors to these shores and some re-planning was in order. In the end, we decided to leave the crowds and head off for a lovely cycle to Tsaarsbank instead.
If you are looking for 360-degree views of the WCNP, then the Seeberg lookout is the spot. Here one can see as far as the horison and when its flower season you can enjoy some of the best carpets of daisies from this location.
Another discovery, this beautiful locust (Neobarrettia Spinosa?) was crossing the road, a first for us and proof that there is a surprise around every corner.
Table Mountain can be seen 100km away
Table mountain shrouded in a wonderful white coat, clearly visible from 100km away (image was taken in the WCNP ).
Don’t forget about some of the other activities available, flower viewing, kayaking, you also watch for whales in August and September. Wild animals can also be viewed from the comfort of your vehicle.
Our best sighting to date in the West Coast National Park has been a mother Caracal with a young cub on the road.
Click on the link above to view these wonderful images
How will we rate this venue for a family getaway?