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Preekstoel rock in the West Coast National Park

There is so much to see in the West Coast National Park, that one actu­ally needs more than a day to see and expe­ri­ence it all. High­lights such as Seek­lip, a mas­sive rock jut­ting out of the land­scape with views up to Table Moun­tain on a clear day, Geel­bek, an old Cape Dutch style farm house and restau­rant and some really stun­ning views, way to many to men­tion. On top of this there is still a load of things one can do such as hik­ing, almost any water­sports imag­in­able and moun­tain bik­ing. After a full day like this is no bet­ter way of end­ing it, other than with a braai over­look­ing this paradise.

There are numer­ous picnic/​braai spots to choose from, like UItkyk (Look­out), very aptly named, with jaw drop­ping views over the lagoon, where Plankies­baai and Tzaars­bank has views over the Atlantic. If you do decide to braai here, be on the look­out for South­ern Right whales, spe­cially in the months of August and Sep­tem­ber. Note that Plankies­baai and Uitkyk are only open in August and Sep­tem­ber, the flow­er­ing sea­son. Other spots include Kraal­baai, a beau­ti­ful pic­nic set­ting on the beach, a stones throw away from Preek­stoel (Pul­pit). I guess if you apply a fair amount of imag­i­na­tion one could pos­si­bly see a pul­pit in this strange shaped rock, some­how.

If your throat is parched and dry after the hard day of enjoy­ing spec­tac­u­lar views and cam­era click­ing and you think you are about to crack open that beer, for­get it. No alco­hol is allowed in the park, other than at Geel­bek Restau­rant. Here there is a very invit­ing piece of lawn, where one can pic­nic at. I am sure you could enjoy a tip­ple with your pic­nic here. I also guess one could prob­a­bly pic­nic any­where in the park, it is just that the des­ig­nated braai and pic­nic areas have ablu­tion facil­i­ties, which I have to add were all spot­lessly clean on our visit.

My favourite braai spot was Preek­stoel, although one is not as ele­vated as at Uitkyk, you still have impres­sive views over the lagoon. Here one is a lit­tle more shel­tered from the wind and you have your own semi enclosed braai area. The birdlife is also impres­sive, spe­cially in the sum­mer months. We had a tame par­tridge harass­ing us for food and spend­ing the day on our pic­nic blanket.

In Decem­ber and Jan­u­ary the park gets extremely busy, one can­not book any of the braai or pic­nic areas as it works strictly on a first come first serve basis, so you might have to start cook­ing early to avoid dis­ap­point­ment. Some­thing to con­sider, is try and come in the qui­eter months, and in the week. On our visit we stayed in Lange­baan, but in hind­sight I am dis­ap­pointed that we did not stay in the park. This would give you the oppor­tu­nity to take those per­fect sun­set pics and you are not rushed for time to get out before the gates close. (And of course you could braai a lit­tle later.)

Remem­ber to bring your Wild Card along as this will give you free access to the park. A Wild Card can be pur­chased at Geel­bek Restau­rant or at the Lange­baan offices dur­ing work­ing hours. No card pur­chases, only entry fee at the gate.

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Bird Watch­ing
Cycling/​Mountain bik­ing
Game view­ing
Flow­ers– In sea­son
Water Sports– Almost any sport imag­in­able
Whale watch­ing– In season

West Coast National Park, Picnics
Con­tact Details
Tel no +27 22 7722144÷5 G.P.S. 33.117668,18.055091
Cell no Email
Fax +27 22 7722798÷9 Web­site
Near­est Town Lange­baan Max Per­sons
Dis­tance from Town 5 km Pets No
Map View Map
Shop with basics Yes Brochure
Tips and things to do

These tips will prob­a­bly apply to many pic­nic sites, but this is what we thought should not be for­got­ten.

Tele­phone num­bers:

Geel­bek Restau­rant: +27(0) 22 772 2134
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West Coast National Park: +27 22 7722144÷5
+27 22 7722798÷9

Book­ings for:

Joannes Beach Cot­tage
House­boat +27 21 5520008/​12 4289111

Duinepos +27 22 7079900

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