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.
Flowers– In season
Water Sports– Almost any sport imaginable
Whale watching– In season
|West Coast National Park, Picnics|
|Tel no||+27 22 772−2144÷5||G.P.S.||–33.117668,18.055091|
|Fax||+27 22 772−2798÷9||Website|
|Nearest Town||Langebaan||Max Persons|
|Distance from Town||5 km||Pets||No|
|Shop with basics||Yes||Brochure|
|Tips and things to do|
Geelbek Restaurant: +27(0) 22 772 2134
West Coast National Park: +27 22 772−2144÷5
+27 22 772−2798÷9
Joannes Beach Cottage
Houseboat +27 21 552‑0008/12 428‑9111
Duinepos +27 22 707‑9900