Watersports, waders and wildlife along a turquoise lagoon
Almost year round sunshine, safe waters and reliable winds make Langebaan paradise for watersports lovers – particularly kite surfers, wind surfers, kayakers, yachtsmen, water skiers and fishermen. The tidal mud flats of the lagoon also attract thousands of migratory birds every year, and resident species are prolific and include greater and lesser flamingoes. The world’s largest breeding colony of black harriers also occurs in the area. Langebaan is an internationally acclaimed Ramsar Site for its importance as a wetland.
The picturesque, modern town borders onto the scenic West Coast National Park, which may not have the Big Five but does have the Slow Five: tortoises, whales, sand sharks, porcupines and dune moles. Eland, wildebeest, hartebeest, bontebok, springbok, kudu and mountain zebra can also be seen mostly in the Postberg section of the park. This section is open during August and September, to show off its rainbow coloured spring flower carpets, often with wildlife grazing amongst them. Game viewing in the West Coast National Park on bicycle is a popular activity too. The oldest known footprint of a modern human – Eve’s Footprint – was also discovered in the park on the banks of the Langebaan Lagoon in 1995. The fossil footprint is dated at about 117 000 years old.
Called the ‘jewel of the West Coast’, Langebaan is an easy hour’s drive from Cape Town and the bustling town has attractions for the whole family. The natural attractions lure outdoor lovers in droves, while unique beach restaurants, abundant seafood and shopping for curios, crafts or clothing entice others. Adults can also be entertained at the casino at Club Mykonos, while there is lots on offer for children. There is golf at the Country Club, horse riding on the beach and relaxing spa treatments are also on offer.
Close to the town, at Langebaanweg, is the West Coast Fossil Park – the only fossil park in South Africa. It’s home to the ancient Big Five that once roamed this area. The remains of Africa’s only bear have also been discovered here, along with the fossils of 200 other species. Visitors can enjoy an informative tour of a fossil dig and hunt for their own fossils, and there is biking, hiking and horse riding through the park.
Relaxed or adrenaline fueled, all extremes of entertainment and activity – or not - are easily found in Langebaan, where nature lives in harmony with modern life.
Langebaan Information Centre
Telephone: 27 (0)22 772 1515
Municipal Building, Bree Str, Langebaan, 7357
Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00; Sat and public holidays: 09:00-14:00