West Coast Accommodation
West Coast Map
West Coast Information
South Africa's West Coast, bordering the Atlantic Ocean its whole length, begins at the northernmost extremity of Cape Town and extends all the way to the Orange River estuary, the frontier of Namibia.
Between Cape Town and the Saldanha peninsula this area is, geographically speaking, an extension of the Cape Flats, once part of the sea bed, and referred to by the Dutch as De Groote Woeste Vlakte (the great desolate plains). Between Saldanha and the Orange lies Namaqualand.
The coastal regions tend to be flat and superficially featureless (you have to go inland quite a distance before you find mountains) but they have a beauty all of their own. The vegetation has adapted to the conditions, the cold Benguela current bringing polar water north from the Southern Ocean sometimes creates atmospheric mists and the small fishing villages that dot the coastline are relics that provide an insight into an older age. The enormous lagoon at Langebaan, south of Saldanha Bay is a well-known beauty spot popular with lovers of water sports.
Namaqualand becomes more desolate in appearance the further north you venture and yet is world-famous for its fabulous floral transformation every spring. Wilderness lovers find this part of the region appeals to them.