We set out to explore mainly the coastal region, but were lured high and low and deeper inland by the sheer wonders of diversity of people, flora, fauna, geological types and views that opened up at every turn. This is not your pretty-pretty landscape, but offers a depth of interest and deep pleasure, seldom offered elsewhere.
After all, every traveller wants as much information possible about the region through which he plans to travel. Where to stay? Where to eat? What hides just off the beaten track? Inevitably many of the hidden gems are never seen or visited, simply because the traveller didn’t know about them. For this reason alone an area does not gain full recognition and the tourist passes through completely unaware of all the fascinating aspects he has missed.
For many the West Coast is an acquired taste--kilometers of empty, often windswept beaches and hardy coastal scrub, low horizons and big skies, lonely tree-lined dirt roads, and distant mountains behind which lie lush pockets carpeted in vineyards. The main reason most visitors venture up here is to catch the spring flower displays that occur in the West Coast National Park anytime from the end of July to early September; but this aside, there are a few more gems to uncover -- like eating fresh crayfish with your feet in the sand or living like the landed gentry at the Melck homestead at Kersefontein.
Over the last 10 - 15 years the West Coast has been rediscovered. Now that ample piped water is available, many coastal resorts are developing into charming country or seaside towns, as more people begin to appreciate the different regions’ particular charms.
With wonderful available water sports including angling, diving, surfing, sailing, kite-boarding, windsurfing and swimming, as well as hiking, horse-riding not to mention the exceptional and bountiful seafood and distinctive wines and fruits acting as magnets, tourism is booming and the visitor is drawn back, again and again to the west coast, to explore ever more of what it has to offer. Crayfish, mussels and wonderful fresh fish are the order of the day along the coast, while a little more inland the joys of good beef and lamb are always on offer.
Long sun-drenched summer days on white beaches or amongst the mountains and the green veld and clear, windless winter days are promises of the regions' Mediterranean climate. Spring brings the incomparable floral splendour, known the world over for its extravagance and sheer joyful exuberance. This is the time that is best advertised, with a cornucopia of wild flowers filling every roadside verge, field and open veld.
The West Coast folk are renowned for their hospitality and welcome one into their lives with warmth, hospitality, congeniality, great food and the endless stories thy are renowned for!
In an effort to help put this glorious region more firmly on the map, we have pulled together as much information as we can, accrediting authors where necessary and providing links to websites or email addresses. If we have inadvertantly used your article or photograph without giving you full accreditation, we apologise and if you notify us we will rectify this immediately.