Langebaan is a popular weekend getaway for many Capetonians, but it is also the perfect destination for a simple day trip. With wide beaches, restaurants bursting with humongous platters of seafood, as well as souvenir stores and various outdoorsy-type activities, you won’t be found twiddling your thumbs in this unassuming town.
The beach. No, I’m not talking about the Leo DiCaprio film. I’m talking about Langebaan Beach. With picturesque, wide, flat sandy shores set along a vivid blue ocean, you could almost forget the Arctic-like temperature of the water. Almost. Venturing into the choppy surf is not my idea of a good time, but if you are that way inclined, you should know that Langebaan Beach is a popular spot for kite surfers. I prefer to watch all the pretty, muscly, crazy people from the safety of the shore, though.
Moving marginally inland, you’ll find a couple of restaurants built right on the sand. I visited Driftwoods for a late lunch and was impressed with the vast options of seafood, meaty meals, salads and traditional favourites all ranging from R70 to about R200 a plate. The portions are huge, the flavours are satisfying and this, coupled with the exquisite view of the lagoon is an experience worth the distance travelled. You can also get a good buzz going with one of their spectacular cocktails priced at around R50. Also, Driftwoods is really great if you have your dogs with you as the outside deck area is pet-friendly. Woof woof (that means ‘awesome’ in dog)!
After lunch why not take a turn at the Langebaan Country Estate Golf Club and channel your inner Tiger Woods? The estate also houses swimming pools and the Zest Spa, so send the kids for a dip and the men to the greens while you indulge in some pampering. Yes please!
If you are the learning adventure-type then the West Coast Fossil Park is a must-visit. Situated just around the corner from the Langebaanweg Air Force Base, you’ll find yourself surrounded by natural history. With guided tours of a dig site, the Sivatherium Coffee Shop, a children’s play park and picnic area, as well as several walking and cycle trails, the West Coast Fossil Park promises fun for the whole family.
And if you want a memento to remember the day, stop in at one of the many curio stores along the way back to the main road from the beach. With almost everything made of shells, starfish and sea urchins, you can basically decorate your whole house to look like The Little Mermaid’s palace – a clam shell chandelier would look just divine in the entrance hall, darling!
Where Langebaan is about 130 km north of Cape Town on the R27. There are currently roadworks along the route with several stop-and-go points, so expect delays (March 2016).
Photography courtesy Hayley Stols