How to tell a Wild Flower from a Darling Brew

The Western Cape of South Africa is often overlooked by visitors to the country but residents know it to be a great nearby getaway from Cape Town. One of the biggest draws of the area is West Coast National Park, a relatively compact area centered around Langebaan Lagoon but including some rugged coastline, granite formations and gently slopping hills.

Langebaan Lagoon, granite formations and sweeping hills

Accommodation in the park ranges from cottages to houseboats right on the lagoon. There are numerous hiking trails in the park and even a few overnight trails, some utilizing cabins, some where tents are required. This is also a bird watching paradise with some 250 different species including many migrating waterfowl. For the international visitor, a chance to see ostriches and flamingos in the same park is a treat.

 wild to see ostriches and flamingos within minutes of each other

There are lots of other wildlife viewing opportunities, ranging from a host in the antelope family to rare cats like the caracal. These are nocturnal so unlikely you’ll see one but no less majestic, the bontebok and mountain zebra is a much more common sight.

a bontebok resting amongst the wildflowers & a small herd of mountain zebras

September is prime time for viewing the wildflowers the park is renowned for but anytime is great to enjoy the rugged coastline.

an amazing coast awaits and in September, wildflowers abound

If staying in the park doesn’t interest you, nearby Darling is a cute enough town with a few restaurants and one fine craft brewery in Darling Brew.  We enjoyed a nice meal and a few of their fine beers. They had a large number on tap and fair-priced tasting flights, as well. Their Arrowhead is worth the trip in itself.

stop by Darling Brew for a meal & beer after visiting West Coast National Park

The Park is only about an hour and a half from downtown Cape Town, Darling twenty minutes less so a day trip is possible but why not spend a night or two and enjoy all the area has to offer. With so much to see and so many beers to try, you won’t be sorry.

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