Langebaan is a seaside town, just north of Cape Town, nestled between a hill and a lagoon with water that changes colour from day-to-day. When the mist rolls in through the mouth of the lagoon, creeping over the hills that separate the lagoon from the roaring ocean, the water is a midnite blue – all moody and somber. But on a clear, sunny day, it turns anything from a deep azure to an almost see-through aquamarine colour. The lagoon is the playground for the town’s inhabitants, but also a firm favourite for Capetonians who break away for weekends to soak up the laissez fair attitude of this dorpie (little town). They arrive in their droves over weekends and holidays and depending on what time of year it is, they either take to the waters in the stiff South-Easterly wind to kite-surf, or fishing on calmer days, and when the water is like glass, you’ll see many a canoeist slowly paddling along from the main beach to Club Mykonos – a resort almost identical to the scenery on the real island of Mykonos. Here you will find a safe harbour for bigger vessels, with yachts and catamarans of luxury proportions lining the jetties. On Friday nights you can dance to the bouzoukis as you break plates, and end off trying your hand at the casino and hope Lady Luck smiles on you.
The lagoon water is warmer than the cold Atlantic Ocean that hugs the shoreline, and apart from dodging the odd crab or sand shark, you can float about in peace for hours. Families enjoy long walks, and often with canine members of the families frolicking about in the shallow waters as well.
After good winter rains any open piece of land become God’s Garden of Eden with an abundance of beautiful, colourful flowers that last until the first South-Easterly winds start blowing in September. This spectacle draws even more people from far across the globe, and enthusiastic flora and fauna lovers are spotted in their droves amongst the colourful plates of flowers, cameras furiously clicking away.
Restaurants line the beach, with firm favourites being Driftwood and Perly’s in town, and ours being the Dutch Pancake Cafe – I don’t miss the opportunity to have my special treat: 2 thin, perfectly cooked pancakes filled with Nutella, served with soft serve ice cream – YUM!!!
Closer to Mykonos, some newer, but very popular restaurants attract wedding couples who get married on the beach and have the reception there. Succulent fresh fish, traditional South African food and of course a gastronomical feast of sea food at The Strandloper buffet restaurant, an open-air affair right on the sand, is a regular must-do!
Do click on the photos below to see the fine detail of this unusual restaurant!
I owned a lovely home there, almost on the beach, a few years ago. My bedroom overlooked the lagoon, and come rain or shine, I slept with my balcony doors wide open to let the sound and smell of the salty lagoon water into my room. This made for magical peaceful sleeps. Unfortunately, the credit crunch that hit the world made for tightening belts and this luxury asset was sold. But at least I will go into the old age home one day and have very fond memories of the days I spent planning every corner of this magnificent home, choosing every piece of furniture, appliances, crockery, paintings, linen and more with utmost care.
On the slopes of the hill separating the town and the West Coast National Park, my sisters and I buried my late brother’s ashes two years ago. When I visited the area this past weekend, the flowers covering those fields around us, brought such joy and happiness to me, and I know his soul was frolicking about!
If ever in Cape Town, make sure you visit the West Coast – in a previous post I told you about Paternoster, just further afield from Langebaan, so you should easily fit both towns and more into a day’s excursion. But better still, book a few days in one of the fine establishments and really get to see and enjoy it all.
- A South African Beach Cottage (style-files.com)
- Answers to destination confusion. Western Cape tourism regions (jabedi.com)