West Coast National Park encompasses almost 30,000 hectares (74,100 acres) of wilderness, as well as a 16* 4.5km (10*2 3/4-mile) marine lagoon, on which the coastal town of Langebaan is situated. Pack a picnic and head for one of the picture-perfect coves near Preekstoel and Kraalbaai, where the strikingly azure waters gently lap white sands bordered by brilliant green succulents. Pack a camera and bathing suit. You also have a good chance of spotting whales from July to early November from points overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Postberg section, which contains zebra, wildebeest, and gemsbok, is open only in August and September from 9am to 5pm, when the flowers are most spectacular. The community at Churchhaven (marked by the Anglican church of St. Peter), which was founded in 1863 by George Lloyd, a deserter from an American merchant vessel, has now closed the road running past it; the only way to gain access is to rent one of its basic self-catering cottages (tel. 022/772-2799). The hamlet enjoys a unique setting on one of the world's greatest wetlands. Overlooking a blindingly white beach and surrounded by salt marshes, the settlement is visited by more than 140 bird species (including the greater flamingo). … Back to Article
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