If it is peace of mind you are looking for, a getaway to Duinepos in the West Coast National Park is just the thing for you.
It is situated approximately 100 km northwest of Cape Town on the Atlantic seaboard of the Western Cape Province. Follow the West Coast Road (R27) and turn left into the park’s gate, which is clearly indicated. From here you can spot the majestic Table Mountain in the background.
The park extends from Yzerfontein in the south to Langebaan in the north. This conservation is located near the popular holiday town of Langebaan as well as Saldanha, the West Coast’s busiest harbour town.
Here you can recharge your batteries and delight in the silence and sense of place of this unique eco-destination with its rich biodiversity heritages. The park not only conserves indigenous fauna and flora but also a range of important natural and cultural assets.
The park is exceptionally rich in biodiversity and supports important numbers of coastal birds as well as a unique floral diversity.
The park nestles against the Langebaan Lagoon which is included in its boundaries. This site is a Ramsar wetland of global conservation importance. South Africa has a total of 19 wetlands on this special list.
The lagoon area is fed by seawater (and not by a river, like most other lagoons in the country). The Ramsar area includes the islands of Schaapen, Marcus, Malgas and Jutten. Thousands of seabirds roost on these islands.
This natural oasis with its calm waters provide important habitat for thousands of migratory birds from the northern hemisphere that travel from as far as Russia to the salt marshes and mud plains of this area. The salt marshes are unique in that no river feeds them.
The lagoon, which is about 16 km long, is regarded as an ecosystem that is biologically very productive. The lagoon has rich marine fauna that is fed with water from the Benguela upwelling. It is this nutrient rich “soup” that attracts birdlife to the area. The lagoon is an important feeding area for migrant waders.
No wonder a visit to the park is high on the priority list of keen birders and eco-tourists from all over the world. Outdoor enthusiasts, including kite surfers, are amongst those who frequently visit the lagoon’s shore.
If you want to have a quiet picnic there are many spots, like Tsaarbank and Kraalbaai where you and your family can spend a relaxing day.
During spring time the area is transformed into a remarkable floral landscape that is truly unique to this part of the world. The West Coast of South Africa is world renowned for its flora diversity that is annually displayed in the most spectacular fashion during the flower season.
Many of the species in this area are adapted to dry, windy conditions found on the West Coast. The Postberg Nature Reserve (private owned property that border the park and managed by park authorities) opens its gates during spring for about two months for visitors.
Besides more than 250 bird species the park hosts rich fauna life and also have many places of archaeological and cultural interest.
It is here where the Khoisan lived a long time ago. These first people of the region inhabited this part of the Cape coast long before European settlers had established themselves here.
The footprints of “Eve” was discovered here in sandstone a few years ago. These are the oldest known (fossilized) footprints of modern humans (roughly 117 000 years old) known so far. The original footprints have been removed and are now kept by museum authorities.
The area, expecially around Elandsfontein, is extremely rich in fossils.