Summer is in full swing, which means people from all over the country and world will be flocking to the Mother City for a magnificent vacation. We can’t blame them; the Western Cape coastline is one of the most beautiful stretches in the world, Cape Town and the surrounding Winelands are playgrounds for all visitors.
However, the influx of people does have a drawback in that the added congestion can cause a little bit of stress and frustration (two things you certainly don’t want to experience while on holiday!)
So, we have an idea- think of it as a little cheat sheet for an off-the-beaten-track experience that will keep the whole family entertained and satisfied. We’re talking about visiting an area of the West Coast that might not be on top of the to-explore list, which, in this case, isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s … drum roll please… the quaint seaside town of Melkbosstrand, which is conveniently located just 35 km outside of Cape Town along the South West Coast.
1. Visit the Koeberg Nature Reserve
Forming part of the West Coast Way Culture Route, the Koeberg Nature Reserve not only offers spectacular flora and fauna but also many family-friendly activities. There are two walking trails to follow, and if taking a stroll isn’t your cup of tea, then opt for the bicycle trail. The area is pretty flat, with less than 50 metres of climbing, so it’s great for beginners and families as well as more seasoned cyclists. According to the nature reserve, visitors are treated to a range of fauna and flora with two important types of veld present: West Coast Strandveld and Duineveld. Animals to look out for are grysbok, steenbok, bontebok and springbok. Caracal, the African wildcat, grey mongoose and genet can also be spotted.
- Go Horse Riding at Thandeka Stables
Riding along the beautiful stretch of beach in the West Coast town of Melkbos is one of the most beautiful experiences one could possibly have. Thandeka Stables, situated along the scenic West Coast near Melkbosstrand, makes the experience possible. Thandeka Stables offers horse-riding for the novice, experienced and disabled riders. They even have their own coffee shop, and picnics can be catered for upon request.
Book a breakfast, afternoon or sunset ride, and feel the wind through your hair as you canter along the white sands of this magnificent stretch of beach.
- Play Laser Tag with the Family
While a vacation is mostly about relaxing and kicking your feet up, there’s always a time and place for a little adrenaline rush to keep you on your toes. And what better way to get the blood pumping than a family-friendly game of laser tag? SWAT Laser Tag is the place to be to get the heart racing in all the right ways. Players are usually divided into two teams and play various style scenario games, beginning with an orientation ‘easy’ level and working your way up to more challenging levels throughout the laser tag event. Each team also gets laser tag guns that are identifiable for their specific team – typically ‘code red’ and ‘code green’ laser tag guns.
- Spend Quality Time on MelkbosBeach
As you head into the West Coast, the first beach you’ll encounter is the stunning Melkbos Beach. The gorgeous stretch of sand and dunes boasts perfect views of Table Mountain and the historic Robben Island. What’s more, it’s a famous water sports beach with excellent conditions for wind and kite surfing.
- Indulge in Local Cuisine and Seafood at DamhuisRestaurant
Whether you need a tasty lunch to fuel you for the rest of your adventures or a delicious dinner to help you wind down after a packed day, pop into Damhuis Restaurant for a bite to eat. Specialising in traditional South African cuisine and only the freshest seafood, Damhuis offers a unique dining experience in one of South Africa’s oldest buildings. Not to mention, there is a spacious play area so your little ones can expend all that boundless energy while you enjoy a cold one.
If you want to expand your horizons beyond Melkbosstrand, here’s a guide to things to do along the West Coast.