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West Coast - day tripping

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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moobox
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West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby moobox » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:50 am

Hello all
I am going down to Cape Town for a while at end of September so was thinking on day tripping up to West Coast National Park. Maybe I'm wrong but it looks like it maybe more of a resort than a "nature escape". Please tell me I'm wrong. But if I'm not, how about PM'ing me some options for day trips

Cheers - Ed

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Re: West Coast

Unread postby moose1 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:04 am

moobox wrote:Hello all
I am going down to Cape Town for a while at end of September so was thinking on day tripping up to West Coast National Park. Maybe I'm wrong but it looks like it maybe more of a resort than a "nature escape". Please tell me I'm wrong. But if I'm not, how about PM'ing me some options for day trips

Cheers - Ed

We are in CT for a few days and spent 2 days around WCNP. We were lucky to have sunshine. Saw spectacular flowers and numerous types of buck -- no bat eared fox this time - you must visit the spectacular Postberg section. It is only open during Aug and Sept yearly. It was a very worthwhile tri and highly recommended.
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moobox
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Re: West Coast

Unread postby moobox » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:10 pm

Thanks Moose

I will visit it. Should be open when I am there then, being toward the end of September. Well, that's if the weather is OK. I dont really want to go there if is is all wet.

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Re: West Coast

Unread postby DinkyBird » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:47 pm

Ed, on a sunny day, and before end of September, do make the trip, it is worth it. Take a picnic basket and camp on the rocks and enjoy the flowers and also the bird hides.

It is busy, it is high season after all, so try make your trip during the week if you can.

Explore all of Table Mountain NP too.

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Re: West Coast

Unread postby C8per » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:51 am

In my experience of WCNP I would say it is definitely more of a resort. In fact I would go as far to say that it is closer to a highway than a National Park. The amount of people that speed through the park is alarming and it is very disappointing that Park Management do nothing about this issue. If you are going for peace and quiet, and to see the flowers and animals (whom are brave enough to venture within viewing distance of the road) I suggest that you go during the week. Otherwise save some time and money and just stop somewhere on the national road (it may even be more peaceful).

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Re: West Coast

Unread postby moobox » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:12 pm

Ag you know, that is disappointing to hear but I actually suspected that might be the case. I plan to pop up there either 25 or 26 September which is smack bang between a national holiday and the weekend so pretty much weekend I guess. But I want to see the place. I went to KNP in the December school holidays and just about coped with the "resort" setup so I should be OK. Thanks for the inputs folks.

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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Kingfisha » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:59 am

Hi everyone that knows the Westcoast National Park well.
We are planning to spend a day in the park (on a Monday thankfully) on our way to Velddrif. We would like to enter at the southern gate and go and have a breakfast at the restaurant. Is there anyone that can provide feedback on this road (distance and what to see) and also if there is some areas for bird viewing at the restaurant?
From there, where will you recommend we spend some time, specifically bird watching? Is it worth driving up to Kraalbaai/Tsaarsbank and how far is this road as we will have to come back down again? We will most probably end up at the last bird hide before exiting at the top gate.
All your suggestions and ideas will be much appreciated. :hmz:

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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Leaping Lizards » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:32 am

Hi there Kingfisha

Let me see if I can help. Firstly, the West Coast National Park is a great day out.

The road from the gate to the restaurant is tar all the way. The road is not 100%, but not bad either. It should take you about 15 to 20 minutes to the Restaurant at Geelbek, about 10kms. There is a bird hide at Geelbek, but it’s a short walk on a platform out to the hide. There is also a hide about 200m before Geelbek with a longer walkway, but its beautiful. Both seem to attract more activity at low tide. We find low tide the best time to use the hides.


If you going to be there on a Monday in Aug or September, then it is highly advisable that you take a drive out to the Postberg area to see the flowers. Lots of game in this area also. It is about a 30 minute drive if you do not stop.

However, we take it slow and usually stop at the Abrahams Kraal waterhole, then a coffee at the Atlantic View Point and yes, I would recommend a stop at Tsarbank. Tsarbank takes your breathe away and also a very good pit stop as there is very clean well serviced toilets.

Once in Postberg there are a number of roads, and viewpoints. You should receive a paper map when you get there which will give you good indications.

From Postberg, its about a 50 minute or so drive to the Langebaan gate. By the time you leave the last bird hide it will almost be gate closing time and the end of a great day.
September - Orpen, Talamati and Satara :P

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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Kingfisha » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:06 am

Hi Leaping lizards
Thanks so much for the great feedback. So, if we enter the gate around 9h30 our day will (approximately) look like this:
10h00 reach restaurant area
10h00 - 11h00 - Bird hides
11h00 - 12h00 - brunch
12h00 - 13h00 - Go past Altantic view + Tsarsbank
13h00 - 14h00 - Enjoy the view
14h30 - depart
15h30 - arrive at Langebaan gate

Will that give us enough time to enjoy the part without rushing? Do you agree?

And thanks again! :gflower:

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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Hugh » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:15 pm

As has been said Postberg in August and Sept is a must .. plus you must pop in to Abrahams kraal hide, this is a fresh water hide very beautiful and plenty of birds etc ... Even in busy season ( we were in the park over the new years weekend) but even though the picnic sights were chaos we went to the hides and they were just about empty . So whenever you go enjoy
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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Kingfisha » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:37 pm

Great, thanks Hugh
We will certainly pop in at the Abrahams Kraal hide. I can't wait!

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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Leaping Lizards » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:04 pm

Hi Kingfisha, maybe just see how the day goes. We never plan when we go, we just sort of see how the day goes, and often end up leaving around 5pm.

I would say just enjoy it and see where the day takes you.Also, Hugh is spot on, Anrahams kraal hide is fresh water hide, all the others lagoon salt water
September - Orpen, Talamati and Satara :P

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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Albert » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:15 am

Kingfisha wrote:Hi Leaping lizards
Thanks so much for the great feedback. So, if we enter the gate around 9h30 our day will (approximately) look like this:
10h00 reach restaurant area
10h00 - 11h00 - Bird hides
11h00 - 12h00 - brunch
12h00 - 13h00 - Go past Altantic view + Tsarsbank
13h00 - 14h00 - Enjoy the view
14h30 - depart
15h30 - arrive at Langebaan gate

Will that give us enough time to enjoy the part without rushing? Do you agree?

And thanks again! :gflower:


Just one point on the "Geelbek" bird hides (the ones on the lagoon): At low tide many of the little waders are quite far away from the hides themselves. As the tide comes in the birds move a lot closer to the hides, check the tide tables for day that you visit (and bear in mind there will be delay for the effect of the tide at the upper end of the lagoon).
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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby Leaping Lizards » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:48 am

Apologies Kingfisha

Albert is right, High Tide is the best time because the higher waterline chases the birds closer to the hides.

My mistake, the reason I had low tide in mind is because in summer we plan our visits according to the low tide so that we get the warmer water at Kraalbaai, our trips to the hides then done before or after low tide, depending on the tide table. :redface:

Sorry about the mix up. :redface:
September - Orpen, Talamati and Satara :P

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Re: West Coast - day tripping

Unread postby shfish » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:08 am

Hi, I don't want to be petty, but try and get to the Geelbek birdhides at about mid-tide. If the tide is too low, the birdlife can be distant, but if it is too high, the hide is literally standing in half a metre of water so you'll see even less birdlife.
For those folk who are intending to visit WCNP for the flowers, remember that it must be at least 17 degrees (if I remember correctly ) and sunny, so don't waste your fuel if it's overcast.
Enjoy


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