For our third trip to Cape Town we decided to leave the cape area for a few days to explore the South African hinterland by car. Our roadtrip led us along the west coast where we explored West Coast National Park. A bit further north we passed through the popular windsurfing town Langebaan and stayed the night in the lovely fishing village Paternoster. On the next day we headed eastbound into the Cederberg Mountains before returning to Cape Town.
The West Coast National Park is famous for its backdrop of the azure blue lagoon and its white dunes along the shore. We hiked the short Bakoor Trail that leads throught the national park while remaining in sight of the coastline most of the time.
Although the trail is only a short hike we burned badly because we were not yet fully acclimatized to the unforgiving South African sun.
Our next stop was Paternoster where we spent the night in a wonderful small boutique hotel directly at the beach.
The rooms were organized in small private cabins that each had their own patio that came with a small garden and a fountain. I was especially fond of the outside showers that were connected to the bathroom with a glass door.
After a tasty breakfast we mourned that we hadn’t booked more than one night at the Strandloper but the views on the road soon reminded us why we had left Cape Town in the first place.
As soon as we drove towards the inland the landscape startet getting rougher and the Cederberg Mountains appeared elevated in the distance.
After driving through Clanwilliam the streets turned into gravel roads and our roadtrip started to become more adventurous. A short detour into a township contributed to that feeling when our navigation system decided that a narrow unpaved road between iron huts and curious inhabitants was the best way to go.
While we drove deeper into the mountains the views became increasingly more breathtaking with every additional serpentine while the temperature climbed to a whopping 40 degrees.
While I took photos after a steep and narrow ascent I looked down just to spot a carwreck and be reminded that a single mistake on the narrow roads could seal our fate in a similar fashion.
If you think of visiting the Cederberg Mountains I suggest an offroad vehicle or at least a spare tire to be on the safe side. Ironically when we thought we made it past the worst sections of the gravel road and headed for a café and backpackers at the side of the road the car must have hit a pothole and one of our tires went flat. Luckily the friendly folks at the backpackers had a tire plug kit and we were on the road again in no time.
The twisted road through the Cederberg Mountains and its numerous views call for a leisurely pace. Looking back I’d suggest to spend at least one night in the mountain area to have more time for the hikes and sights along the way.
Due to our slow progress we had to spend a long part of our way back to Cape Town in the dark but the vivid sunset that we witnessed from the edge of the mountains compensated for that.