Cape West Coast Activities

Guided Tours & Boat Trips | Bird Watching | Nature Reserves | Whales
Wildflowers | Fossils | Snoek | Golfing | Club Mykonos | Sports Centre

Guided Tours & Boat Trips

At Calypso Villas we have professional tour guides, comfortable eight-seater busses and a small fleet of boats ready to take you where you would like to go. Day tours can be tailor made according to our guests' particular interests. Discover the hidden gems of the West Coast on excursions like these:

  • An introduction to life on the West Coast as experienced by the locals. We provide opportunities for informal interaction with real people in real life situations.
  • Taking a closer look at shipwrecks along the West Coast and learning about their fascinating histories.
  • Visiting places of historical and even pre-historical interest, such as the Cape Columbine Lighthouse at Paternoster, restored fisherman's cottages at Velddrif, Langrietvlei National Monument at Hopefield, Saldanha Bay Harbour, the West Coast Fossil Park and more.
  • Following picturesque routes through charming fishing villages.
  • Bird-watching on the Berg River at Velddrif or in the lagoon wetlands at Langebaan, where thousands of migratory birds flock together every summer.
  • An introduction to the work of talented local artists and crafters. This may include a guided tour to caves containing primitive rock-art.
  • Tasting our finest wines along the West Coast Wine Route.
  • Get a taste of West Coast aqua culture on a visit to the abalone, oyster and mussel farms.

Let us welcome you on board our graceful yacht, Sea Stallion, for a cruise in the magnificent Saldanha Bay or the scenic Langebaan lagoon. Take a trip to any of the five off-shore islands , or enjoy a sundowner on board while watching a spectacular sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

You might also like to try:

  • Lunch cruise - a four hour trip including lunch at a waterfront restaurant in Saldanha Bay.
  • Lagoon cruise - duration about two to three hours. For an additional fee a picnic basket can be arranged to be enjoyed on board.
  • Island cruise - a two hour trip to view the penguins, Cape gannets, cormorants and other seabirds on the off-shore islands. And the wildflowers in spring, of course! Drinks and snacks provided on board.
  • Fishing trips in the lagoon or out in the open ocean.
  • Speedboat and/or inflatable boat trips, can be combined with water-skiing if required.

Also possible: a luxury cruise on the lagoon on board a 25 metre motorised tri-catamaran. Wonderful for a New Year's eve party!

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So, what's this West Coast all about then?

Bird Watching

Bird-watching on the Cape West Coast offers many delights to the expert and amateur alike. Being at the southernmost point of the migratory route from Europe and Siberia, the area supports huge populations of migratory birds, particularly the wetland adjoining the Langebaan lagoon, a declared Ramsar site. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded, including flamingo, Cape gannet, the striking African black oyster-catcher and a variety of other seabirds and waders. Bird-hides on the banks of the Berg River at Velddrif, in the West Coast Fossil Park and even the Vredenburg Golf Club give birders ample opportunity for viewing interesting and exotic species. Lark, tern, titbabbler, black eagle, bustard and peregrine falcon are only a few members of the feathered family supported by this interesting and diverse ecology.

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Nature Reserves

The Cape West Coast has a proud conservation record, having several proclaimed nature reserves in the region stretching from Melkbosstrand up to Lambert’s Bay. Closest to Calypso Villas is the West Coast National Park at Langebaan. The focal point of this park is the magnificent lagoon and wetland teeming with migratory birds. The Postberg section of the reserve is only open during the wildflower season, when game can be viewed in a setting as unique as it is idyllic. Other reserves in the area well worth a visit are the Rondeberg Nature Reserve and the Buffelsfontein Game Reserve near Darling. The Rocherpan Nature Reserve near Velddrif is renowned for being an ideal whale-watching spot while also providing excellent bird-watching opportunities. Another reserve very popular with tourists is the Bird Island Nature Reserve at Lambert’s Bay, approximately 120 kilometres to the north, where the only breeding colony of Cape gannets in the world that is accessible on foot can be found. The island is also home to penguins, cormorants and Cape fur seals.

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One of the West Coast’s better kept secrets is the annual appearance of whales along this coast. Southern right whales migrate from the Sub-Antarctic regions to mate or calve in the protected waters of Saldanha Bay, as well as St. Helena Bay. The best months for whale-spotting are from June to November, when you can often see them from your bedroom window at Calypso Villas! Humpback whales and the endemic heavy side dolphin are also regular visitors to these waters.

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Visit us during the early spring months and you will see the Cape West Coast at its floriferous best. This region is part of one of the great floral kingdoms of the world and offers a most rewarding experience to any nature lover. Due to the wealth of endemic plant species wildflowers can be seen in the veld throughout the year, but the mass displays are from the beginning of August to the end of September. The different types of veld – strandveld, limestone, granite, sandveld and wetland – each produce their own unique flora to provide a spectacularly diverse display. Two important wildflower shows are held annually in this area and are not to be missed: the Hopefield Fynbos Show and the Darling Wildflower Show.

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If you have never heard of long-horned short-necked giraffes, three-toed horses, megatooth sharks or lion-sized sabre-tooth cats, the West Coast Fossil Park is the place to learn about the fascinating creatures that roamed these parts millions of years ago. The many thousands of fossil bones uncovered during phosphate mining operations at Langebaanweg have attracted world-wide attention and the site has been declared a National Monument. This is one of many sites uncovered along the West Coast. The Elandsfontein fossil site at Hopefield also offers amazing insights into our distant past.

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If one can believe what the local fishermen tell you, catching snoek can be every bit as exciting as landing your first marlin. Snoek, of course, being a feisty and utterly delicious fish of fair proportions caught mainly off the Cape West Coast. A close relative of the barracuda, snoek can be caught practically throughout the year, but its quality is best during the winter months, when the fish carries a generous layer of healthy fat, rich in essential oils. Snoek is caught using a hand line, which requires skill, deftness and some muscle power. The fish is wonderful when grilled over gentle coals and equally delicious when smoked and eaten either hot or cold.

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Golf enthusiasts should bring their clubs along when staying with us. There are five golf courses within a fifty kilometre radius from Calypso Villas, ranging from excellent to, well, challenging. All the local clubs offer reasonable green fees and quite decent clubhouse facilities. Closest to Calypso Villas is the Langebaan Country Club, an 18-hole championship course presently being upgraded by the Gary Player group. Vredenburg, only 20 minutes’ drive away, boasts a truly first-class 9-hole course, kept in perfect condition and a pleasure to play. The Defense Golf Club at Saldanha, close to the Military Academy, has possibly the best looking course in the area, with 12 scenic holes situated close to the sea. The other two golfing facilities are at Velddrif and Shelley Point, near St. Helena Bay, both 9-hole courses.

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Feeling restless?

Club Mykonos

It's an inviting walk from Calypso Villas to the conference and recreation facilities, restaurants and casino of the well-known Club Mykonos holiday resort. Situated practically next door, yet not close enough to disturb our peace and quiet, Club Mykonos provides a lively alternative for guests looking for entertainment. The resort boasts a magnificent yacht harbour, several restaurants, a popular casino, tennis courts, swimming pools, squash courts and a health and beauty salon offering a wide range of treatments and massage.

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Cape Sports Centre

At nearby Langebaan the Cape Sports Centre provides activities for the fit and unfit, the master and novice, the old and the young. Kayaking, kite surfing, windsurfing, mountain biking, off-road dirt bike tours and adventure trails are but a few of the extensive range of services available. Equipment can be rented here and they have qualified instructors to show you how to use it.

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