Confidential surfing and bird watching spots, good food and organic wines…the west coast of South Africa offers a 180 km long stretch of natural beauty from Cape Town to Elands Bay.
Chic room on the heights of Cape Town
Overlooking the picturesque Malaysian district of Bo-Kaap, the Dorp Hotel is well deserved. It is reached after climbing a steep alleyway – the establishment, opened last autumn by the designer Gail Behr, was built on hillside terraces. Up there, the atmosphere is incredibly soothing, with breathtaking views of Table Mountain. The vintage decor, the large cosy rooms and the lush vegetation instantly made it a favourite haunt of Cape Town’s chic.
Night in the vineyard in Malmesbury
South Africa’s El Dorado of “natural” wine, the Swartland region has a rich community of winemakers who, since the 1990s, have moved away from productivist methods to create living juices against the tide. Among them is Adi Badenhorst, whose vineyard is an oasis of greenery. Spending an evening in his Malmesbury farm-inn is also about tasting his organic vegetables, his homemade gins and mezcals, his caper production and listening to the stories of this atypical and warm-hearted host.
Stopover at Sun City Resort
Two hours from Johannesburg hides a huge 25-hectare leisure complex. Luxury hotels, different options of casinos, a water sports centre, lakes, theatre, cinemas, restaurants, golf courses and much more are scattered around a gigantic tropical garden with more than a million plant species. In addition to the farms and safaris, the site also contains a jewel of history inspired by novels such as the Jungle Book. Indeed, the Palace of the Lost City is a five-star hotel that is supposed to be a royal residence of a civilization destroyed by an earthquake. In this hotel, a magnificent artificial lagoon makes this place a unique one.
Caring for the bees of Hopefield
In the region, Simply Bee product bottles are on every shelf. It’s a real success story: an amateur beekeeper makes a hobby his livelihood, quickly joined by his daughter, who designs simple and natural care products based on beehive products (honey, wax, propolis) for her very sensitive skin. At the Simply Bee Farm, located in Hopefield, customers can benefit from body care or take a guided tour of the beekeeping world.
Table crowned at Paternoster
The opening three years ago of Wolfgat, a small restaurant with about 20 seats, has made the ocean-front village of Paternoster one of the most popular culinary destinations of the moment. Propelled to the forefront by the World Restaurant Awards, the self-taught Chef Kobus van der Merwe is an aesthete and a purist: working only with local producers, fishermen and craftsmen, he brings a new lease of life to the regional economy as well as to the country’s gastronomy.
Coffee break on the Velddrif lagoon
Set back from the port of Velddrif, Bokkom Laan is a sandy road that runs along the lagoon, populated by swans, herons and flamingos. Here, in a powerfully iodized atmosphere, between fishermen’s huts and fish dryers – mullets – you will find Columbine Co. which serves one of the best coffees on the coast, as well as “flat whites” and cappuccinos. The halvas, nougats with tahini cream, are airy.
Surfing and hiking in Elands Bay
Two and a half hours from Cape Town by road, this windy fishing village is a surfing spot that is still confidential. Connoisseurs come here for the quality waves, but also for the authentic, even wild atmosphere. Elands Bay is a great place to observe dolphins, whales and birds of all kinds. It is also idyllic for those who wish to hike among a unique flora and fauna: walking along the Verlorenvlei estuary, you can enjoy 25 kilometres of dazzling nature.