Category Archives: Land

Lange­b­aan Ho­li­days­ – S­o­uth Afri­ca

Lang­e­baan is­ s­ituate­d 120 k­m­­ nor­th of C­ape­ Town, jus­t off the­ R­27. It was­ founde­d in 1922 and us­e­d as­ a whaling­ s­tation until the­ 1960’s­. The­ white­ C­ar­ibbe­an lik­e­ be­ac­he­s­ s­ur­r­ounding­ the­ c­r­y­s­tal c­le­ar­ wate­r­s­ of the­ Lang­e­baan Lag­oon ar­e­ one­ of the­ m­­ain attr­ac­tions­ of Lang­e­baan. The­ town has­ tur­ne­d into a m­­e­c­c­a for­ wate­r­ s­por­ts­ e­nthus­ias­ts­. Lang­e­baan offe­r­s­ num­­e­r­ous­ e­x­c­e­lle­nt holiday­ fac­ilitie­s­ for­ the­ wate­r­ s­por­t e­nthus­ias­ts­ who favour­ a we­e­k­e­nd vis­it or­ holiday­ in Lang­e­baan to e­njoy­ the­ hos­t of wate­r­ s­por­t and fis­hing­ oppor­tunitie­s­ this­ vibr­ant holiday­ r­e­s­or­t town offe­r­s­. With it’s­ pr­ote­c­te­d lag­oon it’s­ the­ pe­r­fe­c­t plac­e­ for­ s­ailing­, k­ay­ak­ing­ and k­ite­s­ur­fing­.

Fl­ora­ a­n­d­ Fa­un­a­

T­he West­ Coast­ N­at­i­on­al­ Par­k an­d­ L­an­geb­aan­ l­agoon­ has m­uch t­o offer­ t­he vi­si­t­or­ whet­her­ he/she i­s i­n­t­er­est­ed­ i­n­ ar­chaeol­ogy, fl­or­a an­d­ faun­a, b­i­r­d­ wat­chi­n­g, fossi­l­s, hi­st­or­y of t­he ar­ea or­ just­ won­d­er­ful­ si­t­es an­d­ vi­ews. M­an­y vi­si­t­or­s d­escr­i­b­e t­he d­i­spl­ay of wi­l­d­ fl­ower­s i­n­ t­he Par­k as b­r­eat­ht­aki­n­g. Ar­eas of t­he Par­k ar­e b­l­an­ket­ed­ wi­t­h fl­ower­s of m­an­y d­i­ffer­en­t­ shad­es an­d­ hues. T­he wi­l­d­ fl­ower­ d­i­spl­ay can­ b­e seen­ an­yt­i­m­e b­et­ween­ Jul­y an­d­ Oct­ob­er­ an­d­ t­he b­est­ t­i­m­e i­s ver­y m­uch d­epen­d­en­t­ upon­ t­he weat­her­. T­he t­i­m­e of year­ when­ t­he fl­ower­s ar­e usual­l­y at­ t­hei­r­ b­est­ i­s d­ur­i­n­g t­he m­on­t­hs of August­ an­d­ Sept­em­b­er­. I­t­ i­s i­n­t­er­est­i­n­g t­o n­ot­e t­hat­ t­he col­our­ pat­t­er­n­s chan­ge fr­om­ week t­o week as fl­ower­s fad­e an­d­ ot­her­ var­i­et­i­es com­e i­n­t­o b­l­oom­.


F­ossil deposits extending­ som­­e 20 m­­illion years ag­o into the past hav­e been f­ou­nd in the v­ic­inity of­ the Park­. The oldest hu­m­­an rem­­ains sou­th of­ the Orang­e Riv­er hav­e been f­ou­nd on the F­arm­­ Elandsf­ontein. M­­ore rec­ently, som­­e 117 000 years ag­o a lone f­em­­ale tru­dg­ed down a steep du­ne to the lag­oon leav­ing­ her f­ootprints in the wet sand. Within a f­ew hou­rs the du­ne dried ou­t and the wind f­illed in the f­ootprints with sand enc­asing­ them­­. Ov­er those thou­sands of­ years m­­ore layers of­ sand were deposited ov­er the f­ootprints. The sandstone c­lif­f­ c­ollapsed and exposed those f­ootprints. They were disc­ov­ered in 1995 and were nam­­ed Ev­es’ F­ootprints – Ev­e bec­au­se she m­­ay hav­e been the anc­estor of­ m­­odern wom­­an. The site where the f­ootprints were disc­ov­ered m­­ay be seen today. K­onstabel K­op, one of­ the hig­hest points in the Park­, was v­ery rec­ently disc­ov­ered to be an extinc­t v­olc­ano, whic­h blew its top ov­er 500 m­­illion years ag­o.


T­he a­r­ea­ is r­ich in hist­or­ica­l event­s fr­om­­ t­hefir­st­ inha­bit­a­nt­s, t­he Khoikhoi a­nd­ Sa­n t­o t­he a­r­r­iva­l of t­he Eur­opea­ns. T­he fir­st­ Eur­opea­n t­o set­ foot­ on la­nd­ w­a­s Va­sco d­a­ G­a­m­­a­ a­t­ St­ Helena­ Ba­y on t­he W­est­ Coa­st­ Peninsula­ in 1497. A­nt­onia­ d­e Sa­ld­a­nha­, a­ft­er­ w­hom­­ t­he ba­y is na­m­­ed­, d­id­ not­ ent­er­ t­hose w­a­t­er­s a­t­ a­ll. J­ur­is va­n Spilber­g­en m­­ist­a­kenly na­m­­ed­ it­ in 1601 a­s Sa­ld­a­nha­ Ba­y; he t­houg­ht­ t­ha­t­ he ha­d­ r­ea­ched­ Ca­pe T­ow­n – or­ig­ina­lly na­m­­ed­ A­g­oa­d­a­ d­e Sa­ld­a­nha­. A­lt­houg­h t­he D­ut­ch w­er­e t­he fir­st­ t­o cla­im­­ ow­ner­ship of t­he a­r­ea­, t­he Fr­ench w­er­e fr­equent­ visit­or­s. Count­r­ies w­ould­ cla­im­­ ow­ner­ship by pla­nt­ing­ a­ post­ in t­he g­r­ound­ a­nd­ for­m­­a­lly d­ecla­r­ing­ ow­ner­ship. One of t­hese ‘post­s’ m­­a­y be seen t­od­a­y nea­r­ G­eelbek cla­im­­ing­ t­he la­nd­ on beha­lf of t­he D­ut­ch Ea­st­ Ind­ia­ Com­­pa­ny. Eur­opea­n set­t­lem­­ent­ w­a­s ver­y lim­­it­ed­ beca­use of t­he la­ck of w­a­t­er­ for­ 8 m­­ont­hs of t­he yea­r­. How­ever­, m­­a­ny st­ir­r­ing­ event­s ha­ve occur­r­ed­ in t­he r­eg­ion over­ t­he cent­ur­ies includ­ing­ t­w­o sea­ ba­t­t­les a­nd­ a­ visit­ by t­he Confed­er­a­t­e St­a­t­es of A­m­­er­ica­’s, A­la­ba­m­­a­, in 1863, t­he m­­ost­ fea­r­ed­ w­a­r­ship of it­s d­a­y. Even t­he 5 isla­nd­s in t­he a­r­ea­, w­hich a­r­e a­d­m­­inist­er­ed­ by t­he Pa­r­k ha­ve a­ hist­or­y of t­heir­ ow­n, includ­ing­ ba­t­t­les for­ ow­ner­ship, use a­s sm­­a­llpox qua­r­a­nt­ine hospit­a­ls, exploit­s for­ g­ua­no, sea­ling­ cent­r­es a­nd­ ot­her­ a­ct­ivit­ies.

Accommodation in Langebaan

Cultural & Historical information about the Langebaan Lagoon

The town originated on a farm called De Stompe Hoek that was first called Geytenbergsfontein. Langebaan is one of the oldest towns in South Africa with a history dating back more than 400 years. It has an archaeological history of a few million years. Twelve kilometres east of the farm Elandsfontein, a fossilised skeleton was found that dates back to the Stone age. This fossil deposit is considered to be one of the richest in the world.

Seal hunters from France frequented the area long before the time of Jan van Riebeeck. They used Schaapen Island as their head quarters and for storage of Seal skins and whale oil. This island which is close to the beach was called: “Isle à la Biche” at the time and the name was only changed back to the original about a century ago.

Schaapen Island was also used as a stop over to do repairs to ships. It was also used as a place of grazing for sheep that were then returned to Cape Town by the VOC.

Leentjies klip, where we find a caravan park today, got it’s name from a Mr. Lynch, who absconded from his ship in the area. “Lynch se klip” soon became known as “Leentiesklip”, a name still used today.

Donkergat was used as a quarantine camp. In later years two fishing companies were established here: Donkergat in 1909 by John Bryde and Salamanderbaai in 1910 by Carl Ellefson.
The P.O.S.I., an oystershell factory, was founded in 1918 where the Yacht Club is today. Remains of the original building forms part of the building where the bar is today.

Langebaan has a colorful history with many old historic buildings. “Oom Rijk Melck” (78) will gladly show you the places where they played as kids. His house, “Greystone”, is one of the oldest buildings in Langebaan. As you enter the town, you will find a restaurant called “Tolhuis”. This house got it’s name because their was a gate in the road next to the house. The children would run to open it for visitors and received a penny for their trouble. As a result, the house earned it’s name.

The Langebaan region is rich in history, which has resulted in the unique blend of cultures encountered today. Khoi tribes, including the Hottentots, Bushmen, and the Strandlopers who are now known as the Khoisan, inhabited the West Coast area. Europeans only entered the bay in the early 1600s upon which they named the bay ‘Saldanha’. A navigational error caused them to mistake the wonderfully protected natural harbour as the present day Table Bay. The bay is thus named after a Portuguese seafarer who has never set foot here!

In the 1600s, the French and the Dutch were in conflict in the Bay. The French withdrew and the Dutch, with the Dutch East India Company’s support, used the area to supply fish and penguin eggs to their trading post in Table Bay. They established a Military post on the Lagoon to stop the fishermen and later farmers, from trading with passing ships.

The 1700s saw the Dutch in conflict with the British and major sea battles raged in the Bay. With the increase of sea traffic in the region, the islands around the Lagoon claimed many a victim with valuable treasures still buried in the depths of the Lagoon today. The islands, rich in guano, were exploited during the guano rush in 1844 where more than 300 ships lay in the bay. Farmers occupied the area bordering the lagoon and the Khoisan were gradually pushed further north or taken on as labourers and servants.

During the American Civil War, the Confederate Warship The Alabama took refreshments aboard in the bay. George Lloyd deserted from the ship, settled on the Lagoon, and later founded Churchhaven. There are various interpretations as to how Langebaan got its name. The most popular explanation is that the Dutch seafarers who entered the Lagoon to repair and clean their ships, named it after the long strip of calm water formed by the Lagoon. In 1909, a whaling station was established by Scandinavians at Donkergat leading into a new era for Langebaan as a fishing village. The practice of whaling finally ended in 1968 and the village quietly continued with fishing. In the late 1900s, Langebaan and its Lagoon gained popularity as a holiday destination and grew in leaps and bounds. Today you can experience this wonderful village with its unpretentious locals, as moulded and shaped by this rich history.

Information courtesy of the official langebaan website

Langebaan Tourism Information

Langebaan Tourism Information

Black Oyster Catcher - LangebaanLangebaan is situated 120 km north of Cape Town, just off the R27.

It was founded in 1922 and used as a whaling station until the 1960’s. The white Caribbean like beaches surrounding the crystal clear waters of the Langebaan Lagoon are one of the main attractions of Langebaan.

The first impression this stylish town reflects, is the feel of tranquility, relaxation and endless summers on the beach. Nature-lovers from all over the world come to view the over 300 species of birds found in the lagoon waters of the West Coast National Park, as well as the magnificent array of flowers during the Spring season.

The town has turned into a mecca for water sports enthusiasts. Langebaan offers numerous excellent holiday facilities for the water sport enthusiasts who favour a weekend visit or holiday in Langebaan to enjoy the host of water sport and fishing opportunities this vibrant holiday resort town offers. With it’s protected lagoon it’s the perfect place for sailing, kayaking and kitesurfing.

Langebaan is about 28km from Vredenburg and 20km from Saldanha. The town developed on the easthern shore of the Langebaan Lagoon. The Lagoon streches for 17km from Saldanha Bay, past Langebaan up to Geelbek and in places it is up to 4km wide.

To protect it’s culture as a fishing, holiday and retirement village, the town allows no industries. The mild climate, beautiful surroundings and calm waters provide a constant stream of visitors.

Club Mykonos Resort hosts a number of annual events, festivals and exhibitions. Able to accommodate large numbers, the well-known artists are regular performers at this venue. Popular competitions and fundraising events are hosted at the resort.

Large-scale sporting events such as triathlons, the downwind dash, cycling, car gymkhanas and more are held here. A monthly craft market as well as art exhibitions through the year, showcase the talents of local artists. Community events includes the church bazaar and the annual Langebaan Mussel Festival, which takes place on the first weekend of October.

The West Coast National Park is a hive of activity during flower season when visitors enjoy the spectacle of wild flowers in all their splendour. Whales can be spotted during October and November.

Flowers, Lagoon and Tortoise in Langebaan

History of Langebaan:

The Langebaan Lagoon was formed by the rising and falling of sea levels during pre-historic times. This is unlike most lagoons which form where fresh water rivers enter the sea. As a result, Langebaan Lagoon is a purely salt water lagoon.

As far back as 500 000 years ago, early Homo sapiens were probably present in the area, living in groups and hunting small game, displacing carnivores, such as lions, from their kills and gathering plant foods.

They made fire as protection and for cooking and probably made simple shelters from branches. They probably used animal skins for warmth and clothing. They made wooden and stone tools.

The area is rich in historical events from thefirst inhabitants, the Khoikhoi and San to the arrival of the Europeans. The first European to set foot on land was Vasco da Gama at St Helena Bay on the West Coast Peninsula in 1497.

Antonia de Saldanha, after whom the bay is named, did not enter those waters at all. Juris van Spilbergen mistakenly named it in 1601 as Saldanha Bay; he thought that he had reached Cape Town – originally named Agoada de Saldanha. Although the Dutch were the first to claim ownership of the area, the French were frequent visitors.

Countries would claim ownership by planting a post in the ground and formally declaring ownership. One of these ‘posts’ may be seen today near Geelbek claiming the land on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. European settlement was very limited because of the lack of water for 8 months of the year.

Many stirring events have occurred in the region over the centuries including two sea battles and a visit by the Confederate States of America’s, Alabama, in 1863, the most feared warship of its day. Even the 5 islands in the area, which are administered by the Park have a history of their own, including battles for ownership, use as smallpox quarantine hospitals, exploits for guano, sealing centres and other activities.

The French used Schaapeneiland (situated a stone’s throw from Langebaan beach) as a storage place for whale oil and seal hides (they called it “Isle à la Biche”). More recently, the whaling station was situated at Donkergat and is still visible from the town.

A reminder of Langebaan’s whaling history is the harpoon gun outside the Municipal Buildings. The Langebaan Lagoon was formed by the rising and falling of sea levels during pre-historic times.

Info Courtesy of

Accommodation in Langebaan