Langebaan is also the place where riots of colourful flowers compete with azure blue seas, golden beaches and the many-coloured wings of migratory birds in the summer. The wetlands of the lagoon are visited annually by as many as 60 000 water birds. These waders, some of whom hail from Greenland and Siberia, feed on small invertebrates that live in the mud.
The impressive salt marshes are graced with large numbers of boldly coloured flamingoes, a sight never to be forgotten On the offshore islands, large colonies of penguins, cormorants and gannets squabble loudly as they search for and find places to roost and breed.
The West Coast National Park covers some 30 000 hectares, and creates an ideal home for bird life; summers are dry and sometimes windy, and the rest of the year boasts a temperate coastal climate. Along the Postberg section of the Park one will find eland, caracal, the African wildcat and bat-eared foxes, and in the flowering season, a riot of colourful flowers will flood the senses.
The region has a charm and down-to-earth beauty all of its own.
Five million years ago things were different; sediments and fossils found here testify to periods of very warm temperatures, higher rainfall, lush vegetation and an abundance of animal life. This "playground" is about 90 minutes drive from Cape Town along the R27 route, with many interesting places to stop, meet the locals, and find out more about this culture-rich area.by Zola Miller