We spent a weekend exploring West Coast towns

We decided to spend a weekend exploring West Coast towns that we have not visited before.

The West coast is a wonderful place to explore if you just have a weekend to spare. We found the perfect accommodation that is reasonably priced at Juffroushoogte Guest Farm.

Juffroushoogte Guest Farm

Juffroushoogte Guest Farm is situated in Vredenburg on the R45. We booked into the 4-sleeper self-catering unit that reminds one of a farm laborer's cottage. The facade is a rough, plastered flat-roofed building and the interior is sparsely, but adequately equipped with all the necessities.

Our self-catering cottage on the left.

The friendly owners and the quiet setting were perfect. There is a lodge on the premises as well, but I was glad we chose the self-catering facility with its privacy. The Saldana-Sishen railway line runs behind the farm and we could see the neverending train transporting carriage loads of iron ore to the Saldana port that lies about 10 kilometers from Vredenburg. The Saldanha-Sishen railway line extends for a whopping 861 plus kilometers from Sishen in the Northern Cape Province to Saldanha Bay in the Western Cape Province.


Vredenburg has its own quirkiness that is expressed via their advertising billboards. If one watches the sombre faces of the drivers on the Vredenburg roads though, you almost want to inject them with their own humour.

rock formations in Vredenburg

There are also beautiful rock formations on the outskirts of this town and it is home to a modern shopping mall, The West Coast Mall.  Here you can access all your regular retail stores and familiar fast-food restaurants.


Paternoster beachfront

We spent a few hours in Paternoster, the oldest fishing village along the West Coast. Paternoster has a postcard quality. It is a beautiful seaside town with its characteristic white and blue painted homes, restaurants and holiday accommodation. You will find crayfish vendors plying their trade along the beach road, inviting you to buy their freshly-caught crayfish. The craft market situated on the beachfront sells many artworks and crafts made by the artist community of Paternoster.

I think Paternoster is the victim of its own charm. Accommodation of all categories and prices to match with a flood of eateries make the place seem too crowded. The buildings occupy every available piece of land. Here and there you will see 'For Sale' signboards and open plots show that building is in progress.

Saldanha Bay

Our next stop was Saldanha Bay that is about 10 kilometers away. Saldanha Bay is the largest natural harbour in South Africa. We went for a stroll along the harbour, watching a few fishermen washing their boats. The cormorants are plentiful here. We were entertained by the ongoing pair that eventually seemed to have locked beaks after a while.

Saldanha Bay is an industrial town. The industrial development zone that lies on the outskirts of the town serves the oil and gas industry. The monstrous steelworks that look rather odd in the middle of a rural town during the day, become a spectacular display of streams of light set against the dark night sky.

Part of the Industrial Development Zone

Now it's your turn to go and find all the treasures along the West Coast.


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