The Western Cape of South Africa is well known for its windy weather; Cape Town is rated the third windiest city in the world after Chicago and Wellington, NZ — but the real Wind Town lies 130 kms NW of Cape Town in the Peninsula-sub region.




Rent a sail boat.
There's a Hobe Cat center in town.


Langebaan is South Africa’s wind surfing capital and it is known as the Jewel of the Western Cape. The peaceful dorp (town in Afrikaans) is the hub for all types of water sports, including stand up paddleboarding, kite boarding, wake boarding, surfing, sailing, kayaking, motor boating, surf fishing, beachcombing, and of course wind surfing.  Langebaan is the third most popular wind surfing area in the world.

I see many of the locals driving dune buggies and chopped VW beetles, but they are not allowed on the long stretches of Strandvelt that line the equally long Langebaan Lagoon — there are too many kids digging holes in the sand and building sand castles. The protected Lagoon provides perfect water conditions but still offers great wind for Wind Town.

During breeding season you may glimpse Southern Right and humpback whales in the Lagoon (July to December). Spring flowers bloom in August and September.  All water sports are allowed in a protected area in the Lagoon except motor boats and fishing which are allowed near the Lagoon mouth. 




Bree Street is the hub for pubs, food, and sports.


Any tourist town of merit has its requisite gift stores and souvenir shops and Langebaan is no exception along the main street (Bree Street) where it meets the main public beach.  All beaches are open to the public. There are numerous restaurants along Bree Street; The Cattle Baron offers a big weekend lunch buffet at a reasonable price. I take in some soccer with the locals at the bar and grill one evening.  One aspect I noticed right away is how friendly the locals are. Yeah, all of a sudden I am hooting for the Cape Town Sharks.




Self-catered beach chalets at the Main Public Beach.


There are all types of beach accommodations in Wind Town but the most chic and hip hotel is brand new and right on Bree Street, only two blocks from the main beach. 

The Windtown Lagoon Resort, Restaurant and Spa opened in December 2012 and quickly became a popular handout for the water sports crowd, locals, and Capetowners, and its restaurant is gaining rave reviews.  The Windtown is dedicated to water sports and it has its own activities centre where you can book all types of trips and the resort also has its own van to get you there.




The new Windtown Resort, Restaurant and Spa.





What to do at Windtown.

A one hour paddleboard lesson runs R250; a guided Lagoon tour is R400. Kiteboarding is becoming the most popular sport in town: a one hour tester or introductory course runs R200; a one day (3-4 hours) beginner course is $900 — you learn to fly the kite and set up the gear; The 2-day beginner course (6-8 hours) is R1700 and you become an independent kiter; the one day intermediate course (2 hours) is R900 and is customized to your abilities to maximize your learning experience.

Windsurfing is a competitive sport in the area, and you can learn to be a pro through several courses: the one day beginner course (3-4 hours) is R750; the 2 day beginner course (6-8 hours) is R1400; the private intermediate or beginner lesson (1 hour) is R300.

All equipment is included in all the paddleboard, kite, and wind surfing courses. Or if you are already a pro you can rent equipment for about R800 daily; SUP (stand up paddleboard) equipment for 4 hours is $400. The Windtown Lagoon Resort offers the latest Fanatic, North, and ION equipment for rent or sale; they also have apparel and gear for sale.




Lounge and swim on the Windtown sun deck.


The Windtown modernistic Mies van de Rohr type of design is perfect — bare concrete walls and floor. A large outdoor community area includes a lap pool that segues with the main pool deck, with the deluxe rooms forming a line with the lap pool. Plush and plumb oversize pillow bag cushions are placed like large gum drops around the pool and wooden deck and three picnic tables.  An outdoor braai completes the scene for group barbecues. The area is well placed for maximum sun for the sun-tanning crowd and the Breezes Restaurant and Bar are adjacent to the sun deck. There is also a roof top sun deck.




A minimalist but chic Windtown standard room.


The Windtown has only 25 rooms, some on an upper level where I stayed for three days.  The rooms are minimalistic but nicely appointed with chic furnishings, coil rattan button rugs, sun drapes, king beds with lots of pillows, A/C, and Wi-Fi everywhere. The in-room phones only connect to reception. The layout of the bathroom behind the bed was brilliant; there is a shower, twin sinks and toilet.

I enjoyed their multi-channels of wide screen satellite TV which is a plus in South Africa where most resorts only have one fuzzy channel.  You can also check out DVDs from the reception area that also serves as a cocktail bar overlooking the restaurant.




The Windtown Spa has a dry sauna.


The Windtown has a new spa that had just opened during my stay. The spa area is quite small, but the treatments are big on health and rejuvenation, including Lillian Terry Full Body Exfoliation, and the Lillian Terry Mud Wrap. Other treatments include: Muscle Ease Wrap, which will be popular with the water sporters; Serenity Wrap utilizing clay; and Cellutherapy Wrap, which reduces fatty deposits in the skin. The spa staff also offers Aromatherapy massages, Swedish massages, and deep tissue rubs. The 90 minute Windtown Signature Massage combines various traditional body touch techniques of the three mentioned techniques. The spa offers tinting, waxing, pedicures, manicures, and makeup sessions. Make your spa reservations in advance at spa@windtown-sa.com

Windtown was constructed deliberately for water sports and it has a sister wind surfing themed hotel in Brazil.  The staff is young and hip and eager to please with excellent service.  The accommodations include a large buffet in the morning. I think it is now time to get off the sun lounger to catch some wind on a kite board.




Click photo for Windtown

The West Coast National Park north entrance is a easy walk from Bree Street. You can get a free entry for a year as a Wild Card holder: call 0861 GO WILD (46-9453) or visit www.wildcard.co.za

The West Coat National Park includes the beautiful Langebaan Lagoon, which is a treasure trove of rare fynbos, white sandy dunes, and vast wetlands packed with birdlife. The best way to see the Park is to hike from the northern Langebaan gate and stroll a 4.6 kms trail to the Seeberg Viewpoint. 




Get free maps & SANSpark magazine at the north HQ.
West Coast National Park
27 (0) 22 772 2144
www.sanparks.org


The Park also has numerous bird-hides for snapping photos. Also, make a stop at the historic Geelsbeck Visitor’s center for displays of ancient foot prints, the oldest known in the world, called Eve’s Footprints, which are fossilized and over 117,000 years old. The nearby Geelsbeck Restaurant specializes in traditional foods (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).  Try their Milk Tart. A great spot for picnics is at Kraalbaai on the Lagoon’s shores. Explore the rock pools at Tsaarsbank.




Kayaking is popular.

Langebaan Lagoon boasts over 250 bird species; the Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling, and Knot journey over 15,000 kilometers from Russia each year to breed at the Lagoon, which was declared an international wetlands at the Ransar Convention in 1975.  The Park was established in 1985 and covers over 32,000 hectares.

There are diverse accommodations within the park, but book well in advance: 




Kids dig the Park.

Duinepos Chalets —

11 fully equipped self-catering chalets, each sleeping 4-6 people; two chalets with wheelchair access; swimming pool and play area.

Call 27 (0) 22 707 9900; info@duinepos.co.za; www.duinepos.co.za.

Abrahamskraal Cottage —

This fully furnished self-catering cottage is situated near the Abrahamskraal waterhole and has a large fireplace in the living area.

SANSPark Central Reservations: 27 (0) 12 428 9111; WCNP: 27 (0) 22 772 2144.

Joanne’s Beach Cottage —

Fully equipped self-catering cottage near Churchhaven, within walking distance to the Lagoon.

SANSPark Central Reservations: 27 (0) 12 428 9111; WCNP: 27 (0) 22 772 2144.




Cruise on the Larus.
Houseboats in Kraalbaai —

Larus Houseboat:

Three cabins with well-equipped open plan, with kitchen and dining area with braai facility.

SANSPark Central Reservations: 27 (0) 12 428 9111; WCNP: 27 (0) 22 772 2144.

Nirvana Houseboat:

Upper and lower decks; suited for groups, families, and for extended holidays.

Tel: 27 21 688 9718
langabaanhouseboats@mweb.co.za
www.houseboating.co.za.




Motor boats are allowed in the Lagoon outside the Park.


Cycling Routes: There are four routes in the Park from 13 kms to two 30 kms trails to the 70 kms round trip trail.

Hiking: Trails include the Strandveld Trail, Bakoor Trail, Steenbok One Day Trail, Postberg Two Day Trail, and Eve’s Trail.




For more info about Langebaan:
www.langebaaninfo.com
langebaan@sbto.co.za
Tel: 27 22 772 2798
There is also a tourist office on Bree St.


Feature and photos by Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine. To book all your Southern African adventures contact Great Safaris at www.greatsafaris.com.