The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago.  Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago.  Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago.  Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago.  Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago.  Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

There is nothing like a West Coast break and the area is close enough for a day-trip too. A road trip into the Cape West Coast offers you 101 things to see and do.

Here is a list of some of the top West Coast getaway places to visit:

1. Thali Thali Game Lodge

Thali Thali Game Lodge is a game and fynbos reserve located less than an hours drive from Cape Town. In addition to the restaurant situated next to the pool and kiddies play area, there is a choice of accommodation, from a spacious farmhouse to self-catering chalets and luxury tents, which have en-suite bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the newly introduced Cape Buffalo when out on a game drive at Thali Thali!

2. Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort

Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort is situated in the Piekenierskloof pass on the N7 towards Citrusdal. This top-class resort has a luxurious 22-bed hotel and 16 self-catering chalets.

Things to do whilst staying at Piekenierskloof include zip-lining (there is a seven platform zip line experience on site) mountain biking, mini golf, or swimming in the large outdoor or heated indoor pools. There is also a kiddies play area and games room, a spa and a fantastic restaurant.

3. !Khwa ttu

Visitors to !Khwa ttu, which is also just an hour from Cape Town, can enjoy the one of a kind Way Of The San Heritage Centre, the restaurant, the gallery, a gift shop, the Dream Museum, San guided nature walk, mountain bike trails, hikes, trail runs, and accommodation. Plus, the recently launched new San guided e-bike tours.

Accommodation at !Khwa ttu features secluded rustic cottages or free-standing glamping tents with all the amenities you could need.

4. Hello Darling

Holidays are a great time to take your time in the peaceful village of Darling - gateway to the Cape West Coast. Attractions include a craft brewery, an olive tasting centre, an award-winning cheesery and even a bespoke confectionary shop where visitors can watch the production of home-made toffees. Not forgetting Evita se Perron, the Darling museum and several well established (and awarded) wineries - such as the Groote Post Wine Estate – which offers a wonderful country market on the last Sunday of the month in Summer. 

Pop in at Darling Tourism, named Hello Darling, when in Darling for all the information you need on the town and its attractions.

5. Crayfish Trails

If you love the idea of exploring unspoiled stretches of coastline and pioneering new trails, then slackpacking with the Crayfish Trail is for you. Explore the beautiful West Coast on foot uncovering the secrets of the coastal towns and villages of the West Coast situated between Rocher Pan and Papendorp.

There are a number of different routes from which to choose, including a Six Day Trail and a choice of Three Day Trails. The Crayfish Trail now also offers a newly launched glamping experience.

6. Mamre Werf in Mamre

A mere 50 minutes from Cape Town, just off the R27 West Coast Road, lies the small town of Mamre. Not only does this unassuming settlement have a rich and colourful history, but it is also home to South Africa’s fifth oldest church in the remarkable Moravian Mission Station.

This is a one of a kind experience in South Africa and the kids will love the donkey-cart trip!

7. Charlie’s Brewhouse

For an unforgettable meal and a beer tasting experience be sure to visit Charlie’s Brewhouse, a restaurant and micro-brewery situated on the water’s edge of the Port Owen Marina in Velddrif.

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and the varied menu has something for everyone with its fusion of traditional British pub fare and local West Coast flavours.

10. Russells on the Port

Russells On The Port is a luxurious boutique hotel overlooking the Berg River on the Cape West Coast - this is where the Berg River meets the ocean and it boasts one of the most bird-rich river estuaries in the world. Situated in Port Owen, which is part of the beautiful West Coast town of Velddrif, Russells On The Port also features an upmarket 90 seater fine-dining restaurant.

11. Club Mykonos

Club Mykonos is situated on the shores of the Langebaan Lagoon. Like a slice of Greece situated on the Cape West Coast, this family-friendly holiday resort offers a variety of accommodation options, many fun activities, restaurants, a casino and so much more.

12. West Coast Fossil Park

The West Coast Fossil Park is close to Langebaan. See the fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes and the many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area some 5 million years ago. 

Informative guided walking tours to the dig site are the main attraction. This site is one of the few places where you can see fossils in the ground exactly as they were buried some 5 million years ago and exactly as they have been carefully uncovered by the research teams

For more information on these attractions and on West Coast Way, the other routes on offer, and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za