West Coast South Africa
Langebaan Lagoon with the West Coast National Park in the background
Langebaan is a town on the west coast of South Africa
about a 100 kilometres from Cape Town.
Its a growing town and it is situated on the Langebaan Lagoon.
The lagoon was discovered way back in the 1601 and was
”owned” by various nations over the years.
In 1662 Jan van Riebeeck sent scouts to explore the
lagoon as he wanted to establish a harbour there.
Fortunately for us the scouts could not find fresh
water so Cape Town was established at the base of
Table Mountain where there was plenty of water.
Three hundred years later in 1922 the town of
Langebaan was established.
Nobody actually knows where the name came from but
some think that it came from the Dutch phrase meaning Long Fjord.
My theory is that the person who named it had to travel
a long way from Cape Town and called it long road.(Langebaan)
Over the years the lagoon has been used for many different activities.
There have been pirates, whale hunters, guano collectors,
and sheep farmers. It has been used as a navy base and a landing strip
for flying boats as well.
The land where Langebaan has been built has been dated
at about 10 million years of age and fossils have
been found in a phosphate mine nearby.
Of great importance however are the salt water marshes
which make up about a third of all the salt marshes
found in South Africa.
On the southern end of the lagoon the West Coast National
Park has been established.
In it you will find animals, such as tortoises,
zebras, gemsbok and wildebeest.
There are also a number of ostriches roaming about in the park.
As there are no really large animals it is safe to cycle
through the park and experience its beauty from closeup.
Another view of the lagoon with Donkergat in the background
Along the southern edge of the lagoon a number of bird
hides have been built. There one can sit quietly and
watch some of the 70,000 migrating waders that visit
our shores each year.
250 bird species visit and use the lagoon annually.
These include Kelp Gulls, Swift Tern, Crowned Cormorants
and Black Oystercatchers, a bird on the endangered list.
One of our visitors is the Curlew Sandpiper which spends
eight months in South Africa and then flies to Siberia
in April to breed.
In April the National Park comes into its own when the
wild flowers start putting on a show. The whole veld becomes
a carpet of flowers and is beautiful to see.
Today the town of Langebaan is growing like mad. There
are a number of housing projects being built and they have
a lovely view over the lagoon.
On the southern end of the lagoon is a small fishing harbour
where small boats can launch to fish in the lagoon.
Boats being launched off the beach at Langebaan
Closer to the centre of the town is a place where boats
can launch from the beach.To the northeast of the town a golfing estate is being established.
It has a beautiful 18 hole golf course which has been built
in an area that was once virgin bush.
About 5 kilometres out of town towards the north is Mykanos.
A holiday resort with an hotel and a casino. All the buildings
in this village are built in a greek style and when visiting
the area one would think that you are on an island in Greece.
The small boat harbour at Mykanos
Mykanos also has its own harbour where pleasure craft can be moored.
The Langebaan lagoon is one of the most beautiful
lagoons in South Africa.
Anybody visiting the west coast must visit the lagoon
and experience the beauty for themselves.
I'll save you the expense this time as I have included a
number of photos for you.
After seeing them I'm sure you'll be on the next
plane to SA for a visit.
See you here soon.
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