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Back roads of the West Coast

  • L'Ermitage Quagga Lodge near Velddrif
  • Klein Tafelberg 4x4 Trail
  • Strandfontein
  • Going off the grid to Hondeklipbaai
  • Shipwreck 4x4 Route
  • Alexander Bay and the Orange River Mouth
  • Diamond museum in Port Nolloth

Overview

The West Coast is a place where the goodness of life is celebrated! It is remote, less urbanised and has a unique charm enabling you to gear down to slow driving and slow living. Most people think they know the region but, on this tour, we are going to uncover and experience the hidden gems that are out of reach on a mere weekend away.

True to the Live the Journey way of doing things, we have put together a trip that is truly special in every sense. Our detectives dug deep and found special characters with amazing stories for you to enjoy. We have also obtained special permission to visit certain places that are closed to the general public. Join us and go off-the-beaten-track as we drive from Velddrif to Port Nolloth. In 2022 we will have two departures: join us in March or September. A one-of-a-kind experience awaits! 

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE VELDDRIF

Travel in your own time to Velddrif. The town is situated 140 kilometres from Cape Town on the R27, situated on the Berg River. The name Velddrif is derived from a local farmer, Theunis Smit, who took his stock through a drift in the field (Afrikaans: veld), to find grazing across the river. In 1899, a pontoon ferry was built to cross the Berg River. The nearby estuary is an important bird habitat. Bird-watchers might like to arrive early to enjoy some birdwatching. The area is home to 30 000 birds, including up to 80 species which are endemic to the Cape coast.

Our overnight stop for the following two nights is the lodge of Nic and Albé Treurnicht, Live the Journey clients. It is situated on the banks of the Berg River just outside of Velddrif.

18:00 – Group members will meet our tour guide, Dudley Wessels, in the main dining area of the lodge. Dudley is from Hondeklipbaai and are extremely passionate about the West Coast. It is not an exaggeration to say that Dudley is one of the most knowledgeable people on the West Coast and its vegetation. Dudley is described as “an extraordinary guide with unparalleled knowledge about this particular part of our country”.

19:00 – We kick-off the tour with a delicious seafood meal.

O/N L’Ermitage Quagga Lodge, Velddrif (dinner)

DAY 2: KLEIN TAFELBERG 4X4 TRAIL

08:00 – Breakfast in the main dining area of the lodge.

An exciting day awaits. After breakfast we depart for Klein Tafelberg 4x4 trail, situated between the towns of Redelinghys and Aurora. The fun starts as you enter the gate, when you must reduce your tyre pressure. The trail was voted one of South Africa’s Top 10 4x4 trails. The local VLV-ladies will prepare a light lunch that will be served in the lapa.
We will spend most of the day on the scenic adventures-filled trail. It snakes along sandy fynbos, covered slopes and weathered sandstone formations to viewpoints revealing more than just Sandveld flats.
Return to Velddrif for overnight.

19:00 – Dinner will be in the main dining area at the lodge.

O/N L’Ermitage Quagga Lodge, Velddrif (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 3: TO STRANDFONTEIN

Depart on a morning game drive. Nic and Albé breed on L’Ermitage, among others, with exotic game. They are doing pioneering work that we will experience first-hand. The quagga project is fascinating. It started in 1987 and is an attempt to bring back an animal from extinction and reintroduce it into reserves in its former habitat.

08:30 – Breakfast and check-out.

Today we are going to venture further north up the West Coast. The route will first take us through Dwarskersbos, and then Elands Bay. Elands Bay is a typical West Coast town that draws visitors during the flower season and surfers who are in search of the perfect wave. We will also pass-through Lambert’s Bay and Doringbaai to reach Strandfontein, our overnight stop. Strandfontein is a picturesque village at the mouth of the Olifants River.

The group will be making use of different accommodation units in the town. All meals will be at one venue.

19:00 – Enjoy a buffet seafood dinner. Meet Hilda who is famous for her catering and mouth-watering meals.

O/N Strandfontein – different self-catering units (breakfast, dinner)

DAY 4: GOING OFF THE GRID

08:00 – Check-out and enjoy breakfast.

After breakfast we drive to Lutzville. We will drive along a beautiful, rugged route starting from Gert du Toit-se-Baai to Hondeklipbaai. We promise a unique experience as we venture further up the coast along a tweespoor track. The route will go via places like Brandsebaai, Malkopbaai, Abraham Villiersbaai, Groenriviermond, Kwaassebaai and Skuinsbaai until we reach Hondeklipbaai. Between Brandsebaai and Groenriviermond you will cross the border into the Northern Cape.

The day will be relatively long, but we should be in time to watch the sun set on the West Coast in Hondeklipbaai. It is believed that Hondeklipbaai got its name from a rock next to the police station that resembled a sitting dog. That was before it was struck by lightning. The village was originally used as a harbour to export copper ore from the mines near Springbok. Today the town serves the fishing and diamond-mining community. The diamond dredgers use the bay as their base.

Our accommodation for the next two nights will be in Hondeklipbaai. The group will be split between self-catering units. Meals will be at Die Rooi Spinnekop Restaurant.

19:00 – Enjoy a dinner of mussel soup, paella, snoek and malva pudding.

O/N Hondeklipbaai – different self-catering units (breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner)

DAY 5: SHIPWRECK ROUTE

Breakfast will be at Die Rooi Spinnekop Restaurant.
After breakfast we enter the De Beers restricted area with Dudley. Live the Journey needs to book the permits in advance. For this we will require a copy of your ID. We are going to drive the Shipwreck 4x4 route today and visit four shipwrecks. This is a particularly beautiful drive. Expect gravel roads, soft sand, pebble beaches and rock. In between the wrecks there are a series of historical, archaeological, and geological sights, but Dudley will tell you more about this. Later in the afternoon on the return journey, there will be an opportunity to do some dune driving. Few get the opportunity to drive here in these white sands of West Coast. We can promise a memorable day.

19:00 – Dinner at Die Rooi Spinnekop Restaurant. Enjoy chicken pie, lampot and braai ribs with freshly baked bread.

O/N Hondeklipbaai – different self-catering units (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner)

DAY 6: EXPLORING PORT NOLLOTH

08:00 – Breakfast at Die Rooi Spinnekop, enjoy sweet and sour mutton kidneys and liver with pap or toast and filter coffee … you will not find anything more traditional.

After breakfast we continue our journey north. The first town that we will reach is Kleinzee, which has almost turned into a ghost town after De Beers stopped diamond mining activities.

Our destination for the day is Port Nolloth. During our visit to Port Nolloth we will experience and learn more about the diamond mining culture of the West Coast.

Upon arrival in Port Nolloth we will have a quick snack lunch before our afternoon tour departs.

We will drive to Alexander Bay and see the mouth of the Orange River … our journey has taken us from the mouth of the Berg River to the mouth of the Orange River. We are also going to visit George Moisy, also known as ‘One Time’. George has a diamond museum in Port Nolloth, which will be a unique experience. Spending two hours in the company of a legendary person like George Moisy and listening to his unique storytelling will be an exceptional experience.

Check-in at your hotel, followed by dinner.

19:00 – Dinner will be at the hotel.

O/N Scotia Inn – standard rooms (breakfast, light lunch, dinner)

DAY 7: DEPART HOME

Breakfast at the hotel. It is then time for sad farewells as you will depart home in your own time.

END OF SERVICES

Dates

14 - 20 March 2022

05 - 11 September 2022

Rates

Tour price per person sharing:
Per adult: R11,100.00*

* Cost based on 2021 rates. Please use as a guideline only until 2022 rates become available. 

Included

Included:

  • Tour guide in own vehicle
  • 2 x nights in Velddrif on DBB basis
  • 1 x night in Strandfontein on DBB basis
  • 2 x nights in Hondeklipbaai on DBB basis with a packed lunch
  • 1 x night in Port Nolloth on DBB basis with a finger lunch
  • Entrance fee for Klein Tafelberg – 4x4 route
  • Wine tasting at Fryers Cove
  • Permit for Shipwreck Route
  • Afternoon tour in Port Nolloth
  • Two-way radios in vehicles for use during the tour

Excluded

Excluded:

  • Transport (a 4x4 with high ground clearance is required)
  • Fuel for duration of the trip
  • Lunches, unless specified, and snacks
  • All drinks
  • Travel insurance and vehicle insurance
  • Any items of a personal nature such as telephone bill, curios, and laundry

Notes:

  • As the West Coast is famous for seafood, most of our main meals will consists of seafood. If you have seafood allergies please let us know so that we can make alternative arrangements for you.
  • This tour requires a minimum of 16 guests to offer it at the quoted price.
  • The tour starts in Velddrif and ends in Port Nolloth.
  • Prices for conservation levies may be changed without prior notice. This is beyond our control and any increase levied will be for the traveller’s account.