Yzerfontein & Surrounds
Be dazzled by the pristine beauty of the West Coast.
The name “Yzerfontein” translated from Dutch means "Iron Fountain".
Yzerfontein is a quaint seaside village situated on the West Coast, renowned for its long sandy beaches stretching to the horizon and Table Mountain’s iconic silhouette fading in the distance - this friendly beach village is all about laid-back West Coast beach living. Being only an hour’s drive from Cape Town it is a popular weekend escape yet remains quaint and welcoming.
As a coastal fishing village it is friendly and welcoming, with all the charm of a town that cares for its people, wild life, and, of course, the fynbos kingdom in which it is situated. Yzerfontein is an urban conservancy and its residents work tirelessly to protect the natural heritage for generations to come.It is an ideal place from which to explore the beauty of the greater surrounding of this West Coast region and it is also very safe, as it is slightly off the main route, with just one road serving as access to the stunning coastal location.
Surrounded by the local fynbos (local shrub species) and adjoining the pristine conservation area of the West Coast National Park, it’s not unusual to see a porcupine or a lynx wandering through the streets at night, ostrich and buck are a common sight and bird life is plentiful, from the endangered Black Oystercatcher to pelican, gulls and flamingo in the vlei.
Whatever your beach preference is, Yzerfontein caters for it, from leisurely shell-seeking walks and watching the sandpipers running at the edge of the waves, to surfing and adrenaline kite-surfing. The long beach is a haven for beginners. In winter and spring there’s a good chance of seeing a variety of whales and dolphins as well as seals.
Meandering amongst the rock pools has endless appeal for all ages and summer days of sunbathing and swimming leave you relaxed sun-kissed and salty, ready for a relaxed evening beside the fire looking up at the stars with family and friends.
In Yzerfontein itself you can feast on a plethora of fresh seafood in the small cafes and restaurants, enjoy local breakfast spreads and tea treats at the farmstall, or just enjoy the mesmerizing ocean views from your suite at The Olive Tree Villa.
Yzerfontein proudly boasts the Unique 16 Mile Beach, being the longest uninterrupted white sandy beach on the coastline of South Africa. Being best described as a beach paradise with its unspoilt beaches, sand stretched and rugged coastline in parts, with its own craft harbour and renowned surf & fishing spots. Azure blue waters play host to many kite surfers, divers and boats of many array. (One could book a boat trip out into the bay, get close to Dassen Island and accompany the species of whales and dolphins that frequent these waters or try your hand at deep sea fishing – the choices are aplenty.
Yzerfontein is well known for its West Coast hospitality and the friendliness of its locals who are always keen to share info with the “villages guest” – you will even get to hear about the beeg fish that they almost caught but at the last minute it just got away. Never short on humour, you will love the charm and welcome from all.
This seaside village has so much on offer for the outdoor enthusiasts including:
- Scenic Walks
- Road & Mountain Biking
- Hiking Trails in the area include The 2km Schaap Island trail which starts on the main beach and runs in a southerly direction towards the harbour. The 16 mile trail starts at the main beach and runs north along the beach towards the West Coast National Park.
- Snorkeling & Diving
- Wind Surfing, Board & Kite Surfing
- Fishing from both land and deep sea - these waters are renowned for fish such as the local “snoek”, cob, yellowtail, Tuna, Crayfish (similar to lobster) & black mussels – the latter two when in season & with permits.
- Bird watching
YZERFONTEIN LIME KILNS
With the establishment of the refreshment station at de Caap de Goede Hoop by the Dutch East India Company or the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) there was no cement available for building purposes. The Dutch built lime kilns to burn mussels to form a binding material to be used as cement.
The lime kiln was built above ground level, with lime stones which did not crack when it becomes very hot. In the oven you would find a fine gridiron and on it they placed layers of mussel shells and wood. The heat of the fire turned the shells into a fine ash, which then fell through the gridiron. The ash was then mixed with water and placed in a evaporating enclosure to enable it to turn into a type of lime. It was used as a binding material in place of cement.
The Castle in Cape Town and many farm houses in the Sandveld on the West Coast was built with it. Salt was added to the lime and was widely used to white wash the outsides of buildings. Animal fat was added to help with the binding properties of the lime and to waterproof the surface.
Half/Full Day Trips
Explore the stunning lagoon, wildlife and fynbos of the West Coast National Park with a beach picnic, or the coastal resort of Langebaan or head inland to Darling.
!Khwa ttu offers one a variety of experiences including a unique San Guided Tour Experience for an understanding of the local San people who once lived here or you can partake in one of these activities:
- Mountain Biking (They also offer Mountain Bike Rentals)
- Nature Walks & Trail runs
- Herbal Tea Tasting
Darling is an inland farm settlement turned into a quaint artists town with coffee shops, curio shops and restaurants - discover its hidden wine estates and the Groote Post monthly market which collects the best of local artisan producers together for a fun family day on the last Sunday of the month.
It is also home to the world renowned cabaret theatre and restaurant of Pieter-Dirk Uys more famously known by “her” pseudo name of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout).
On weekends, Pieter Dirk Uys performs his internationally acclaimed shows live on stage. The full programme can be found here. You can also enjoy great traditional South African cooking in their restaurant, which features recipes from Evita´s cook book named Kossie Sikelela.
The Darling Brewery offers an interactive and fascinating beer tasting experience highlighting their slow fermentation process, now coined as “Slow Beer”. The tasting room and bar which overlooks the working microbrewery, serves delicious beer paired meals which are made from fresh, organic, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. A highlight is the proudly South African barbecue ‘braai’ menu indoors or outside in the garden where beer lovers can enjoy the Darling Brew craft beers.
Buffelsfontein Game & Nature reserve is a 1600 ha family owned reserve, which is home to some of Africa’s greats such as Lion, Buffalo, White Rhino and Giraffe.Game you can expect to see on these drives: Lion, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Eland, Oryx (Gemsbok), Bontebok, Springbok, Duiker, Steenbok and Caracal.
Game seen less often on these drives: African Wildcat, Bat-eared fox, Cape fox, Genet, Grey buck, Mountain Reedbuck, Porcupine, Aardvark, Aardwolf and Honey Badger.buffelsfontein.co.za/
Visit the West Coast Fossil Park where one can 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.
The Fossil Park is situated approximately half an hour’s drive north of the West Coast National Park and offers one informative guided walking tours to the dig site are the main attraction. This site is well worth visiting as it 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.
As a guideline they are open as follows: Weekdays from 08.00-16.00 and these vary on Saturday, Sunday & public holidays according to the seasons - therefore you are advised to phone or email ahead of your visit.fossilpark.org.za
Langebaan is a coastal town that lies along a crystal clear lagoon that stretches into the West Coast National Park. The natural attractions lure outdoor lovers in droves, while unique beach restaurants, abundant seafood and shopping for curios, crafts fascinating array of fauna and flora, delicious seafood and a paradise for bird lovers.
The receding tide creates a spectacular habitat for birds and other wildlife and can be enjoyed any time of year. Almost year round sunshine, safe waters and reliable winds make Langebaan paradise for water sports lovers - particularly kite surfers, wind surfers, kayakers, yachtsmen, water skiers and fishermen.
Aside from its breathtaking beauty and white sandy beaches lays a rich historical heritage - what is widely believed to be the oldest known fossilised footprint of a modern human, known as Eve’s Footprint and thought to be about 117 000 years old, was discovered on the shore of the lagoon in 1995.
The picturesque modern town borders the salt water Lagoon which is an internationally acclaimed Ramsar Site for its importance as a wetland. The 6 000ha international Ramsar Convention wetlands in the area includes the Schaapen, Marcus, Malgas and Jutten islands (home to thousands of Cape gannets, Cape cormorants, and kelp gulls),
The large, shallow marine lagoon, includes islands, reedbeds, sand flats, saltmarshes and dwarf shrubland. The lagoon is an important nursery area for a number of fish species and supports a diverse and ecologically important algal and shoreline biota.
The tidal mud flats of the saltwater lagoon attract thousands of migratory birds, with resident species including greater and lesser flamingos and the world’s largest breeding colony of black harriers. The lagoon also serves as a nursery for sea fish species such as pipefish, skates, rays and steenbras.
Langebaan’s popular Club Mykonos Resort offers a variety of restaurants, children’s activities, a spa, swimming pools, a casino and more. Keen golfers can head to the Langebaan Country Estate for a round or two.