THE wild flowers that bloom in spring – particularly along the West Coast – are legendary, and almost mythical. Sure, we’ve all seen the photographs, but are they real?
For a long time, I thought not; every time I had made the drive up that way, there was nothing to be seen and I was beginning to think it was all just a load of hype. That’s mainly because they only open up to reveal their magnificence when the sun shines, and my visits had been under the cover of clouds.
Flower season runs officially until the end of September, but plants don’t really work according to our calendar and pretty much do their own thing. Apparently, they emerged early this year, and will be done when they’re done. The point is, you should not waste any time in getting yourself to the fields of brilliance. Seeing them first-hand is truly spectacular, and when I finally witnessed them in their impressive abundance I finally understood what the fuss is all about.
We had stopped at West Coast National Park on our way to Langebaan Country Estate, one of the most laid back golf estates I’ve encountered. The sport can sometime be a bit stuffy with all its rules and regulations and funny dress codes, but here, everyone is welcome – residents and guests as well as day visitors. This applies to all the facilities.
Activities include golf (of course) on an 18-hole course which bears testament to South African golf legend Gary Player Designs’ design philosophy with its well-positioned bunkers and his typical routing for golfers of varying skill levels. There is also a Mashie course for a more casual – but no less challenging – round, and nine holes of foot golf.
Wait, what? It’s in the name: use your foot to kick a ball into a hole. It’s fun for the children, who can play alongside their parents. Serious golfers – and beginners – can hone their skills on the driving range, and everyone can try their hand at Pro Putt, the super mini-golf course.
Other activities on the estate include swimming pools, a huge gym, mountain biking trails, walking, running and hiking, bowls, and tennis. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
Of course, these are not obligatory; relaxation is definitely an option with a spa on the premises, as well as a clubhouse with a lounge, bar, and restaurant. Another two casual restaurant/refreshment facilities are at the beginning of the Mashie course, and at the driving range.
Accommodation is in the luxury self-catering category. We stayed in one of the two-bedroomed apartments, which have fully equipped kitchens, and for those on the ground level, lounges which open onto stoeps with built-in braais.
There are 40 such apartments, all of which include a washing machine and tumble dryer, television with selected DStv channels, DVD player, and free wifi. Nearby is the entertainment centre full of games for children – from table tennis to foosball, to a pool table and air hockey – as well as bicycles for hire. The Zest Spa is close too, where you can get a lovely relaxing massage before breakfast, something which I heartily recommend.
Being self-catering, of course you can cook your meals in the comfort of your own space, but if you feel like a night off, the restaurant at the clubhouse offers excellent burgers and pizzas, and plenty of weekly specials which sell out fast.
Up the ante by staying in a four-star four-bedroomed lodge overlooking the golf course. These houses can sleep up to eight people in king-size or twin beds, and are crammed with all the luxuries you could possibly want.
Langebaan Country Estate is an all-round relaxation destination, which also offers conferencing facilities. And hey, if you like it, you can live there too.
Address: 1 Oostewal Road, Langebaan
Telephone: 022 772 2112
Email: [email protected]
- This story first appeared in Independent Traveller, September 8, 2018
- FEATURED IMAGE BY BIANCA COLEMAN ©