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“Eves Trail, a wonderful 3 day walking trail through the West Coast National Aprk”

West Coast National Park
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Private: West Coast Wonder Guided Day-Trip from Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The West Coast National Park hosts vast concentrations of migratory birds, and is an ideal spot for appreciating the colorful flora endemic to the region. There are picnic sites, hiking trails, and opportunities to go mountain biking or whale watching.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Eves Trail, a wonderful 3 day walking trail through the West Coast National Aprk”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2012

Traditionally the West Coast National Park in South Africa has been focused on the ocean, fishing and a number of beach-based activities, which in my case is obviously fun, but as a hard core naturalist I prefer seeing areas on foot and by experiencing them with a good guide or local specialist. I mainly bird-watch when I walk and the park has a wonderful range of short trails that will last from 1 hour to a few days. To get the most of the park and its wonderful biodiversity it is best to take your time to get to grips with the plants, birds, mammals, insects and the parks immense cultural history.

We opted to do the Eves Trail (operated by the Cape Biosphere Project, a non-profit project that promotes sustainable tourism in the region), which focuses primarily on the paleoanthropological history of the region, in which hominid or proto-humans lived and sustained themselves in the area. The trail wove this theme about the early human history of the region, as well as how they utilised the land and sustained themselves. From diet to hunting and so on. The name Eve is drawn from its obvious reference, but is also named for the set of sandstone with the original footprints of the proto-humans that were discovered in the park.

The trail kicked off on Friday and ended on a Saturday and covered the different ecological zones of the park, stopping at key points like the Langebaan Lagoon, Tsaarbank Water Hole and the Geelbek bird hide (which is arguably one the best bird hides in the province to view waders and waterbirds). With a bird list of over 250 species and a range of very interesting mammals (Eland, Springbok, Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra) as well as the massive plant list there is so much to see. At the time of the year that we went, it was the start of the spectacular Western Cape flower season and we saw huge numbers of flowers all over the park. On its own just seeing the flowers is a worthwhile experience, something unique to south Africa and the Western Cape.

The weather was warm and fine, even though it got cooler in the evenings. We stayed in tented accommodation at Tali Tali a small lodge just outside the park. The trail included catering meals and packed lunches which certainly helped as we covered a good 8 to 10 kilometers a day. On the first, second and third days we saw herds of game regularly and saw all the large species in the park, including large numbers of Eland at close range. The guide was brilliant and really worked hard to cover the different aspects of the natural and cultural history and she was really good at identifying the myriad of interesting small plants and flowers.

The route of the trail took us along from the coastal beaches, on to the dune system, down into the amazing fynbos and estuarine areas with huge tracts of flowers, reedbeds and wetland systems as trails go, the pace and terrain is fairly manageable even for someone of average fitness, although water and dried fruit is a recommendation. The last day was a tad more tough, as we ascended out the wetland into the granite hills overlooking the park, but we took a winding route and saw even more birds, flowers and game which really added to the day. We ended the day with a meal overlooking the Langebaan lagoon whilst sitting on a granite boulder, soaking up the sun and thinking about what it must have been like to be an ancient human living off the land.

Visited September 2011
1 Thank AshwellGlasson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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303 reviews from our community

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English first
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit and the drive from Cape Town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2012

WCP is a favourite of ours and always worth the drive from Cape Town (stop for the classic pictures of Table Mountain on the way there and great sun-down shots on the return home). The park itself is fairly small but the draw is Langebaan lagoon which is breathtaking. If you enter from Langebaan it is worth visiting the water sports beaches first to appreciate the size of the lagoon - after entering the park you can spend a full day spotting local wildlife and great birdlife, visit the wilder Atlantic seaside for whale spotting in season and seal-spotting all year round. Have lunch at the fantastic Geelbek restaurant located at the park visitors centre and end the day with a swim at KraalBaai in the warm, shallow waters of the lagoon. A wonderful day out, give yourself a good 2 hours to get back to central Cape Town or the Southern suburbs if you plan to stop for photos.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Bokafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
195 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“A good day out from Cape Town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2012

We spent a lovely day in the National Park. The lagoon is a wonderful spot - great for swimming so don't forget your gear. The hides are very useful (but not always disabled friendly). We saw three tortoises and lots of other animals. The driving is easy and the views good.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank Margaret1917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oostkamp, Belgium
Level Contributor
93 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Visit the Blue Lagoon”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2012

A quiet ordinary national park surrounding an amazing beautiful blue lagoon flowing into the sea. Very good for watersports.

Visited March 2011
Thank Safari-gids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
103 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Fabulous wildlife and scenery”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

Outstanding birdwatching. And even if you don't care about birds the scenery will knock you out. Can't wait to go back.

Visited February 2012
Thank UkBaggieBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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