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Churchhaven – Wildflower sanctuary

Churchhaven is a small, traditional fishing village in The West Coast National Park. Known globally for its seasonal floral bloom, this area is a natural sanctuary of pristine waters, unspoilt coastline, indigenous fynbos and colourful wildflowers. It’s the perfect destination to pick up a book or your camera and enjoy time and life moving slowly.

Remote Retreat

Accommodation in Churchhaven is hard to come by. With only a handful of houses within the West Coast National Park, the destination is in high demand. Weekend getaways and holiday-makers who wish to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city love the quiet solitude of this traditional fishing village. Most Churchhaven accommodation is self-catering, and while Churchhaven luxury villas sleep up to 10+ guests, they remain pared-down and comfortable.

Quiet and Pristine

The quiet and quaint Churchhaven in the West Coast National Park attracts travellers seeking unspoilt nature and stillness. The Room Key owns two holiday houses in Churchhaven and represents another exclusive property. Each guest cottage has its own unique charm and particular character. Though our accommodation is luxury self-catering, comfort is the cornerstone of all our holiday accommodation rentals. Attention to detail is another cornerstone, and we pride ourselves in having created some of the best homes in Churchhaven.

Activities 

Hiking & nature walks

The area in and around Churchhaven is a mixture of low scrublands, wetlands and the the lagoon’s shoreline. We recommend that you explore the immediate area on foot so that you can soak up the sounds and sights of birds in silence. 

There are various Trails within the West Coast National park. Strandveld Trail is a 2-day, 28km trail that leads you through Strandveld to Sixteen Mile Beach and then back to Geelbek. 

Bakooor Trail is a 4,6km long Trail which takes walkers from Langebaan Gate to Seeberg viewpoint. Steenbok Trail is a 1-day, 14km trail that takes around 5 hours. It only takes a maximum of 20 people.  Postberg Trail can be done over 1 or 2 days. The first day is about 16km and the second roughly 12km. This trail only accommodates 12 people and needs to be booked in advance. The trail is only open during the spring flower season, which falls over August and September. Eve’s Trail is a 2 ½ day trail that covers 30km. It’s guided, catered and portered and needs to be booked beforehand. For more information, visit Sanparks.

Cycling & mountain biking

The terrain within the West Coast National Park is not suited to road bicycles, only mountain bikes. There are 4 routes within the reserve. A 30km circular route which takes you around Seeberg Viewpoint and Mooimaak. A 30km trail via tarred road from Langebaan Gate to Geelbek. A 70km there-and-back route from Langebaan Gate to Kraalbaai. And a 13km route around Seeberg Viewpoint. For more information, visit Sanparks.

Bird Watching

There is a bird hide at Geelbek, but avid twitchers will be able to spot bird life throughout the West Coast National Park. From the hide at low tide, birders will spot lagoon waders. The fybos that surrounds the lagoon is home to a wide variety of bird species. For a comprehensive birding list of the West Coast National Park, visit Sanparks. 

Swimming

While the temperatures of the frigid ocean of the West Coast hover between 13 and 19 degrees celsius, Langebaan Lagoon enjoys slightly warmer temperatures of between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius. This makes it perfect for swimming and other water-based sports.

Kayaking, Windsurfing or Stand-up paddling

Langebaan Lagoon has calm and flat days, which makes it ideal for kayaking and SUPing. When the cross-shore wind gets up, it’s a perfect playground for kiteboarders and windsurfers. For more information on kiting, visit Kiterr.

Flower Season

The wildflowers of the West Coast of South Africa are world-renowned. Visitors from all over the country – and the globe – travel to see the floral bloom that occurs during August and September. While the West Coast National Park and Postberg Reserve are most popular for viewing flowers, the wildflowers can often be seen all along the West Coast, to Elands Bay and beyond. 

Whale-spotting

From anywhere between July and November, whales can be spotted along the West Coast of South Africa. Southern Right Whales migrate from the Antarctic to calve in the warmer waters along the coastline. Favouring protected bays where the wind and currents are less wild, the whales can easily be spotted from the shore and beaches. 

Game drives

The West Coast National Park is a protected nature reserve in every sense. Over and above its phenomenal flora and the seasonal visiting whales, it’s also home to many other species. Eland, red hartebeest, Cape grysbok, caracal, rock hyrax, Bat Eared Fox, Cape Fox, Honeybadgers, Springbok, and Bontebok all roam within the park. For a full list of the resident animal life, visit Sanparks.

Nearby Activities

Kraalbaai Beach

Kraalbaai Beach is also on Langebaan Lagoon and is a favourite spot for a picnic. Only 36km from Churchhaven, Kraalbaai has white sandy beaches, dramatic rock formations and azure waters. Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats are available to rent and offer a unique way to enjoy the bay.

Tsaarsbank

Between August and October, Tsaarsbank is a hot spot for whale watching. Close to Tsaarsbank is a 1.8km beach trail that takes visitors to the original site of the Pantelis A Lemos shipwreck.

Langebaan Day trip

The town of Langebaan is 52km from Churchhaven. Here, you can learn how to kiteboard and hydrofoil. Langebaan also has two main surf breaks, Main Beach and Shark Bay. Club Mykonos Resort and Casino is found alongside the harbour, where you’ll find casual restaurants serving pub food and ever-favourite fish and chips. The West Coast Fossil Park has fossils that date back to the Miocene/early Pliocene era. The park is roughly 17km from Langebaan.

Die Strandlooper Seafood Restaurant

Die Strandlooper Seafood Restaurant is in Langebaan and is a West Coast must-do experience. This open-air restaurant specialises in seafood and bookings are essential as locals and tourists flock there year round. 

Langebaan Country Estate & Golf Club

Langebaan Country Estate & Golf Club is a popular 18-hole course created by Gary Player Designs. It also has an 18-hole mashie course which is fun for the whole family. 

Black Eagle Brewing Company

Craft beers have become increasingly popular and Black Eagle Brewing Company produces their own special “break-away brews”. Housed in an old fishing house which dates back to the 1900, the brewery and tasting room promises a vibey, delicious experience.

Buffelsfontein Game and Nature Reserve

Only an hour from Cape Town, in the heart of the West Coast, you’ll find Buffelsfontein Game & Nature Reserve. If you’re making an adventure of your journey to Churchhaven, its worth visiting this family owned reserve. 1600 ha Lion, Buffalo, White Rhino and Giraffe can all be found in this 1600ha reserve and visitors will not only be spoilt with game-drives and wildlife, they’ll also be able to enjoy hearty cuisine.

!Khwa ttu San Village

On the road that hugs the coast from Cape Town to Churchhaven, you’ll find !Khwa ttu, a centre that is dedicated to the San people. It was founded in order to unlock potential tourism opportunities  for Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa and showcase San culture to the world. Assisted by Swiss anthropologist Irene Staehelin, this 850 hectare property on the West Coast of South Africa was once a wheat farm. Under Irene’s guidance, the farm buildings have been restored, the land carefully rehabilitated, and wildlife has been reintroduced. The San are descendants of Early Stone Age ancestors and are among the oldest cultures on Earth. We highly recommend the remarkable and immersive historical experience of !Khwa ttu.

Groote Post (Upon Darling Hills)

If you take the route either to or from Churchhaven that leads you via Darling, lunch at Groote Post will be a wonderful way to break your journey. It can also be accessed via the West Coast Road, but we recommend the country roads as one of your routes – especially during the wildflower season. Owned by the Penz family, Groote Post is an 18th Century farm that is a working wine and fruit farm. Whether you choose to enjoy modern-country cuisine at Hilda’s Kitchen or enjoy a picnic platter, you’ll be super-stoked you stopped at this beautiful wine farm.