IUCN Category II - National Park


The West Coast National Park lies 120 km north of Cape Town in South Africa's Western Cape province. It is 27,500 acres in size and includes a 15km long Langebaan Lagoon ( 6,000 acres ), which is open to the Saldanha Bay; here are 30 % of South African salt marshes.

Travel and accommodation

There are two entrances to the park: from the north over the place of Langebaan, from the south branches off an access road from the R27 into the park.

Simple Accommodation is available at Geelbek Environmental Education Centre on the south shore of the lagoon. This is also the information center for environmental and nature conservation is housed. A tea room offers here as well as snacks and refreshments.

More accommodations in the park are the site of the park headquarters can be seen. It offered multi-day hikes, with daily stages 12 to 15 km in length, night then partially on campsites.

From Langebaan from you can in the spring flower season Enterprises, organized by the Park Service boat trip across the lagoon to: Post Mountain, with a walk through his blossoming landscape in this part of the park.

Fauna and Flora

Especially because of its species richness of birds, the park is important. It is the summer home to about 750,000 birds, including many migratory birds from the northern hemisphere. The coast of the West Coast National Park is powered by the Benguela current with nutrition -rich water, which is reflected in a large number of fish species which feed the large flocks of birds.

Especially numerous are the birds on the islands belonging to the park:

  • Jutten Iceland (43 ha) with 25,000 Cape cormorants
  • Malgas Iceland (18 ha) with 70,000 Kaptölpeln
  • Marcus Iceland ( 17 hectares) is located here, the largest African Penguin colony in the world
  • Schaapen Iceland (29 ha) with Wahlbergscharben ( Cormorant relatives) and kelp gulls

At larger mammals are represented: Elen antelope, kudu, hartebeest, Blesbok, Zebra, Springbok, Oryx and Black Wildebeest.

The park is also home to the so-called fynbos, a shrub vegetation, which is almost exclusively found in the southwest of South Africa, and as part of it also Renosterveld and Strandveld vegetation.

The northwestern part of the park ( Post Mountain Flower Reserve ) is in the spring - August-September - to begin when all the flowers to bloom, a major tourist attraction. This part of the park is no longer open to the normal public from October. The post mountainous region consists of three former farm Oude Post, Nieuwland and Kreeftebai. The northern end of the parking area is a closed military zone and throughout the year closed to the public.


The climate is temperate, minimum temperatures rarely below 4 ° C and 34 ° C. rarely Rain falls mainly in the period from May to September.


In 1985, the entire area was declared as the Langebaan Lagoon and four barrier islands a national park to protect the precious ecosystem of the lagoon. In 1987, the private postal Mountain Nature Reserve was incorporated with 1800 ha in the park. This part of the park is still privately owned but managed by the National Parks Board. Since 2000 the park has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.