Without Navi it is not easy to find your way out of the city. At least if you've just landed in Cape Town for the first time in your life. The app is important if the route is the actual destination of the journey - more precisely Route 27.
The nearly 150-kilometer-long road on the South African west coast begins in Cape Town and leads past the Bloubergstrand with the view of Table Mountain, through the West Coast National Park and ends in the coastal town of Velddrif north of the Cape.
The route is advertised as an "insider tip along the Atlantic Ocean". But in the first few kilometers, this description does not quite fit: The journey goes through the poorer areas of Cape Town, past run-down business parks and with high walls shielded residential complexes. That does not seem inviting at first.
Route 27 unfolds its true charm only a few kilometers outside the port city on the Cape. The road, which in some sections seems almost drawn by a ruler, leads through the fynbos landscape typical of the area - wide open spaces that turn into a sea of blooming wild plants in August and September.
Yzerfontein: Peaceful coastal village
This is the time of year that Route 27, according to Mary Ann Bosch, can compete with the much-known Garden Route. And "here you also have the sea," says the 66-year-old, who runs the small guesthouse Kaijaiki Country Inn in Yzerfontein together with her husband René.
On the seemingly endless beach of the coastal town romp children in the sand, surfers hunt over the waves. Seagulls screech in circles over passing fishing boats, and a grandfather cycles along the road with his granddaughter.
15 picturesRoute 27 in Cape Town: A lot of sea
"When I came here 22 years ago, there was still a sand track here," says René Bosch, who actually comes from the Netherlands. "At that time there was not even a supermarket, let alone an ATM." That has changed: The street is expanded, next to a supermarket there is a drugstore and restaurants.
"It's an up-and-coming location," says Angelique Besson. She has been operating a bed and breakfast right on the beach for 17 years. "And Yzerfontein is safe." In a country where the crime rate is high in some places, that's an important argument. Not only for Cape Towners, the coastal town is therefore a popular vanishing point, but also for tourists from all over the world.
Not far away lies "! Khwa ttu": a cultural project of the local San population on 850 hectares of land formerly owned by farms. His goal: "educate tourists about the culture of San and give the employees a perspective," says CEO Michael Daiber.
The tall, blonde man helped to build "! Khwa ttu" and tells the story of a colorful and colorful art exhibition and a replica of an original village. "Tourism not only creates a livelihood for the San," says Daiber. "He also creates the place to tell her story."
And so visitors learn a lot about the original life of ancient culture and nature on the guided tours. The San from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, in turn, learn to run a business, host guests, manage the land. "They will take this knowledge to their villages later." With luck, this creates a new company.
Paternoster: White and relaxed
A few kilometers farther off Route 27 is Paternoster with its whitewashed houses. The contrast to the green vegetation and the blue sky could hardly be greater. "The white color is mandatory," says Simone jacket. "The build conditions are fortunately pretty strict."
The fishing village does that well: Whether expensive hotel or simple fisherman's house - you will not notice big differences at first glance. "There's nothing spruced up here," says Jacke, who runs the Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel together with her husband Deon Brand. Nobody needs to attract attention with its magnificent architecture. "The community in the village is still intact."
"20 years ago, this was still an almost untouched area," says Brand, then leads only a gravel road in the place. Many families still live from fishing, but now the road is asphalted. The long beach and the steady waves attract many surfers, more and more privately owned guest houses and hotels offer guests accommodation and one of the best restaurants in the world, the Wolfgat, stands in Paternoster.
Cape Town and Westcoast
Cape Town is also served non-stop from Munich. The direct flight takes just under twelve hours. There are far more flights from Frankfurt am Main via Johannesburg, for example with South African Airways or Lufthansa.
Climate and travel time
South Africa offers good travel conditions throughout the year. The country is located in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons there are opposite to those in Germany. December and January are the two hottest months. In winter, from June to August, rain is always expected in the Cape.
German tourists receive a residence permit for 90 days. The passport must be valid for at least 30 days after departure from South Africa. Children need their own passport with photograph and their birth certificate for entry. We recommend an international birth certificate.
One euro is around 16 South African Rand (as at end of September 2019). Money can be withdrawn at ATMs.
For South Africa, no special vaccinations are needed.
South African Tourism, Friedensstraße 6-10, 60311 Frankfurt (Tel .: 0800/118 91 18, www.southafrica.net)
The youth of the place gets such a perspective "The children do not want to become fishermen anymore like their parents," says Marion Lubitz. Since 2005 the native North German manages a guesthouse together with her husband. "They prefer their chance in tourism." Most employees in the guesthouses and hotels come either directly from the village or from neighboring towns.
In any case, tourism on the west coast of South Africa is not just about big profits. "It's also about sustainability, about our social responsibility, about the whole community having something like this," says Deon Brand, who grew up in Paternoster.
For this reason, the hotel supports the children's aid organization "West Coast Kids". The local NGO wants to help children find ways out of poverty. And the Wolfgat chef, Kobus van der Merwe, creates his dishes from what the region offers: the ingredients grow on the doorstep and on the beach and are collected and picked daily.
Veldriff: Schippern with Komoran
Along the Route 27 you look for the so-called Big Five, so lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffalos, with which South Africa likes to advertise for themselves, in vain. However, over 30,000 acres of West Coast National Park, stretching from Yzerfontein to Langebaan, are home to over 250 species of birds: oystercatchers, cormorants, many seagulls, and scabbards as well as penguins.
From the terrace of the Gelbeek restaurant you have the best view of a small colony of flamingos. And if you're not careful, you have to avoid a bunch on your trip, which suddenly runs over the red sand track. If that's not enough, you can learn more about the animals that lived in the region around five million years ago at West Coast Fossil Park near Langebaan.
A good half hour away from Paternoster lies Veldriff - where ends Route 27. Formerly known for professional fishing, the place is now especially interesting for hobby ornithologists and anglers. Tollie Bezuidenhout takes tourists by boat on the river Berg. The skipper then shows them the cormorants, which rush in search of food in low flight over the water. "It's not always an easy job," says the 60-year-old, grinning. "After all, you have to deal with many different types here."
But apparently he has gained enough experience in all these years: On board, everyone is relaxed to exuberant, eat from their picnic baskets brought and look forward to the sunset. Tollie plays with the children as if they were his grandchildren. More peaceful and relaxed, the journey on Route 27 could hardly end.