The Cape Rock Route
Itinerary Day 3 - Wupperthal to Velddrif

Traveller's Rest to Wupperthal

Start at Traveller's Rest and turn left onto the R364 (away from Clanwilliam). At 5.3 km turn right at the grave to Biedouw Valley and Wupperthal. Go over Hoek se Berg Pass, past the Biedouw Valley and down the Kouberg Pass into Wupperthal at 36km.

©Garry Mouritzen
Velddrif is a beautiful town on the West Coast.

After the morning's walks (and a breather), head to the Moravian Mission town of Wupperthal for lunch (phone the tourism bureau to book) and a gentle exploration of this tiny hamlet on the banks of the Tra-Tra River. Started in 1830 by two German Rhenish missionaries, who were reminded of the Wupper Valley at home, it was taken over by the Moravian missionaries in 1965.

Today it's famous for its veldskoene and rooibos tea - a caffeine-free, low tannin tea with health-giving properties, made from a plant that grows only in the Cederberg mountain area. The road turns down to Wupperthal at the lonely Engelsman se Graf, where infantryman Lt Graham Clowes fell during a skirmish with Boer soldiers in the South African (Anglo-Boer) War. 

After Wupperthal, return to Cape Town on the N7, or extend your trip by joining up with the Flowers & Seas Route on the West Coast, via the historic Heerenlogement Cave and Lambert's Bay's Bird Island and open-air restaurants.

Clanwilliam to Lambert's Bay

©Nigel Dennis
Lambert's Bay is home to Bird Island, which house a plethora of birdlife.

Keep straight through town, ignore left to N7 Citrusdal, Klawer. You'll enter Lambert's Bay at about 57 km. The Heerenlogement Cave is at about 28 kilometres from Clanwilliam. Cross the bridge and turn right to Graafwater. You'll see a sign for the Heerenlogement at about 51 kilometres. 

If you're in a 4x4 you can try some seriously fun sand driving at The Dunes in Lambert's Bay, but the town's main claim to fame is Bird Island, a three-hectare slab of rock that's home to about 14 000 Cape gannets and is the world's only gannet breeding colony that's accessible on foot - it's just a short walk along the harbour wall. The island also hosts large numbers of cormorants and penguins, and judging by the decibel level, they're all shouting at each other.

But suffer the noise, because the sight of several thousand densely packed and squabbling gannets is unforgettable, as is the smell. 

There are also two of the West Coast's famous open-air restaurants just outside Lambert's Bay: Bosduifklip, set in a rocky amphitheatre on the way into town, and Muisbosskerm, on the beach on the road down to Elands Bay. Allow several hours to indulge in course after course of food cooked on the fire. If all this requires an overnight stop, call Lambert's Bay Tourism for accommodation options on South African holidays. Then head for Velddrif, where you can decide where to pick up the Flowers & Seas Route.

Lambert's Bay to Velddrif

Part of the road requires a permit - buy one at the BP garage in the main street, or at the toll booth for a little extra. Zero odometer at Lambert's Bay. At 9.5 km veer right to toll road (toll booth is at 13 km). At Eland's Bay (24 km), T-junction left then 1 km later, oblique T-junction right to R366 Aurora, Dwarskersbos and Velddrif. 

About 300 m later, turn again to R27 Aurora, Dwarskersbos and Velddrif. At about 59 km, turn right to Velddrif and Dwarskersbos - this is very easy to miss! At 90 km drive through Velddrif. Either turn right after the town for Vredenburg and Paternoster, or remain on R27 past Langebaan to the West Coast National Park.

Velddrif to Cape Town

After a fun day exploring Lambert’s Bay and Velddrif, head back to Cape Town from Lofdal St and Church St to R27 in Velddrif. Follow the R27 for 142 km to Christiaan Barnard St/M60 in Cape Town. Take the Oswald Pirow Street exit from F W de Klerk Blvd/N1. Head to the V&A Waterfront for sundowners and return to your accommodation in Cape Town with a full stomach and great memories of the day.