AVERAGE COSTSBeer: R18
Restaurant Meal: R100 pp
Accommodation: R1000 double room down to R170 pppn
THE LUREThe 'jewel of the west coast', Langebaan village is situated on a beautiful lagoon, offering a huge, natural playground for sporting and nature lovers. White-sand beaches and constant cross-shore winds in the summer make this one of South Africa's top kite spots for those looking for flat water over the challenging Atlantic waves of Cape Town, 90 minutes south. Set next to the protected South African West Coast national park, Langebaan may not have the big five in the village (you can see them in a couple of hours' drive), but it has the slow five: tortoises, whales, sand sharks, porcupines and dune moles.
THE SET-UPThe flat water freestyle heaven of Langebaan provides a contrast the often menacing conditions 90 minutes south in Cape Town. The two main spots in Langebaan are Kleine Oostewal (Shark Bay) and Main Beach. (There is another spot downwind of Main Beach, but the wind is offshore and therefore for advanced kiters only.) Shark Bay is 300 metres south of Langebaan village and ideal for beginners with huge expanses of shallow, warm water and predominantly cross-onshore winds. (Don't worry, the name only came from sharks of the small, harmless variety.)
Main Beach is at the end of the village high street and suits intermediate and advanced riders with cross-shore winds, bumpier conditions in the middle of the channel but lovely flat sections behind the island opposite. Both spots are tidal. Low tide at Shark Bay exposes lots of beach; high tide has the reverse effect, offering just a little beach for setting up. Different states of tide can effect your ability to stay upwind or lose ground at Main Beach. At the right time it's an incredible spot to improve your tricks in warmer water than Cape Town. In the prevailing SE winds, look for an incoming tide here for the magic to begin.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATERGood learning conditions from October to March. Main months November – February; best December and January. Calmer conditions in the morning and then winds build, sometimes up to 40 knots in the afternoon. Temperatures average 25°C / 77°F in the summer and drop in the evening when a sweater can be needed. Main beach water temperature is around 17°C / 63°F in the summer, while Shark Bay can get to 24°C / 75°F; much warmer than elsewhere on this coast. You'll usually need a wetsuit for Main Beach, although you can often kite in a shortie at Shark Bay.
ACCOMMODATIONPlenty of accommodation from hostels and studio apartments to luxury family homes. Windtown is a new luxury resort for kitesurfers right in the centre of town and just a stroll from Main Beach. Windchasers is superbly well-equipped for those looking for more of a luxury hostel-type set-up
SCHOOLSWINDCHASERS teach all levels from September to April. They stock a full retail shop, rent Cabrinha gear, have wireless internet, equipment storage and hot outdoor showers. The Windchasers hostel on Main Road is beautifully equipped with character and facilities and is open all year.
Languages spoken by instructors: English, German, Dutch and Spanish.
Accredited by: IKO
+27 227 721 904
WINDTOWN Lagoon Resort and Spa is in the middle of town close to Main Beach. Relax and lounge in the sun by the pool or in shade around the accommodation, restaurant and bar. Open all year, Windtown's kite centre offers a full range of course options. Max ratio is 3:1 and there is a rescue boat. Hire or buy North or Ion gear. Windsurfing and SUP also offered. Wifi throughout resort.
Languages spoken by instructors: English, Dutch and German.
+27 82 2625 289
NO WINDThe sights of Cape Town are just an hour back down the road. Around Langebaan there's horse riding, fishing, sight-seeing, wine-lands, game viewing, bicycling, kayaking, pilates and yoga lessons as well as a Gary Player signature golf course.
GET AROUNDDepending on where you stay you may be able to walk to Main Beach, although a hire car is highly recommended to see areas outside of Langebaan. There's little public transport.
CURRENCYRand (R) - £1 = R17 / €1 = R14 / $1 = R10. Most places accept credit cards and there are ATMs in town.
FOOD AND DRINKLangebaan has two supermarkets and plenty of bars and restaurants just off Main beach serving all types of food, specialising in fresh seafood. There is one nightclub a five minute drive back up the road and there's a bar with live music on certain nights. Don't miss the Strandloper fish restaurant for a very unique (and long) eating experience. Windtown has an in-house restaurant called Breeze, which combines healthy, fresh and seasonal cuisine with local delicacies.
AIRPORTCape Town international airport (CPT) is 90 minutes away. Check with your accommodation provider about transfers, although it's recommended you hire a car to make the most of the area.
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