South Africa Beach Retreat: Luxury in Langebaan

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After we left Yzerfontein, it was another half an hour up the road to our weekend destination. We got off the R27 and headed inland to the sleepy little beach town of Langebaan where we found the most darling bed and breakfast.

And sleepy it was. While there are 7,000 permanent residents in the general area, the population triples during summer months—usually. We were there during the first few weeks of summer, however, and due to the cold temps, the tourists hadn’t yet invaded Langebaan—which was good for us, as we only booked our bed and breakfast a couple days beforehand. After perusing Trip Advisor for a long while, we settled on Le Mahi, which was just a few blocks from the beach and had gorgeous rooms plus a full breakfast each morning for just $115 a night.

Trip Advisor did not lie. The guest house was lovely; we each had a gorgeous room and bathroom with our own private outdoor patios. The whole place was open and airy, perfect for a relaxed weekend in a coastal town.

And the arrangement was made even sweeter when we arrived to find that two of the hospitality team, Zoe and Susie, were of the canine persuasion and roamed the house at leisure to ensure all guests were having a good time.

Given that we’re going through major Ella withdrawal, we spent as much time wrestling with Zoe and Susie as they would let us—and they were pretty obliging hosts, chasing us up and down the stairs and out into the yard.

They even joined us for a romp out on the beach on the second night.

We had no plans for the first evening—or for the entire weekend, really—so after we got comfortable in the B&B, we took our host Bernardine’s advice and headed down to the Oyster Catcher for some surf and turf, wine and malva pudding (my favorite South African delight).

The next day, we got up at the leisurely hour of 9am—a novelty after so many painfully early mornings on the ship—and Bernardine prepared us a full on breakfast spread, an embarrassment of riches really.

Again, no advance plans were made, so we drove into West Coast National Park, which deserves a dedicated post of its own, and planned on killing a few hours; instead, we spent all of daylight within the park’s confines.

We arrived back at Le Mahi just minutes before sunset and made a mad dash for the beach. The weather in Langebaan was much like San Francisco: brisk and windy, with crisp blue skies and a gentle, cool sun—perfect conditions for beach time (only fully clothed…no bikinis here).

We spent some time watching the sun sink below the peninsula that flanks Langebaan Lagoon and going snap happy before letting the night’s cold take over.

It was our last evening of freedom before returning to Cape Town the following morning, so we settled on a “fancy” dinner, fancy being relative as we were in a beach town far from an urban center. However, Bernardine told us about this delicious place, Boesmansland, close by so we went on a wild goose chase of twists and turns and dead ends trying to find it. It turned out to be attached to the casino, Mykonos, only once we arrived, they were only serving a very mediocre-looking buffet so we wandered into Lekker Die Sea next door for a wonderful meal. SVV enjoyed it so much, he told our server—who, ironically enough, worked as a carnie in California for some time—that he wanted “to have babies with this lemon meringue pie.” High praise from a tough critic.

The restaurant overlooked the lagoon, and while it was indoors, the floor was sand and seashells, and the whole interior had a very Coastal Living feel to it. South Africa has some of the best food I’ve eaten anywhere in the world; it’s a fusion of seafood, California, Indian and Malay cuisine, with some of my favorite ingredients (like butternut squash and sweet potatoes) incorporated into many dishes. One thing that has been a happy surprise both times I’ve visited South Africa is just how affordable it is for Americans. We ate most meals for $15 of less, which usually included a main course, an appetizer, adult beverage and dessert.

A South African Road Trip to Langebaan


  • October 10, 2011

    Looks like a dream weekend.

    I’ve never had malva pudding and am now curious to try it.

    Funny about SVV’s comment. Caanan has a favorite meal – at a restaurant here in Seattle – that he’s always talking about wanting to make babies with.

    • October 10, 2011

      Canaan and Scott would be a lethal dining duo, it sounds like!

  • October 10, 2011

    Jesus christ, that looks amazing! If your last post sold me, this one has me packing my bags and wondering how pissed Kyle will be if I buy tickets before he wakes up. Just gorgeous.

    • October 10, 2011

      And it gets better, too…I think this is the one weekend ever that I can squeeze five whole blog posts out of. Usually, a weeklong vacation warrants two…maybe.

  • October 10, 2011

    Absolutely breathtaking.

  • October 10, 2011

    Love that last photograph. Also, put up a video and pronounce Yzerfontein for me please. I’d like to play in on loop at work for kicks. 😀

    • October 10, 2011

      Someone on Twitter said it’s Ai-zer-fon-tain . Who knew??

      • October 10, 2011

        Oh, so that’s how the Y fits in. Thank ee, kindly.

  • October 10, 2011

    Cute sweater 🙂

    I wore mine the other day and thought of you!

  • October 10, 2011

    I want to go visit Zoe and Susie! They’re adorable, and everything else looks relaxing and so very beautiful.

  • October 10, 2011

    That sunset is breathtaking!

  • October 10, 2011
    Heather S

    YUM! People are always surprised when I tell them some of my favorite food in the world is in South Africa. So good!

  • October 11, 2011

    Hotels with dogs are the best!!! What a gorgeous place! That last shot is spectacular!

  • October 13, 2011

    Our husbands would get along well. It was this past weekend, while in the Outer Banks, that my dear sweet spouse declared his love of some chocolately confection and insisted he would like to do very inappropriate things with it. It was wildly inappropriate, but absolutely hilarious.

    • October 16, 2011

      I think they would get along quite swimmingly, too. And there’s a chance we might be New Year’s-ing in Richmond (still up in the air, but a possibility), so we can put that theory to the test 😉

  • October 23, 2011

    You need to enter that last picture in a photo contest… it’s amazing!

  • August 19, 2014

    nothing to envy to the beaches of the caribbean 🙂


  • April 3, 2016

    South Africa!! Oh, my God! It is my life dream destination! What a wonderful place it seems to be! Such amazing photos!! It seems like a place where someone can combine both relaxation with the needed luxury, not only for special occasions, but also for a simple weekend as you have done, and unique pictures of nature! That wonderful sunset, this beautiful beach, the valley with the flowers, even the food looks delicious! And these wonderful doggies!! I’m passionate with animals and especially with dogs! And they look so friendly and cute!! Was the villa comfortable enough? How many people can it accommodate? We would like to organize a 4day trip to that paradise in the middle of the summer-cause we love swimming and the whole tourist thing doesn’t bother us at all! I hope we can manage to do this journey, and I’m sure the kids will be thrilled as well! Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m definitely doing it as well, no matter what! Langebaan….here we come!

    • April 4, 2016

      Ahhh I hope you’re able to go this summer. Such a fantastic, underrated spot!

  • June 30, 2017
    Eat Drink Stay

    Glad you had a lovely time in South Africa, it’s such a wonderful country.

    I’ve travelled there, lived there, and returned there so many times yet still each time is a wonderful adventure.

    Great that you love the food, malva pudding is lekker and you’re right about so many great influences making SA cuisine so special. Also, so much quality at such a competitive price hey?

    Anyways, keep up the great work, cheers 🙂

    • July 2, 2017

      It really is just the best! You can’t beat it in terms of diversity—great food, a burgeoning wine country, big game drives and safaris, coastal scenery, mountains, the list goes on and on.

      Thanks for the nice words!

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