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DUINEPOS SELF-CATERING CHALETS, WEST COAST NATIONAL PARK

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Duinepos Chalets is a retreat for bird and nature lovers. The charming chalets are situated inside the West Coast National Park, located 17 km from the Langebaan town centre. The camp is based inland amongst the natural bush and is secluded and quiet. This is why birders from all over come here for the Duinepos-experience.

The 11 bush-chic, self-catering chalets all sleep 4 to 6 people. Units are kept rustic and unfussy with white linen, cement floors and countertops. Natural furnishings and personal touches keep the interior cosy. All chalets have an open plan living area, fully equipped kitchen, fireplace and bathroom with shower only. You will find all the amenities you need for a comfortable yet uncomplicated stay. Two of the units are disabled-friendly.

Duinepos Chalets is the ideal place where outdoorsy families and groups can have quality time. No television and limited mobile reception will ensure that days are spent in nature and evenings are filled with conversation, board games and books. The West Coast National Park and surrounds offer much to do. Various hiking, biking and birding trails depart from the Duinepos camp. Terrestrial species such as Bokmakierie, Cape Bunting, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Karoo Scrub-Robin and Grey Tit are often found around the chalets. It is within easy walking distance of the Geelbek complex.

Duinepos Chalets has a green philosophy implemented in all operations from house-keeping to administration. If you need a break, Duinepos Chalets is a wholesome and quiet setting in which you can recharge your spirit. Duinepos is however best known as the top destination from which to enjoy the birding delights of the West Coast National Park.

The West Coast National Park includes the beach and dune land between the villages of Yzerfontein and Langebaan, the beautiful lagoon and the Saldanha Bay Islands. More than 300 bird species have been identified here, and the Park is probably best known for the thousands of migratory waders in summer. Terrestrial birding should, however, not be underestimated. The Renosterveld of the Park represents of the last large remnants of this habitat type, and hosts good numbers of the vulnerable Black Harrier. Other sought-after species include White-throated Canary, Grey-winged Francolin, Karoo Lark, White-backed Mousebird, Karoo Prinia, Cape Spurfowl and many more.

Birding around the Geelbek area is superb. The two Geelbek hides are situated in close proximity to the historic Geelbek homestead and restaurant. These hides overlook salt marshes and mudflats and are the best spots to view waders. The hides are best visited at ebb tide - four and a half hours after high tide and two hours after low tide in Table Bay. Do not underestimate the boardwalks to these hides, as these offer very excellent birding and photographic opportunities. In summer expect to find Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Red Knot, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Ruff, Sanderling, Curlew and Marsh Sandpipers, Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone and Common Whimbrel. Vagrant birds seen here in recent years include Common Redshank, Terek Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers and Black Tern. Look out for resident species such as African Fish-Eagle, Greater Flamingo, Purple Heron, African Marsh-Harrier, Osprey, Great White Pelican, Kittlitz’s Plover, African Spoonbill and African Purple Swamphen.

The area at and around the trees leading to the Geelbek homestead brings another suite of species into play: expect to find Cape Batis, African Hoopoe, Rock Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite, Southern Black Korhaan, Cape Longclaw, Cape Penduline-Tit and Cardinal Woodpecker. It is also worthwhile to take in tea or lunch at the restaurant, as a variety of typical Western Cape garden birds is on offer here.

The Seeberg hide is situated about 1km from the Langebaan entrance to the Park and the best viewing here is at high tide. Several hundreds of Greater Flamingos can be viewed here in winter, and summer produces vast numbers of terns and waders. Vagrants viewed at the hide in recent years include Black-tailed and Hudsonian Godwits, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Lesser Sand Plover and Broad-billed, Terek and White-rumped Sandpipers.

The Abrahamskraal is always worth a visit as the area holds the only accessible fresh water in the Park. Expect to find species such as Black Crake, Little Grebe, African Rail, and Lesser Swamp-Warbler and Little Rush-Warbler. Also look out for Yellow-billed Duck, South African Shelduck, Cape Shoveler and Cape and Red-billed Teals. Black Harrier and African Marsh-Harrier often quarter past here, and White-throated and Yellow Canaries and Cape Wagtail are often seen at the water. The access road to the hide often produces many of the terrestrial species mentioned earlier.

Tsaarbank on the Atlantic seaboard should be visited, as Bank, Cape and Crowned Cormorants, Hartlaub’s and Kelp Gulls, African Black Oystercatcher and several terns are found here. Occasionally pelagic species also pass by, particularly during stormy weather. Whales are often to be seen between May and November. Access is allowed to the privately owned POSTBERG NATURE RESERVE during the flower season in spring and it is generally regarded as the best venue to see flowers reasonably close to Cape Town. A visit here during spring gives the visitor the best of both the flowers and birds of the West Coast. This Park represents the pinnacle of what the Cape West Coast offers bird-watchers and the Duinepos Chalets serves as the ideal base from which to explore the many exciting and often endemic species on offer.



(There are many images available in the PHOTO GALLERY link above).