My name is Amber, and I am a French student who lives in Paris. I study Marketing and Communications, and I came to Cape Town in the intent of doing a 3-month internship at Ashanti Lodge and Travel. I had the privilege to join the West Coast Adventure tour. In this blog, I would like to share my fantastic experience. In the hope of inspiring you to do something a bit different and visit the west coast of South Africa. It is a beautiful place which is often forgotten, yet it deserves to be seen and explored.
Packed with jaw-dropping sights, magnificent wildlife, adventurous activities but also significant cultural knowledge, the West Coast is worth your time, and that’s a guarantee. Here is a list of the activities on this tour.
The Atlantis Dunes is a place with kilometers and kilometers of sand and dunes; it is truly the home of adventure! You can quad- bike, Motorbike, and even sandboard! For those who want to admire the landscape, there is also the possibility to walk around the dunes. On a clear day, you can even see Table mountain sitting above Robben Island.
!Khwa ttu (pronounced “Kwa Too” but starting with the Xhosa click) is an incredible lodge and heritage museum. Not only is the place beautiful, but there is so much to learn about the San people, which are to be considered to be one of the first men and woman on earth. The lodge has a heritage center, the only one in the world where you get to learn about San people’s culture and traditions through time. The heritage center was an exciting experience. Additionally, they not only teach us about the culture, but they also train the remaining few San people. They learn them experience in different domains so that they can learn to fend for themselves once they go back home. At the lodge, they try to be as eco-friendly as possible. For example, most of the food grows in a lovely garden on the farm. If they can not produce enough, they buy from local farmers or merchants not farther than 50 km from the lodge. The food at the lodge is delicious and diverse, for someone who is very picky food-wise, I had an excellent meal in great company.
An E-bike is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor that assists peddling. Being my first time on an E-Bike, I was a bit worried at first. But with help and great encouragement from the lodge’s employees, it ended up being my favorite activity. We went cycling on the west coast plains, and we even rode about 3 meters away from zebras! You can also go biking on the beach, which is not too far from the lodge. It was such a thrilling experience altogether, and I highly recommend it!
Herbal tea tasting
The San people had an excellent use for plants, using that knowledge the lodge has made different combinations of herbs to create teas with different flavors and purposes. Having a bad cough, I decided to buy a bag of medicinal tea. However, the taste was very bitter, so it’s better to add honey. Nevertheless, it was very effective, and my cough almost completely disappeared. It’s an engaging and for me a hands-on activity, learning how certain herbs can cure you of certain illnesses.
San guided tours
The tours are very intriguing, as we learn to understand, the culture, heritage, and day to day skills of the San people near the 1800s.
Using a sort of trailer bus, we headed towards an authentic recreation of a San camp with a few huts. Guides showed us objects used by the other generations of San people explaining their use while telling us amusing stories and anecdotes.
All in all, this tour was just extraordinary, I loved it, I got to do some fun activities, I learned a lot about the San culture, and most importantly I met some marvelous people, this is a trip I will never forget.