We are on a bit of a roll, if you will excuse the pun, this time with a review of a wheelchair accessible SANParks destination. It is the West Coast National Park and its rather unique “Duinepos Chalets”, located just 90 minutes drive from Cape Town in the Western Cape. It is here where nature lovers from all over the world come to recharge their spirits.
Duinepos Chalets is a community-based project brought to life in 2005 as part of the sustainable livelihoods programme of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Houses previously occupied by staff of the West Coast National Park were restored, service infrastructure upgraded, the area landscaped, and local residents were recruited to manage the project. Later phases saw the addition of a swimming pool, boma (out-door recreational area), and additional chalets built using an eco-friendly sandbag method.
Two of the chalets are wheelchair accessible, providing spacious, light and airy accommodation accessed via a hardened gravel path onto a terracotta tiled veranda and interior floors. The bathroom is fully accessible with all of the usual grabrails and roll-in shower facilities. Whilst the kitchen is not specifically accessible, its open design indicates that it might be usable by some depending on their abilities.
A word of advice. Upon arrival at your chalet, before you even unpack your bags or put the kettle on for a cup of tea, take a minute to fill the bird bath in the front garden. As if by magic birds will appear from the surrounding bushes and in no time at all you will be entertained by a bathing frenzy the likes of which you have never seen! It really is a case of “just add water”. You will need to top up the bird bath regularly, but that is a small price to pay for a wonderful experience.
The WCNP is a bird lover’s paradise and a popular destination for followers of our feathered friends, but during the months of August and September the Postberg section of the park is transformed into a spring wildflower extravaganza. Add eland, zebra, hartebeest, bontebok, springbok, kudu, caracal, badger, bat-eared fox and a host of others into the mix and you have something for everybody! The park requires one to self-drive, and there are various opportunities along the coast, and overlooking the Langebaan lagoon to leave one’s vehicle and take in the views. One of the bird hides is wheelchair accessible with assistance.
For bookings and information, contact Duinepos Chalets, Tel. 022 707 9900.
View the SANParks official website at :