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Guide to Moving to the West Coast of South Africa

Havana Dauncey
Guide to Moving to the West Coast of South Africa

Moving to the West Coast?

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Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city and looking for a beautiful, peaceful town to relocate to? You’re not the only one! Approximately 26%-30% of homeowners in the Western Cape have relocated to smaller towns.

What better place than the West Coast? stunning strip of peaceful small towns with white sand beaches and the beautiful backdrop of the West Coast National Park. What more could you need?

While the West Coast has been a popular holiday destination for South Africans, it’s been quietly developing into the new relocating hotspot. For those who want to opt out of the big city and try their hand at small-town life on the coast - you're in the right place.

Here’s everything you need to know about moving to the West Coast in South Africa.

West Coast Overview

In 2021, the population in the West Coast District grew to 467 125, making it the third most populated district in the Western Cape. Starting just north of Cape Town, the West Coast consists of 270 km of coastline with the West Coast National and Cederberg mountains inland.

The West Coast is famous many things, but Yzerfontein’s 16 Mile Beach, the longest, unbroken beach in South Africa, as well as the stunning Langebaan Lagoon stand out.

Many Capetonians flock to the West Coast at the start of spring to witness the fields and fields of flowers that take over between August and September.

Much of the West Coast is no longer the tiny, empty fishermen's towns it once was. Towns like Langebaan, Yzerfontein and St Helena Bay have exploded with developments in the last few decades, making them perfect for families to move to while maintaining the small town charm. 

5 Best West Coast Towns To Move To

1. Langebaan

Langebaan South Africa

Just an hour and 20-minute drive from Cape Town (132 km), Langebaan is appropriately known as the ‘Jewel of the West Coast’. It is definitely the largest and most popular West Coast town.

Most properties not only have a view of the lovely lagoon’s turquoise waters and white sands but are comparatively affordable with many modern new developments - valued between 1-3 million rand. Popular areas for development are Mykonos and Langebaan Country Estate.

Club Mykonos Langebaan South AfricaLangebaan also offers families a bunch of great school options, including Langebaan Primary (Gr 1-7), Longacres Private School (Gr 1-12), Topolino Private School (Gr R-7) and Curro Langebaan High School (Gr 8-12).

As a popular tourist destination, Langebaan has more than enough activities and restaurants to keep you busy. If you love being outdoors you can do watersports on the Lagoon, hiking, or visit the Thali Thali Game Lodge. For a culinary experience head to Club Mykonos or Die Strandloper restaurant. It’s no wonder Langebaan is first on the list for many South Africans looking for a new life on the West Coast!

2. St Helena Bay

St Helena Bay South Africa

This fishing town, located 162 km or 1h 43m from Cape Town, plays a large role not only in South Africa’s history but also its present. In 1497, Vasco de Gama set foot in St Helena Bay on his journey from Europe to India. Now, St Helena Bay flourishes as a fishing town which supplies half of South Africa’s annual fish catch. But there’s much more to this small town.

St Helena Bay, known locally as Die Agterbaai, spans 18 smaller bays where the property market is currently booming.

Property in this area ranges from R600 000 for a small Cape cottage near the harbour to R4 million or more in Shelley’s Point or Britannia Bay, with an average price of around R1 million. Popular places for development are Shelley Point Estate, Britannia Beach Estate and St Helena Views Estate.

St Helena Bay offers a range of primary schools — Steenberg’s Cove Primary, Stompneusbaai Ek Primary, E.J. Malgarte Primary, Saint Helenabaai Primary and H.P. Williams Primary — making it the perfect spot for families with young children.

There’s also lots to do besides fishing in this town, such as 9-hole Golf at Shelley Point Estate, dolphin, whale and bird watching, hiking the Piketberg Mountains, or even a day at the Shelley Point Spa and Wellness Centre.

3. Saldanha Bay

Saldanha Bay South AfricaSaldanha Bay is the largest natural bay in South Africa. It’s found approximately 145 km away from Cape Town (a scenic 2-hour drive). Quite a bit smaller than Langebaan on the other side of the lagoon, Saldanha is perfect if you’re looking for a tight community.

Popular areas for properties are Saldanha Central, Bluewater Bay and White City. The most popular prices for residential properties are in the R950 000 to R1.4 million range.

The property market is expected to gain more momentum when the expected further investments into the Saldanha Industrial Development Zone take effect. Many homes will need to be provided for a new workforce.

Saldanha has an extensive range of school options for families too. These include Diazville Primary and High, Saldanha Lighthouse Christian Academy, Laerskool Saldanha, St Andrew’s Primary and Middelpos Primary.

The SAS Saldanha Nature Reserve and Langebaan Lagoon offer residents more than enough nature and outdoor activities. And, restaurants like Blue Bay Café, Cup of Cake and Sandstone Café and Lodge are hotspots for locals.

4. Yzerfontein

Yzerfontein South Africa

Closer to Cape Town, Yzerrfontein is an hour’s drive away, making it an easy commute. This sleepy coastal town is home to 16 Mile Beach, the longest unbroken breach on the South African coastline. It’s one of the smaller and quieter West Coast villages, but there has been a lot of development over the years.

While only 30% of properties belong to permanent residents, the number of locals has steadily been increasing. This is because of its attractiveness to retirees, families and remote-working professionals.

Property prices depend heavily on location. For example, modest houses set back from the beach start at around R1.3 million for two bedrooms and range to about R2.6 million for a luxury home.

Closer to the beach, prices range from about R4m to R8.5 million but can exceed the R10m mark. Making it a prime location for those wanting to invest in a peaceful luxury home on the beach.

Yzerfontein Property Beachfront

While there are no schools in Yzerfontein, there are lifts to the nearby town Darling which has plenty of great school options for families.

Activities for locals include walks on the beach, the Bokbaaivygie flower trail and Schaap Eiland Hiking Trail and the famous restaurant Strandkombuis.

5. Darling

Darling (right across from Yzerfontein) is the closest to Cape Town out of the bunch — only 75 km away. Maybe this is why it’s the most lively with the hint of the city buzz.

Darling might be a bit further inland than other towns but it makes up for the lack of an ocean view with the natural beauty of the spring wildflowers. It has become the perfect spot for those wanting a mix between country living and coastal tranquillity.

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Depending on position and size, homes range from around R1.1 million while more spacious Victorian homes can fetch R2.5 million.

The demand for rental properties has also increased. Bedsitters or one-bedroom cottages start around R3 500, with three-bedroom homes are between R6 000 to R9 000 a month.

Darling has several primary schools to choose from including Darling Primary, Vooruitsig Primary and Darling College.

You can never get bored in Darling though. Especially when it is home to Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout, one of South Africa’s most famous characters who hosts regular shows in Darling.

For some nature, you have Buffelsfontein Game Reserve and Cape West Coast Flamingo Birding Route. And, don’t forget about the Darling Golf Club, Darling Wine and Art Experience and Darling Brewery Tasting. There’s a reason people love this town so much.

Need some help with your move?

Ready to take the leap and move to the West Coast? Why not use one of the most trusted moving services in South Africa? Wise Move is a top-rated, low-cost moving service that offers a seamless door-to-door moving experience to every corner of South Africa.

Get your moving quote right now and start planning your move to the West Coast today!

Moving to the West Coast?

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