|Today the town of Langebaan is a mixture of the very old and the
very new, with a strong Parks Board presence, a country club and
numerous holiday facilities. Much of its old-world innocence is
still there, but, as a setting for the activities of water sport
and fishing enthusiasts.
This lagoon town has a definite place in history, as it once
was the site where the various leaders of the Khoi nation held
their periodic get - togethers. Since WW II, when the giant Catalina
Flying boats used Langebaan as a terminal for their long journeys
from the UK, the village has had an uneventful, quiet development,
gradually growing into the favourite West Coast town for pensioners.
Earlier in the century, when the biggest whaling station in the
southern hemisphere was still operational here, langebaan was
not quite as peaceful as today. Since the closure of the station,
however, Langebaan has changed completely, settling down into
the pattern of a seasonal holiday town.
Authors such as Lawrence Green started mentioning the town in
their books, although previously famous figures such as Lady Anne
Barnard and Thunberg, the botanist, were struck by the quaintness
of the place.
This out of ordinary characteristic was also picked up by scientists,
especially paleontologists, who succeeded in tracing Langebaan's
origins to a period ten million years ago.
Latter day writers all refer to the "Langebaan Charisma",
- on the eastern shores of a blue-green lagoon, that stretches
seventeen kilometres to the south.
Langebaan's claim to fame include -
- the biggest oyster shell deposits in the world
- its position as the ornithological capital of RSA
- its fascinating islands steeped in history
- the Postberg peninsula
- The West Coast National Park
- its healthy climate with bracing air and sunlit days
- many more
European prescence started as early as the fifteenth century,
with French sealers. They were followed by Scandinavian, British
and Dutch sea-farers. The Portuguese somehow missed Langebaan
completely, their nearest landfall being St Helena Bay.
According to some historians, Phoenicians from the sacked city
of Carthage, landed on the beaches of Langebaan well before the
birth of Christ.
Some of the most sought-after seafront properties are found on
the Lagoon. Langebaan boasts upmarket accommodation, a choice
of restaurants, two caravan parks, a golf course, tennis courts,
a bowling green, a yacht club and the normal businesses, selling
anything from seafood to hardware and holiday equipment.