The 5th Annual Velddrif Swim takes place on Saturday 20 November in the picturesque Port Owen Marina in Velddrif on the West Coast. The event is open to all levels of fitness and is split into three different categories.

The 500m Fun Swim is open to all ages and all levels of fitness and is a great way to get the whole family involved. Swimmers for the fun event can dress up for a shot at the prize for Best Dressed and assisted swimming devices like lilo’s etc. are also allowed for this hugely fun swim race.

The official Velddrif Mile 1.6 km swim is for the more adventurous, and swimmers with a bit more stamina. Finally, the 3km Advanced Swim is the more serious race and a great training session for open water swimmers.

This annual swim event adds yet another reason to visit the hugely popular West Coast village of Velddrif which hugs the banks of the beautiful Berg River, just a few kilometers from where the river enters the ocean at St Helena Bay. This lovely town is one of the post popular bird-watching sites in South Africa, with the tidal mudflats and salt marshes presenting more than 200 species of birds – including rare waders seldom seen elsewhere – this is truly a bird lovers paradise.  In fact, this estuary is the third biggest in SA and rated as one of the most important birding areas in the world as well as being a key breeding site for many species of fish.

Velddrif is perfectly located to offer a myriad of activities to water-sport enthusiasts, including skiing, sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, boating, stand-up paddling and more. Fishing enthusiasts will be rewarded as the river holds an abundance of fish species.  Surf angling is also popular from the beaches alongside Velddrif.  Rocherpan Nature Reserve is a short drive from Velddrif, and the Fisheries Museum is well worth a visit to find out about the colourful history of the fishing industry along this coast.  The area also offers horse-riding, hiking, and mountain biking trails.

For a more sedate pace, there are options such as gin and beer tasting, and retail therapy in the many interesting local shops and gift stores.  A boat cruise up the river is a must-do experience, and Bokkomlaan – the oldest road in the town that snakes up the edge of the Berg River – is a great place to relax and watch the tide come in while sipping freshly roasted artisanal coffee. Or sit on a jetty with a cocktail. Also visit the art gallery and eclectic shops dotted along this quaint dirt road. Bokkomlaan is named after the salted mullet strung into bunches and hung to dry like biltong. It is the signature local delicacy in this area.

Velddrif is a foodie’s paradise!  Whether your appetite is calling for a hearty breakfast, wood-fired pizza, hamburgers, crispy fresh salads, artisanal baked-treats and cakes, vegetarian dishes, traditional country fare or anything in between – this area offers it all from a wide variety of eateries to suite all tastes and budgets.  The restaurants in town are known for serving up some of the freshest seafood delicacies – to be savoured whilst overlooking the beautiful Berg River with a chilled glass of wine or ice-cold cooldrink.  From eclectic and rustic to fine-dining or take-aways enjoyed as fun family picnics – there truly is something for everyone here – served with typical West Coast hospitality.

Like everything else in Velddrif – there is an abundance of accommodation options available to appeal to everyone.  Many glorious locations up and down the Berg River offer accommodation which ranges from rustic to luxury, as well as various camping sites which enjoy exceptional views.  In the town itself, visitors can choose from self-catering apartments, cottages, and holiday homes, as well as B&B’s, guesthouses, and hotels.

With all that is on offer it is worth your while making a weekend of it and booking in to stay in Velddrif while taking part in the annual swimming event.   

For more information on the annual Velddrif swim, visit http://www.facebook.com/velddrifmileswimmingevent; email velddrifmile@gmail.com; or contact 0718976451.

For more information on Velddrif and where to eat, sleep and play https://bergriviertourism.co.za/bergrivier/.

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