- The Cederberg
- Nama Karoo
- West Coast
The seemingly arid landscape of the West Coast and Namaqualand miraculously bursts into a riot of colour after the winter rains, with the vast open spaces carpeted in a sea of jewel-bright flowers wherever you turn. This spectacular phenomenon needs to be seen to be believed. No less than four nights are needed for this fairly long-distance tour, and more time is advised.
Depending on the time available, a typical tour would first take us to Clanwilliam and the magnificent mountains of the Cederberg with its exceptional botanical diversity and fascinating rock formations. Two highlights here would be the world-famous rooibos, which grows only in these mountains, and Bushman rock art.
The breathtaking Pakhuis Mountain Pass will take us towards to the region often referred to as the ‘thirstlands’ and we’ll visit the area around Niewoudtville, the bulb capital of the world, where there are hundreds of different species, most endemic to the region. This area also includes the fascinating Knersvlakte, strewn with glittering white quartz gravel, where plants resembling stones grow. A visit to the unique kokerboom (quiver tree) desert forest is also a highlight.
Moving further north to the heart of the Nama region, we’ll probably spend a night or two in Springbok, the main town in the area, and explore the surrounds. This area is most famous for its seasonal daisies that literally carpet the landscape, as well as for the wide variety of wild flowers thriving in rocky outcrops. The Namaqua National Park and the Goegap Reserve are worth a visit, time permitting.
We would then move on towards the west coast of the Cape, with its sandy plains, coastal fynbos and dunes, characteristic of the influence of the cold Atlantic Ocean currents. An overnight stay in the picturesque fishing village of Paternoster may be just the thing to round off this trip, with a choice of restaurants to enjoy an exceptional West Coast seafood dinner.
Finally, making our way back down to Cape Town, we’ll spend the last day in the West Coast National Park, overlooking the magnificent Langebaan Lagoon which offers panoramic views, wild flower vistas and a variety of wildlife.
Note: This tour is strictly seasonal – only viable during August and September, with the preceding winter rains dictating when and how plentiful the ‘flower show’ will be.