The Spring Wild Flower escorted tour of the West Coast, Cedarberg and north to Namaqualand focuses on an area of South Africa with a worldwide reputation. The area receives little rain throughout the year but after winter rains, the landscape is swathed with vibrant bands of flowers.

The Spring Wild Flower escorted tour combines flower-viewing along scenic drives as well as visits to Ramskop Nature Reserve in Clanwilliam, Skilpad Nature Reserve in Namaqualand, Goegap Nature Reserve in Springbok and the Nieuwoudtville Nature Reserve. The tour begins with quite a long driving day but there is method in our madness. We head north to Springbok so that we can spend the next couple of days travelling southwards in a leisurely fashion with the sun generally behind. We visit all the high points such as Goegab Nature Reserve, Skilpad wildflower reserve at Kamieskroon, the succulent nursery at Vanrhynsdorp, the flower paradise of Nieuwoudtville, Clanwilliam and the West Coast including Postberg Nature Reserve, the special botanical part of the West Coast National Park only open at this time of year.

Departures from Cape Town

  • Monday 17 to Friday 21 August 2015
  • Monday 24 to Friday 28 August 2015
  • Monday 31 August to Friday 4 September 2015

 

Spring Wild Flower tour at a glance:

1 night Daisy Lodge or Mountain View Guesthouse, Springbok
1 night Agama Tented Lodge, near Garies
1 night De Lande, Nieuwoudtville
1 night Yellow Aloe Guest House, Clanwilliam

View Itinerary
Day 1

Head north to Springbok for 1 night, Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner

We leave Cape Town between 08:00 and 08:30 and head through the wheat fields of the Swartland and over the Piekienerskloof Pass. We descend into a different world. You are only two hours drive from Cape Town and yet the country has changed; wilder, warmer with a raw, dramatic beauty. Towering mountains, brilliant purple in the late afternoon light, preside over a fruit-filled valley laden with the scent of orange blossom in the spring. Hopefully we will start seeing the wild flowers along the road as we continue to Clanwilliam.

We break our long drive with a visit to the Ramskop Wild Flower Garden, which probably has one of the best displays of wild flowers in the country and looks especially fine during the flower season.

After visiting the Flower Garden we head off to Springbok through the wide swaths of wild flowers in the semi-desert area of Namaqualand, which comes alive each spring.

We overnight at Daisy Country Lodge situated 4km outside Springbok. With magnificent views overlooking the Koppies and valleys, Daisy Country Lodge is truly an oasis in this semi desert area.

Relax in the farm style environment, where you can take walks in the surrounding Koppies. After a tiring day, you can enjoy a nightcap at the Boma or just enjoy the brilliant stars and fresh unpolluted air.


Accommodation: Daisy Country Lodge
Located in: Namaqualand - Northern Cape - South Africa

Day 2

Head to Garies for 1 night, Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner

After breakfast we visit some of the surrounding towns while the day warms up. The flowers need a temperature of 16 degrees C (61 degrees F) to open so are best between 10 to 11 am and 4 pm. We visit Goegab Nature Reserve, then we head south. We have a picnic lunch and visit the Skilpad Reserve in the Namaqua National Park near Kamieskroon. The flowers always face the sun and so are more spectacular when driving south. We continue to Agama Tented Camp for our overnight stay.

Goegap Nature Reserve is a wild flower paradise and is particularly known for its succulents in the Hester Malan Wildflower Garden. It features 581 indigenous plant species, including one rare succulent found nowhere else in the world, the bizarrely formed Halfmens or ‘half men’, which look like an armless person – hence the name.

Agama Tented Camp is a bush camp situated on 8000ha of prime Namaqualand soil skilfully hidden in a secluded kloof. Seven tents are raised 1.5m above the ground on wooden stilts each with its own private rustic bathroom with hot-water shower, basin and toilet. Please note that during cold winter evenings the bathrooms can get quite breezy.

There is about a 50 – 100 metre walk to the tents from the parking area. The friendly staff at Agama Tented Camp will make sure your luggage gets carried to your tent.

Agama boasts a traditional boma made out of local bushes, where visitors can enjoy drinks before a delicious farm-cooked dinner and experience the tranquillity which the Namaqualand nights offer. Guests are welcome to bring their own wine and beverages to Agama Tented Camp. A small range of soft drinks are available at the camp. Please note that Agama does not have any electricity at the camp and only makes use of lanterns for lighting in the tents. It is thus not possible to charge camera batteries or cell phones this evening.


Accommodation: Agama Tented Camp
Located in:

Day 3

Flower-viewing en route to Nieuwoudtville, 1 night, Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner

We depart Agama and travel south to Nieuwoudtville on the Bokkeveld Escarpment, which looks west over Namaqualand’s arid Knersvlakte. The spring flowers here are particularly colourful with a varied range of species not encountered in Namaqualand. We visit the Nieuwoudtville Wild Flower Reserve with its bulbs and orchid species not found anywhere else in South Africa. Time permitting we may also visit the Nieuwoudtville waterfall if the river is in flood. Your overnight stay is at De Lande Guesthouse situated in Nieuwoudtville. You will have dinner at the Guest House tonight.

De Lande is a little Northern Cape gem tucked away outside the little ‘dorp’ of Nieuwoudtville, known as the bulb capital of South Africa and one of the main areas for wild spring flower viewing during late July to mid September. This remote country area is swathed in flowers during this time but even during other months, there is something quintessentially South Africa about this area. The plant life is divided between the Cape Fynbos and the Karoo succulent’s species and so is particularly varied and you may also be lucky to see steenbok, klipspringer even porcupine on the farm.


Day 4

Biedouw Valley en route to Clanwilliam for 1 night, Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner

This morning we leave the Nieuwoudtville area to continue down the dramatic Botterkloof Pass to visit the Biedouw valley with its splendid flower displays. We have a picnic lunch in the valley then leave in the early afternoon, driving over the Pakhuis Pass to Clanwilliam. Your overnight stay is at The Longhouse where you will enjoy dinner at the guesthouse.  The Longhouse, owned and operated by next door Yellow Aloe Guest House, is in historic Park Street.

This charming guesthouse is the ideal place from where to explore the village. Dating back to 1810, this historic thatch-roofed house is one of the two oldest surviving buildings in Clanwilliam and offers visitors an old-world elegance and charm. The house is within walking distance to shops and restaurants, the museum and tourist office. Set in a beautiful, well maintained garden overlooked by mountains, the property has an atmosphere of restful tranquillity. Early morning and evening, horses and guinea fowl can be seen frolicking in the paddock studded with huge pecan trees, below the house.


Accommodation: Yellow Aloe Guest House
Located in: Cederberg & West Coast - Clanwilliam - South Africa

Day 5

West Coast flowers and return to Cape Town

We leave The Longhouse after breakfast and head to Lamberts Bay to visit the gannets on Bird Island and view the Sandveld wild flowers. Then we take the coastal route via Elandsbaai and the West Coast road to the West Coast National Park. In the Park we visit ‘Postberg Nature Reserve’ where Springbok, Eland, Zebra, Bontebok , bat-eared foxes and other animals graze amongst the daisies and gazanias. Wonderful views, and crashing waves are all part of our visit.

We stop to enjoy the picture postcard view of Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand, before we return to Cape Town. Your guide will drop you at your Guesthouse or Hotel in the late afternoon / early evening (approx 6pm).


Includes:
Full Board accommodation, services of a guide and transport in a Hiyundai HI GLS Wagon 2.4 or similar, entrances and permits. Pick up and drop off at Guesthouse / Hotel in Cape Town.
Excludes:
International & domestic flights, visas, items of a personal nature, meals not specified.
Minimum number:
3 people (maximum of 7)
Notes:
The spring flower period happily coincides with the time that the Southern Right whales are calving off the South Coast, so many of our clients add on a two night extension to Hermanus, Cape Town or the Winelands.
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