By Nancy Molina
It’s spring in Cape Town and that means the flowers are out… during the months of August and September a natural phenomenon takes place along the West Coast of South Africa…imagine a carpet of flowers as far as you can see with all different bright colours.
We have attempted to see the splendour of the flowers a couple of years in a row now. We took a road trip to visit West Coast NP and Namaqualand NP more to the North section of the West Coast of South Africa, however 2018 turned out to be the year Cape Town was experiencing one of the worst drought in the past decade and this seriously affected this natural spectacle.
This year once more we attempted to visit West Coast NP for my birthday about a month ago but we were too early.
Then a couple of weeks ago, we thought “this is going to be the perfect time” and so it was!
Here are some tips for your visit:
- The entrance fee: R64.00 per person for SA residents and R96.00 for foreigners and there are card facilities. We have our Wild Card, which gives us access to all South Africa National Parks. It is a bit pricey but it has been such a good investment for us and we make sure to get bang for our buck when we have it.
- Leave the city early: We got to the gate a bit late, around mid morning, and there was a long queue. Cape Town is only 1 hour away, making this park perfect for a day visit. The flowers are on their best on clear, sunny days and between 10:00am – 4:00pm.
- Make your way to Postberg: This section is home to the majority of wildflowers and is a protected section of the national park which opens only in the months of August and September. The flowers are quite spectacular here – make sure you read the signs and only leave your vehicle where you are allowed to. Protecting the area and making sure others can enjoy the flowers is just part of a good traveller code of conduct.
- Keep an eye out for the wildlife: mountain zebra, antelope, ostrich, mongoose, dassies (rock hyrax), snakes, tortoises, just to name a few of the resident wildlife of the park. While the flowers are the main event during this time, it is always so nice to admire the animals roaming the surroundings.
- Enjoy the view points and bird hides: While road tripping in South Africa you are constantly reminded of the beauty of this country, there are so many breathtaking natural areas and the contrasts of sceneries are amazing. Just like the ones you will see here: fynbos, white sand dunes, turquoise waters of the Langebaan lagoon, granite boulders, wetlands. Make sure you make the most of your visit stopping for stunning views and taking it all in.
- Plan a picnic or even better plan a braai: There are some great spots where you can have your coffee or lunch with a view, make sure you plan your day with a snack break while enjoying the scenery. There are great picnic spots at Postberg lookout point and allocated braai areas next to the lagoon. (Please be careful with open fires and mind the wind)
- Take a dip in Langebaan Lagoon: The turquoise water always looks so inviting and can be perfect when the warm currents make its way into the lagoon. It can also be very refreshing and outright freezing. Worth it though.
This great day excursion and park is already something special and particularly so in the flower season. It is on our list as a must do and if you missed it this year, add it to the calendar to marvel at next year…or the year after that as we now know.