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Cape Town Tours

Namaqualand in Bloom: 4 Days

Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Spring flowers in Namaqualand
Return to Cape Town & Cape Winelands Tours

Day 1 - Langebaan
Day 2 - Kamieskroon
Day 3 - Kamieskroon
Day 4 - Niewoudville

Day 1
Depart the city for Bloubergstrand to enjoy the spectacular views of Cape Town and Table Mountain from across the bay. Continue north along the West Coast, through the farmlands of the Cape and inland to Darling. Visit the Tinie Versveld Wildflower Reserve with its geophytic plants and flowering annuals - some of the West Coast's 1200 species of flowering plants, of which about 80 are endemic to the area. We visit the biggest orchid nursery in Southern Africa on the farm Oudepost, where millions of exotic blooms are grown for the domestic and overseas market.

Drive back to the coast and enter the West Coast National Park, situated around the Langebaan Lagoon - a RAMSAR International Wetland-listed site. Thousands of waders visit from the Northern Hemisphere to breed during the summer months. Over two hundred and fifty bird species have been recorded, including Lesser and Greater flamingos.

Visit the information centre and lunch at Geelbek, a historic farm and national monument, restored by the National Parks Board. Drive through the Postberg section of the park, which is privately owned and closed to the public for the rest of the year. Here we may see bontebok, eland and Cape Mountain zebra grazing in an area carpeted with a vast profusion of spring blooms. The area is dominated by granite hills where succulent Mesembryanthemaceae are found. Overnight in Langebaan.

Day 2
Continue north through the back roads of the West Coast, in search of the many annuals on display along the roadside. Drive to Elands Bay on the coast and along the coastal road to Lamberts Bay, where we stop for a seafood lunch. After lunch, walk to the Cape Gannet Colony to see masses of these birds on nearby Bird Island.

Continue inland and north into Namaqualand, stopping en route in areas where the flowers are at their best. Namaqualand is largely a semi-desert area, which in springtime, is transformed into a kaleidoscope of brilliant colour. Daisies, mesembryanthemums, perennial herbs, aloes, lilies and a host of other species cover the desert, which is home to an estimated 3,500 species of plants, of which more than 1,000 are endemic. Overnight in Kamieskroon.

Day 3
Enjoy a full day exploring Namaqualand and the Namaqua National Park, which incorporates the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve. The park encompasses some 55,000 hectares, which makes it a major contributor to the conservation of the Succulent Karoo Biome. The park also has some mammal species that have adapted to these harsh conditions like klipspringer, aardvark, baboon, steenbok, duiker, porcupine, bat-eared fox and African wild cat. Enjoy a packed lunch as you spend time in the areas where the flowers are in abundant show. Drive on towards Springbok to the Goegap Nature Reserve which incorporates the Hester Malan Wildflower Garden - a reserve with a variety of Namaquland succulents such as Conophytum and Lithops species. Overnight in Kamieskroon.

Day 4
Depart early and drive south through the Knersvlake and into the Niewoudville area situated on the plateau of the Bokkeveld Mountains. The region is renowned for its Bulbinellas and many other geophytes. Visit the Kokerboom (Quiver Tree) Forest at Gannabos, where a huge concentration of these succulent trees occur. Stop for a picnic lunch en route and then visit the spectacular Glenlyon Farm. We are guided around this 6500-hectare property by its owner and flower expert, Niel McGregor who has lived on the farm for over 60 years and is a world authority on its flowers. The farm features no less than four totally different habitats - the northern extremity of the Cape fynbos, Renosterveld, the spectacular dolorite plains and the succulent Karoo. Overnight Niewoudville.

Day 5
Travel along the edge of the escarpment, through the Knersvlakte and on to Vanrynsdorp where we visit the famous Kern Succulent nursery. The Knersvlakte is a sea of white quartz and home of the genera Argyroderma, Dactylopsis, Conophytum and many others. Continue south to Clanwilliam where we stop for a picnic lunch at the Ramskop Wildflower Reserve. With a higher rainfall than Namaqualand, perennials here are much like the fynbos we experienced further south and the area is a mass of colour in the springtime. Drive on through the Olifants River Valley, past Citrusdal and Malmesbury en route back to Cape Town.

Namaqualand flowers Wild flowers and barn Namaqualand flowers Spring flower in Namaqualand Namaqualand daisies

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