5 Day Namaqualand Flower Tour 2017
CPT2: NAMAQUALAND FLOWER TOUR FROM CAPE TOWN - 2017
5 DAYS - R9 000p/p sharing & R10 800p/p single - R2000p/p Deposit
|CPT2/1||31 - 4 August||(Mon. - Fri.)|
|CPT2/2||5 - 9 August||(Sat. - Wed.)|
|CPT2/3||6 - 10 September||(Wed. - Sun.)|
We leave Cape Town and travel through the Bloubergstrand area, past Melkbosstrand, towards Langebaan where we see Club Mykonos with its Greek architecture and atmosphere. We travel past Saldanha, which is South Africa’s biggest, deepest and safest harbor. From here we make the short trek to Paternoster, which is a treasure chest on the West Coast with its unique attractions. The Triplet-Towns of Velddrift, Port Owen and Laaiplek are next on our voyage up the West Coast. These small towns are together known as the bokkom-capital of South Africa, situated at the estuary of the Berg River. Port Owen has a striking resemblance to Venice, with its streets of water. We continue our travels through Dwarskersbos towards the Rocherspan and past Verlorenvlei with its rich diversity bird species before reaching Eland’s Bay. Here we see how the crayfish boats are lifted with a crane onto the jetty. From here we push through the Sandveld and its historic towns Leipoldtville and Graafwater. Finally, we reach Clanwilliam from where it’s a short trip to Vanrhynsdorp, our final destination for the day, where we will spend all of our nights. The Namaqualand Country Lodge in Vanrhynsdorp will be our home from home for the remainder of the tour.
Today is most certainly the highlight of the tour. We start the day early with a trip to the Knersvlakte. Even though it might look like nothing grows along the plains, on closer inspection we see a magnificent diversity of dwarf succulents. These tiny plants grow between the white quartz stones and are small enough to miss if you drive in a car yet extraordinary if you stop to look. Next we move into the Hardeveld with its signature towns Nuwerus and Bitterfontein. After we bid farewell to the Hardeveld we move to the Namaqualand Klipkoppe. This beautiful mountainous region reaches from Garies all the way up to Springbok. On route we will encounter a ghost town as well as one of Great Britain’s smallest pieces of land. Our visit will take us to the tiny mining-towns of Nababeep, Concordia and Okiep, which was once the richest copper-ore mining region in the world. And finally, of course, we get to see Namaqualand’s beautiful flowers in full bloom! This promises to be the highlight of the day. If you haven’t been to the Namaqualand Klipkoppe during flower season you haven’t seen flowers yet.
Today we take a different route through the Knersvlakte. We travel towards the Bokkeveld Mountain range where we will drive up the Vanrhyns Pass. This pass promises some of the most awe-inspiring, breath-taking views of Namaqualand you will ever see. After we reach the summit we head towards Niewoudtville- the bulp capital of the world. Here we will spend the day experiencing everything this little town has to offer. From the spectacular Quiver tree forest, to the majestic Nieuwoudtville Waterfall, some one-of-a-kind flower species and finally end the day at the glacier tracks with a small surprise. We will also spend some time at the local Dutch Reformed church. This beautiful sandstone building has a very interesting tale around its founding. The church is most probably the only church with a monument erected for debt. This area also promises some of the most beautiful flower scenery with its farm-style backdrop.
Today we experience another part of the West Coast. We travel towards Strandfontein and Doringbaai via Vredendal and Lutzville. Here we see the northern region of the Olifants River Valley with its first class vineyards and vegetable plantations. On the way we drive past Papendorp where the Olifants River stream meets the Atlantic Ocean tide. Strandfontein, one of the most popular holiday spots along the West Coast, is our next stop. Just south of Strandfontein we find the picturesque fishermen’s town of Doringbaai. From here we move further south to Lambert’s Bay, the crayfish capital of South Africa. After our visit we travel back to Clanwilliam. Here we visit the Ramskop natural garden on the banks of the Clanwilliam Dam. This garden is incredibly diverse with approximately 350 flower species. We also enter the Pakhuis Mountains, so named for the way the rocks looks to be stacked on top of each other. We visit the gravesite of the legendary C. Louis Leipoldt where we also see some extremely rare flower species.
Our final day follows the N7 all the way over the Piekenierskloofpas. With a beautiful view of the golden canola fields and green wheat plains we enter the Swartland. We take a left towards Porterville and drive through Gouda. Our tour takes us through the Nuwekloof Pass to the historical town of Tulbagh. On 29 September 1969 this town was hit with a massive earthquake, which damaged large parts of the town’s infrastructure, a rare phenomenon in South Africa. We inspect Church Street and see the work that has gone into restoring the town to its former glory. Once done, we make the trip back to Cape Town where this soul enriching tour comes to an end.