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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Namaqualand, exploring the West Coast Flower Route

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Visiting Namaqualand in the course of the flower season is a tremendous expertise. After the wet winter months, the normally arid space alongside the West Coast turns into one massive flower carpet with orange, yellow, pink, and purple colours dominating the surroundings. The transformation is unimaginable particularly if you know the way the world seems exterior of the flower season. Visiting Namaqualand is without doubt one of the must-do issues in Cape City in spring.

The street journey alongside the West Coast remains to be a journey off the crushed monitor for overseas vacationers in contrast for instance to the well-known Backyard Route. Touring by way of Namaqualand in spring put together to be shocked and see superb issues in probably the most sudden locations. My fundamental impression of driving by way of the world is the sensation of absolute freedom, the limitless street that may take you so far as you would like.

One of the best time to go to Namaqualand

This a part of the nation will get little or no rain all year long apart from July and August. After the winter rains, the world transforms fully. Normally arid desert-like land it turns into a colourful carpet of flowers. Yellow, orange, white, and inexperienced colours dominate the panorama.

Certainly, the spring months of August and September are the most effective time to see the flowers in Namaqualand. The flower season varies somewhat bit between northern and southern elements of the coast; within the north close to Springbok August is the most effective time for seeing spring flowers, within the south between Langebaan and Lamberts Bay you may see probably the most flowers in September. It’d change from 12 months to 12 months some years after a dry winter there is likely to be not as many flowers as after a number of months of winter rains. If it rains all through September quite a bit there is likely to be not many flowers.

Once you plan your journey it’s vital to keep in mind that if you happen to go to Namaqualand on a wet day you received’t see many flowers, their petals can be closed. A heat and sunny day is the most effective for observing the flowers examine the climate forecast earlier than heading to the West Coast.

Should you dwell round Cape City it’s not an issue as quickly as you begin seeing flower photographs in social media, it’s the suitable time. Should you come from far I’d advocate planning your journey to Namaqualand for the primary half of September.

Although the world is probably the most spectacular in the course of the spring if you happen to come right here exterior of the flower season you received’t be dissatisfied there are numerous superb locations to go to alongside the West Coast.

Finest locations in Namaqualand to see the flowers

You may see the fields of flowers driving by way of Namaqualand however sure locations supply the most effective flower fields sighting within the area. 

West Coast Nationwide Park

  • Nearest city – Langebaan, Western Cape
  • Distance from Cape City – 110 km
  • Driving time – 1h30min.
  • Peak season – September
  • Admission charge – R80 – adults, R45 – youngsters

Moreover the gorgeous surroundings, the park presents numerous out of doors actions for the entire household. The wonderful thing about the park is that it’s situated simply 1-hour drive from Cape City. This park might be the most effective (the closest) place to go to it as a day journey from the Mom Metropolis. 

Biedouw Valley

  • Nearest city – Clanwilliam, Western Cape
  • Distance from Cape City – 300 km
  • Driving time – 3h15min.
  • Peak season – second-half of August – mid-September

A spectacular valley to see in the course of the flower season. It’s fairly a drive from Cape City however if you happen to begin actually early you may make it to and again in at some point.

Nieuwoudtville 

  • Nearest city – Vredendal
  • Distance from Cape City – 350 km
  • Driving time – 3h40min.
  • Peak season – mid-August – starting of September

There are a number of locations round Nieuwoudtville the place you may see flowers; Hantam Nationwide Botanical Backyard, Matjiesfontein Flower Route, Papkuilsfontein Flower Route, Rondekop Route. One can spend the entire day driving round and having fun with the gorgeous great thing about the flower fields.

Namaqua Nationwide Park

  • Nearest city – Springbok, Northern Cape
  • Distance from Cape City – 530 km
  • Driving time – 5h30min.
  • Peak season – August
  • Admission charge – R46 – adults, R23 – youngsters

A go to to the Namaqua Nationwide Park is the nice one to mix with a street journey to Namibia or a drive to Kalahari. To go to it as a weekend journey from Cape City isn’t the most suitable choice you’ll find yourself spending extra time driving to and again than having fun with the flowers.

Issues to do on the Flower Route

Water actions

Some locations on the West Coast are well-known for being superb spots for training water sports activities. Langebaan is considered one of them. In summer time this small city turns into a kitesurfing mecca. Tons of of locals and vacationers from everywhere in the world come right here to surf. Even to look at dozens of kites gliding within the sky is spectacular. Langebaan is without doubt one of the greatest locations within the nation to study to kitesurf. We took our first classes right here. It wasn’t simple although. Summer season is the windiest time right here and in spring in the course of the flower season, there is likely to be no wind in any respect however it’s simply another excuse to return to the West Coast once more for December vacation.

Should you’re searching for a winter-spring water exercise within the space head to Elands Bay, among the finest browsing spots on this a part of the nation. In contrast to with kitesurfing browsing circumstances in winter are the most effective. You may keep in Elands Bay for a few days and in between browsing periods drive across the fields of flowers.

The marine lifetime of the West Coast is really spectacular you may see dolphins, whales, seals, penguins, and so forth. Our favourite place to exit with a ship for recognizing animals and birds is round St.Helena Bay. In a few hours out in a ship, we noticed many dolphins, seals, a whale, lots of of birds, and even a few Sunfish that had been floating round our boat near the floor for fairly some time. It’s humorous as a result of we went to dive round Bali a few years in the past to see it, did a number of makes an attempt however had solely a short encounter. 

Kayaking or paddleboarding is one other nice technique to take pleasure in the fantastic thing about the coast and to see its numerous marine life. Kayaking in Langebaan Lagoon to Schaapen Island the place you may see lots of sea birds, seals, and rabbits is a good household exercise. Paternoster is one other excellent spot for sea kayaking. There you may see dolphins, occasional whales, seals, penguins, and plenty of birds. Each cities Langebaan and Paternoster have kayak rental locations.

Mountaineering & biking

West Coast Nationwide Park in Langebaan might be the most effective place in Namaqualand the place you may benefit from the lovely shoreline and fields coated n flowers whereas climbing or biking. There are a number of brief strolling trails between 5 km and 9 km and a few 2-day routes (should be booked prematurely). The paths supply spectacular surroundings, particularly in the course of the flower season. The gorgeous surroundings isn’t the one factor to take pleasure in within the park, in the course of the stroll you may spot animals resembling bat-eared foxes, Elands, rock hyraxes, ostriches, caracals, and plenty of birds. Strolling alongside the coast you may spot dolphins and whales.

There are two lengthy biking routes within the park; a 30-kilometer route and a 70-kilometer loop, each are on a tarred street. For mountain bike lovers there are two trails; 13 km and 17 km. Data on the admission charges and dealing hours you could find on the official web site.

Should you determine to discover the inland a part of Namaqualand the Cederberg Mountain space is a tremendous place for out of doors actions resembling climbing and mountain biking. The Cederberg Wilderness Space is a implausible place to discover some off the crushed monitor elements of Namaqualand. There are a number of campsites contained in the reserve in addition to many climbing and mountain biking trails.

A Brown Fur seal on the rock in Namaqualand
A seal chilling on the rock on the West Coast close to Paternoster

Foodie issues

Seafood and fish on the West Coast is one thing to not miss: recent Saldanha oysters, huge crayfish, prawn, mussels, calamari, hake the checklist simply goes on. Paternoster might be the most effective place in Namaqualand to return for seafood. The Noisy Oyster and Voorstrandt are our two favourite eating places right here. Don’t fear if you happen to’re not an enormous seafood lover (like Campbell) each locations have in depth menus with meat and vegetarian dishes. Freshly baked ciabattas, croissants, and sourdough bread are another excuse to cease by in Paternoster. Junk & Disorderly cafe-bakery is a good place to return for breakfast. They’ve nice espresso as properly (Reality Espresso, a well known Cape City espresso roastery).

Muisbosskerm, an open-air restaurant on the seaside close to Lambert’s Bay is a not-to-miss place on the West Coast. A really cozy place with an amazing number of seafood, grilled, baked and smoked fish, freshly baked bread, and numerous facet dishes.  It’s a buffet meal that must be booked prematurely. 

Namaqualand isn’t as well-known for its wine because the Stellenbosch Wine Route however there are wine farms there that produce wonderful wine. The Darling Wine Route has a number of lovely farms that provide wine tasting. When you’ve got time on the way in which to or again from the coast you may go to a few wine farms and do some tasting. Wine farms round Darling are closed on Sundays, some open on Saturdays. Over the weekend Friday afternoon is the most effective time for winetasting there. Beer lovers will take pleasure in Darling Brew the place you may style native craft beer together with non-alcohol beer for designated drivers. The brewery is open Saturdays and Sundays.

Stingy Nomad at a seafood restaurant in Paternoster, Namaqualand
Alya having fun with tasty seafood at Voorstrandt Restaurant in Paternoster

Find out how to go to Namaqualand?

Should you’re native isn’t an issue you may simply drive in your automotive. For vacationers renting a automotive is one of the best ways to discover Namaqualand. You don’t must lease an enormous jeep a standard sedan can be advantageous if you happen to’re going to go to the West Coast Nationwide Park or drive as much as the Cederberg Mountains. If you wish to do some off-road driving a 4×Four is the way in which to go.

Should you don’t need to lease a automotive it’s doable to go to Namaqualand with a tour from Cape City. For instance a day journey from Cape City that features an e-bike tour by way of the West Coast Nationwide Park with a free decide up and drop off at your lodge within the metropolis and a go to to a personal recreation reserve the place you may see African animals.

Namaqualand – the West Coastal route itinerary

A weekend in Namaqualand in the course of the flower season is a good way to spend a few days with household and pals. We created two itineraries to your weekend getaway in Namaqualand: the Coastal Route and the Cederberg Route.

We’d recommend beginning the journey on Friday and spend two nights on the West Coast this fashion you’ll have two full days to discover the world. Fortunately, the R27 street out of Cape City alongside the West Coast is by far not as busy and loopy because the N1, N2, or N7 on Friday night. When you’re previous Desk View you’ll hardly see any site visitors.

Day 1. Cape City – Langebaan/Paternoster

Should you begin driving early sufficient you may make it in time for the sundown in Langebaan. In August – September the sundown is between 6 pm and 6.30 pm. After the sundown, take pleasure in dinner with recent seafood or fish and native wine. 

Day 2. Exploring the Coastal Flower Route

Begin your day with breakfast and low at one of many native eating places. In Langebaan, we are able to recommend Pearly’s Restaurant on the waterfront. Junk and Disorderly bakery is a good breakfast place in Paternoster.

After breakfast, you may spend a while on the seaside earlier than heading to West Coast Nationwide Park that’s only a couple kilometers away. Late morning – afternoon, between 1 am and Four pm, is the most effective time for watching the flowers. On the entrance gate, there is likely to be a queue of automobiles you have to be ready to spend a while ready to get in. There are a number of brief climbing trails contained in the park which you could comply with. Strolling throughout the fields is one of the best ways to benefit from the flowers. You may spend a few hours within the park.

Within the afternoon spend a while exploring the West Coast, drive to Jacobsbaai, Paternoster, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve. At some locations alongside the way in which, you may see extra flowers. Should you journey with youngsters ensure that to cease at The Pixie and Fairy Village in Jacobsbaai. It’s a magical place! Open each day from eight am to six pm, admission charge – 20-30R.

A green toy castle built for Pixie and Fairy Land in Jacobs Bay
Pixie & Fairy Land in Jacobsbaai, an amazing place to go to with youngsters

Paternoster is a good place to cease for lunch, it has a few of the greatest seafood and fish eating places within the space. We are able to advocate The Noisy Oyster and Voorstrandt. For a tasty wood-fired pizza with nice views go to Blikkie Pizzeria in Paternoster.

Within the night take pleasure in a braai with a few glasses of wine. Should you’re planning to braai ensure that your guesthouse has a braai place (if you happen to camp you’ll undoubtedly have one). What sort of weekend is it with no conventional South African braai!?

Day 3. Langebaan/Paternoster – Darling – Cape City

Have breakfast with the ocean view at one of many eating places. Should you like beer and burgers on the way in which again to Cape City drive by way of Darling. It’s a fast detour from the route. Darling Brew is a good place to cease. There you may mix beer tasting with a scrumptious meal. The brewery has a jungle health club for teenagers and permits well-behaved canines. 

In spring the fields across the city are coated in flowers. Regionally brewed beer, nice meals, and fields of flowers – the proper technique to end your Namaqualand weekend. There are a few wine farms within the space that do tasting however they’re closed on Sundays and a few on Saturdays as properly. 

Flower fields in Namaqualand in spring
Generally simply driving by way of Namaqualand you may see 1000’s of flowers alongside the street

The place to remain on the West Coast?

Should you’re planning to go to Namaqualand on a weekend in the course of the flower season be sure to ebook lodging prematurely the most effective choices may be booked out if you happen to attempt to do it simply a few days forward.

Langebaan

  • Distance from Cape City – 122 km
  • Driving time – 1h20min.

Should you’re planning to go to the West Coast Nationwide Park staying in Langebaan is the most suitable choice. The city may be very good with gorgeous sandy seashores, many eating places, guesthouses, a few supermarkets, and one or two campsites. Langebaan located very near the Nationwide Park.

Indoor lodging

Tenting

  • Leentjiesklip Caravan park
  • Jacobsbaai Backpackers

I’d advocate staying indoors fairly than tenting until you could have an RV or the campsite is fenced and gated with good safety. More often than not you’re going to spend exterior your campsite no matter you allow in your tent or round it is likely to be stolen. Campsites alongside the West Coast aren’t as busy in spring as in December there is likely to be no person round to take care of your stuff whilst you’re out.

A small fisherman's house on the West Coast of South Africa
The unimaginable sky and the limitless coast line of the West Coast of South Africa

Paternoster

  • Distance from Cape City – 150 km
  • Driving time – 1h40min.

Paternoster is one other good possibility to remain for the weekend. The coastal drive by way of the close by Cape Columbine Nature Reserve previous Cape Columbine Lighthouse is really lovely. Hills alongside the shore are coated in flowers in spring. Contemporary seafood and fish served in native eating places is another excuse to remain in Paternoster.

Indoor lodging

Tenting

I’d warn you towards tenting at Tietiesbaai we’ve heard some dangerous tales about folks’s stuff being stolen out of their tents and automobiles.

Eland’s Bay

  • Distance from Cape City – 210 km
  • Driving time – 2h20min.

If you wish to mix a weekend on the Flower Route with browsing Eland’s Bay is the place for you. It’s a bit farther from Cape City, about 200 km however nearer to Biedouw Valley, a valley within the Cederberg Mountains 80 km exterior Claimvilliam that provides among the finest flower sightings in Namaqualand.

A Cape Namibia Route sign on the way out of Cape Town to Namaqualand
Driving out of Cape City to Namaqualand following the Cape-Namibia route

Namaqualand – the Cederberg route itinerary

Should you don’t fear an excessive amount of about being near the ocean and fairly need to skip seasonal crowds within the West Coast Nationwide Park I’d advocate going to the Cederberg Mountains. It’s extra off the crushed monitor vacation spot with fewer people who has a few superb locations the place you may see 1000’s of flowers exterior Nationwide parks and reserves. It’s vital to keep in mind that if you happen to determine to take this route it’s higher to go mid-August – starting September to see flowers in Nieuwoudtville and Biedouw Valley. 

Day 1. Cape City – Citrusdal/Clanwilliam

You most likely received’t be capable of do a lot this present day however to drive from Cape City to the place you’re going to remain. Whichever place you select, Citrusdal or Clanwilliam each have good in-door locations to remain and superb campsites. 

Day 2. Citrusdal/Clanwilliam – Nieuwoudtville – Biedouw Valley – Citrusdal/Clanwilliam

Go for breakfast to one of many native eating places. In Citrusdal we are able to advocate The Grapevine Espresso Store, it’s a small however cozy place that serves scrumptious breakfasts, espresso, and Rooibos tea. The realm round Clanwilliam is legendary for its Rooibos tea, don’t be shocked to see many tearooms there. 

Should you keep in Citrusdal to go to each locations you’ll should drive about 400 km which can take you just about the entire day together with stops for photographs and lunch. From Clanwilliam, the gap is shorter, about 300 km. 

Should you determine to go to each Nieuwoudtville and Biedouw Valley I’d recommend ranging from Nieuwoudtville there may be a couple of place there to see the flowers. Should you don’t have sufficient time to go to Biedouw Valley in the long run you may all the time drive there the subsequent day earlier than you head again to Cape City.

The fields of daisies in Namaqualand, South Africa
A colourful carpet of spring flowers in Namaqualand

Day 3. Citrusdal/Clanwilliam – Riebek Casteel – Cape City

On the way in which again to Cape City you are able to do a brief detour to Riebek Casteel, an enthralling city with a few good eating places the place you may cease for breakfast. We are able to advocate Beans About Espresso, a comfy cafe-roastery. They’ve nice espresso (that they roast themselves), tasty breakfast, and scrumptious desserts. A few native farms are open on Sundays (Meerhof Wines, Riebeek Valley Wine & Co, Riebeek Cellars) for testing after breakfast you may go to a few of them and check out native wines.

When you’ve got an extended vacation you may lengthen your street journey and discover extra of Northern Cape. This fashion you may mix the flower season in Namaqualand with a go to to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. August-September is the most effective time for safari drives there.

The place to remain within the Cederberg Mountains?

There are some superb locations within the Cederberg space for each indoor staying and tenting. A few of our favourite campsites are situated within the space. Tenting right here is safer than alongside the coast most campsites are removed from the cities on personal farms, away from the principle street. 

Citrusdal

A small city within the Cederberg Mountains situated about 140 km from Biedouw Valley, among the finest locations to see the flowers within the space. 

  • Distance from Cape City – 176 km
  • Driving time – 1h50min.

Indoor lodging

Tenting 

From our expertise tenting within the Cederberg Mountains is safer than alongside the West Coast. A lot of the campsites listed here are located removed from the street and cities which makes entry harder. We’ve by no means had something stolen whereas tenting right here however only for security all the time lock invaluable stuff within the automotive after we go away.

Beaverlac

  • Distance from Cape City – 170 km
  • Driving time – 2h10min.
  • Value – adults – R75, youngsters – R45, canines – R50, automotive entrance charge – R30.

Beaverlac is considered one of our canine’s favourite campsites in Western Cape. The plot is spacious, grassy and properly taken care of. The encompassing space is really lovely. There are a few climbing trails resulting in the pure rocky swimming pools. I’m positive in early spring it received’t be as full as in December.

The Tub Scorching Spring

  • Distance from Cape City – 190 km
  • Driving time – 2h20min.
  • Value – R170 per particular person weekends, R120 – per particular person midweek

It’s a wonderful place hidden within the mountains with scorching spring water swimming pools, a few climbing and mountain biking trails. The Baths is an ideal place for a weekend getaway the place you may take pleasure in scorching springs and spa. We cherished swimming within the scorching pool within the night watching the celebs and listening to birds singing. Tenting isn’t the one lodging possibility right here if you would like extra consolation you may lease an condominium. Should you determine to camp look ahead to baboons, don’t go away your stuff unattended.

The view of the Baths Hot Springs in Citrusdal from a view-point
The Baths Scorching Springs from the look-out level on one of many climbing trails

Clanwilliam

The benefit of staying close to Clanwilliam is that it’s nearer to Biedouw Valley and Nieuwoudtville. It’ll take much less time to drive round to see the flowers. 

  • Distance from Cape City – 230 km
  • Driving time – 2h30min.

Indoor lodging

Tenting

Cederberg Wilderness Space

  • Distance from Cape City – 218 km to Algeria Campsite, 240 km to Kliphuis Campsite.
  • Driving time – 2h30min.
  • Value – from R120 per evening, plus R60 conservation charge – adults, R35 – youngsters.

Each campsites Algeria and Kliphuis are situated contained in the Cederberg Wilderness Space. Each campsites are well-maintained and have good services: scorching bathe, bathroom, braai place, and so forth. There’s a few climbing and mountain-biking routes contained in the reserve.

Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve

  • Distance from Cape City – 240 km
  • Distance to Biedouw Valley – 150 km
  • Distance to Nieuwoudtville – 250 km

It’s a novel place that may be an ideal keep for a special day. The keep at Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is kind of pricy you won’t need to spend that a lot cash for an strange weekend getaway. The place is superb, its location is really spectacular. It’s located within the Klein Karoo. There are lots of actions and issues to do on the resort to maintain one busy from spa therapy and therapeutic massage to climbing, mountain biking, and stargazing. 

Helpful Apps for the Namaqualand journey

  • Maps.me for iPhone and Android – an offline map, you obtain a map for a rustic and use it offline for navigation.
  • iOverlander for iPhone and Android – works offline, reveals campsites in any chosen space, we used it quite a bit in Namibia.
  • WestCoastWay an app for iPhone and Android with lots of data on the West coast.
West Coast Way map
West Coast Means map. West Coast South Africa journey information

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