Day 1 & 2. Cape Town – Vanrhynsdorp – Springbok
Day 3. Springbok – Vanrhynsdorp – Nieuwoudtville
Day 4. Nieuwoudtville surrounds: Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve; Papkuilsfontein
Day 5. Nieuwoudtville surrounds: Kokerboom Forest; Papkuilsfontein waterfall
Day 6. West Coast tour: Nieuwoudtville – Clanwilliam – Graaffwater- Leipoldtville – Elands Bay – Langebaan – Cape Town
– All transport from pick up to drop off at Cape Town International Airport.
– Accommodation, D. B&B
– All tours and entrance to parks and Botanic Gardens
Excluded: Drinks, Lunches
Meet at Cape Town International Airport Road lodge at 8h15 sharp. This hotel is situated at the airport. Please ensure you fly down at least the day before to prevent delays. Today is a long day of travel as we need to get to Springbok by nightfall. We travel through the Boland which forms the foundation of SA’s soft fruit and wine industries. We follow the N7 over the Piekenierskloof Pass through the Olifants River Valley.
We will have lunch at the Muis Huis in Vanrhynsdorp and spend time in the small succulent nursery that was part of the old Jail. After lunch we will continue on the N7 to Springbok where we will spend the next 2 nights at Mountain View Guest House. The accommodation is very comfortable and after dinner we can walk through the little town of Springbok. Dinner at Tauren Steak House.
After breakfast we travel to Namaqua National Park and the Skilpad wildflower reserve. Here you will see Namaqualand in all its splendour.
This route of today promises to have some of the best flower scenes of the tour. If you did not visit the Namaqualand Klipkoppe during flower time, you did not visit Namaqualand!
The Namaqua National Park covers an area more than 700km2. This park is part of Namaqualand, covering an area of 55,000km2 located within the semi-desert Succulent Karoo biome.
This biome is a biodiversity hotspot with the largest concentration of succulents in the world.
The park’s main attraction is the abundant spring bloom of brightly coloured wildflowers. Within the biome there are more than 5000 plant species, including more than a third of all the succulent species in the world. Dinner at Springbok Lodge.
After breakfast we head down the N7 to Vanrhynsdorp seeing flowers all along the route. Our first stops for the day is in Vanrhynsdorp were we will visit a succulent nursery that specialises in growing hybrid Aloe dichotomas owned by Eduardo Cornelisen followed by a late lunch at his restaurant.
We then take a slow drive following the route through the Knersvlakte till we reach the Bokkeveld Mountains where we shall ascent the spectacular Vanrhyns Pass. We will stop to take fantastic photos of this pass and the views over the escarpment. From there we reach the top of the Bokkeveld Plato at Nieuwoudtville – renowned as the ‘bulb capital of the world’. We will check into our accommodation at De Lande Guesthouse and Jan Voorman’s cottage which belongs to the Van Wyk family for the next 3 nights. We shall spend the rest of the day in the vicinity of this beautiful town and Majiesfontein looking at plants. We shall also visit the imposing sandstone D.R. Church with a most interesting history. The congregation believes they are the only church in the world who erected a monument for debt! We shall also do flower watching in this area
Most of the rain on the Bokkeveld falls in the winter and spring with the greatest displays of wild flowers occurring from August to mid-October. This is the time when a kaleidoscope of colors can be seen.
Most of the annuals, geophytes and succulents flower at this time, but even though the bright displays of annuals disappear in October, there are interesting plants to be seen until the end of November Plateau.
During the flowering season, annuals and geophytes cover the ground in a rich carpet of color.
The famous red Bulbinella latifolia var. doleritica, the large red-flowered Romulea monadelpha, yellow and chocolate Hesperantha vaginata, and the dull-colored but highly fragrant Gladiolus scullyi are common.
The annuals include the delicate white Cotula nudicaulis, different species of Nemesia, but especially the striking Nemesia cheiranthus, and m
The geophytes include many Romuleas, Lachenalias, Ornithogalums, some Hesperanthas and many more genera.auve-flowered basterpershongerblom, Senecio cakilefolius
Most spectacular are the brilliant, deep blue Pride-of-Nieuwoudtville, Geissorhiza splendidissima, sky blue bloukalossie, Ixia rapunculoides and the two finest Sparaxis species, the coppery pink Sparaxis elegans and damp loving Sparaxis pillansii.
After a big breakfast we will head to the Oologskloof Nature Reserve were we will get spectacular views over the Knersvlakte and the mountain range? This is a time to reflect on the beauty of this part of the world and to think that this is called the Bokkeveld because at one time this area had tens of millions of antelope roaming through the grasslands.
We then travel to Papkuilsfontein and have lunch at Die Waenhuis restaurant. After lunch we will join Willem Van Wyk, the owner of Papkuilsfontein for a tour of Papkuilsfontien. Here you will see flowers especially bulbs in abundance. After the tour we will return to our B&b and relax till dinner. DB@B
After breakfast on the penultimate day of our tour we will head for the Kokerboom Forest where you see many thousands of large Aloe dichotomas in their natural habitat.
This is one of the highlights of the tour as these imposing prehistoric plants never stop to impress me no matter how many times I see them.
We then travel back to Papkuilsfontein for lunch before taking a drive through Papkuilsfontein and head down to the Waterfall. After a very relaxing afternoon looking at flowers we head back to our accommodation for a final dinner. DB@B
It is the last day of our tour and we are going to close it along the West Coast. We again travel till Clanwilliam via the dust road where we turn to the west via Graaffwater and Leipoldtville to Elands Bay. The Verlorenvlei is the biggest natural swamp along the West Coast and is a bird watcher’s paradise! Another swamp along the West Coast is Rocherspan reached just before Dwarskersbos. We travel further past Langebaan on our way back to Cape Town. On a good year this drive is a sea of flowers so let’s hope for good rains in winter. After an enjoyable day at the West coast a soul enriching day is ended off in Cape Town.