Day 1: Start of the 9-day tour north. Departure approx 8h30 from the hotel. Along the 550 km long route to Springbok we find patches of the flowers so liberally displayed further north. Today’s trip takes us from C.T. through the so called Swartland, where the grain stands high, past Piketberg and Clanwilliam to Vanrhynsdorp, some 300 km.
Day 2: Into the heart of Namaqualand. Today we cover the second half of the distance to Springbok, and both days we won’t stop much, but note places for a more serious exploration when returning south. The flowers display their best colors and faces when seen from the north.
Day 3: Springbok & surroundings. Now we really get started, admiring the endless flower displays, which explode here after months of dry season, explore, photograph and record our findings. Millions of little flower heads awaken to life in this arid region, (Namaqualand)- daisies, Oxalis, Lachenalia, Mesems, to mention just a few. We visit the Goegap nature reserve, and possibly the old copper mining villages of Nababeep und Concordia (time permitting).
Days 4&5: Pure Namaqualand. Transfer to Kamies (or Garies, depending on available accommodation), visit the Namaqualand National Park (Skilpad), stopping along the road to admire fields of flowers, as far as one can see. Many farms in the region open their gates to visitors during this time of the year, allowing free access.
Days 6&7: Knersvlakte & Bokkeveld. Again we transfer further south, this time to Nieuwoudtville, which lies at about 900m elevation, with a completely different vegetation to the one below the escarpment. Here, far remote from the "Cape" we find many species of Protea, whose prime flowering period is presently. The proximity of the Karoo also has an influence on the town on the western edge of this high plateau. There are ice cold nights, clear sky, a good reason for the establishment of one of the world’s great planetariums at Sutherland, not far to the south. We too will try to experience the stars of the southern sky, depending on weather.
Day 8: Cederberg region. Travelling south through the valley of the Oliphants river to Piketberg, we visit Ramskop Reserve, but also feast our eyes on the other spectacles of nature, such as the silhouette of the barren Cederberg mountains, enormous wine farms, and Citrus-und fruit plantations.
Day 9: West coast to Cape Town, 9th day of our journey. We turn off the „great north N7“ road, heading for the Westcoast National Park, and especially for Postberg Reserve, which is only opened to the public during the spring time flowering season. At Velddrif we cross the estuary of the Berg river, where often hundreds of Pelicans and Flamingo share their meals with the local water birds. In the bay of Saldanha lies the huge iron ore ship loading terminal at the end of the Sishen railway line. In Postberg is also some game, such as the largest antelope, the Eland, as well as Bontebok, an endemic buck of the western Cape region, apart from an abundance of flowers. Return to C.T. in the evening, end of tour.
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