Travel Guide

Namaqualand, exploring the West Coast Flower Route

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Not like the well-known backyard route, the West Coast continues to be a journey off the overwhelmed monitor in South Africa. Driving away from Cape City you’ll see how all the pieces modifications; panorama, meals, folks, and even their accent. Although nothing is predominant within the space there are sufficient things to see and to experience. Touring the West Coast put together to be shocked and see wonderful things in probably the most surprising locations! My major impressions of the West coast are the countless sky and a sense of absolute freedom!

One of the best time to go to Namaqualand

This a part of the nation will get little or no rain all year long aside from July and August. After these winter rains, the world transforms utterly. 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 perfect time to see the flowers in Namaqualand. The flower season varies just a little bit between northern and southern elements of the coast; within the north close to Springbok August is the perfect 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 yr to yr some years after a dry winter there could be not as many flowers as after a number of months of winter rains. If it rains all through September lots there could be not many flowers.

Whenever you plan your journey it’s necessary to keep in mind that in case you 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 perfect for observing the flowers verify the climate forecast earlier than heading to the West Coast.

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

Although the world is probably the most spectacular throughout the spring in case you come right here outdoors of the flower season you received’t be disillusioned there are lots of wonderful locations to go to alongside the West Coast.

Greatest locations in Namaqualand to see the flowers

You’ll be able to see the fields of flowers driving by means of Namaqualand however sure locations supply the perfect 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 price – R80 – adults, R45 – youngsters

Moreover the gorgeous surroundings, the park presents various 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. You’ll be able 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

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 fantastic 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 price – R46 – adults, R23 – youngsters

Things to do on the Flower Route

Water actions

Some locations on the West Coast are well-known for being wonderful spots for training water sports activities. Langebaan is one in all them. In summer season this small city turns into a kitesurfing mecca. Tons of of locals and vacationers from all around the world come right here to surf. Even to observe 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 straightforward although. Summer time is the windiest time right here and in spring throughout the flower season, there could be no wind in any respect nevertheless it’s simply another excuse to come back to the West Coast once more for December vacation.

If you happen to’re in search of a winter-spring water exercise within the space head to Elands Bay, among the finest browsing spots on this a part of the nation. Not like with kitesurfing browsing circumstances in winter are the perfect. You’ll be able to 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 actually spectacular you may see dolphins, whales, seals, penguins, and many others. 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 have 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 quick encounter. 

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

Mountaineering & biking

West Coast Nationwide Park in Langebaan might be the perfect 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 quick strolling trails between 5 km and 9 km and a few 2-day routes (have to be booked upfront). The paths supply spectacular surroundings, particularly throughout the flower season. The gorgeous surroundings is just not the one factor to take pleasure in within the park, throughout the stroll you may spot animals equivalent to bat-eared foxes, Elands, rock hyraxes, ostriches, caracals, and lots 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 yow will discover on the official web site.

If you happen to resolve to discover the inland a part of Namaqualand the Cederberg Mountain space is an incredible place for out of doors actions equivalent to climbing and mountain biking.

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

Foodie things

Seafood and fish on the West Coast is one thing to not miss: contemporary Saldanha oysters, huge crayfish, prawn, mussels, calamari, hake the record simply goes on. Paternoster might be the perfect place in Namaqualand to come back for seafood. The Noisy Oyster and Voorstrandt are our two favourite eating places right here. Don’t fear in case you’re not a giant 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 superb place to come back for breakfast. They’ve nice espresso as nicely (Fact Espresso, a widely known Cape City espresso roastery).

Muisbosskerm, an open-air restaurant on the seashore 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 needs to be booked upfront. 

Namaqualand is just not 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 perfect 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

Namaqualand – the West Coastal route itinerary

A weekend in Namaqualand throughout the flower season is an effective way to spend a few days with household and buddies. We created two itineraries on your weekend getaway in Namaqualand: the Coastal Route and the Cederberg Route.

We’d counsel 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 visitors.

Day 1. Cape City – Langebaan/Paternoster

If you happen to 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 contemporary 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 counsel Pearly’s Restaurant on the waterfront. Junk and Disorderly bakery is a superb breakfast place in Paternoster.

After breakfast, you may spend a while on the seashore 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 perfect time for watching the flowers. On the entrance gate, there could be a queue of vehicles you need to be ready to spend a while ready to get in. There are a number of quick climbing trails contained in the park you can observe. Strolling throughout the fields is one of the simplest ways to benefit from the flowers. You’ll be able to 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. If you happen to journey with youngsters be sure to cease at The Pixie and Fairy Village in Jacobsbaai. It’s a magical place! Open day by day from eight am to six pm, admission price – 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 superb place to cease for lunch, it has a number of the greatest seafood and fish eating places within the space. We will suggest 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. If you happen to’re planning to braai be sure your guesthouse has a braai place (in case you 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. If you happen to like beer and burgers on the way in which again to Cape City drive by means of Darling. It’s a fast detour from the route. Darling Brew is a superb place to cease. There you may mix beer tasting with a scrumptious meal. The brewery has a jungle health club for youths and permits well-behaved canine. 

In spring the fields across the city are coated in flowers. Domestically brewed beer, nice meals, and fields of flowers – the right 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 nicely. 

Flower fields in Namaqualand in spring
Typically simply driving by means of Namaqualand you may see hundreds of flowers alongside the street

The place to remain on the West Coast?

If you happen to’re planning to go to Namaqualand on a weekend throughout the flower season ensure you e-book lodging upfront the perfect choices might be booked out in case you attempt to do it simply a few days forward.

Langebaan

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

If you happen to’re planning to go to the West Coast Nationwide Park staying in Langebaan is the best choice. The city could 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 suggest staying indoors reasonably than tenting until you’ve an RV or the campsite is fenced and gated with good safety. More often than not you’re going to spend outdoors your campsite no matter you permit in your tent or round it could be stolen. Campsites alongside the West Coast are usually not as busy in spring as in December there could be no one round to take care of your stuff when you’re out.

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

Paternoster

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

Paternoster is one other good choice to remain for the weekend. The coastal drive by means of the close by Cape Columbine Nature Reserve previous Cape Columbine Lighthouse is actually 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 in opposition to tenting at Tietiesbaai we’ve heard some dangerous tales about folks’s stuff being stolen out of their tents and vehicles.

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 outdoors 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

If you happen to don’t fear an excessive amount of about being near the ocean and reasonably wish to skip seasonal crowds within the West Coast Nationwide Park I’d suggest going to the Cederberg Mountains. It’s extra off the overwhelmed monitor vacation spot with fewer those who has a few wonderful locations the place you may see hundreds of flowers outdoors Nationwide parks and reserves. It’s necessary to keep in mind that in case you resolve 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 to do a lot today 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 wonderful 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 suggest The Grapevine Espresso Store, it’s a small however cozy place that serves scrumptious breakfasts, espresso, and Rooibos tea. The world round Clanwilliam is legendary for its Rooibos tea, don’t be shocked to see many tearooms there. 

If you happen to keep in Citrusdal to go to each locations you’ll need to 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. 

If you happen to resolve to go to each Nieuwoudtville and Biedouw Valley I’d counsel ranging from Nieuwoudtville there may be multiple place there to see the flowers. If you happen to don’t have sufficient time to go to Biedouw Valley ultimately 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, a captivating city with a few good eating places the place you may cease for breakfast. We will suggest Beans About Espresso, a comfy cafe-roastery. They’ve nice espresso (that they roast themselves), tasty breakfast, and scrumptious muffins. 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 prolong your street journey and drive to Northern Cape. This manner you may mix the flower season in Namaqualand with a go to to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. August-September is the perfect time for safari drives.

The place to remain within the Cederberg Mountains?

There are some wonderful 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 non-public farms, away from the primary 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 experience tenting within the Cederberg Mountains is safer than alongside the West Coast. A lot of the campsites listed below are located removed from the street and cities which makes entry tougher. We’ve by no means had something stolen whereas tenting right here however only for security all the time lock priceless stuff within the automobile once we go away.

Beaverlac

  • Distance from Cape City – 170 km
  • Driving time – 2h10min.
  • Value – adults – R75, youngsters – R45, canine – R50, automobile entrance price – R30.

One among our canine’s favourite campsites in Western Cape. The plot is spacious, grassy and nicely sorted. The encircling space is actually lovely. There are a few climbing trails resulting in the pure rocky swimming pools. I’m certain in early spring it received’t be as full as in December.

The Tub Sizzling 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 liked swimming within the scorching pool within the night watching the celebs and listening to birds singing. Tenting is just not the one lodging choice right here in order for you extra consolation you may lease an condominium. If you happen to resolve 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 Sizzling 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 price – adults, R35 – youngsters.

Each campsites Algeria and Kliphuis are situated contained in the Cederberg Wilderness Space. Each campsites are well-maintained and have good amenities: scorching bathe, bathroom, braai place, and many others. 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 might be an ideal keep for a special day. The keep at Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is kind of pricy you may not wish to spend that a lot cash for an abnormal weekend getaway. The place is wonderful, its location is actually spectacular. It’s located within the Klein Karoo. There are a whole lot of actions and things to do on the resort to maintain one busy from spa remedy 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, exhibits campsites in any chosen space, we used it lots in Namibia.
  • WestCoastWay an app for iPhone and Android with a whole lot of data on the West coast.
West Coast Way map
West Coast Means map. West Coast South Africa journey information



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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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