Namaqualand Spring Flower Tour
Spring Flower Extravaganza
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Namaqualand Spring Flower Tour
Code (SP04). A 6 day tour.

Carpets of daisies and other flowering plants colour the landscape with intense oranges, yellows, purples, blues and a thousand shades of spectacular colours found nowhere else in Africa. It is a short period of intense floral activity but one on a good season not to be missed

It is worth mentioning that the Namaqualand Spring Flowers are by no means a guaranteed phenomenon. The flowering of the sometimes masses of spring flowers, in an endless profusion of colours and scents, is something we all want to see but this phenomenon is reliant on the arrival of the late winter to early spring rains and the non-arrival of the hot, dry Berg winds that can sweep down from the north drying out and desiccating the new growth and buds of the myriad of annual and perennial flowering shrubs. 

We do whatever we can to find the flowers using modern technology as well as the all-important local knowledge of the Folks on the ground. It is never guaranteed but when it is does, as it so often happens, it is so spectacular that it will remain with you forever.

The spring flowers only open on warm sun filled days with a minimum temperature of around 17 degrees centigrade. This is the same temperature that is needed for the Bees to become active. The result of this phenomenon is that it is really only worthwhile starting to look for the flowers from around 9 o’clock in the morning. This also gives us a good time to get to the most favourable areas before optimum conditions prevail. The flowers generally start to close up again from around 4 to 4.30 pm depending on the daily temperatures and hours of sunlight.

Day 1, Night 1
Port Elizabeth – Oudtshoorn 

Pick up from your place of residence in Port Elizabeth.

Setting out west along the N2, we branch off, soon finding ourselves travelling through wide, picturesque valleys covered with neatly laid out fruit orchards and worked by the colourful decedents of the Khoikhoi and local farmers. 

Spring is the season of the fruit tree blossoms, travelling through this scented valley as we make our way to our first overnight stop in the Little Karoo. We take a lunch break on the road.

Emerging from this long valley, we head north into the Little karoo with its arid landscapes and wide open plains where farmers intensively rear hundreds of thousands of Ostriches making this the Ostrich capital of the world.

We make our way to our overnight accommodation near Oudtshoorn, the largest centre in the area and founded on the back of the booming Ostrich feather fashion industry in the early 20th century when it became high fashion for ladies to where intricate feather hats topped with the Ostrich plumes and convoluted feather boas around their necks and shoulders. It has been said that a single fine feather could pay for one’s passage back to England. Good old days that came to an end with the advent of the motor car and the First World War.

Here, we check in to our comfortable accommodation for the night, take our evening meal at a local restaurant before a peaceful nights’ rest in the healthy atmosphere provided by the Karoo.

Overnight Guesthouse, bed and breakfast. Lunch and dinner for own account

Day 2, Night 2
Oudtshoorn – Darling

We wake early for a hearty breakfast and another long road trip. We pass through small Karoo towns with their characteristic architecture. A wide variety of farm produce is sold on the roadside and at farm stalls dotted along the road where their produce varies from delicious, dried fruits to some of the countries finest fortified wines, ports and sherries.

We continue through valleys with stunning scenery as we drive through the southern shadow of some of the highest mountains in the country and heart of the South African wine and fruit producing countryside.

Continuing in a westerly direction, we finally dropping down to the coastal lowlands as we head for the small centre in the heart of the southern spring flower areas. Here we check into our overnight accommodation in the Western Cape, take a superb meal and a refreshing nights’ sleep, after a long day in the saddle in this eclectic little town.

Overnight guest lodge, bed and breakfast. Lunch and dinner for own account

Day 3, Night 3
Darling area 

This small and historic town with an intense interesting in the arts and has its own cabaret venue. There is much to explore, and the surrounding areas are known for their flowers. It is situated about 20 kilometres from the West Coast National Park, one of the best flower spots in the area and we will explore the area as well as the National Park, thoroughly during our stay here.

We wake early for a hearty breakfast and armed with local knowledge, we depart to explore the area, to locate where the best flowers in the region can be found. Stopping along the way to admire what the bounty of spring has provided us with whilst traversing the highways and byways of this picturesque area and take a comfortable lunch break on the road.

One needs to be flexible and will visit the West Coast National Park when conditions promise to be best to see what flowers can be found in this little gem of a National Park situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

We return to our guest loge and freshen up before making our way to a local restaurant for our evening meal.

Overnight guest lodge, bed and breakfast. Lunch and dinner for own account

Day 4, Night 4
Darling – Nieuwoudtville

Wake up for an early breakfast and check out as we head up north, stopping along the way at any splashes of colour we might encounter, exploring the region as we follow up on leads from the local communities as we make our way to a centrally situated town that holds a must see annual Wild Flower display in the local church.

After browsing through the colourful displays put on by the townsfolk and a wholesome lunch, we head further north, into Namaqualand, through an area known as the Knersvlakte (A name said to have originated from the passengers on the early horse drawn coaches and the rough ride over these gravel plains making your teeth gnash – Knerse in Afrikaans) .

We finally ascend the escarpment and make our way to our overnight accommodation on a historic working farm, or similar, for a delicious meal and a good night’s rest.

Overnight Guesthouse, bed and breakfast.


Lunch and dinner for own account

Day 5, Night 5
Nieuwoudtville – Beaufort West

After a full breakfast, we check out and pack up before heading back away from Namaqualand and the majority of the spring flowers as we start our return journey. Travelling east into the interior of the country through the Great Karoo, that dry hot place so named by the early Khoikhoi people, and once inhabited by the hardy and resilient Bushmen.

Here, the spectacle of the spring flowers gives way to flowering Karoo bossies (small Karroid shrubs) that spread like a threadbare carpet over the arid plains that are so characteristically interrupted by flat topped mountains and hills.

Relief from the long, often arrow, straight roads, are at times provided by small, typical Karoo towns and welcome roadside farm stalls which, with enough time, we are able to visit.

We stop for lunch along the way before making for our final overnight accommodation stop in the very heart of the Great Karoo.

On arrival, we check into our historical Guesthouse/Lodge overlooking the vast plains of the Karoo.

If time allows, take a walk in the veld (field) to breathe the fresh Karoo air, do some game spotting from the slopes and some bird watching.

We meet up back in the Lodge’s dining room for a delicious Karoo flavoured evening meal before a peaceful nights’ rest in this quiet place in the Karoo.

Overnight Guesthouse, bed and breakfast.


Lunch and dinner for own account

Day 6
Beaufort West – Port Elizabeth

After a hearty Karoo breakfast, we drive south and east, leaving the Great Karoo behind us and making our way through the little Karoo towards Port Elizabeth, with memories and lots of photographs of our Namaqualand Spring Flower Tour.

Lunch en route for own account.

 Tour includes:

• 6 day professional guided tour, vehicle, fuel, guide
• 5 night accommodation, bed and breakfast basis
• Entrance/conservation fees
    – West Coast National Park
    – Wildflower Show
• Toll fees

Tour excludes:
• Lunch and dinner
• Bar bills
• Activities not mentioned in above
• Private shopping
• Gratuities

 Rates:

   2 persons on tour: R 25 000 per person sharing
3-4 persons on tour: R 14 900 per person sharing
5-7 persons on tour: R 11 900 per person sharing

Minimum 2 persons

Single supplement applies

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