Late August into September is the perfect time to go and look at the West Coast’s Namaqualand daisy explosion of spring flowers.
Carpets of purples, yellows, oranges, from white to red and everything in-between. They open on sunny days which are above 17°C but are great even on cooler slightly overcast days.
The whole area from Durbanville right up to the Orange river becomes a riot of colour.
There are plenty of places to stay, from rustic B&B’s to grand lodges. Go to http://www.sa-venues.com/attractionsnc/namaqualand-flower-route.htm .
One of the secret places where the greatest variety blossom is the Pakhuis Pass, northern Cedarberg area. In this area fynbos, vygies and the daisies mix it up in a glorious display.
A great place to base yourself is Travellers Rest on the Wupperthal or Eastern side of the pass. This is one of my favourite hideaways. Accommodation is simple but good and it is quiet. The houses are clean, the showers are hot, and all you need to bring is your food. There is a little shop and cafe at reception. The units are far apart. Website is: http://www.travellersrest.co.za/.
An added plus, apart from the flowers, is the 11 cave bushmen’s painting hiking route.
To get there turn off the N7 at Clanwilliam and head east over the Pakhuis Pass. It is on your right where the road crosses the Brandewyn river about 5km from the pass.
Every year Clanwilliam puts together a spring flower show in their old church hall. This is worth visiting as well. They group flowers from the different regions. Sandveld flowers in a display, coastal flowers, karoo succulents, mountain flora and so on.
Clanwilliam is an easy two-and-a-half hour drive from Cape Town. There are three restaurants at the top of the Piekenier’s pass before you descend into the Olifants river valley. Well worth a stop for a snack but also to check out their farm stalls.
Do yourself a favour. Go and look at one of the natural wonders of the world. The carpets of flowers will lift your soul.