LUXURY TOURS SOUTH AFRICA, NAMIBIA, BOTSWANA
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TOUR SOUTHERN AFRICA IN LUXURY AND

     

WEST COAST TOUR

THE FLOWER-POWER TOUR TO NAMAQUALAND

 
 

WE ALSO CALL IT "THE FLOWER-POWER TOUR" TO NAMAQUALAND

General Comments: The arid north-western coastal region of South Africa undergoes a magical transformation in the very early springtime, from late August to October, when this usually dry and thirsty land is turned into carpets of daisies and succulents as far as the eye can see: one of God's greatest impressionistic works!

While one can never predict when precisely is the "best" time to visit Namaqualand, the drive north from Cape Town along the Westcoast and along the mist-covered, cool Cederberg region has much to offer to the visitor who wants to get away from it all, loves the seabirds, fishing and hiking and dares to explore the wanders of the Richtersveld Nature Reserve with its surrealistic "Kokerboom" and landscapes.

The Western Cape is recognised as the "Sixth Flower Kingdom" of the world with the greatest variety of indigenous flowers to be found anywhere and as such there is much to be seen right throughout the year, both in nature and in the many botanic gardens carefully maintained throughout this Flower Kingdom.

V.I.P. & Executive Tours can either plan a self-drive itinerary for you or we could provide a driver/guide to accompany you for the duration of this west coast tour. We regard a week to be the ideal period to really explore this vast and varied terrain and based our following "Flower-Power Tour" on a six-night excursion.

N.B. This west coast tour can be shortened to about four days, if there are time restraints.

 
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DAY ONE : BLOUBERG, SALDANHA AND LANGEBAAN LAGOON

From your hotel in the city, we proceed via Milnerton right along the wide arch of Table Bay to Bloubergstrand beach, from where you have the best panoramic views of Table Mountain, as depicted on most postcards. We continue on the West Coast Highway to Yzerfontein and on to Langebaan, known for its shallow lagoon and its profusion of seabirds. Usually we would lunch at the unique "Strandloper", a fish restaurant situated directly on the beach where you can savour a huge variety of local fish and shellfish. After a swim in the cold waters of the Atlantic, we take you to "The Farmhouse Inn" just around the corner, to allow you to rest or walk along the endless beaches at sunset.

flowers tour

DAY TWO : SALDANHA, PIKETBERG, CITRUSDAL & CEDERBERG

After a leisurely breakfast at this magic place, we proceed to Saldanha Bay, generally regarded as the safest harbour along the entire African coast and base of our small navy. It played a significant role in the early days of exploration of this entire region and had it not been for the lack of fresh water, Saldanha (founded by the Portuguese) would have been the mother city of South Africa. From here we head inland via Velddrif towards the N7 which leads to Namibia. We will pass Piketberg which overlooks one of the grandest valleys in the whole world, wheatlands surrounded by a circle of huge mountains, and boasts one of the loveliest old churches, surrounded by a well-kept rosegarden. We climb up Piekenierskloff Pass to Citrusdal, where - suddenly - we encounter orange plantations, fed by the Oliphantsriver which has carved itself a picturesque path through these rugged mountains. We aim for Clanwilliam, having stopped en route for lunch and a visit to a flower reserve, showcasing all the indigenous flowers of the region, where we will overnight at one of the many fine guesthouses, renowned for their warm hospitality.

DAY THREE : IN SEARCH OF NAMAQUALAND DAISIES AND VYGIES

This day will be spent entirely in search of the best viewing places of the flowers of the region. Usually we will travers the Pakhuispass to enter the Biedouw Valley, one of the most reliable areas, with a picnic lunch in the old missionary outpost of Wuppertal; or we might head north to Niewoudtville or Vredendal, all depending on the weather and flower reports available from the excellent tourist information offices of the flower areas. One of our favourite things to do is to go through McGregor's flower reserve by tractor.

namaqualand flowers

Tonight we want to treat you with one of the most magnificent resorts in the whole of South Africa: it is called "Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve", situated at the foothills of the mighty Cederberg Mountains, the reserve boasts more than 125 rock art sites, some dating back 10 000 years. You would enjoy a sunset drive to view a multitude of mammals, birdlife and more than 750 plant species. This is a world-class resort in the wilderness! you will be spoiled and pampered, especially at meal times (Member of Relais et Chateaux).

DAY FOUR : TO SPRINGBOK AND THE HEART OF NAMAQUALAND

After an early excursion to the Bushman paintings of the resort, guided by a local expert, and one of their scrumptious brunch buffets, we are heading north to Springbok to experience the other, much more humble extreme of this country of extremes. We pass through Klawer and will, believe it or not, encounter vineyards, stopping for a wine tasting at the local cooperative; after Van Rhijnsdorp, Bitterfontein we will reach Kamieskroon. There we will visit the beautiful Skilpad Nature Reserve, before proceeding to Springbok. According to your choice, we will overnight either at a guesthouse or a local hotel.

DAY FIVE: WHOLE DAY IN THE GOEGAP NATURE RESERVE

After breakfast, the west coast tour takes us to Goegap, a large nature reserve outside of Springbok. We suggest an early morning 6 km hike along the escarpment, before the heat of the day. As you will know, the flowers always face the sun, so it is advisable to face westwards in the mornings and eastwards in the afternoon to best view the daisies and glorious vygies (succulents), which thrive in the drier climate of the Northern Cape. This reserves has many beautiful drives and we intend to have a typical South African "Braaivleis" or barbeque at one of the many picnic sites, in the midst of nowhere but natural beauty. If you are up to it, we may pass through Okiep in the afternoon to visit an old copper mine and museum and/or return to our hotel/guesthouse in Springbok.

spring flower tour

DAY SIX : OVERLAND RETURN TO THE SOUTH : TULBAGH

Unfortunately, today we have to take a longish drive back towards Cape Town, but with one more exciting stop-over at the historic town of Tulbagh, totally renovated after a major earthquake hit this village in 1968. The route will take us some 460 km back to Piketberg, all along the way we are likely to enjoy passing through fields of beautiful Namaqualand flowers. Lunch at Piekenierskloof Resort or Noupoort Guestfarm, situated above St. Helena Bay with the most expansive of views. Along the R44, well-known wineroute from Piketberg all the way to Somerset West, passed the Great Winterhoek mountains to Tulbagh, where we will overnight Rijk's Ridge, a wineland getaway of charm and tranquility - and good food to accompany the delicious local wines:- enjoy!

DAY SEVEN : BACK TO CAPE TOWN, THE BEAUTIFUL

OK, all good things have to come to an end sometime, BUT a great drive awaits you after a late and leisurely breakfast in the heart of the winelands. You will descend from up high down Mitchell's Pass and Bain's Kloof, two of road engineering's great feats, built by the great Thomas Bains in the mid 19th century, through truly breathtaking mountain terrain to Wellington and Paarl, where "Bosmans" awaits you, known to be among the top ten restaurants in the country, situated in the Grande Roche Hotel. You will want to take your time over lunch. A very short drive takes you back to Cape Town and your hotel.

WE TRUST THAT YOU HAVE BEEN EMPOWERED BY "FLOWER - POWER"

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE FLOWER TOURS ARE FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTED ACCORDING TO PREVAILING WEATHER PATTERNS AND RAINFALL CONDITIONS. WE RELY ON FLOWER REPORTS FROM THE VARIOUS TOURISM AUTHORITIES AND PLAN OUR TOURS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF OUR CLIENTS. REMEMBER OUR MOTTO IS ALWAYS :- "YOU TELL US YOUR WISHES, WE PLAN ACCORDINGLY"

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