West Coast NP known for its spring flowers, wildlife, birding and flamingo population is also situated on a huge lagoon. The fossil Park is worth a visit. Elands Bay, a beautiful and rugged environment is amongst other things famous for its surf break. Visit a rooibos co-op. The Cederberg mountains with dramatic rock formations, hikes and San rock art. This moonscape terrain each year in spring exhibits a natural phenomenon, a transformation into a wonderland of diverse multi colored wildflower.
This morning we leave the Cape and travel northwards along the Atlantic coast passing dunes and lagoons to Langebaan where we visit the West Coast National Park, well known for its avian life, wild animals like the Eland, Springbok, Caracal and Kudu. Spring flowers abound in August particularly in the Postberg Reserve. A flamingo population live in the salt marshes, African Penguins, Oyster catchers and Cape Gannets breed here.
Next stop is the famous Fossil Park, known to fossil enthusiasts worldwide. The fossils include bones of over 200 different animal species and this represents the greatest diversity of five million year-old fossils found anywhere in the world.
We drive to Eland’s Bay, this beautiful village and rugged west coast environment is amongst other things famous for it’s surf break. A walk to Baboon Point and Cave which is decorated with rock art and, particularly the Eland giving the bay its name.
Accommodation on or near the beach. Fresh Crayfish for dinner perhaps!
• Elands Bay
Leaving Eland’s Bay we stop at Lambert’s Bay, the seafood hot spot of the West Coast!
Lambert’s Bay is known as the Diamond of the West Coast, and the crayfish mecca of South Africa. Alluvial diamonds are also brought up from the ocean floor, thanks to those crazy, leathery local divers.
Delightful views of dolphins, whales and the ever entertaining seals at the internationally acclaimed Bird Island where tens of thousands of seabirds create a deafening cacophony, not forgetting the lush stretches of wild field flowers that are most beautiful during spring. On our way to the Cederberg we visit a cooperative “Rooibos” farm where the famous SA tea is grown.
This unique health-enhancing Rooibos plant is only found in the area. Then a visit through the historical town of Clanwilliam which is situated on the Olifants river.
Finally we enter the Cederberg with our accommodation situated appropriately for our hike tomorrow.
Barbecue dinner under an African sky, spot the Southern Cross anyone.
• Cederberg Wilderness Area
After breakfast we hike in the Cederberg mountains. We can visit the Stadtsaal, a series of ancient inter-leading caves in the Cederberg Wilderness that hold excellent examples of Xam (more often called San) rock art, in particular paintings of elephant.
The Xam lived in the Cederberg for over 500 000 years, but stopped painting about 200 years ago, disrupted by European colonialists. Depending on levels of fitness we can walk to the awe inspiring and popular Maltese Cross. (walk 3-4 hours) The heady fragrance of indigenous fynbos is intoxicating. Not to mention the incredible mountains and rock formations. Picnic snack here in this beautiful wilderness area.
A 3rd option is a visit to the huge Wolfberg Arch and cracks. (walk 6 km) NB: It is possible to visit the paintings and do one of the longer hikes.
At the end of the day our last stop will be at Bloubergstrand where we enjoy views of Cape Town backed by its famous Table Mountain. Robben Island is close and visible from here.
• Cederberg Wilderness Area